One look at Natan’s portfolio, and it’s obvious that he is heavily and humbly influenced by Asian (particularly Japanese) culture. One of his favorite subjects to tattoo? Dragons, of course. Here are some fun little tidbits from Wikipedia:
Japanese dragons (日本の竜 Nihon no ryū) are diverse legendary creatures in Japanese truth and folklore. The style of the dragon was heavily influenced by the Chinese dragon. Like these other Asian dragons, most Japanese ones are water deities associated with rainfall and bodies of water, and are typically depicted as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet.
Historically, the dragon was the symbol of the Emperor of China. In the Zhou Dynasty, the 5-clawed dragon was assigned to the Son of Heaven, the 4-clawed dragon to the nobles, and the 3-clawed dragon to the ministers. In the Qin Dynasty, the 5-clawed dragon was assigned to represent the Emperor while the 4-clawed and 3-clawed dragons were assigned to the commoners.
Fascinating stuff! The above photo, as well as the one below, are in-progress pieces that Natan has worked on recently. He’ll also be spending some time in Japan at the end of the year and going into January. Envious? We are too.