this is my dragon/phoenix tattoo i finally got the balls to submit.
so heres the deal, (as quick as i can make it) I got my dragon i always wanted about 1 year ago. my budget was tight and the guy doing it owned the shop so he gave me a deal. ($500 for 6 hours of work and normal shop rate is $150/hour) i couldnt afford to get it completely colored in so i decided to let that wait. I recently decided to leave home and wanted my phoenix idea done by the same guy. went to the shop to find out he no longer owned it and left. the guy who was there though was eager to do a piece this big once i told him what i wanted. We got to work he made me a drawing i adored and did the outline on me. And after a lot of hours later (much more than the 6 the dragon took) going $300 over budget and lots of pain, it was done.
Heres what i want an opinion on, -first, obviously theres my ugly little cat i got when i turned 18 on my shoulder. i wanted it covered which is one reason i agreed to the feathers being so big and i kept asking about it and got repeatedly told “we’ll talk about it when we get to it”. i like to give the artist a lot of freedom because an experienced artist usually knows what looks good, and i liked the ideas he had pitched so far plus i knew i would love it anyway. but when we got to it, he refused to cover it and i was told that because i wanted my tailfeathers bright, it wouldnt look right trying to covor my black cat. but i feel like something could have been done to not make it seem like theres a random little animal in the middle of my tailfeathers.
-second, my back is obviously inproportionate. the tailfeathers are bigger than my whole dragon. i was wondering if you have any thoughts of something i could add to make my back look a little more even. i was thinking of just adding more clouds, or maybe a whole different tattoo but that would look kinda weird. but i wanted the tailfeathers big for a reason, my mon (japanese family crest) thats in the dragons tail is my fathers, i want my mothers one day underneath his but i dont have it yet. I wanted to just leave that space open but i want a tailfeather going around her crest. i was going to get that tailfeather now, leaving an empty space in the middle of it curled how the dragons tail is, but he suggested wait till i have the crest, then get the tailfeather.
-third, i want to know what you think of the phoenix’s color scheme. i think its a little weird, i gave him a lot of freedom on it, but he did describe it diffrently than i thought it would be. i love it regardless, but do you think the colors flow okay? i wanted something different, not the usual plain red bird, especially since i want my dragon red (red dragons are the good luck dragons in japanese). I love the idea of green phoenixes but wanted the red still there somehow and i ended up with this. im just wondering how it will look on my back next to my red dragon, but he reassured me it would look okay. any other thoughts are welcome! i just really want an experienced opinion on this. on a side note also, apparently the guy who did the dragon, used to be the guy who did the phoenixes boss and he was dead set on making the dragon look like crap compared to the phoenix.
Super long read, but very good explanation of how the client’s planning process is just as important as the artist’s! Big tattoos are big money, and almost no one has it all to start with. That’s okay. But instead of piecing together your tattoo around your budget, assume you’ll have it all one day and start it like you would any other piece: with the outline. Once you find the artist you like, outline the entire thing and do as much of the color as you can at the time. Yeah you’ll have a half-finished tattoo on you for a while, but a few months (or even 2 years) is nothing compared to the rest of your life.
This is a great idea that could have been way better with better artists, or even just the same artist.