We sat down with the author and illustrator of the beloved Marked Men tattoo infographic in Eight by Eight: Issue 02 and asked them a few questions.

From the Author – John Grimwade:

How did you pick the different players/tattoos?
It was tattoo first, player second. I started with ones that are very well known by football fans (like Beckham’s tattoos), and added others that seemed to stand out from the pack. And it’s a big pack.

Which is your favorite tattoo?
Daniel Agger’s back tapestry. That is a full-on tattoo. He’s a qualified tattoo artist and has offered to tattoo the whole Liverpool squad if they win the Premier League.

Best tattoo in the illustration
Tim Cahill’s arm as a family tree is pretty stylish.

Worst tattoo in the illustration
There might be ten in contention for that prize.

Do you have any tattoos?
No. I’m the wrong generation.


From the Artist – Michael Hoeweler:

What was the brief?
To do an illustration of two figures, front and backside, marked with the best tattoos from different footballers across the globe.

What materials did you use?
Lanaquarelle hot press watercolor paper (140 lb), graphite pencils, sumi ink, synthetic watercolor brushes, .005 Micron pens, iMac, Wacom tablet, & Epson scanner.

What kind of research was required?
Tons of photo references of the tattoos and players, pictures of half-naked men (including some embarrassing Photo Booth photos), pictures of soccer balls, shoes, and shorts from an assortment of angles, and videos of the different players on Youtube.

What’s was the process you went through to get to the final illustration?
I sent in multiple variations of a single sketch, drew out the option that was approved on a 13.5″ x 21.5″ sheet of watercolor paper, painted over the drawing in watered down sumi ink, used pen to finesse the details and draw in the tattoos, scanned the illustration, edited it and added color digitally.

tattoo_sketch tattoo_sketch2

Hardest tattoo to illustrate
Thierry Henry’s phoenix sleeve.

Favorite tattoo to illustrate
Tim Cahill’s family timeline sleeve, inspired by his Samoan heritage.

Do you have any tattoos?
Tattoos are awesome, but not on me I would look ridiculous.

A feature article from Issue 02. Order your subscription from our Shop.

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