Monday, December 13, 2010


Decorating my space with a small Christmas tree, i decided to get two unique ornaments for my nephew, and my God Daughter. This being MY first Christmas tree, i thought the deserved a little special treatment. The Christmas atmosphere was flowing in my living room and I had to capture the warmth surrounding me.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Another shot I got at the world famous Central Park in New York City from one of the bridges.

Summer, I hate to see you go, but I love watching you leave.

...turns out that some of New York CIty's brightest colors don't only exist in Times Square and can be found during the day as well.

11/3 - CITY LOVE

11/3 - CITY LOVE, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Failed attempt at a photography course in Central Park left me alone in the middle of Manhattan surrounded by the fast paced city. In kind of a bad mood, I wandered, and wandered....until I lost myself. It was by far the one of the greatest experiences I have ever done....alone. I shot most of Central Park and its foliage, in its beauty, however, i enjoyed this picture the most. As the sun set on the water in Central Park a couple sat and enjoyed all the view had to offer.....little did they know I was doing the same. I love the way it came out.

I have taken a shot like this before, but it was not as close to as good as this one. Consider it an upgrade ;) . Anyways, I am a sucker for watching couples doing nothing more than enjoying some alone time together. Promise ill be back with more shots more regularly!

Pressing "L" gives the picture a little more justice!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


DUALISM, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Our Daily Challenge : Dualism

Looking for inspiration over a cup of know, the drink that's made from 2 different liquids?....but what do I know? haha

Test shot because I was bored. Will try and get another crack at it later on.


ABANDONED, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Our Daily Challenge: Abandoned

My 50mm came in the mail today and I decided to use the wilting flower in the front of my house as a subject for today's "abandoned" topic.

Beautiful colors, bunched together made this flower pot in the middle of July. The other flowers have since died leaving this one left. I threw in lyrics from Kings of Leon's "Cold Desert".

The song is one of their deepest, if not THE deepest song when it comes to the feeling of being alone that I have ever heard from them.

Either way, great song, great topic. Good night!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


PUMPKIN PATCH, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Pumpkin picking with friends and family on a beautiful Sunday in Long Island. I found my nephew and God Daughter in a pumpkin patch. If there is one thing I learned about shooting children it is that they don't have an attention span long enough to have an urge to be photographed! As you can see, my God Daughter lost any interest she had long before this shot was taken! hah!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

28/30 - SIN

28/30 - SIN, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Our Daily Topic: Something Sinful

Couldnt find much inspiration for the topic, and at the last minute came up with this idea....obviously lots of processing done, but i am pretty happy with the way it came out!

Sidenote: Eminem - Cinderella Man came on, while thinking of a bad ass line for my Sin City character to say, what a coincidence i can relate it back to SIN!

Monday, September 27, 2010

26(2)/ D'FEET ALS

26(2)/ D'FEET ALS, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Sunday, the 25th chimed in as my 5th ALS walk to help defeat the disease. Unfortunately, my Uncle fell victim to the disease and the object of the walk (as any other walk for a cause) is to not only raise awareness of the disease, but also work to find better ways of preventing and possible curing the disease. Pictured above is Senator Chuck Schumer cutting the red tape for the race as well as a pre-race candid. Chuck Schumer has been fighting hard to raise the awareness of the disease and expressed a lot of concern, as well as shaking the hands of every walker that attended.

26/30 - HISSSSS

26/30 - HISSSSS, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Fun day with my nephew at the ALS walk in Eisenhower Park.

The walk = fun
Doing it with a 4 year old running around like a Tiger, hissing and roaring = AMAZING

Friday, September 24, 2010

24/30 - LOCKS

24/30 - LOCKS, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Today's Challenge: Locks

Not much behind it, pretty much a lock and key, i appreciate the grungy-ness of the door knob though. Looks very worn.

23/30 - AUTUMN

23/30 - AUTUMN, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Today's Challenge: Capture the feeling of the fall Equinox....getting out of work at 5:30, i cannot capture the early sunset the way I would like.

Fall decorations line the house as we approach fall. I took the most fall associated decorations and tied them together to make an autumn feel.

This is without a doubt my favorite season...happy fall.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


About a week left in the project I started out at....and the motivation to shoot every day wears thinner every day lol.

This candid is a snapshot at how motivated I am toward this project lately. First things first I will find something to pick me back up and get back on track. I've been sleeping people, but as soon as I wake I'm coming back with better stuff! This last week I vow to challenge myself, and who knows, I probably will extend the project passed the 30 days of September. After all, I have a solid fan base of about 2.5 daily. Can't let all those people down!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

22/30 - PLEASE

22/30 - PLEASE, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Yep...I sold out tonight. Inspiration was far beyond my reach. Must be the whole "middle of the week" vibe you get into. I took out my frustrations teasing my dog with a treat for as long as possible (don't call PETA). By the end of this shot, he was practically drooling all over the carpet, like "CMON MIKE! PLEASE! PLEASE! STOP TAKING FRIGGIN PICTURES! YOUR KILLING ME!"

Whatever the case, I got him in his most desperate begging position, and i decided to give him a second one for being a good model.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


"My dear we're...slow dancing in a Burning Room"

Today's Challenge was: Light

My solution:
boring lights OFF!
abstract lights ON!

Mixed in with a little love for fire, and a little inspiration from John Mayer, my 21st shot was born for light.

A little bit of processing was done on colors and text effect (to try and make it look like the light is illuminating the words?)


So I was finally able to kick the creative block I was facing when it came to designing an invoice that matched the decor of my website and business cards.

The majority of people tend to put the black ink on a white background because it is "the norm". Your invoice may be the last and final impression you make on a client. Showing them you still have the creative edge when their invoice arrives can really make a great lasting impression (not to mention taking attention away from the overall bill, because after all, who is really that happy opening up a piece of paper in which they have to make payments?)

I love the 1920's time period...

Monday, September 20, 2010


I once heard the quote, "Fortune Favors the Brave."

Second shot of the day. Had a little influence from the Photostream of @Steward_Photography.

If there's anything that Fortune cookies do, it is give us a tiny bit of inspiration that the fortune cookie might have their way with us. We don't necessarily put all our hopes in a Chinese snack hoping that our life changes, but rather hope for the coincidence that our lives find a way to re-enact what the fortune says.

This one shares a bit of wisdom that makes you apply yourself. For anyone doubting themselves....

20/30 - ZUNE

20/30 - ZUNE, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Our Daily Challenge: Sounds you love

I do not leave my house, without my Zune with me. My music library is huge and like I have said numerous times in my posts before, I look to music to dictate my mood and create an atmosphere that helps me get along while doing whatever it is I'm doing whether its inspiration for creation and design, weight lifting, or just for enjoying a good tune. Just as an FYI, this Zune has a great User Interface and the touch screen is VERY interactive !

Yes, I am THAT guy who went against Apple for so many years. I own a PC, an XBox, a Blackberry, and a Zune! Being a Graphic Designer, I have done this ass backward, and am starting my Apple collection later this month with an iMac....then an iPad, then an iPhone....and iPod...HELLO DEBT! :-/

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Self Portrait I decided to take because it is Sunday and quite frankly I was kind of bored and have never messed around with them.

I'm not Emo, nor am I angry....I was messing around with some under exposed shots to try and darken the background and felt the face matched the overall composition. I HAVE felt a little rebellious this week, maybe it just came out in the milliseconds that the shutter caught me, who knows! I darkened the background a little and tweak some of the curves in PS.

I'm actually a very friendly....maybe this is just a case of Me, Myself, and Irene :-/


18/30 - DIFFERENT ANGLE, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Todays Challenge: Shoot something from a different angle.

Taking a bike ride on the boardwalk today I began thinking of ideas to shoot things from a different angle. I tried getting as creative with it as possible. While riding I saw an older couple who were in pure happiness with each other watching the waves.Amazed at the love they had for each other, I figured it to be a great shot for the challenge as well (he had his arm around her and it was perfect for a shot, and he moved just before taking this picture...I wouldve loved it if he kept his arm around her.

Reasoning for my shot: They are amazed at the beauty of the ocean in front of them. I have a different angle on this. I am amazed at the love between the two and what they still share!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

17/30 - LONG WEEK

17/30 - LONG WEEK, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Friday's @ 5 o clock....need I say more?

Keeping up with my Friday Diptych commitment, I decided to portray the feeling at 5pm on a Friday for most working people in the U.S.....This is not to say that we are all alcoholics, but after a long week, it seems to be appropriate to celebrate a little...

But what do I know? I'm Irish.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

16/30 - YIN YANG

16/30 - YIN YANG, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Today's Challenge was a fun one to think up. Got to thinking of two things that make perfect balance in our every day lives, Work/Play, Sleeping/Awake, etc. Then it hit me....every day I eat PBJ's. Without a doubt, my favorite snack, I always have an argument about what the PERFECT Peanut Butter/Jelly ratio is....

I prefer about 75%/25% Peanut Butter/Jelly....I added a little more Jelly to this one to enhance the feeling of "balance" in this.....I'd like to hear your feedback, and also what your ratio is!!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

15/30 - Hometown Glory

15/30 - Hometown Glory, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Been a busy and hectic past 2 days, so I was not able to post. Last night I was in the city to see Linkin Park for my 5th time (I'd also like to add it was their last and only show in all of North America for the rest of this year, for those who are fans.)

A lot of my inspiration comes from music. It has a super natural effect on altering any mood I am in. I have been listening to a good amount of Adele lately, and drew my inspiration from her song, Hometown Glory. The lyrics are very fitting, and to become even more intimate with my home town, I shot the swing set I played on growing up as a kid. The lyrics are amazing in this song and the piano is done real nice.

It's funny, we spend the majority of our youth on these things and forget them instantly when we grow up. The second you push a little one on a swing set though, you are reinforced with the feeling you had when you were a kid....well, maybe for me at least.

Sunday, September 12, 2010



Pretty much a rainy, depressing Sunday (besides the football). Never had a take with bokeh photography before, and there aren't many lights in my neighborhood so I did the best I could with what mother nature left on my wind shield and some traffic in town.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


My tribute piece for today is for all of the people who lost their lives/gave support during or after the attacks of the World Trade Center on 9/11/01.

The vicious attacks brought us closer as a nation than we could have ever imagined. We will always remember that day, and will stand United forever.

Never Forget. God Bless America!

10/30 - POW!

10/30 - POW!, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Edited: my 10/30 shot with a little more Adam West Flavor!!!

10/30 - POW!

10/30 - POW!, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

While watching my nephew he fell asleep, which gave me some time to get re-acquainted with my inner child. I began playing with his Batman and Joker figurines giving an occasional , POW!, BOOM! My brain went into picture mode and an Adam West inspiration flew into my head. I COULD have added in the words in the bubble but I felt it was too cliche.

Friday, September 10, 2010

9/30 - OUCH

9/30 - OUCH, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

Our Daily Challenge called for today's subject to be a towel. Rather than capture a towel for its usual purpose, bathing, I captured a towel in a use that doesn't get used every day. How convenient that I needed something to hold AND compress an ice pack on my knee on the date of this challenge?

Needless to say, I found this challenge to be a hard one to capture, and its only my first day shooting it! Hopefully tomorrow becomes easier to shoot....and walk.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


8/30 - COLOR BLIND, originally uploaded by Mike Manusama.

"No, I'm not color blind,
I know the world is Black & White."

Sorry for the no-post yesterday, my knee was shaken up and I spent the day at the trainer, and icing. Still was able to get a shot in during the early evening.

The lyrics to "Stop This Train" were in my head all day, and not realizing it, it correlated perfectly with the colors on a piano. Will post tonight's shot later on.


It feels great to be a man this time of year. Shotout to the Raider Fans and giant fans out there. I hope they both have successful seasons.


So Friday, I took 2 different shots, and made a Diptych shot of my nephew on the beach. The overwhelming positive responses on the shot are making me think about possibly doing a Diptych every Friday from now on. Just an FYI for the 2.5 people per week that read this blog.. :-/

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


7/30 - SUMMER FINALE, originally uploaded by mikemanusama.

The end of Labor Day weekend caps off yet another summer in the book of life. Before we completely lose all signs of summer, I wanted to make sure I got out tonight to capture one more summer sunset that I can look back on during those cold Winter nights.

Fall, I open up my arms to you and accept you into my life!

Monday, September 6, 2010


6/30-HELLO WORLD, originally uploaded by mikemanusama.

"I see a light,
A little hope,
In a little girl."

Meet my God Daughter, Addison Marie. Every time I hear the song, "Hello World" by Lady Antebellum it makes me think of her, mainly the line that started the post off. Ending Labor Day weekend with a family BBQ and spending some time with her was an incredible way to cap off a summer (I am not the type to type smiley faces, but I would totally insert one at the end of that sentence.

Labor Day weekend, job well done, and a great shot of my God Daughter with one of her better faces on!


5/30-HAPPY LABOR DAY, originally uploaded by mikemanusama.


Sorry I was not able to post yesterday....I am posting 2 today. Being out all day yesterday, I wasn't able to post after celebrating.

For this photo, I wanted to capture the feeling of an American Holiday as candid as possible. 2 Mid-Flip Cup shots later, it caught the game in play. I really like how the red white and blue plays a subliminal part into the whole "American Holiday" theme as well


Saturday, September 4, 2010

4/30 - CANVAS

4/30 - CANVAS, originally uploaded by mikemanusama.

Inspiration for today came from my own canvas. I have an appreciation for Japanese art and had this done a few months ago. The detail is striking and my artist did a very great job.

Friday, September 3, 2010

3/30 - EARL'S GIFT

3/30 - EARL'S GIFT, originally uploaded by mikemanusama.

If you live on Long Island, rumors of Hurricane Earl have been filling the media. ::HURRICANE ALERT::

Not only did it miss Nassau County completely, but on top of it, I think it drizzled for 5 minutes (gasp, our lives are really in danger). Mother Nature's summons of this Hurricane Earl did give me a great overcast day to shoot at the beach. 20 foot waves crashing into the ocean are pretty fun to capture, but what made the shot of the day was Hurricane Earl's gift from the Caribbean. A coconut washed up on shore as me and me nephew walked the sand watching the waves.

I absolutely loved the composition of both of these pictures and decided to make a Diptych-esque photo of the two.

I'd like to thank Earl for bringing gifts instead of mayhem!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


2/30 - WRETCHES AND KINGS, originally uploaded by mikemanusama.

Inspiration for today's picture came from the release off of Linkin Park's new album, "1,000 Suns" titled "Wretches & Kings". I was taken back on my first listen....and second...and third....etc, and have become very inspired by the creative work that the band does. Since I am a huge fan of their music, especially Mike Shinoda, I wanted to capture the pair of his limited edition DC Xander's (proud owner) in a different way than just staging the shoes and shooting (the object of this project is to create a different point of view, right?)

PS - I am a proud Blackberry owner as well.

Camera: Canon t1i
Shot: 1/10, f4.5, ISO 800

Post-Processing: PS CS4

Linkin Park - Wretches & Kings

So Linkin Park releases a new song from their album today. I am beyond anxious to hear the entire album and what it is supposed to be like. After reading numerous articles it is said that this new album is unlike everything they have ever done before. They are taking a post-apocalyptic approach (ie: "The Catalyst" video, an abstract production portraying the aftermath of nuclear war) to their Mereora/Minutes to Midnight styles and blending it all together.

The beat on this song is insane.....The song is called Wretches & Kings, and is full of high energy, adrenaline pumping vocals and a rap flow that lacks nothing but pure conscious Hip-Hop.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

1/30 - Caution

1/30 - Caution, originally uploaded by mikemanusama.

Day 1 of my 30 days of September (or 365 project if I can stay on top of it) Project. There is something special about road work and cautionary tape.

Camera: Canon t1i 18-55mm
Shot: 1/125, f4.5, 100

SIDENOTE: I am bare boned at the moment with camera equipment. I have a camera and a 18-55mm lens and an imagination. I am also new to photography and am using this as a tool to become a better photographer. BE NICE!


As of today, September 1st, I will be embarking on a 30 day photo project for the entire month of September. The purchase of my new sleek Canon T1i will allow me to go out and see my surroundings through a different perspective (hopefully). This means, I will be taking my camera out and shooting every day and posting the one that I see as the best photo. The picture can be anything I come to encounter during my hours awake, and can come from any inspiration whether it be trying to re-make a photo from another photographer that I enjoyed, a song lyric, or emotion. My ultimate goal is to successfully complete a 365 project (I'm assuming I don't need to explain how that one works), but while I am working FT, this will suffice. I will be out shooting later on and post my first entry later today...Wish me luck.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Noise glasses that mimic TV issues that some people faced in the 60's and 70's. Awesome.

Noise Glasses (via Design Spotter)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mom, I Did It!!!!!!

Me and Ryan Seacrest's stunt double, and one of the coolest mates I know, Mitch Day.

Mom, look at me, and this time take a great look. your son has his Master's Degree!

Few moments can compare to the day I successfully completed the courses required to obtain my Master's Degree. The day I got my Bachelor's Degree, I was almost positive it was the last day of college I would ever see. Fortunately, I was able to continue school, and play (watch from the bench with a jersey on) basketball another year. I took a more creative approach to Graduate school, and left the business suit and Marketing degree at home.

I now have my MA in Communications Arts in Advertising. Special thanks goes out to all of my family, friends, and woman for the inspiration. It meant more than you will ever imagine.

Monday, April 26, 2010

When I Cross That Bridge...

"I'll go back to Manhattan,
as if nothing ever happened.

When I cross that bridge,

It'll be as if this don't exist."

"I should go back to Manhattan,
It's just a train ride away.
I know nothing 'bout leaving,
But I know I should do it today."
- Norah Jones

(All pictures on this blog are candid shots taken as life unfolds in front of me. No pictures on this blog are staged or altered in any way.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Flight Photog!!!!!

Pilot: "Our flight time will be approximately 2 hours, 49 minutes."

What to do? iPod....on. Brick Breaker, lets do this! 7 haunting levels and 6 minutes later - "game over". Hmmm... Keeping myself occupied on a 3 hour flight is not going to be easy, especially when I am leaving a paradise of crystal blue colored oceans, and back home to my Styrofoam infested green ocean waters that won't even be available for my visiting until late May, early June due to northeast weather conditions (to paint a mental experience for those not from my "island", would you be enticed to swim in pickle water? :-/).

Mental images aside, I picked up some reading material from the backseat pocket ahead of me. To my avail - a drink menu (8am Mike...really?), and a vacation guide by "sponsors of Southwest Airlines". Endless vacations in the most exotic locations, of course only available through Southwest Airline flights, and recommended by, well this shouldn't be a shock, the CEO of Southwest Airlines.....Fedora off - advertising hat on.

Good advertising, mentioning your company name every other word....and thanks to Southwest Airlines, I am brainwashed into thinking it is the only carrier that flies daily to big cities like Boston, Chicago, and Dallas. Something was clearly missing, cause I was still bored.

Mike: "You had me at "take a vacation", but the thought of me sitting on this plane makes me think twice....maybe spruce up you advertising to make people's 'on-board' experience seem a little nicer.

Glancing to my right - there they were. Inspiration for a new way to advertise Southwest Airlines on-board experience!!

I propose that they throw some shots of beautiful cloud photography (from passengers or professionals) into their advertising pamphlets.....because sometimes it's not only about the destination, but the journey as well...(tagline?)

CAUTION: Below are pictures that Southwest Airlines did NOT want us to see!!!

...breathtaking ain't it? No photography credits go to Mike Manusama. I'd like to thank Mother Nature for the view.

Maybe they don't enjoy the fruits that mother nature has to offer, but the following pictures sure as hell blow away a city shot of Dallas....I mean really, we look at the bottom of clouds every day. It's about time we see them from a new angle.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Latte Art

If you've had to design something on a deadline like me, you've probably put some extra gas in that tank and spent the night designing on a little fuel called "Espresso". We see the stereotypes all the time, and we all know its true....If you drink Starbucks Caramel Macchiato's while doing work, it MUST be more productive than a Dunkachino at your home office computer, right?

Either way, what happens when a creative hits a block in design inspiration? ADD can be a bit of a hassle, but a real designer knows art comes in many forms, and inspiration for creativity can be drawn from anywhere. Just ask these people that looked at the top of their steamed milk and espresso and said, "looks like a blank canvas...lets create." I found this article and thought it puts a lot of Designer ADD's in perspective:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ain't No Sunshine When I'm Gone

"Flight 983 to Islip has been delayed due to excessive lightning bolts being thrown as us by mother nature near Palm Beach International Airport"

Why wouldn't a weekend spent in Southern Florida be culminated with a delayed flight to my beloved New York? A tropical location that is more than abundant in clear skies, beautiful weather, crystal blue water beaches....and a delayed flight for the exact same reasons that people get away from and travel down here to avoid. Sound like irony. Sounds like a story line for a movie. Maybe the story line will allow for an opportunity, like the movies usually do! Maybe ill meet an employer who wants to hire me, (, I don't have my degree yet) maybe ill make a new friend (...I have my eyes and fingers glued to my phone too much to seem "approachable" to anyone here), or better yet, maybe ill meet the love of my life (...sorry, I've already met her. Hence my eagerness to make it home).

For now, it is a typical story line. Wet clothes from a torrential Floridian down pour, exhausted from running on less than 3 hours of sleep, the crying baby, the person speaking entirely too loud in my ear on their phone.

My remedy is to play the part of the man with the delayed flight. Buy the snacks (the ones that promise to contain 60% less fat than competitors), and Vitamin Water (that promises to have more vitamins than their competitors). Now that I have the best of both worlds in the snack world, ill throw on a blues set and wait for my flight to be called....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Who Needs Shelter?

Good-day sunlight,
I'd like to say how truly bright you are.
You don't know me but I know you,
See, you're my favorite star. - Jason Mraz

Life is a Beach Chair

I visited a friend in West Palm Beach. Arriving yesterday, I decided to spend my free time soaking in the hot Florida sun. These people get to live this every day of their lives. As I basque in the presence of a tropical atmosphere, I want to take the time out to say, take nothing for granted and God bless everyone! I'm outta here! iPod...TAKE ME AWAYYY!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Quick Spec. Book Cover Design

As I look for freelance positions online, I see a lot of Publication company's looking for Freelance Graphic Designers with **book design** experience. While not everyone has experience in the exact fields that some employers are looking for, designers make Spec Designs which are Designs made by the designer, but on their own creativity and terms, and not a clients. So, take this Publishers, and allow me to show you my Book Cover Design Experience!!!!

Book cover for "Friends, Lovers, or Nothing"

It's obvious to see that I was listening to John Mayer's "Battle Studies" while working on this, but that's the beauty of Spec work! When the design is speaking, the inspiration for content can come from anywhere!

Artful Meaning

In the journey down the long road that is my fascination for art, one of my stops was an infatuation with traditional Japanese Art. From old canvases scribbled with beautiful depictions of ancient Japanese mythology, to the sushi we get at lunch, its clear that the Japanese have a strong tradition in art (I mean, sometimes a Japanese meal is presented so beautifully, sometimes I feel bad eating it).

Around the same time, I was weighing the option of getting a second tattoo on my arm and the two ideas interchanged in my mind beautifully. I began researching traditional Japanese art that I really enjoyed looking at (after all Mike, this is going to be on you, forever). Koi fishes stood out most to me, mainly because of how they are drawn, and they symbolism behind them.

According to Eastern Asian traditions, a Koi fish swims upstream, against the tides of the Yellow River, onto Dragon Gate. If it succeeds in doing so, it becomes a Dragon. I thought of getting a Koi fish swimming upstream, symbolizing the determination to reach great achievements in my life.Looking at a fish by itself swimming upstream as a symbolic meaning to my life is beautiful to me, but as an artist, I knew I could maybe add either more elements of eye popping traditional art, or some more symbolic elements. Why not have my cake and eat it to and do both?

Cherry Blossoms and lotus flowers are also elements of Japanese art and happen to be a favorite of mine. Cherry blossom flowers tend to be a little smaller, so the idea was to symbolize my family by getting 5 Cherry Blossom flowers (3 children, 2 parents) surrounding the Koi fish's journey to success....we could all use support from loved ones to help get anywhere in life. Lastly was a Lotus flower that I dedicated to my Opa, that I shared a strong relationship with before he passed away.

So, idea in my mind, I took it to an amazing artist named Jimbo at Lark Tattoo to put my ideas into a beautiful piece of artwork that would last forever. In the end, I could not have asked for anything more. The result was dead on to what I imagined, and I am happy to own this piece of art and wear it every day:

Outer arm.

Inner arm. Tattoo done by Jimbo, Lark Tattoo.