Tuesday, May 29, 2012

T.F.M. Spotting - Yellowfin Tuna Ink

Some time ago Eric Hornung of Anti Hero Electric Tattoo posted a sketch of a yellowfin tuna that he was planning to tattoo on a client and I asked if he would photograph the project step by step for a T.F.M. post.  This image set also includes a couple T.F.M. Spotting photos as well with Eric wearing his Comrade t-shirt while at work.

Eric wrote...  "A friend referred Jon to me as I had done a small tattoo on him a few years ago. It started with a conversation about his desire to get a tattoo of a fish of some sort.  Maybe a koi or perhaps a tuna.  While I appreciate traditional Japanese koi fish, they really are not my “thing” as a tattoo artist.  It wasn’t tough to persuade him to do a yellowfin tuna and Jon fondly recounted tuna fishing with his father his entire childhood and having caught several 300 plus pound yellowfin.  He said he’d prefer more of a specimen layout than an action shot and kind of like it would appear hanging at the dock. 

Maybe it was wishful thinking, but I pictured the tattoo going down the front of his shin.  When he arrived at the shop to get started, I think he was planning on getting it on the back of his calf.  We both agreed that the shin would be cooler.  When Jon’s fiancĂ©, Nicole, joined us after we started we both kinda got a “Oh…(long awkward pause)...you got it on the front of your shin?”  Jon assured me she’ll come around, but he’ll be wearing pants at his wedding in Jamaica this October.   HA..."

Created with flickr slideshow.

"I got a text from Cameron after sharing a photo of the sketch on Instagram asking if I would chronicle the progress of this piece.  Jon took most of the pictures while I tattooed, which offers a customer point of view to the images.  I did my usual chit-chat, bullshit, philosophy, unrelated anecdote, anything to distract the customer from the fact that I’ll be drilling their shin for a few hours thing.  Total time tattooing was about seven hours over a couple appointments.  I had to contend with some Tough Mudder damage and a stretching a double into a triple softball slide scrape on the shin.  I’m definitely pleased by the results and it’s gratifying when I finish a piece and think to myself “Damn, I wish that was on me.” 

I took a lot of shit from haters and non-fisherman when I was getting started tattooing about wanting to do fishing themed tattoos.  I haven’t ever cared about doing the “cool”stuff.  I don’t concern myself with trying to do photo-realism, stylized, or painterly stuff.  I like the graphic look of a clean black outline on the very outside of the subject with as few black lines within the tattoo as I can get away with.  I try to create depth with shading and contrast.  Any time I get to combine fishing with tattooing I feel like the luckiest guy in the world."

Check out more of Eric's work on his website and follow on Facebook as well.

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