Alright, finally going to post the progress of the ska themed half sleeve. I’ll start with piece 1 that was done about 3 or 4 years ago. It’s the traditional ska rude boy, defined in 60s Jamaica and popularized in 70s and 80s Great Brittan. Here’s a quick Wikipedia definition of “Rude Boy”:
The first rude boys in the 1960s were associated with the poorer sections of Kingston, Jamaica, where ska, then rocksteady were the most popular forms of music. They dressed in the latest fashions at dancehalls and on the streets. Many of these rude boys started wearing sharp suits, thin ties, and pork pie or Trilby hats; inspired by United States cowboy & gangster outlaw films. In that time period, disaffected unemployed Jamaican youths sometimes found temporary employment from sound system operators to disrupt competitors’ dances (leading to the term dancehall crasher). This — and other street violence — became an integral part of the rude boy lifestyle, and gave rise to a culture of political gang violence in Jamaica. This shift towards violence led to some Jamaican musicians creating songs that spoke directly towards this faction, urging them to become less violent. Starting in the 1970s, Jamaican dancehall music was a way for rude boys and those fearful of them to express their views on current events.
And so the ska half sleeve started. And ended. Several years passed before I finally got the money and time together to plan out and finish this baby. My first session with Rob Jarrett of 2Ton Tat2 in Kingsport, TN, was this passed Saturday. I’ve chosen several pieces to be included and chose to start with the pin-up girl. I love pin up art, I think the girls are sexy, but classy. I think ska is sexy with its appeal to me, yet classy with its heavy jazz influence. What better way to show my feelings for ska? First is the source photo I found for the position I wanted my pin up to be in. That particular piece is by famous pin up artist Scott Blair, who I plan to purchase work from at AdventureCon this year in Pigeon Forge, TN. I wanted to incorporate ska as much as possible, so we exchanged her machete for a trombone, took off her socks, made her take off those blue jean shorts and put on some ska-influenced checkerboard print shorts. The next photo shows Rob’s first sketch until that point.
Super happy already with the sketches that were drawn for me, there were still a few things that I wasn’t feeling. We switcheroo’d the position of the trombone and got rid of the pig tails. Although I loved how the pin up girl looked to begin with, I didn’t want a blond bimbo on my arm, especially if she were going to represent my dear sweet and lovely ska music. So we altered the hair style and position of the trombone.
My pin up girl was really beginning to come along, when I got a crazy idea. It’s no secret that Erin and I have seriously considered changing our last name to Munster. The thought came into my head shortly after we got married and now I wish I had done it beforehand so she wouldn’t have to go through the name change thing again. I do not like my last name and never have, especially since I hear “Simpson? Kinda like Bart, right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA” on a regular basis and have for over 25 years now. Erin has finally gotten to see this in the last year we’ve been married. She’s indifferent to the name change and I’m still interested in doing so, I just haven’t done it yet. I’ve said all this to say that it’s apparent that we love the Munsters. We figured if we’re going to have the last name that also appears in a TV show, we’d make it one that was cool to a smaller audience, yet recognizable and in many ways a tribute to our love for horror and the macabre. So what if we made my pin up girl look like Lily Munster? Black hair with a white streak, pale green skin, dark eyes, “dead” look, yet sexy…it was perfect! I sent Rob some samples of Lily…
With these ideas sent to him, Rob didn’t waste any time getting together a nice sketch of our pinup, only this time we changed some of her facial features, added a few more streaks to the hair and made her be wrapped in a little bit of a transparent “cape” as would be the norm for Lily to be wearing in the show.
And with that, we had ourselves a final sketch of what was to be etched to my skin permanently and act, in many ways, as the center piece for my half sleeve. It was a little hard to imagine what she’d look like colored, shaded and with details like reflections and makeup, but I was confident that Rob was going to take good care of me, and he certainly did. What follows is a photo I took with my phone of the tattoo in progress (disregard the blood…it was during a break) and a photograph of the final piece…
So now the ska half-sleeve project is underway (again). The only difference is that we’re actually going to finish it this time! Lots of stuff is happening over the next few weeks, but I plan on getting the next big piece done in the next few weeks. I’ll be sure to do something similar to this one as they are worked on, only they probably will not include the sketches since this one was 100% original work. SKANK!
Enjoy today’s haiku:
The WordPress spell check
Didn’t like when I typed “Skank”
But now it likes it…