Show us your ink! MARKED is our new series where we ask locals of all ages, professions and backgrounds to roll up their sleeves, pant legs, and so much more to reveal their marks. Here are their stories:
Name: Robert Brandan Martinez
Age: Currently 29, I was 27 when I started my back piece and 18 when I started getting tattoos.
My Back Piece: I started a few years after I fell in love with this Japanese painting I found. I just looked at it and loved it. After having it around for a few years, I decided to modify the design a little -- I changed the print on the kimono and the woman's tattoos and took it to my good friend Aaron Coleman of Immaculate Tattoo in Mesa.
He's the best guy in town ... Some people go to the hair salon to chat and unwind -- I go to the tattoo parlor.
Read more about Martinez' mark after the jump ...
When I took the design to Aaron, I gave him free reign. I also told him to do whatever he thought would blend for the bottom half and he drew a hani mask and a skeleton with lightning bolts and cherry blossoms ... I absolutely love it -- I wouldn't change anything.
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From the waist up, the tattoo has taken about 20 hours and from the waist down it's taken about nine hours, but it still needs to be colored in, so that should be about three more.
Next Tattoo? I'm actually going to have the work on the backs of my legs wrap around to the front side. It will be like a pair of shorts, but they'll never see the sun, so the colors won't fade.
I look at my tattoos as an investment in art. I'm an artist, and I love art -- while some people go out and buy a piece to hang on their walls, I got something to hang on my body. I mean, I chose an artistic and dramatic lifestyle, so if we want to get into it, my back piece is the girl that's always going to be with me and always going to have my back no matter what. But absolutely, it's about the art.
Know of a few creative marks? Send us your photos/suggestions.