Commission Piece

"Kannon Horimono Commission for Matt M." ©Mitzi Sato-Wiuff

This is a commission piece of custom design of a Kannon (The Lady of Compassion, Kwan Yin, Avalokiteshvara) as seated on a lotus throne, holding a water vessel and a willow branch, for a client who will have this image executed on his back.  A very detailed drawing in pen on paper, more brightly colored than usual for the end purpose specifically as a horimono.

My first horimono design commission and I thoroughly enjoyed the project.  The client had a pretty clear idea of the basic elements to be incorporated (seated Kannon, with more human-like feature and expression, with a vessel of water in one hand and a branch of willow on the other, filled-out background incorporating some traditionally found elements in tattoo art of Japan).  We exchanged many e-mail communications after he initially approached me after coming across my "Dance of a Thousand Birome" piece in my online portfolio.

"Dance of a Thousand Birome" ©Mitzi Sato-Wiuff/Aruarian Dancer

The initial sketching did not take very long, but the inking of the lines took a fair amount of time.  The coloring was trickier than I had expected, as I had certain fondness for pinks and golds, while the client expressed preference for red over pink in the flowers and pointed out the possible difficulty accurately capturing the gold in ink on skin.  I was more than happy to incorporate the suggestions into the color scheme to suit his taste and need as we went through several different versions of the colors before settling on the final piece.  It has been a wonderful experience for me -- a spiritual endeavor as a Buddhist and a learning experience as a designer.  I often had the feeling of deja vu as if I had done this before (as in one of my past lives, possibly as a tattoo artist or as a Buddhist monk).  At times, the task seemed overwhelming, while at other times, I enjoyed the moments of utter tranquility and feeling of rightness (= I am doing exactly what I was meant to be doing at the right place at the right time for the right reason with the right people.).  It was a wonderful feeling.

 A closeup view of the piece.

My client is very pleased with the final design, and we are already in talks for a possible next piece for his arm.  He has promised to send me photos of the tattoo-in-progress once the work begins on his back.  I'm looking forward to sharing the images here.


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