My big brother Scott asked me to design him a tattoo this year for his birthday in early December.
He wanted a drawing on a phoenix rising up, but he also wanted my mother's eyes watching over. He's really big on the phoenix metaphor. I'm not going to put his business on the street, but if you knew my brother and the adversity he's overcome in his life, you would know it is an apt analogy. We looked at several pictures of my Mom. Her eyes didn't change much throughout the course of her life, aside from wrinkles we all acquire with age. She had such bright eyes. We agreed to use the eyes from a high school photo of her as reference:
I drew the design in pencil first. Once he approved it, I went on to inks:
He had a great tattoo artist I know named Danny Emery do the work. Danny runs the shop called "Philly Ink" at Kensington & Allegheny.
I was happy to be able to design my brother's first tattoo, especially because it had such deep, personal meaning. It was a highlight of my holiday season.