Lee Dotson – Tattoo Story

I’ve wanted to photograph Lee ever since he showed me his recently completed tattoo at a friend’s housewarming party. He designed it himself, and the artwork fits his personality perfectly. You can check out more of Lee’s art and character designs at his personal art site here.

I thought about my tattoo for about seven years during which I prototyped out various designs by way of placing them on characters that I was designing for various video games at the time. From a design stand point the tattoo is an amalgamation of my influences as an artist. I’m largely a digital artist a love affair with art noveau, high contrast design work, technology, and things that go bump in the night. The application of the tattoo itself was done by the wonderful Idexa Stern at Black and Blue Tattoo who not only did an amazing job of making sure everything lined up and sat correctly on my body but also made the three months we spent together working on the tattoo more of a journey than a mere technical process.

While the pen nib on my right arm is the only directly symbolic portion of the tattoo it relates to who I am on several levels. The piece is largely hidden on a day to day basis because in many ways I’m a private person and I like being able to choose where and when and with whom I share various parts of myself. I love art and music that is layered and complex and I love that I now have this hidden layer that only people who are close to me know about. I realize that having photos of my tattoos on the internet runs somewhat counter to this idea but that highlights two other aspects of the tattoo that are important to me. The first is that a couple years ago the idea of shirtless pictures of me on the internet would have been absolutely mortifying so I love the fact that having them has made me more comfortable with myself. Secondly, I think it’s important to remember that the rules we live by are our own creation and as such we can change them and break them whenever we see fit.

Jamaica Dyer In Alamo Square Park

Sometimes everything just comes together, the weather, the location, and the model. This started out a simple headshot session but we decided to push it further and headed into the park to enjoy the perfect spring day. Believe it or not, this whole shoot only took about an hour.

Jamaica’s an extremely talented artist, and a longtime friend. We’ve begun collaborating on a super secret project, more about that as it develops.