Finishing my Tattoo Sleeve by Ondrash and DECASA
I’ve had to wait a long time but finally, my tattoo sleeve by Ondrash and DECASA is finished! I’m stoked to be able to reveal some pictures and share stories about the process.
It all started back in early 2018 when I saw that tattooist Carola Deutsch from DECASA had Koi fish as a wanna-do on her list. I wanted to have koi fish tattooed as a teenager, back then mostly because my idol Chester Bennington from Linkin Park also had them on his skin. It was the perfect tattoo for me as I had just been diagnosed with Diabetes and I wanted something to help me through these tough times.
Everything went fine the first time around, however, my tattoo got seriously inflamed after the second session! I was living anxiously for weeks until it finally cleared up, leaving behind a beautiful tattoo that thankfully wasn’t ruined. I knew right away when I was diagnosed with Diabetes that I didn’t want a diagnosis to (fundamentally) change my lifestyle. I always wanted to live my standard life as far possible. However, the tattoo gods weren’t in my favor because I got into a heated argument with DECASA when they declined to make up a follow-up appointment to fix the affected areas.
In the end, this was a good thing because it motivated me to write the one tattoo artist I always dreamed of getting a tattoo from but never thought it would become reality: Ondrash! Getting an appointment with him is fairly easy, there is a waiting time of course, but nothing major. You can read about my first appointment with him here.
My second appointment had to be postponed due to Corona but last December it was finally possible for me to visit Ondrash. Getting a tattoo from him is, in many ways, a very special process. First, I obviously had to travel to the Czech Republic, specifically to a small village close to Prague. Staying there overnight is always fun and interesting because it’s such a rural area that I never would spend time at under different circumstances.
Then, I went to visit Ondrash at his home studio where he also lives with his family. I forgot how tall he was when this giant came to the gates! I did not forget how friendly he is though: Talking to him is just as easy as talking to a friend, even when he claims to be an introvert. For the first 1-2 hours all we did was talk and catch up on life. Eventually the conversation goes into the direction of the tattoo project and standing shirtless in Ondrash’ beautiful studio he started drawing on my arm. We did change the preliminary drawing a few times until it was perfect and then we started the actual tattoo fun.
Ondrash cut out his work from the start because he did not only do what I wanted him to do but also added more ink to open areas from the DECASA tattoo. All in all, he surpassed all my expectations! Somewhere during the day, his wife called to bring him lunch and I got a plate as well, which was just lovely. Ondrash kept me motivated by telling me I was taking it like a soldier and I have to admit that even though I can take getting tattoos really well, I did need some positive encouragement as we covered some very painful areas around the elbow, the armpit and the neck.
Eight hours and many bathroom breaks later, he wiped over the finished piece of deconstructed skin and told me he was done. I went to the mirror and could not believe what a beautiful work of art he just scratched under my skin. Finally, I wanna share what everyone came for: the finished and healed pictures.
Thank you, Ondrash, for finishing my sleeve beautifully and being such a humble tattoo artist who positively overshadowed negative past experiences. I think I’ve had enough of traveling for tattoos but if I ever call you again, you know that there might be another baby coming 😉
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Looks great! So many times I see sleeves that are just a bunch of random tattoos with the spaces between filled with gobbledegook. I love the decision to leave open areas of just skin so as not to detract from the focal piece. Lots of good decisions on that there arm!
Ohh thank you so much for that! I am also very happy I never screwed up this sleeve with dumb decisions and stayed true to the ideas and found incredible artists to fulfill it. Thanks again <3