JAMES - recently cleaning up some old files, and digging up even older ones, i found the original sketches i used to design my tatoos. it's funny how primitive they are (the sketches not the concepts), and how differently i would approach such a project today. i figure they're almost 7 years old by now, and the ink in my left arm is about 6 years old. kinda cool finding these now, as i'm (finally!) planning on finishing the damn thing.
so i think the final drawing used to stencil my actual ink is lost forever - i left it with the tatoo artist, and god knows where she is. but the top sketch was the accompanying color map i gave her so she'd know the basic colors i wanted to fill within the lines. pretty crude marker and crayon on notebook paper.
most of the different parts and themes of the sleeve were drawn separately over a two year period, in various notebooks and sketch pads. once i chose the best parts, i tied them all into one concept and traced them together.
of course it all started with the flames, and this is the actual drawing that's on the bottom of the sleeve. james FLAMES forever, baby.
the gears were done in illustrator, since drawing a ton of circles freehand, or even with a protrator, at the time freaked me out. i originally made the gears about a year earlier for the tattoo around my right arm, and just expanded on it to fill in spaces underneath the phoenix and lightening bolt dude on my left arm.
i can't wait to eventually get started finishing the left arm, and i'm starting to come up with some embellishments to add to it. hopefully around January.