Steve Christensen


PAN & INK

by thebradmiskell

STEVE CHRISTENSEN
Home: Venice, CA
For cash: Mac Whisperer.
For life: Surfer, Spiritualist, Dirt Bike Rider.

Steve Christensen — whose tattoo “sleeve” features a horned-and-hooved Pan, Japanese wood-block style waves and five-petaled cherry blossoms — is into some serious esoterica.

“I’m a medium,” Christensen says, “A channel.”

We talk over beers at Venice’s venerable Hinano Cafe.

Twenty years ago, in channeling practice-sessions, Christensen connected with a most excellent spirit guide. According to Christensen, in almost every session, Greek goat-god Pan would turn up with advice for him.

“His presence was powerful,” Christensen says, “With a lot of humor…and very connected to nature.”

(I don’t know about you, but if a randy, flute-playing goat-satyr-of-a-fertility-God ever shows up with advice for me, I’m all ears.)

A decade later, Christensen was looking to get a tattoo and came across artist John Watkis’ Pan paintings at an L.A. art exhibition. He commissioned Watkis to design him a Pan-tattoo. The non-tattoo artist returned with an ambitious sketch.

A few months later, Christensen met renowned Sunset Strip tattoo artist Kevin Quinn and, taken by his work, gave him Watkis’ sketch. Quinn reworked it for tattoo-friendliness, stenciled it on Christensen’s left upper arm and, fifteen hours (spread over two months) later, cloven-hooved Pan stood there alongside a tree and its gnarley roots.

Christensen loved the tattoo but always felt it was unfinished and, two years later, asked Quinn to complete the sleeve.

“Kevin’s specialty is Japanese tattoo art,” Christensen says. “I wanted a different texture on the back of my arm — wanted it bright and having to do with the ocean.”

A devoted surfer, Christensen loves the ocean and its bounty. Quinn freehanded a Japanese-inspired design of waves and cherry blossoms on his arm…and went crazy.

“I loved his art and trusted him by then,” says Christensen. “And (the tattoo) turned out amazing: There’s Pan with this Greek mythology look — really thick lines — and then the Japanese-style waves and cherry blossoms.”

Christensen has worn the sleeve seven years.


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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 4th, 2008 at 6:45 am and is filed under DOGTOWN INK. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Comments so far


  1. 1 Taylor Christensen on March 4, 2008 9:08 pm

    This is the coolest tattoo I ever seen!
    I know Steve rather well, so take my word for it that he is a great guy!

  2. 2 Deetrak on March 22, 2008 3:45 pm

    I was always wondering who that dude was channeling from his perch by the beach. Thanks for the update.

  3. 3 Carol on April 20, 2008 5:48 pm

    I’ve seen Steve’s Sleeve.
    I viewed the work in progress through the years.
    Each time I saw Steve, I couldn’t take my hands off of his arm.
    Each addition made it more cool.
    Vibrant and vivid colors.
    Contouring lines create shape and 3D action.
    Texture and primary colors enchance the creation.
    Perhaps a combination of Peter Max, and Van Gogh.
    A true masterpiece. A must see.
    Congrats to the artists, and Steve for the living artifact.
    I never considered getting a tatoo myself.
    First of all, I am a girl, and a teacher for 31 years.
    After experiencing the project I may change my mind.
    Mostly because the art has expanded so greatly in the past few years,
    by incorporating personal designs, including living color, culture, spirituality, and personal input.
    A true art piece, a complete composition.
    Kevin Quinn is the man !!
    Not the same old green names and hearts.
    BROVO-Good Job
    Carol

  4. 4 Carol on April 20, 2008 8:40 pm

    See previous email, (ending), BRAVO, not a typo.
    Steve is my BRO, so BROVO.
    Carol

  5. 5 Pam on January 15, 2009 8:58 pm

    Kevin Quinn is the best out there. My daughter and husband only have Kevin do there tattoos and they are remarkable.

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