Monday, October 4, 2010
Calvin Seeley is a United States Marine. Tonight he ships out to Afghanistan for an expected seven months. Ive been working with Seeley on his back piece and then later his sleeve for almost a year. He first came to me completely un-tatted, and a silent guy, not much for the ink life. As he continued to come into the tattoo shop with his buddies I was tattooing, he became more open to the idea of getting tattooed himself.
Our first sitting we started his back-piece which I drew on him with a sharpie and some pens. He was a pretty quiet marine and we talked a little about his back-piece being related to the memory of his father, James Nelson Seeley. Cal lost his pops while in the service, and was not able to leave his duties as a marine to be with his father during his passing. He left home to join the military at the age of seventeen. The open winged sparrows represent the spirit being taken to heaven. The sparrows carry the name of his father. I feel that Seeley and I were able to bond because we both lost our fathers. Often I give my friends and clients bits of my gathered strength when dealing with the loss of a loved one or the courage to push forward and reach for your dreams. These shared feelings I feel are the gifts we give each other, small words of encouragement can change a persons life especially if they carry these moments with them on their skin.
Once finishing Seeleys back-piece he decided he wanted to get a half sleeve with a pirate style theme. Global Maps to see the world, a lantern to light his way through dark times, a compass to guide him, a pinup as his partner in crime, and a ship which represent him and his fathers freedom! It was great working with Seeley because he always had the greatest confidence in all of my ideas and my abilities. As expected our sittings weren't as quiet and solemn as our first, and through the past year he has become a really great friend of mine. Seeley will be missed as he heads to Afghanistan to fight a war that no one knows why it continues. God bless him and pray he returns a better man than the one that has left us.