I have been planning a new tattoo, for abot 15 years, now. When I first saw the cover of Robert Plant’s album, "Fate of Nations," (1993) I started thinking about how it would look as a tattoo.
Robert Plant, Fate of Nations, 1993
I did not, however, want Europe and Africa to be the continents showing on the face of the globe. A few years after the album was released, at the 2001 Norris Family Reunion, I asked my cousin, Ken Hutson ( www.airbrushfx.com
) to put his spin on the design. At the 2004 Reunion, Ken asked how the tattoo turned out. I told him I never received the artwork. He had emailed it, but the file must have been too big, as it never arrived in my hotmail. He said he would find the file and try again. 2007 Reunion, Ken was again surprised that I had no new tattoo, but this reunion, he had his laptop. After searching through his files, he found a scan of his rough draft. I don’t know if he had a final version done, but if he did, he did not have a scan of it. His rough draft was great, and I told him it would serve perfectly for the tatto artist to do his thing with it. We burned the file to a CD, and I brought it home with me.
click on images for enlarged image
Melting Earth by Ken Hutson
I printed it out, along with a jpeg of the original album artwork, to bring in to Only Skin Deep, where I have had 5 of my 6 tattoos done (#6 was my gecko I had done in Hawaii, at Rainbow Falls Tattoo, www.rainbowtattoo.com
). Knowing it was going to be a bit expensive, I held on to both, waiting for financial rough times to pass by.
Last week, I received my first paycheck that had NO DEDUCTIONS FOR CHILD SUPPORT!!! WOOHOO! The case will be closed, officially, at the end of the month, after a 60 day closing period. The child support actually stopped at the end of July, but they were still deducting payments, and then refunding them a week later. But, with this last child support issue out of the way, it was time to celebrate!!
Yesterday, I brought the printouts of both images to Rangoon Rick at Only Skin Deep, and discussed what I liked, and disliked, about both images, and how I would like to see it translate to skin. Rick is working on his version of the image this week, and I will be back in the studio on Friday, to have the new ink done.
I will post photos after it is done.
The tattoo is finished. I am adding the photos to this post to keep the time continuity, and for dramatic effect.
To answer a few questions, yes, it hurt like a sunuvabish, more than any of my other tats. The inside of the arm (closest to the elbow) was the most painful. As Rick (the tattoo artist) commented, around the time he was applying the third or fourth color, "now the wiping (of the blood and excess ink) probably hurts more than the tattooing." I am not sure, but at that point, both were hurting pretty good! Not to mention, my arm was in a strange position, and that was starting to get pretty uncomfortable in itself. This leads to the next answer, 4 hours. I took the afternoon off, and only had to wait for one person to get his tattoo done. He was about 18 or 19, and was getting his first tat done, which is always entertaining, and it was not very large, so it only took about 40 minutes. I took the hotseat at about 2:30, and Rick was putting the bandage on around 6:40. There a couple of short breaks, between colors, when Rick had to answer other people’s questions, answer the phone, or talk about the movie we were watching (The Illustrated Man, starring Rod Steiger, based on the book written by Ray Bradbury, good flick). And the last question I am sure you have, yes it was expensive, more than I have paid for any of my others (more than a couple of others combined, truthfully), but as I mentioned above, it was a celebration of the end of child support, and I have been planning this one for a very long time. It turned out beter than I could have imagined, and I will have it forever. And it is something that is entirely for me, and no one else (we all need something for ourselves, once in a while), so yes, it was worth it.
Dan G., a friend from work showed up to watch for a while, and took some photos of the work in progress. He didn’t stay the entire time, but when I see him on Monday, he is going to give me a digital copy of his photos. I will post those in the photo album section, when he does.
Skin Illustration done by:
Rangoon Rick at:
Only Skin Deep Tattoo Studio
622 Tuolmnee Street
Vallejo, CA 94590
"Superior and Consistant Quality Since 1970"
"And it Hurts Sooo Good"
Rick is a world class tattoo artist, and people have come from all over the world to be illustrated in his studio.
If you go, tell him I sent you.