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Back in May, I got off the subway in Bay Ridge and was walking behind a guy with ink I couldn't quite make out.

I thought I saw birds on his right arm, but wasn't sure. He was talking to someone so I didn't bother him. I figure, in my neighborhood, I'll run into him again.

About a week later, my wife Melanie is telling me about someone with amazing tattoos with crows on it. She was so impressed, she struck up a conversation with him and passed him my card. I tell her I'm certain I know who she's talking about.

Johnny e-mailed me a day or two later. After some back and forth, we agreed to meet the first Sunday in June. I told him when I would be at the laundromat that morning and we met up and I took pictures.

The problem is, the pictures didn't come out great. It was a bright sunny day and the shots are very light. I e-mailed him back and explained what happened. He said he could send me some better photos. And so it goes.

That was the last time we communicated and I've decided to run the pictures anyway. The sleeve, for that's what it is, isn't complete anyway, so I figure we can get some better shots when the piece is complete.

Johnny has had about four sessions on this piece, and expects about four more.

The birds depicted are crows, which represent his "animal spiritual guide". In his words, "I am not only paying respect to spirit my guide, but also my ancestors, family and friends."

Represented in the various sections of the piece are Mother Earth, Father Sky, and The Great Being.

This work has been done by Half-Stack at Addiction Ink Tattoo & Piercings in Manhattan..

Thanks to Johnny for sharing his amazing ink with us here on Tattoosday! Sorry it took so lone to see the light of the blogosphere!

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