This is actually two rather extensive challenges that paired themselves well with each other and in the end got tied in together really well.
The client approached with a project based on Yggdrasil, but with more freedom to add geometry and the like. The concept was based on ideas and artwork i had shared on social media, hoping to get to do projects of that style, so i was of course rather excited about this.
I tried to create a growing sensation, similar to that of a tree, aiming to imitate the nature of it. Underlining the effect using a harder geometry as a contrast worked really well for me.
I focused the design on the front, painting most of it with a paint-brush and ink for the skin before tattooing it on. I was overall very content with the tattoo, and very honoured by the clients request to have a small souvenir “carving” in the tree with the initials of Inga and myself, inside a heart. I think this is the most personal thing i have ever added to a tattoo, and it was really quite an experience, having another person so dedicated to our artwork and our way of working and living that he chose to have this tattooed on him for life.
Wrist to armpit Bindrune, based on the Futhark. I think this is one of the longest Bindrunes i have wrought so far in my career.
So that was the first phase of the tattoo, a huge Yggdrasil with geometric elements to compliment it. As mentioned, i was very content with the result, and felt overall satisfied with the way the project had turned out.
But “overall satisfied” changed to madly positive once i got to add the sleeve. Lots of contrast and hard lines to contrast the soft organic shapes of the Yggdrasil, and a lot more geometry added, all based on nordic ornaments and designs. I made a lot of Bindrunes that ties in with the idea of the Yggdrasil and with how i felt would fit our client. The result is a mixture or chaotic dynamics, with a sense of almost Cathedral calm mixed into it.
Notice the almost latice-like bindrune, creating a detail similar to Rosewindows
So far, this has been a great journey, and i hope it is not finished yet.
Photography by Heywood Similon
A note worth mentioning – Kristians other side is being done by Aygul Bayanova, a former colleague of mine who is one of the few watercolour tattoo-artists i feel delivers a convincing result. I have had the pleasure of seeing her grow artistically over the years, and i am honoured to be sharing a canvas with her in this manner.
She works in Copenhagen, and her work can be found here – https://www.instagram.com/aygultattoo/?hl=en