Back in the olden days, I think sometime before Prince was the artist formally known as prince and milk was still a six pence…. before, google glasses, Instagram, smart phones, torrents, tablets, bits, bytes my ass, before the internet ether consumed all mankind, before information was a digital fractal flicker of something you could not hold on to or for that matter ever smell like the pages of a book or a record sleeve, before the tactile turned and bowed out for most of humanity, before searching for tattoos via google was more common then going into a tattoo shop, to be honest, a time all together before any of the bullshit I myself now employ to keep working an honest day, (insert pause for an old man to catch his breath and hold his knees). I spent a lot of time at the library downtown Colorado Springs, where I existed as a transient daytime weather avoider and job evading book reader. I dabbled a lot in the books I wished I had the brain to write and a lot in the books of pictures I could never shake, one of which being Sandi Fellmans book of Japanese tattoos. That that book was even included in such a library of conservatism was a blessing, that it had not be stolen, a second, and to see it a third. If you are familiar with that book it is rich with images of Japanese traditional tattooing, and overflowing with photos of tattoos made by Horiyoshi III. I still to this day hold two copies of that book, one because I use it so much for reference, and secondly because I worry I will lose the first copy. So fast forward to 2014 and I am afforded a chance to both meet and get tattooed by Horiyoshi now so many many years later, still a weather avoider and job evader. Consistancy must count for something.
We had two good weeks in Japan and the first day started with having the honor and good fortune to meet the man who made one of those initial impressions upon me, if not the most profound. I was traveling with my girlfriend and we had set the day aside both to get tattooed by Horiyoshi and visit Yokohama. What can I say, It was 30 years in the waiting, and worth every minute, I feel incredibly lucky to have been afforded this opportunity . Afterwards, we sidetracked to Tokyo to spend some time with our good friend and annual shop visitor Mo, Horishige, who both introduced me to eating shark and made for a long long night of shinjuku driking. There are far worse fates to be had.
After that we travelled around via train, Osaka, some points unknown, kyoto and back to to Tokyo. I saw the new year start atop a hill in Kyoto that looked like this
I am lucky to see such things. Vacations end. And the rain returns to California, as we all do…and the trip is over and you go back to work
viking girl for Brett
more a bent back skull then bent back girl for Kevin
a dragon in progress
another in progress
tough is tough, barbed wire panther
year of the horse painting I did for my friend Daniel who works at True Love Tattoo in Berkeley.
this went no where, just hangs out in my living room, but I love it