July 2001, after some preliminary discussion about what he was going to do, including some research of pictures, a look at the old record album and artwork by Disney Imagineer Colin Campbell, and a visit to Disneyland, Andy came up with this sketch of what the tattoo would look like.

Keep in mind that the tattoo is designed to wrap around the entire upper portion of my leg. From the top of the knee to above the waist.

Plus, in contrast with the colorful 'Fantastic Four' scene -- this one would be black and white.

The Mansion front gate plaque starts at the top of my knee, with the other elements wrapping around. The Mansion itself [which you can see in the upper right of this picture] is above my waist, on my upper thigh.
The art is then transferred to Thermofax paper. It's a very low-tech procedure, rather like carbon paper, which allows the art to be transferred to the skin.
First, my leg [which I'm sorry resembles raw chicken] is shaved completely and then sprayed with hospital grade green soap.
The thermofax is now pressed firmly onto the leg. When peeled away, what is left is a rough outline and placement of where the tattoos will be. The blue lines are actually felt tip pen -- drawn on by Andy to help him 'see' the background areas.
And then Andy gets to work...

The first stage is to draw in the 'line' work. This would include some outlines of characters, parts of the background.

Frankly, it looks like a bunch of chicken scratch. And this is certainly the most painful part.

Thin lines require very thin needles, which are most definitely more painful than the thicker style of needle used for shading and coloring larger sections.

After the line work, he builds up layers, and adds more and more detail until he gets the desired effect. Andy is a true artist.

It takes a long time to finish a tattoo of this size. Sessions last 2-3 hours.

And it gets a bit up-close and personal [right].

Because of the placement of some of the tattoo, I've been laying down on my back, on my stomach. And twisted like a pretzel.

From Andy's perspective, he's gotten closer to my stuff than I'm sure he would want to.

Does it hurt? Yes, but it's not excruciating. Some areas are more sensitive than others. Top of the leg, and back of the leg are pretty rough, pain-wise

4-5 hours is the most we've done in one session. Pain is certainly a consideration, not just for me -- Andy's wrist starts to get a liittle sore too.

From this rather peculiar angle (right), you can see a bit of my 'Fantastic Four' tattoo on my left leg.


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