I am finally off across the pond. I was invited by Skin Deep magazine to attend the 2016 Tattoo Jam at Doncaster Racecourse in Doncaster, England. I am very excited about this and have been planning the trip for several months now. I will also be giving a seminar on Polynesian tattoo on Friday, August 5 at 2:00pm at the venue, which is free to attend.

I still have some open spaces if anyone is interested in having work done. Please let me know via email, or social media, IG/twitter: rolandtattoo.

I leave tomorrow and will spend a few days in Ireland before heading out to Doncaster, so this will be somewhat of a much needed vacation, as well.

Here is a discount code for tickets to the show, for those interested.

Here is also a link to the show.




This client wanted a piece that reflected his faith and spirituality, his desire to become a pilot in the military and his love of family and of the sea, with the overall intention of balance. I chose to convey it all in symmetry (for balance) and again, utilized the nesting of a tattoo within the body of a tattoo.

The focal point is the large manu (bird) symbol that splits the piece in half but also acts as the crown of the head of the mata hoata that comprises a majority of the upper portion of the piece. On each wing I placed a row of ani ata which symbolize his ancestors protecting him as he moves forward. The circular mata shapes upper part feature four eyes; one set looking up, the other down. There are eyes on each cheek as well. This is a highly aware, protective piece.

This entire upper part is nested into a lower half that is itself another mata, albeit only the eyes are present. This is because the upper part is a tattoo on the head of the lower entity, speaking of divine connection and spirituality as it is, being born of mindfulness.

The lower portion shows family and protection, with the niho that form its upper mouth and growth and strength in its lower jaw, with the koru and ka’ake. There are also twin fish hooks on either side of the tiki that show his love of the sea and visually, act as ears.

I had a ton of fun constructing this piece and I hope that you enjoyed the read!

Breakdown below:

a) koru- unfurling fern head: growth, breath, life.
b) ka’ake- upraised arm: strength, also supports the growth of the koru.
c) niho- tooth: this line of niho represents family and is protective to keep danger at bay.
d) mata- eye: these are the eyes of the entire entity, looking out for danger.
e) mata- eye: these are the eye of the upper portion, which is a tattoo worn by the entity to protect the entire tattoo.
f) manu- bird: this speaks of this faith, his desire to be a pilot and acts a symbol of guidance as he moves forward in life.
g) ani ata- the horizon: these symbols represent his ancestors as the help to guide him in life.
h) matau- fish hook: this speaks of his love of the sea.

This modern Marquesan and Maori piece is an overall protective piece, but like the shoulder piece that I did a few tattoos back, is contained in the profile of a mata hoata. It speaks about the bond that he has with his daughter and the imagery used shows is meant to protect and preserve their relationship as they move forward. This piece also has a tattoo to protect the overall intent, which is a warriors head/helmet that sits above the brow of the eyes.

a) siamutu – binding, using niho at the opposite ends of this paka and connecting them with a line, symbolizes his connection with his daughter.

b) niho – tooth, the three niho near the ankle protects the intention of the tattoo, while the row of niho running diagonally upwards forms the mouth of the mata hoata and is meant to protect from sin and also represent family.

c) ihu – nose, this is the nose of the mata hoata and symbolizes breath and life.

d)  mata – eye, this is the eye of the piece and is meant to look out for danger and to protect.

e) tiki koa – warrior image, this image is set atop the head of the mata hoata and is a tattoo for the overall tattoo, meant to protect.

f) koru – unfurling fern head, this symbolizes growth and life as she moves forward.

g) ama kopeka – dancing flame, this is meant to illuminate the path forward and adds to the efficacy of the tattoo by protecting it from breaking down.


There’s a first time for everything! I was asked to do a Polynesian leg piece in water color style, something that I had never even considered before and this is how it turned out. The piece is in memory of her grandmother and is an homage to when she paddled out and spread her grandmothers ashes in the sea. The overall piece repeats the story twice: on a somewhat gloomy day she and her family paddled out into the bay as the sun was setting and it began to rain. When they stopped to spread her ashes the rain ceased and the sun broke through the clouds. Then a whale breached right next to them as the last of her grandmothers ashes fell into the sea. The symbols in the tattoo represent her grandmother, protection, life, family and the whale. I wanted the colors to mimic the sun setting on the darkened ocean. Done in modern Marquesan/Tahitian, Maori style. Some of the stencil is still visible on the top part. Super stoked with how it all turned out. Symbols also follow the Fibonacci sequence in terms of usage.


a) koru – unfurling fern head, this symbolizes growth and life as she moves forward.

b) kohola – whale, this symbolizes a venerated ancestor as well as the spirit of the sea.

c) etua – venerated ancestor, this symbolizes her grandmother.

d) lauhala – pandanus weave, this woven symbol represents her ties to her grandmother and overall family unity.

e) niho – tooth, this protects the intention of the tattoo itself.

f) u’uhe – piece of turtle shell, this is to protect the wearer.

g) mata – eye, this is the eye of the piece and is meant to look out for danger and to protect.

I rarely do walk-ins but managed to fit this gentleman in and we had a blast. Mata hoata or brilliant eyes, are meant to protect from dangers both physical and mental. This is a profile rendering complete with teeth and koru at the top towards his chest for growth and prosperity in life.


a) hope vehine (single) – this single image of the hope vehine is meant to symbolize the twin goddesses of tattoo, give protection and act as an interface for any subsequent piece that is added below it.

b) niho – tooth, the two niho at the bottom of this piece are there to protect the entire tattoo. Moving diagonally upwards from left to right, the larger niho with a dark band on the outside is meant to symbolize strength. The final set of niho form the mouth of the mata hoata and act to protect from sin and to also symbolize family.

c) ka’ake – upward raised arm, this symbol is meant to symbolize courage and strength.

d) puaika – ear, this is the ear of the mata hoata.

e) ihu – nose, this is the nose of the mata hoata and symbolizes breath and life.

f) mata – eye, this is the eye of the piece and is meant to look out for danger and to protect.

g) kape – eyebrow, this is the eyebrow of the piece and is meant to convey, intelligence, beauty and attention.

h) koru – unfurling fern head, this symbolizes growth and life as he moves forward.


I have been so busy with work, planning an upcoming trip to England and just trying to live, that I haven’t had any time to post work. My bad!

I haven’t even had time to do any Polynesian tattoo break downs and I hope to rectify that soon. But for now, here is some of the work that I have done recently.

I want to thank everyone who has visited and commented on my blog. Mahalo for over 100k views!


Aloha everyone! A while back I posted about an upcoming project in the works and am pleased to report that it is finally finished!

Last fall, our beloved pup, Kiko had to be put down due to genetic complications in her intestinal tract. We are still grieving from it, and this was quite literally the most difficult circumstance that I have had to accept in my short time on this earth.

Kiko brought so much love, happiness and light into our world that her absence had, and has, a profound affect on our lives moving forward.

Anna and I decided that to pay homage to her wonderful spirit and as a way for us to work through this grief, we would create a coloring book in her honor, so that we could share her with the world.
This is unlike any other coloring book out there in that it is comprised of highly detailed, tattoo flash quality artwork. If you wanted you could scan any of these pages and get a tattoo from the art inside, lol.

The story is quirky and fun and completely captures Kiko’s personality. It is essentially about her quest to find a sunshine patch that she could lay in and warm her belly. This was totally part of her real life MO.

I drew a majority of the art; all the creatures that she encounters, in Japanese-style, complete with wind and water bars. Anna drew Kiko (drawing is not her strongest talent, although I love the way she draws, she would argue otherwise) and captured our dog’s innocence and playfulness, perfectly.

It is for sale now on my site:  and on

It is only $12 and a quarter of the sales from this book will be donated to the Big Island Dog Rescue, a non-profit organization dedicated to the relocation of adoptable dogs and cats, from Hawaii to the U.S. Mainland.

This is an adult/all-ages coloring book and it is 50 pages total with 20 of those pages being color-able artwork, so it will provide hours of entertainment.

Please check out my site for some images from the book or to place an order.

Thank you for your time and thank you for looking.