Tatuaggio a colori a mezza manica riproducente la copertina del disco Live After Death degli Iron Maiden

Passions and adolescence.

I generally try to avoid copying other artists’ photographs and work, no matter if they are from a completely different industry than tattoos, as in this case.

But when I got this guy’s request: the reproduction of Iron Maiden‘s “Live After Death” album cover, both because of his determination and because of the very nature of the request, I felt like when you are asked for a portrait, the shield of a football team or a flag. There is no way of making your own version, that’s that.

Seeing how confident and determined he was, I didn’t try to discuss the possibility of creating something new and unique based on his passion for Metal music and/or other aspects of tattooing.

I accepted the project without discussing it further, partly for the reasons listed above, partly because I spent my adolescence listening to Iron Maiden and drawing Eddie in all its variations, therefore it seemed like a nice tribute to the band, to the art of Derek Riggs and to my teenage passions, thus losing sight of the basic principles that I have set for myself for my working method.

During the process, I started to think that taking the job without further discussion had been a bad idea.

How much more fun for me and fulfilling for the client would it have been if I had made a completely new version of Eddie?

But the work had begun and there was no turning back.

Errors of evaluation

I admit I took this job a little lightly. After a quick look at the drawing, I was convinced I could do it in a session or two.

Only the day before the appointment, when I started preparing the stencil, did I notice the infinite amount of detail in this illustration.

A work that would have deserved a full back due of its complexity.

The original was made on canvas or cardboard, certainly in a size at least two or three times bigger than the print, while I had to do it in a smaller size, without being able to make use of overlays and all the tricks that can be used on cardboard or canvas but not on skin.

I found myself practically tattooing the entire piece with line needles only, and the two sessions I had planned became four.

Although this time I’ve broken my own ethical rules, I believe that the tribute to Iron Maiden and Derek Riggs is well done 🙂

Below are the processing steps and the video of the tattoo one month after the last session and healing.