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.
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.