I Did a Tattoo Thing!

Here you go world, here is my leg for you to see.

I sat in that black leather chair for a good five hours to get most of this done, and I am feeling every bit of the stripes that I had earned for my first tattoo. Yes, that is correct. This crazy piece of art is my first ever tattooed piece that I have done on my body, and I couldn’t be more proud. The quote says, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

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Right side of the tattoo. Can you believe I had some work done on my knee? I really wasn’t planning that at all.

This is something that I have wanted for a long time. I walked into a new tattoo place called Holistic Tattoo in North Hollywood, and met with a young man named Sonny, who has been doing tattoo work professionally for years. I gave him a couple of references, ideas of what I wanted it to look like and what the significance it will all be, and he made it work!

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The middle of the piece. You can tell that there needs to be more work done on the top.

This tattoo is dedicated to my best friend Caitlin that had cancer for many years, until she passed away. She was the sole person that made me who I am today, with how creative I am and have become, how I use my creativity as my expression, how I view the world and the people inside of it, and how to keep positive and laugh at the faces of demons. Every time that needle pierced my skin, I took great joy of knowing that she is personified through this piece, and also acts as middle finger as well.

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Left side. Five hours in, I couldn’t go on to finish the top part of the sails and dates because I couldn’t control the shaking anymore. “What are you doing?!” my body screamed at me.

So why this imagery in particular? Well, firstly, I have always have loved the lore and romanticism of ships and seafaring. I have done my fair share of research about Marine Biology, pirates, kraken, and anything in between. But it is also one way of saying that, no matter how large the ocean is, no matter what dangers lie beneath you waiting, how much uncertainty there is and and how outside occurrences  can change your planned route, there is still beauty and freedom to make the right decisions of your life and your adventures. And enemies and danger is what makes us live. That counter balance of everything good in life. If it was a ship in a large lake with just water, then you just sit there. Nothing.

So there you have it. I have about three more hours of work left with the rest of the outline and the shading. Be well, friends.

Chalkboard Art: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Marvel ChalkboardThis was the first time that I have had ever had a disagreement or change with my final product with any artistic thing that I do for someone. Usually, when I do a commission, I have a pretty good idea of what I need to do for that individual and go for it. Everyone is happy.  But for this guy, it was a little different.

To begin, I work as a bartender at a movie theater in Southern California. And in that specific chain in theaters, there is some sort of cafe or restaurant with a chalkboard, and we are welcome to draw and write on it to promote special drinks, food, movies, or events. It had fallen upon my shoulders to draw on this chalkboard, which is something that I have been doing for about half a year now and thoroughly enjoy. With Marvel coming up at the time, naturally we were to draw something for that movie. So I went with a minimalist pulp-like look.

You may have already spotted what they may have had an issue with. Yep, the silhouette of the gun. I had no idea at the time that would be an issue, but a manager pulled me aside and told me to erase it because people may be offended by it. I was taken aback by the statement at first. Many thoughts ran through my head, such as, “The gun went with the theme”, “Why didn’t they let me know in the first place?”, “Why would people be offended by a simple silhouette of a gun when they are here to watch something probably worse?”

In the end, I obviously kept those thoughts to myself. They became thoughts about the Dark Knight shootings (which I was quite near at the time in a neighbor theater, watching the same movie), which had effected many people and families. I certainly get it. Not a thing to toy around with.

Regardless, I took it off and added Black Widow’s yellow belt instead. This was a fun one to draw, and certainly one of the more thought provoking pieces I have done.

Just Some Old Sketches and Studies

Ass-tastic!
Ass-tastic!

When I show a non-artist my sketches or art, I always hear, “Man, I wish I could draw.” Or, “I wish I were talented as you.” Lately, I have thought a lot about these statements, and I could only come to one conclusion: How wrong they were.

Leg studiesWhen I first started drawing, I struggled. I struggled with my confidence when I looked at a magnificent drawings and compared them to mine; struggled and getting particularly frustrated when I couldn’t make my hand move in ways to show what I had in my head. But yet, I couldn’t stop. I kept practicing. Quite a lot. Years of practice. Tears and blood. Pulling out the hair, grinding the teeth, fingernails digging into your palms kind of practice. Why even go on? But when a practice that dedicated is accomplished, you look back, and you actually see a change. It could be a minor thing you notice, such as knowing why a certain shadow appears in the cheek,¬† or having a muscle memorized. Your confidence builds up, and you realize that what you have done so far is paying off.

Honestly, I don’t think I have any talent whatsoever, nor do I think Inked Chesta muse exists; I don’t believe in those words. It’s confidence and knowledge, a love/hate relationship, a never ending challenge to become a better version of yourself.

These sketches became a huge monumental standpoint in my life. These were done about three years ago, when I finally reconsidered what I wanted in my life and how to seriously learn about what art was all about. So far, all of my art has been self taught, but I plan on taking a class this summer to practice.

Wood Burning Some Monsters

BlarggTurns out, I simply enjoy burning things. When I was a kid and grew old of playing with my barbies, then outgrew making clothing for them, that is when my “rebellious phase” had come about. So yes, I took a torch to my barbies to see what would happen. I, perhaps, was not the smartest kid when I decided to burn plastic, but I took a small amount of joy in seeing it melt and deform. That was the first occurrence that I remember in my life when I realized that destruction is a form of creation. So here we are now, many years into the future, and I am still enjoying burning. It’s no longer with barbies or with dangerous(ish) materials, but with proper tools and canvas.

BAMWhen I am doodling, I tend to draw little weird guys and monsters the most. I take such joy in doing so. In a way, it’s one of my most expressive mediums. It gives me a chance to poke fun at situations, ideas, and people through a weird, dry humor, and to create something that doesn’t have to be “pretty”.

Big things and many updates will be coming plentiful this weekend. I have been busy churning out new arts, crafts, projects, ideas, and items to show you guys, and I can’t wait to share!

Company Chalkboard Art

Chalkboard ArtI never thought I would really do this sort of thing, which is weird for me to admit. I always was interested, and even practiced, calligraphy. I follow a lot of typography and font sites. Good writing always stops me in my tracks and thoughts and immediately takes hold of my attention. It’s a fascinating thing for me.

I work at the bar in a Southern California movie theater, where they have chalkboards so that we may write whatever it is that we are selling or promoting. Eventually, I got into writing things on them. It literally was just writing, in neat handwriting, what kinds of things we were selling. Then all of a sudden, I did this. It was the most fun I have had at work. I used a lot of references for this guy, because this was the first kind of thing that I have done. Enjoy!

Quick Inked Drawing/First Official Post

Here begins my first official post for this site! A lot of things are in motion at this point, my head is stormy with ideas and I’m quickly trying to get things organized and done. Everything will make sense soon, I promise. I feel as if this sentences are as flighty as my mind. I’m just so excited for that this site will mean for me and the prospects of a better, more in control, future for myself.

I wanted to do a quick inked sketch this morning. FarkusI hadn’t even thought of breakfast and coffee until my stomach just churned uncomfortably.

It is time to do creative endeavors every day. Whether it’s completing a sewing project, doing a quick sketch such as this one, or even thinking up new ideas for new masks. I have put these talents at bay for too long. It’s time for me to bite life’s nuts off.

Side note: I noticed when I do quick sketches of people, no matter how close I am to that person or not, I never seem to draw the iris’ in their eyes.