Big Pieces Take Planning

theo mindell day of deadWelcome to another edition of Tat Tues.  This is the weekly segment on Dead Deco where we delve into the world of Day of the Dead inspired tattoo art because we believe this is currently the most prominent form of high-dollar original artwork being purchased.

Today’s topic is large size tattoos that seem to fit together flawlessly like this beautiful example of a Day of the Dead artwork in progress.  For those that do not have one of these large pieces, you may have always wondered how a collector can get their tattoos to fit together so well.  The answer is simple: planning.

Many people who have a tattoo emblazoned on their body began with a single piece in one of the traditional spots like the shoulder, heart area or lower back.  Then the desire to return to the tattooist’s chair inspired more single pieces before finally arriving at a collection of disconnected puzzle pieces that can only be conjoined by fillers like water, fire, smoke or stars.  This is the story that is often played out due to financial restrictions or just a lack of realistic foresight regarding one’s tattoo aspirations.

If you wish to avoid the world of disjointed tattoos, then you need to plan ahead.  It is helpful to begin with a theme for the images or simply a particular choice of style.  Next, you will want to invest in a solid foundation layout by paying your favorite artist to design a complete piece such as the one seen above.  The back is a popular choice for large pieces because it is a large canvas, but good planning is beneficial to sleeves as well.  Next, apply your money to purchasing a complete outline of the piece.  The tattoo is now ready to be treated as an ongoing project that can be worked on periodically at a pace you, your tattooist and your wallet can all agree on.

This particular piece was created by Theo Mindell.  He is one of the quintessential back-piece artists working today.  Find him, and other talented artists, at Spider Murphy’s Tattoo in San Rafael, Calif.

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