Big Tattoos

Working on the projects of massive size on the skin is like honey for me. It plays on all of my favorite strings. Working with the same person for a long time, that creates an incredible bond of friendship between the artist and the customer. The design has to relate to the unique properties of the human body. Size allows to tell any story, everything is possible. If I had to say which type of work is my beloved, I would answer without a second thought: the big one.

Not every first tattoo has to be small. Some of us save our bodies for best, big pieces of art. That was the case here. For my customer, I hand painted this diver fighting octopus scene first. And after approval, we started this long project.

Not every first tattoo has to be small. Some of us save our bodies for best, big pieces of art. That was the case here. For my customer, I hand painted this diver fighting octopus scene first. And after approval, we started this long project.

Full artwork covers the area of the back and hunkers, then 3/4 of the right sleeve, creating one, complete composition.

Full artwork covers the area of the back and hunkers, then 3/4 of the right sleeve, creating one, complete composition.

Detail of the original Octopus back tattoo.

Detail of the original Octopus back tattoo.

The new dimension, new challenges

But it is not for everyone. Big tattoos require tremendous patience. Preparation is a key and can eat massive amounts of time. In my opinion, it is all worth in the end, but I have to say honestly, it is not for everyone. And I mean both: tattooer and customer.

Big tattoos are usually once-in-a-lifetime projects, so there is no limit for preparation. If the design doesn’t sing, I have to redraw it completely. Tattooer must consider so many attributes, that it is common for me to come back to the drawing table after a week or two in a break, to get a fresh look.

Big tattoos let create images that would be extremally hard to do on much smaller spaces.

Big tattoos let create images that would be extremally hard to do on much smaller spaces.

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Iron will

It also puts customer will on the test. If You think 5h tattoo hurts, imagine how much pain is in a 60h tattoo, 100h tattoo. It is a regular punishment to the body, and you have to stay motivated. Also, I prefer to work with those projects with reasonably good tempo. So 1-month break between sessions is absolute maximum, one or two weeks are more preferably.

Part of the brief for this project was to create flowy, unsymetrical composition. Under this back tattoo, hides some old unwanted tattoo.

Part of the brief for this project was to create flowy, unsymetrical composition. Under this back tattoo, hides some old unwanted tattoo.

I have seen my tattooed friends after 6th, 7th session. They show up at the door, and I could see, that something is hanging on a very tiny string. And if he won’t be supported with a warm word, he can break. But they pushed through. But honestly: not all of them.
Those who survived, have pictures of progress on their walls, tell the story, and proudly present their art. And they will always have my most significant respect. They showed so much appreciation for my art, and trust that we will always be friends.

It can be only understood by similar souls, but I believe that ones who went through it, with their dedication - they proved to be indestructible, iron-willed.

My customer here had a perfect approach to the project. She always showed with a smile and immense excitement. She was always filled with positive emotions. I think an act of tattooing was the biggest event for her. So knowing that it starts again felt like a Christmas.

My customer here had a perfect approach to the project. She always showed with a smile and immense excitement. She was always filled with positive emotions. I think an act of tattooing was the biggest event for her. So knowing that it starts again felt like a Christmas.