As I was growing up most fads, like earrings for dudes and Zubaz pants, came and went without me paying them much attention. I somehow navigated those early years without suffering much damage to my image...of which at the time I admittedly did not have much of anyway. Growing up in suburban Detroit, with a family that until a few months ago sported a total of zero tattoos, I was not exactly in the epicenter of the tattoo world. That said, there were a few people I knew that were getting them and I did have interest but did not pull the trigger. Finally getting one myself was a decision that has been years in the making and one that is now in the rearview as I have joined the ranks of the ink'd.
My first direct contact with tattoos came when a good friend Dennis, who was living at our house at the time, decided on his 18th birthday that it was time to go under the needle. A couple of us ditched school for the afternoon and headed down to a seedy little parlor on Gratiot. Hours later he emerged from the chair with Taz tearing in to his flesh and peeling back the skin as he slid down the back of his left shoulder. We stopped off at the liquor store and paid Clyde his usual backroom upcharge for a bottle then headed out to a local spot. Sitting against a small stand of trees overlooking Lake St Clair Dennis gave us he rundown on how it went as we passed around a community bottle of MD20/20...grape, cause we were bad asses. Between grapish flavored sips of gas sliding down my throat I remember thinking that I wanted to get one too. I also remember knowing that whatever I got had to mean something to me too risk the cost and the very real possibility that my Dad would try to belt-sand it off of me...
Fast forward a bit and fishing has now been an all consuming part of who I am for well over half of my life. The want for a tattoo never went away but I was never really in a hurry to get one either. I used the built in excuses of wrong time, wrong artist, cost, and mostly a deep hatred of needles to justify not sealing the deal. I knew that I wanted something fish related and that I needed the tattooist to be both a phenomenal artist as well as someone who fishes. Then as luck would have it I ended up at a table right next to Dave Hoslerat the film festival in Columbus. I had been in contact with Dave through social media for some time but that was the first time we had met in person. For those who don't know Dave he is a hell of a good dude, a Subaru aficianado, the author behind the Pile Cast Blog and loyal subject to Derp the cat and Fritz the wonder dog. Oh...and he has a lot of SICK tattoos. My wife Liz had come out for the movie night and once she spotted his tattoos she struck up a conversation about them. In short order we found out that 'his guy' had moved and was now here in Columbus. How convenient.
Turns out that 'his guy' is Mike Prickett who now works out of his studio at Evolved just off campus on High Street in Columbus OH. Mike is one hell of an artist who does also enjoy fishing, and was now practically right in my backyard. He is fast, does vivid color and combines a few different styles in to one that is all his own. In short it seemed that it was all coming together.
About a month ago I shot Mike a message that I would like him to come up with something for me. I basically said that I Wanted a brown trout, water, and a streamer involved. My only other direction was to send him a couple pictures of browns with the spot density and coloring that I really liked for reference. He asked about the size and I said "go big or go home, right?". In all honesty I was really just looking to see what he would come up with but the excitement that he had for the project was contagious and a week and a half later I went in for the line work. After some heal time I went back in yesterday for the coloring and now have a brown trout staring back at me when I look in the mirror. One more trip back in a month or so to punch it up with some more golds and white, then it's done. So stoked with how it turned out!
Here are a few shots from the process:
Now, what's next...