Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sittings 12-15

[WARNING: pics below are NSFW because... ya know... butts]
[photo taken after sitting 13]

Date: June 19, 2012
Time: 2 hours
Location: Kings Ave NYC

Date: June 26, 2012
Time: 2 hours
Location: Kings Ave NYC

Date: July 2, 2012
Time: 2.5 hours
Location: Kings Ave Massapequa

Date: July 17, 2012
Time: 4 Hours
Location: Kings Ave NYC



Well, it appears that I've been a very naughty blogger, letting four sessions slide by without penning a single word.  Mea culpa.  The truth is, I try to let a week pass by before taking any photos so that the swelling/bruising can go down, the scabbing/flaking can subside and colors can settle in.  But, as you can see with the dates listed above, Rubendall was running full-bore (and sliding me into two cancellations), so I didn't have much time to heal in between sittings or find the time to write up the experiences.

Sitting 12 represented the beginning of the reds in the belly-scales of the dragon.  Like most people, I don't heal red ink very well.  That's not to say that I "drop" the color, but it takes noticeably longer to heal, extending my "one-week of Aquaphor" rule to about 10-14 days.  When you factor in the amount of red-work that we did on my ass and waistline - and the fact that my day to day life typically requires pants and a belt - the healing was less that quick or comfortable.

(My girlfriend noted just two days after sitting 15, however, that my body soaks up yellow ink like nobody's business.  The dorsal "fins" of the dragon - pictured at the end of this post - healed up as if Adamantium was a part of my skeletal composition).

We made some great progress over sittings 12-14 and sitting 15 was epic, finishing up all of the maple leaves, adding depth to the pearl on my right butt cheek with some very subtle lavender hues, and finishing up the bulk of the dragon's body... which leaves the flames, the dragon's head and a right shoulder's worth of cherry blossoms.

"Not to get too previous," as an Englishman I know is fond of saying... we might be done* in another two sittings.

*is it ever really "done?"


(Obviously, a month is a long time to try to get any recall of funny situations that occurred during the process, but I seem to have scribbled down a few notes.)

During sitting 12, I was laying on the table while Rube was grinding away and I heard the door buzzer chime, announcing that someone had walked into the shop.  Grez was across the room, eating his lunch right by the door, so he was the first to ask the young Hispanic man who just walked in, "Can I help you?"

I glanced at the floor for a minute and when I looked back in Grez's direction, I could see that the visitor had undone his pants and Grez was solemnly frowning and shaking his head.  There's no fucking way that guy just whipped out his dick while Grez is eating, I thought... foolishly.

"OH, GOD!" Grez screamed after the guy walked out.  "He asked me if we do cover-ups, so I asked to see what it was he wanted covered up...  It looked like someone had thrown a handful of hot asphalt on that guy's junk!"

Sorry, man... nobody here can help you.

What blew my mind is that the guy was in a short sleeved shirt and had no visible ink.  I can only speculate why he went straight for the cock-tattoo as his inaugural ink.

This, of course, led to a conversation about a "Sack-O-Lantern" tattoo... which, gentle reader, I will leave up to your imagination.


Sitting 14 involved a trip to Massapequa via the Long Island Railroad.  I've never had a problem catching a cab from the station to the shop, but today was a different story.  I was told that it would be a 45 minute wait, so I set out for the shop on foot.  The walk there was fine... but let me say that one should never attempt to take a 20 minute walk BACK to the station with a freshly tattooed ass in 90 degree weather.

Sweat and lymph on the under-carriage lead to some impressive discomfort.


Sitting 15 was back on the Bowery in their open floor-plan, my pants down around my knees, with a few young women getting tattooed around me.  I'm not exactly the bashful type, but I wondered if they had factored in "half-naked dude" when they mentally prepared themselves for their tattoos that day.

My girlfriend arrived halfway through and subsequently posted a few photos of me on Instagram (follow me @doctorgrosz).  Later that night, I got a text from the guitarist of my punk/hardcore cover-band which read: "Where did you get tattooed today?  I think my friend Chloe was there at the same time getting work from a visiting artist from Madrid..."

I replied, "Well, if she had green hair... yup.  We were there at the same time and she had a front-row view of my ass-crack."

[the results of sitting 15]



- Horitomo of State Of Grace in California will be hosting a Fudo Myo-o drawing/design seminar at Kings Ave NYC.  There's a few spaces left and you get a free copy of his great book, Immovable (we have a copy here at the house).  Registration and event information can be found here.

- I had the opportunity to design some concert posters for the Fishbone / Paranoid Social Club concert that was a part of the recent C.B.G.B Festival here in NYC (they're 11x17, full-color on 12pt cardstock, suitable for framing).  I'm really pleased with the way they turned out and I have 10 copies up for sale with a "Buy It Now" price on eBay.  If either of these bands (or porn legend Vanessa del Rio) are up your alley, I'd really appreciate it if you bought one.

After all... this backpiece ain't cheap, lemme tell ya.


  1. Very nice work. I was going to ask (before reading the write-up) with a schedule like that how the Hell do you heal so quickly? That and scheduling. Having benefited from the "cancel" need a body appointments it makes more sense now.

    Looking great though. It'll be well worth the time in the chair and the time where you just can't seem to get comfortable.


  2. Brian,
    Looking good! Now that the work has started on my own Japanese Dragon half sleeve (10 hours in so far), I can begin to appreciate the time and pain involved in your backpiece. Your ink looks incredible; thanks for sharing it with the world.

  3. I have been following the progress of your beautiful backpiece with fascination. It's impressive. Both you and your girl friend have fantastic work going on.

    Do take at look at my progress towards a body suit and other stuff on my tattoo blog.


  4. You're in the home stretch Brian and it looks really amazing! I also don't heal well with red ink but so far its held up nice on my pieces. My worse color has been pink. It'll either look faded or washed out so in the future I try to avoid it as much as possible. Henning figured out a neat trick that helped; he uses a tomato red on me and cuts it with some white ink. It doesn't resemble pink and I have less reaction to it. All in all works great.

    Brian, if you had it do it all over again, would you avoid getting so much ink done in the summer time? Most of all my sessions have been in the late fall and winter. I cannot imagine itching, peeling, flaking and sweating all at once. Sounds like a perfect storm of discomfort!

  5. Thanks, everyone!

    @Ricky - I pretty much knew that the whole process would take about a year to complete. So, while we started back in December '11, I knew that we'd wind up working into/through the summer. With all of my other work, we've always started in the Winter and wrapped by the Spring. My only real regret is that the backpiece has kept me sitting in the shade at a couple of pool parties this summer (can't be in the sun or the chlorine!), but I'll live. Sure, sweating in NYC is never fun, but I'd rather be healing in a tank-top rather than a shirt, a hoodie and a heavy winter coat.

  6. I realize it's long after the fact, but as a Seattlite I have to point out that a Utilikilt would have solved a lot of summer butt healing issues.