Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tattoosday Goes To Hawai'i: Mark's Sleeve Pays Tribute to East and West

I spent a good chunk of time at Ala Moana Center one of the days I was in Hawai'i. Even in paradise, malls are great places for inkspotting.

It was there that I met Mark, who had a full sleeve to offer up.

Now, before we begin, let me just say that I generally shy away from featuring full sleeves here on Tattoosday, out of respect to the host, the artist and, most of all, the tattoo. A work of art laid across flesh is often difficult to express in two-dimensional photos on a computer screen.

But Mark's sleeve was exceptional and I loved the color detail in the work. So let's check it out....

Items to note in this work:

Mark was born in the year of the Snake, which explains the serpent.

He was also born during Autumn, which is why the Japanese Maple leaves are sporting fall colors.

It's also generally non-traditional to see a bright red rose in a sleeve that is predominantly Japanese. He incorporated because he is, as he described it, "hapa," a shortened form of "hapa haole," or a person of mixed heritage, part of which is Caucasian. To make a long story short, the red rose is a nod to the "Western" aspect of his lineage, as it is more a traditional element in tattoos in the west. The rose is complimented by the chrysanthemum, which is a more traditional Japanese flower design.

Similarly, the skull element at the top of the arm is more of a Western flavor, juxtaposed nicely with another chrysanthemum.

I also love the multicolored pebbles in the design. They really pop out, especially among the milder tones of the autumn leaves and snake scales.

Mark informed me that the whole sleeve was completed in five or six sittings by Lucky Olelo at Soul Signature Tattoo in Honolulu.

Thanks to Mark for sharing his amazing work with us here on Tattoosday!

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