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Expect the Unexpected | Sleeve by Nathaniel Gann

Often the most amazing tattoos start with one concept, but for one reason or another end up evolving in to something different and take on an entirely new life of their own. This black and grey California grizzly bear sleeve is a perfect example. If you haven't watched the video yet, the story goes like this. Resident Guru Tattoo Little Italy artist Nathaniel Gann was approached by a client of his regarding a realistic "California or San Diego" themed tattoo. Her initial request involved many of the standard bits of imagery you would expect see in a request like this; Landmarks, native plant life, breaking waves and other types of black and grey realism representative of California.

When their consultation day arrived, the conversation ended up going in an unexpected direction. They went in knowing that it's important to consider two things 1.) Remember the difference between a good tattoo idea and a good fit for the artist, 2.) There is a way to "say the same thing" without reproducing a theme or concept that's been done a thousand times.

While a California realism theme is a perfect match for Leo or Andrew, Nathaniel's best work is generally more illustrative and dramatic with lots of movement and organic shapes. Knowing this because she had already worked with Nathaniel in the past, created an opportunity for them to think outside the box and create something new and totally unexpected.

After some deliberation and a solid consultation or two, the two decided to go with a bold and organic sleeve design might better fit Nathaniel's artistic style and still have the same symbolism. The result, a eye catching grizzly bear sleeve with fingerwaves composition that is as artistic as it is meaningful to our client. Mission accomplished.

If you like what you see here then we highly suggest Nathaniel Gann for your next tattoo. Visit his profile here or follow him on Instagram @nathanieltattoo. For more information about the tattoo process check out our FAQ or visit our Little Italy Guru Tattoo location.

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