Stillness, the eye of the storm, the way of the bushi…

Let me start saying I love tattoos, a friend of mine at the time, a few moons ago when I was an art student, offered to teach me the craft but at the end it never happened.

Many times I have been asked to design a tattoo and as many times I have refused. I’m not sure why, perhaps because I know that when I see my drawing again in a short while I’ll start picking it apart, pointing out all the things that I could have done better.

Curiously enough a couple of weeks ago I was asked if I could design a tattoo… but this time it was different, this time it was my judo sensei who was asking – and I felt honoured. He wanted a traditional looking Japanese illustration of a samurai. He gave me totally freedom to design it. So I did quite a bit of a research and I came across an image I remember seeing when I was a kid in an old martial arts book. I can’t find the name of the artist for the life of me but it looks like it could belong to Utagawa Kuniyoshi – or an artist influenced by his artwork, there are many. In any case I took from this image the pose and the general style. I decided to add a dog/wolf as a companion for the samurai. My sensei absolutely loves dogs, he is a dog trainer, so our four legged friends are an important part of his life. I framed the image with waves and clouds but I left an opening on the top right corner – the future, like the horizon, is always open 🙂

I had to simplify the original sketch, taking out a lot of details that weren’t necessary; but overall I’m quite happy with the result of this samurai tattoo.

-Forjador.

 

Forjador

Manuel Mesones is a Peruvian graphic designer and illustrator. Running away from the sun, he moved to Yorkshire, England, over a decade ago. His weapon of choice is a ballpoint pen but he is also very keen on digital illustration.

4 Comments

  1. You must ask your Sensei to allow you to photograph the finished tattoo and post it with the original illustration, which I think is brilliant by the way.. Some of these tattooists are fantastic handlers of texture and colour and, if he chooses a good one, the result will be truly spectacular.

    1. Thank you Spike. Yes I’m curious about the end result, I’m pretty sure he knows a very good tattooist but I think he is going to leave it as line art for now. In any case the colour can be added later 🙂

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