This unique project was the result of an artistic collaboration between myself, Juan Salgado, and the client Melissa Fusco, who requested a capricorn themed sleeve with other symbols relevent to her life. Since Juan and I live far apart, we devised a different kind of collaborative process. First, Melis started us off with a loose compositional sketch and written description via email, then Juan and I tackled different parts of the drawing amidst email discussion over how each of our sections would fit with the other. I did the large moth, forearm shell and flower drawing, and Juan did the Capricorn mermaid with mandala halo. Next, he and I each started our respective portion during separate sessions, completing a loose and incomplete foundation layer. Then on the third session, I added a 2nd layer of ink to Juan's upper half, while he added a 2nd pass of ink during the 4th session on my lower half. This alternation ensured that we each added our influence in roughly equal amounts to every area, despite never being in the same location nor tattooing at the same time. We traded one more pass each after that second layer, then met up at Hell City Tattoo Festival in Ohio for the finishing touches over the entire arm, in person, at the same time. This was a very fun method of long distance collaboration and all three of us are thrilled with the results.
By Nick Baxter