Before we proceed, I feel that it is really important to give two people credit for helping me finish my half sleeve. My friend and colleague Carl and his wife Kyoko were instrumental in setting up my return trip to Japan. Horishun’s English has improved tremendously since my first appointment with him 8 years ago, but without Kyoko to translate our emails back and forth with each other, I’m not sure I ever would have been able to organize it. Kyoko and Carl have both become the patron saints of my tattoo. Beyond helping me organize my trip to Japan, Carl also opened the door to my first appointment with Horizakura.
In between starting my half sleeve in 2007 and finishing it in 2015, I had numerous occasions to ponder beginning work on another part of my body. I desperately wanted to continue my tattoo, but was slowed by a few factors. First and foremost, I was very aware of the unfinished tattoo on my arm. How could I even begin to ask another artist to commit to a large scale, long term tattoo project with me when I had yet to complete the first tattoo I started. The idea didn’t sit well with me. That, coupled with the fact that I had no opportunity to get an appointment with the artist I wanted, forced me to wait longer than I would have liked.
Finally, in the summer of 2015, Carl was able to personally introduce me to Horizakura at the NYC Tattoo Convention. We scheduled a time for all three of us to meet at Horizakura’s studio. This made me happier than I can possibly explain here. Consider how you would feel if you spent 8+ years hoping for something and finally learned it would become a reality.
After our meeting, Horizakura and I scheduled some appointments, the first of which resulted in this:
This was about 1 hour of work. This photo was taken after the first time Christine cleaned it for me, so there is still some residual ink and goop there. Apologies for the shit quality, many of these early pictures are from my phone.