Friday, April 8, 2011

Aria Spaceguns Tattoo and Sunset Hanami

I had thought that all my illustration skills (as applicable to tattoo design) had long since atrophied because I don't draw nearly as often as I should. I learned last week that that may not be as true as I thought. It's still a factual statement and I'm not nearly the caliber of artist as people who tattoo for a living, but perhaps I'm not a completely lost cause.

For five and a half years, we had a very sweet cat named Aria who had just the right set of personality characteristics to inspire myself and my husband to develop alternate characters based on her, the most developed of which is Aria Spaceguns. (If you want to hear actual stories, ask me at a party sometime.)

Anyway, here's the design (and a photo of Aria). We brought this to a Carlos at Tattoo Church as a starting point, but he said that there was very little he'd suggest changing.

This piece of body art was completed in two sessions, each lasting about three hours (those are pretty long sessions, if you've not had the experience yourself).

After the first session:

For today's (concluding) session, I sat in and watched Carlos at work. Well, I spent more time checking my email and news headlines than anything, but I was there. He had some good ideas for improving the background and added gray shading on the white parts of the body.

The shading on the white parts looks really dark now, but as it heals it will get lighter.
It's bittersweet, we both miss her a little every time we see it, but that's okay.

On our way out of the studio, Carlos pointed out something we hadn't considered. Rain has been predicted for tonight, so it's possible that if it's heavy enough it will wash the cherry blossoms off the trees. We were planning to go to Yoyogi park tomorrow for pictures, but just in case the rain erases it, we dashed out to get a few pictures in the last bit of daylight. It was only a couple train stops, so it wasn't terribly far out of our way.

Just outside the park was this little booth...I can't remember what the things are called, but they're like doughnut holes except they're made of freshly baked cake. Bite-sized and still warm. Brilliant!

We got there just as the sun was setting, so most of these photos are grainy, but a handful came out pretty well. Click the pictures to embiggen.

The atmosphere was a lot more raucous than I expected.

As the sun faded, a couple street lights created columns of yellow and glowing blossoms.

I love this, it was almost perfect...but it's blurry at full size. I'm kicking myself pretty hard for not taking one more just to be sure.

More food booths at the outskirts of the park.

Dump trucks into the distance, ready to collect the trash from the day's hanami (flower viewing).

Also, an illuminated truck playing music, advertising the music group AKB48.

I think it was just circling the block, we saw it more than once.

I really just like the idea of a truck that's almost completely aglow.

For dinner we went to a Hawaiian burger joint...can you find the sentence that made me say, "wait, what?"

I'll give you a hint: it's the one that adds "skewer" and "like a beaver." Looking at it a little more closely, I think I see what they're getting at, but it threw me off for a second.

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