My name is Enrico and I’m from Brooklyn. Let me begin by saying how difficult it was for me to actually come up with an idea for my sleeve. I wanted to do something with the 7 deadly sins but it was a enormous amount of pain in the brain to find a representation of it. After spending so much time searching for an idea I came up with nothing, until one day I found 7 plaques with faces with each one representing a sin. Instantly, I thought that would be a great idea for my tattoo, since I felt throughout my life i’ve committed all these sins. Next step was finding the right tattoo artist for the task. I have tattoos elsewhere but I wanted someone who I could entirely trust and an artist whose work I felt was amazing. I took months before I actually found an artist.
I finally came across Caesar and was impressed with his work. I set up a consultation with him and brought the 7 plaques to him.I knew this tattoo would take multiple sessions but I wanted it to be done immediately, because patient is not really my strength either. During the consultation, we were placing the faces all over my arm and I chose which face goes where. Technically we made the “layout or mapping”. I specifically put PRIDE on top because that’s my worst sin of them all. I put WRATH off to the inner side because it fits perfectly, LUST is underneath Pride, Wrath, and ENVY, because Lust is not something that’s expressed out in the open. And Envy fit perfectly on the back of the arm with it’s oval shape.
GLUTTONY and – Caesar’s personal favorite : – SLOTH are on my inner bicep because it looked best in there.
For breaking up the monotone upfront views of the plaques, Caesar turned them into perspective for more interesting composition. He also came up with different options according to the lettering questions like bending, font size and type, negative or positive and so on. After discussing and reviewed all of these options, I decided that the negative space would look best on my tattoo, regardless how time ( and $$$ ) consuming it is. The half sleeve came to life session by session. After many hours accompanied with some annoying pain, we have finished the half sleeve, and it’s better than what I could of imagined. However, I felt there was more I could do to this tattoo, it felt like an unfinished piece and I guess I got that itch to continue on, so I decided to make it into a full sleeve.
I brought the Obituary CD cover ( Cause of Death,1990, Designed by Michael Whelan ) to Caesar which I felt would fit the whole theme perfectly. Caesar start looking at it flipping, bending, twisting it and finally agreed and began to work on it.
We needed to change the original artwork in the name of the “ink”. The CD cover is a flat 2D image, what we needed to turn into a panoramic design with the shape and dimension of my forearm. We needed to distort and redesign certain parts of the original artwork, but we didn’t want to ruin it’s originality. For example the trunk size and shape what gives the flow of the whole piece, the bark of the dead tree shows all the skulls getting sucked into it, the arrangements of the little skulls on sticks around the wrist and so on. The tree has many eyes and mouths on it, representing all the trapped souls. At the near top of the tree is a broken off branch opening where all the 7 deadly sins flows out from the hollow inside explaining the sins the trapped souls committed. There’s a human body wrapped in a web which defines Purgatory with webs extending all around the tree and down to my hand, where my hand is like a “skin glove” holding the body in its web. The eye with the clock is placed on the opposite side (outside). I put the time 3:00 am because it indicates the devil’s hour and the time where the most deaths would occur. Around the elbow, we put a full moon and left it in negative space for more interesting design.
There was so much to this tattoo that for the last part I felt it would be appropriate to have a quotation. “The Devil’s Best Trick Is To Persuade You That He Doesn’t Exist”. I felt that was the completion of the sleeve, and brings the whole tattoo into perspective, between the trapped souls committing sins, being stuck in purgatory, and the feeling the devil is pushing you to do wrong and thinking there wouldn’t be consequences for your actions, which in the end, there always is.The whole piece stands out as a work of art rather than a tattoo. The name I gave to this sleeve is : Hell on Earth.
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