I turned 30 this year and finally made the big decision of what to put on my back. Since your back is the only large flat canvas your body provides, this was a long thought out decision.
I settled for one of my fuzzy friends. I own several endangered tarantulas, one of which is a Mexican Fire Leg (Brachypelma boehmei). I have been a spider lover for many years and this beauty is by far the favorite in my collection. She is a mean girl and a ferocious eater. When you get in her cage she shoots venomous barbed hairs from her ass that if you get in your eye, you will wish someone would take out your entire eye. She’s just like me. haha.
My spider is a female and likely to live another 20 years. I’ve made the commitment to her, I just figured it was time to make the commitment to myself.
I went to my tattoo buddy with an idea. I wanted a Giant Tarantula in an attack position. I wanted it to be anatomically correct and the correct species in a photo-realistic scene. He threw the idea around in his head for a few months and finally when it was tattoo day, he showed me a few sketches. One of them was exactly what I wanted. I have never even seen a picture in this position so the pose just floored me. He even gave me hell because this pose doesn’t exist. I laughed and jokingly told him to do his job.
The first session has been the worst so far. I laid down for the entire appointment, which in hindsight I think was a bad idea. Laying down for the tattoo made me squirm. I am not the best at sitting for a tattoo. I have a high tolerance to traumatic pain, but not so much for the constant burn of a needle I can easily move away from. Anyone that tells you tattoos don’t hurt, has never been tattooed somewhere that hurts.
The first session was all basic black work. Outlining the basic form and some basic black shading. I took a 4 hour first session and was more than ready to get off the table by the end of it. I apologize for the poor first tattoo session pics, they were taken by myself through an old mirror.
Later there will be a skull added under the spider and webs on black to form the background.
The second tattoo session was not nearly as bad (painful) as the first. For the second session I sat up for the entire tattoo. All work was concentrated to my left shoulder and mid back. I actually fell asleep twice while getting tattooed, the pain was not overbearing. I notice that on myself the pain from a tattoo doesn’t start until it is below my ribs.
This session added the first color and started the cover up of my very first tattoo, a tribal piece I was far too young to be getting at the time. Although the tribal tattoo is black it will be completely masked in color by the time the tattoo is complete.
My tattoo artist has express that he has never done a backpiece in the manner this tattoo will require. He says it needs to be worked out like an oil painting, building textures from the bottom up. What does that mean to me? It means, there are quite a few more sessions in front of me. If I finish this piece within 2 years I will be very happy.
I will continue to give step by step updates as more tattoo work is complete. If you have any questions, ask away.