Indians: Part I

The newest addition(s) to the skin I’m in started a long time ago in a School of Advertising Art classroom not so far away. Flashback to 1990—the world was a much different place. We watched as the Berlin Wall crumbled, the first pictures from the Hubble space telescope shot back to Earth and the internet became available for public use.

One of our saa assignments was an illustration project. For my subjects I chose these two remarkable looking American Indians. Every since these pieces have remained my favorite pencil illustrations.


Recently, I was speaking with my buddy Tom Davis about some new tats and showed him my Indian illustrations. We agreed they’d make a great pair of tattoos on the back of my calves. To date, Tom’s work has been more along the lines of traditional based tattoos rather than anything of a photo-realistic caliber. It forced him to work a bit outside of his comfort zone but I think that the results so far, speak for themselves.

DSC00798Image Via: Tom Davis

This is the first of the two Indians and is still a work in progress. Each of the finished pieces will be black and sepia-toned with white highlights. More details and textures will be added on my next sitting. Eventually both Indians will be contained within ornate gold guilded oval frames—contrasting the cultures of the American Indian with that of the “white-man’s” society that places great art in ornate frames.

My friend, Brian Ward made an interesting comment that this Indian has gone through several layers of reproduction to end up on my leg. Beginning with the Indians themselves, the film negative from the original photo was imaged, then the film negs and printing plates made for the book were created. From there I illustrated them both and had photostats produced from which a digital photograph was taken. A digital print was then output and a tattoo stencil created to transfer the likeness onto my leg where Tom inked.

Stay tuned for further updates.


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