For the past four years I’ve wanted to get a tribute tattoo in honour of a good friend of mine – Daniel MacMaster. Tragically Danny passed suddenly, quite young and just as he was starting to fully enjoy his life again. The tattoo is very important to me because watching him and his life taught me a great deal about myself.
Dan’s younger brother Jody (Juse) has a striking resemblance to his older sibling and Jody just happens to be one of my best friends so tattooing a picture of Danny’s face on my body seemed far too creepy and possibly homoerotic. “Not that there is anything wrong with that.” (Seinfeld) Instead I chose one of his album covers from the early 90s. It was designed by an incredible painter – Mark Ryden – who has created covers for dozens of bands including Jeff Beck, Aerosmith, Michael Jackson and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
His album cover is incredibly detailed and I knew that it would be a challenge for any tattoo artist to bring to life on skin. The artist I trust the most gave me my first tattoo five years ago. He actually lives in Switzerland, but is an occasional resident of San Juan del Sur. With my recent move I was hoping to connect with him again for this piece.
Luck must be on my side because a couple of weeks ago when I was at a surf competition at Maderas Beach Salomon appeared out of nowhere. He approached me not because he remembered me, but because he spotted his work – the octopus tattoo on my left arm.
Salomon and I talked for a bit and set up a time to get started. I had been waiting for this tattoo forever, so I was super excited that it was actually going to happen.
Saloman is only in town sporadically and therefore no longer has a shop in town. Instead he works out of a small studio in his home that is hidden away in the jungle near Majagual Beach. Getting tattooed while listening to howler monkeys was definitely a cool experience.
Now that I have seen the shape and shading on my skin I am even more anxious and excited to see the final full color master piece that will be completed in November when Saloman returns to San Juan. Salomon is an amazing artist. I am so happy that I waited for him to tattoo this very important piece.
Cheers Danny – we all miss you, buddy!