This full leg tattoo was prepared for Matt to incorporate two existing smaller tattoos, a turtle and a hand, into a full piece.
We used bolder parts and outlines for the main elements over a mostly Samoan background, adding some shading to give the tattoo a bold look with fine detailing and tridimensionality around the leg.
Since skateboarding plays an important part in Matt´s life, as he
teaches it to the community, a skateboard figures as one of the main
elements, together with a manta and a lizard, representing his service
to the community and how he brings new purpose to young people who went
through many challenges and pain (the path of Kamehameha and
The Kuhanu (breath of Ku) symbolizes creation and light coming from darkness. Birds represent voyage, and fish prosperity.
The board itself has a Marquesan cross to symbolize the new harmony found within the skating community (the braid), taking the steps (ahuahu o Mataora) that will turn adversities (opposing waves) into chances for positive change (the favorable waves) and learning (the stepping stones).
The manta represents the new freedom achieved and the lizard brings protection together with the tiki on the knee, encircled by the tail.
While the front of the leg represents this voyage of learning,
tenacity, and fighting spirit achieved and taught, the back part
incorporates the existing tattoos and deals with family, adding a flower
of hibiscus representing Matt&apo;s daughter next to the turtle, and a
manaia on top protecting the whole family.
Braids are for union and spearheads for the warrior protecting the family, while the lokahi symbol represents harmony with nature, people, and spirits.
Fish, pandanus flowers, and trochus shells symbolize prosperity, while the tiki on the top outer side of the leg, surrounded by a sun, represents ancestors guarding from above.
The image below helps identifying the individual elements within the tattoo: