Without getting into the whole intense culture of tattooing, let me tell you the story of me finally choosing what I wanted. If I could pin point my inspiration to a certain person, I would say Brandon Boyd (Incubus) would be on the forefront. Man crush? I am not too fascinated with shafts and balls unless if they are my own but I just like his whole demeanor in the way he lives life. Even though music is a big part of his success, he still keeps up with his passion for art, photography and surfing. His tattoo always had a classy look unlike some other musicians out there (fuck you going to get ESPN tattooed on your body Weez!) and the placement of it didn’t scream attention but still displayed the art piece well.

Back a couple of years, I was fortunate enough to see Usugrow’s artwork at one of his shows at Upperplayground SF. My first recognition of the guy was from his t-shirt he designed for The Hundreds. I don’t think it was a big hit at the time. This was back when shirt designs were nothing but all over prints and cheesy photoshops (wait…isn’t that right now?) and his tattoo style wasn’t a crowd favorite….even in my eyes. I always take note of artists regardless and I grew more fond of his work as an art form and not graphics for clothes.

The whoa-factor was high on this one. I subliminally showed it in a post back in September which was the first time I went to Everlasting Tattoo to talk to them about this piece. When I saw it, I just thought it was the one. It was perfect for that arm piece that I was looking for. It didn’t have that sleeve shape where it looked like I would be wearing a wonder woman bracelet but had more of an organic feel. It was an easy sell since Usugrow’s style already has that tattoo look with the only exception that the shading wouldn’t be stippled.

After he signed my book, I pretty much told him that I would get a tattoo of his work on my body and I think all he did was blush in that Japanese “no-trouble” kind of way. Meeting the artists was a big deal for me. Aside from his work, his attitude had to be straight and with his reassurance on it, I was one step closer to sealing the deal.

Months would pass and the next step was to look for a tattoo shop that could do this operation. I stay on the grind with a couple of blogs and noticed a certain shop being mentioned in Mike Giants blog and The Sciolist. Both of these guys have a greater knowledge on the tattoo game in the Bay Area so I went to do the research and checked out Everlasting Tattoo. Come to find out that they have a pretty creditable history and clientele resume consisting of talents like Margaret Cho and Kat Vond D so I knew. I probably went down to the shop about 10 times and talked to 3 artists until I finally set up the appointment to have Luke do it.

So after getting more advice as far as getting a fuller arm piece and some ghetto photoshop techniques (I printed two of Usugrow’s artwork, cut up the bug one and scanned it in on top of the other collage them as one), here is the the tattoo design in all its glory. People always ask me on the meaning of the whole thing. In the literal sense, it is a bug on a flower but my interpretation of it all is….I just think it looks fucking cool! I am in no way a bug trying to plant seeds in every girls vaginas and if any since Usugrow is Japanese, this is just a homage to the land of the East since I am half. One of the best advice I have ever took to heart with tattoos that I can give to others is to take a potential artwork that you want for a tattoo, hold it for about a month or longer, look at it again and if you still have the same feelings about it when you first saw it, then it is worthy to be put on your body. I had this piece in mind for about over a year and two months and on Tuesday, it will be on my arm forever.

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