Chris came in to see me about covering up all of the old tattoos he had collected over time on his right arm; there were quite a few! Born in Japan, he loves the Irezumi style of tattooing and wanted two Dragon koi, lotuses and Japanese Maple leaves to try and camouflage his old tats. I thought it would be lovely to have the two koi swimming to meet each other, floating in a back drop of the lotuses and leaves. I could use the plant material to cover/camouflage his old tattoos; luckily, he had enough "virgin" skin on his upper arm to realize the koi.
He says, "The maple leaves represent the passage of time, the life and death cycle of all things, and also lovers. They represent my life, all that it has been and will be for good or bad-- also the love for my wife and our families.
"The lotuses represent the struggle of life in its most basic form; as the lotus grows up from the mud into an object of great beauty, people also grow into something more beautiful. So these are also a representation of my life-- but where it's at now compared to where it was in the past, as I hopefully have become a better person, husband, son, and brother, etc.
"The Dragon kois represent determination and a strong desire to succeed and become 'something more'. In mythology very few koi make it past a point known as 'The Dragon’s Gate' and are said to be rewarded by turning into Dragons. This is the reason for their symbology. For me they represent my wife and I overcoming all the trials we’ve faced together, and the determination we have had to keep to overcome so many obstacles in our paths and grow beyond our daily existence with each other and everyone around us."
Click on the Read more link to see the drawings (gray shading versions), the outline and gray shading photos.