This piece came about in a rather fortuitous way. While I was working on Poseidon, the client asked me to create a more aggressive version and I posted the new draft on Facebook as usual. It was then that I received an e-mail from Switzerland. This girl was very interested in this Poseidon because, as she told me, she had been thinking for some time of getting the Greek sea god tattooed and this was exactly what she was looking for. Luckily for her, the client for whom I created the draft decided to discard this option and to maintain the previous one.
At that point, it was only a matter of taking measurements and defining the work in detail. Instead of the sea bottom with submerged ruins and sea serpents, the girl asked for a giant octopus, something that had special meaning to her being an image that for years had accompanied her in many important moments of her life.
Having created the pencil design and having received the client’s approval, it was time to start colouring. I was still unsure on what colour to use for the octopus but a wildlife documentary came to my aid. Apparently octopuses, when attacking or when angry, turn red. Problem solved 😀
The design was supposed to occupy the entire arm but on the day of the first session the client asked me to reduce its size so that it would not extend beyond the upper half of the forearm. Resizing the stencil wasn’t too difficult; too bad for Neptune, who in this reduced size could not have the level of definition initially planned. Anyway, no big deal.
During processing we decided to change the outline of the work.
For some time I had been fed up of finishing off sleeves by shading colour so shortly before my New Zealand trip I began to introduce geometric motifs to finish sleeves in a much more attractive and original way.
On returning from my trip, I proposed to do the same with her tattoo and she enthusiastically accepted
(proposal that I now extend to all my clients who would like to finish off their sleeves in a new way 😉 ).
The process was particularly slow. After a fairly speedy start – three sessions in three months – due to work commitments as well as the distance between Bergamo and Switzerland (a couple of hours drive each way), the sessions were rescheduled every two months and a couple of unforeseen events also took place. After the fifth session, always due to her work commitments, there was a 10-month pause and between the penultimate and the last session there was another 7-month pause. It took approximately 2 and a half years from start to finish, which is why some parts of the tattoo are more “fresh” than others.
Luckily this girl has always been able to stand an average of 4 hours per sitting, sometimes even more, something that can not always be said of other more “muscled” clients 😛
I just remember a couple of times when she gave up after a couple of hours because she had scheduled the appointments too close to her period and during that time pain tolerance decreases dramatically; so when it comes to girls I always suggest scheduling appointments as far away from their period as possible.
I am very pleased with the end result of this decidedly original work 🙂
Look at the images of the working process below.
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