Meet tattoo #4

Meet my spirit animal: the red tailed hawk.

IMG_20160206_181243523~2What is it about the red tailed hawk that compelled me to permanently mark my body with its likeness? I’m envious that they can fly. Whenever I’m driving through the Northeast, there they are. Circling, soaring and coasting gracefully in thermal drafts. Their black silhouettes against the bright blue horizon. I trace their movements as long as I can, darting my eyes up from the road to catch a glimpse of their effortless dance across the sky.

Several red tailed hawks call Prospect Park home. I walk through the park often, my head titled up, scanning the upper branches of trees hoping to see one. I’ve had a number of close encounters. One swooped down right next to me and Stephanie and narrowly missed catching a squirrel. I was amazed by how stealth it was – there and gone in a silent second. Maybe as city birds they are accustomed to people, but I am surprised by how close you can walk near them when they’re on a low perch.

I find myself thinking about hawks all the time. Sketches of them dot the margins of my notebooks and the backs of papers handed out in meetings I couldn’t care less about attending. I’m not much an artist, but hawks make for an inspiring muse. What better emblem to commemorate my upcoming world travel?

My previous three tattoos were self-designed. Either sketches or rough photoshop jobs that I took to tattoo artists to rework. This one, however, deserved professional work. On the recommendation of my buddy Bryan, I turned to Tony Silva from Electric Arrow Tattoo in Ronkonkoma. He’s got a distinct style: bold and bright, classically inspired but unmistakably unique. I gave him an idea of what I was thinking, and he made some recommendations for changes based on body placement and traditional approaches to bird tattoos. A couple sketches later and we were on our way.

IMG_20160206_165930873It took maybe an hour and a half and was mostly painless. Dude has a light touch. When it was over and time for the big reveal, I was surprised by how clean and bright it was. Not the bloody inky oozing I’ve experienced from a more heavy handed artist. So that’s cool. I’m writing this 2 days later and I’d say it’s pretty much completely healed already. All and all my experience with Tony was excellent. Should you be considering a tattoo and dig his style, he’s got my full endorsement.

Welcome to the family, hawk tattoo!

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