People who hate tattoos are fine by me...I really don't care what they think because they don't understand. All of my tattoos come from a place deep within, and they are all very spiritual for me. Even ones that may seem fashionable have a deeper meaning. So here we go:
The Asian figure on top is "child or child like" for my penchant to be a little less mature than those my age...I think its a good thing...and that was my first ink. Underneath it was my last piece done. A tribute to my great-grandfather and great-grandmother who risked all and came to this country. Their last names are followed by the dates they arrived here and they border a shield of the Italian flag with a "tiger paw tear" exposing the American flag underneath. This work is funny, because it really explains my identity crisis. Most "real" Italians wouldn't consider me Italian as I do not speak the language and my family has been here for almost 125 years, and most "regular" white Protestant Amenricans, wouldn't consider me particularly "American" because of my Southern Italian/Catholic background.
Next, the Sun has always been a huge part of my life, and without it, we wouldn't be here, so there's some homage to that. I'm also a Leo...the Sun King. Underneath is sanskrit writing that reads "to teach" as that is my chosen profession. I'm a history teacher so I figured one of the world's oldest written languages would work.
My zodiac symbol, LEO, on my left hand. Leo was also the name of my great grandfather (Leonardo Dondiego) whose hands built the foundation for family that I now have. Figured my left hand would be as good a hand as any.
The dragon is my largest piece. Took 15 hours. When I was 18 I shattered my right forearm playing hockey. Compound fracture and all, nasty. I now have two plates with 12 screws holding the right forearm together. It still hurts like a bitch when it rains. I figured I could use some extra protection on it, and who knows a better protector than a dragon. The dragon has been part of every world culture and has always been known to possess mystical and outerworldly powers. And I think it looks awesome!
Lastly, I have another Sun with a tribal piece on my back that has the word "Star" in Chinese above it. Again a reference to my zodiac sign, and our life source here.
My next job is to complete a sleeve on my left arm for my daughter Breuckelen who was born on June 22. It will be a two headed dragon wrapping itself around a crab with BVHR stamped on it (she's a cancer) with all kinds of hellatious activities going on around it. The dragon will always be there to protect Breuckelen. The two heads represent the two grandparents we named here after (Viviana and Houstoun) for my grandmother and my wife's grandfather. I plan on having skeletons, fire and ghouls on the outside of the "protective shell" and a peaceful paradise inside the dragons protection.