Iguana Mike

This is Iguana Mike, a client of Shawn O’Hare‘s at Charlies House of Tattoos and Body Piercing in Ventura County, CA. What interests me the most about Mike’s (intense) modifications is the asymmetry — I think he’s one of the only people I can think of with such large changes where literal reflective balance has not been an issue.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by BMEzine.com LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by BMEzine.com LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

95 thoughts on “Iguana Mike

  1. I definitely see what you mean, Shannon, but at the same time, there’s a certain assymetrical balance to it all. I can live without mirror image – no balance tends to make me twitchy.

  2. I don’t know nearly as much about mods as you do, Shannon, and certainly not about implants, but couldn’t it be that the star was originally straight and then tilted off to one side during healing? I mean, implants do migrate, don’t they?

  3. yeah implants can migrate, maybe he wanted it that way. who knows.
    the star though is a huge implant, wow so cool, would prefer somewhere else myself but nevertheless an amazing addition

  4. I definitely don’t mean to imply there’s anything wrong with it, I hope it didn’t read that way! I assumed it was intentional because there are a different number of ridges/horns on each side.

  5. The implants are awesome! I would love to have implants like that someday, depending on where I end up in life. Until then, I love to see new and bold implants. Thank you for posting this!

  6. I think the guy just did some bad work on him. I dont think the guy wanted everything to be off.The transdermals are all off the star is all off and it looks like the ridge had 3 in at one time but cut one out. I might be wrong on that but even if the guy says they are fine im goin to view it as one of them kids that insists their piercing is not rejecting when you can see half the bar exposed

  7. I think it looks intentional….I have no personal experience with implants, but even if it had migrated wouldn’t something that big be somewhat difficult for the body to migrate that far off center without pushing it out of the skin?

  8. I think the fact the his transdermal mohawk goes off to the left side of his head is a sign that the asymmetry is intentional. The transdermals taking a path towards the back left part of his head seem to balance out how far to the right the star is leaning.

  9. I think if shannon would have said it looked messed up alot of thee views would have been different. I just think the guy has not done too much implant work. Cause you look threw his portfolio and will see that coincidently most the people in there must have wanted off center twisted work then. I understand everyone startin off does some worse work and in time gets better and alot of implants tend to go where they want especially on the head but that alot of messed up lookin work to walk around with exposed.

  10. I wonder if the star came after the transdermals. I think if the star was centered there may have been a conflict with the top point and the bottom dermal.

  11. I won’t comment on the work (or outcome of it), each one can just look through the portfolio and make up their own mind.

    I’m just curious where he entered with such a big implant and with the mohawk and the side implants already in place…

  12. Even iguana mike knows his mohawk is off. it was discussed at APP. as well as why he removed one of the domes and the incident with pushing too hard he forced the elevator out his scalp. The star is the main thing though i think that bothers me. i seen alot of crooked transdermal mohawks as well as sub horns. hell i have yet to see a perfect straight set of sub horns but the way the star was done in such a visible place so large and not done better then it was. If you are new at some of this work and dont do much i just wish they would stick to shit the person does not have to be criticized for every day of his life is all. i was not knockin the guy or the practioner.

  13. Well, if the microdermal-hawk is off, the star might as well be too! The fact that it’s not symmetrical makes me uncomfortable ,but it’s still very striking.

  14. I saw both of them at the last tattoo convention in my area and was wholly disappointed.

    That said…I don’t think the asymmetry looks intentional. But who really cares as long as IM is happy with the work. It is HIS face, after all.

  15. Looking at the portfolio of Shawn’s other work, this definitely doesn’t look like it was intentionally asymmetrical to me.

    Most of the piercing work in his portfolio is pretty shoddy at best, including scarred surface work with inappropriate jewelry. I suppose it’s arguable that THAT was inentionally the look the client was going for as well, but I doubt that also.

    Personally, it looks to me like another case of someone wanting to do the most “extreme” stuff possible without educating themselves first. The whole “walk before you run” thing comes to mind.

    That being said, the implant work is definitely visually interesting from a ‘wow, that’s a huge implant’ perspective. So if ‘more extreme than the next guy’ is what he was going for, then… well… mission accomplished.

  16. Eeeeek!!! I couldn’t cope with it all being that wonky. Even if he has it that way by choice, it’d drive me mad!!! I’m a firm believer in symmetry…

    But hey, if he’s happy, then thats all that really matters. :o)

  17. Who knows where stuff was supposed to be, but I also think, as another poster has mentioned, that the star seems to be pushing down on his brow a bit. Considering that this picture shows him calm and unsuprised, I wonder how well these feel when his brow is raised significantly. it just seems like those lower points are going to impede the normal facial contortions.

  18. I agree with those who suggested looking through the artist’s portfolio. It definitely helped me make up my mind about whether the asymmetry is intentional or bad work.

  19. Fuckin Haters!
    here’s the story
    the ridges came first, after i did the ridges, Mike hit his head on the middle ridge, and when it healed the silicone was exposed, and he had a surgeon friend take it out.
    Next came the mohawk, it’s slightly off, but Mike marked it and at the time, it did look straight, and the spike does make it look a bit more off. the elevator did go through, it happened, and it was corrected, Mike held no hard feelings.The skin thinned out, and the elevator went through., and i sewed it up.
    Last came the star, Mike wanted it done, we discussed the details, and both agreed that it would be experimental, may or may not heal, and would not be center w/ his forehead.
    The star did heal great, and Mike’s had no problems w/ it at all.
    As far as my work goes, i do what i feel comfortable with, I’ve seen work from just about every 3-D artist and Good and Bad.
    Mike’s forehead isn’t my best work, but he’s happy and i’ve done several more implants on him since.
    Stigmata has to much time on his hands to type all that crap, keep it to yourself, and find a good tattoo artist to cover all your ”bad” work.
    this took tooo much time to write.

  20. I like the overall outcome, personally.

    The star’s leaning point makes up for the lack of a middle dome on that side, and the offcenter placement makes it line up perfectly with the slightly diagonal mohawk… The whole effect reminds me of a shooting star.
    I think it’s nice, and though not symmetrical, definitely balanced.

  21. Shawn – Can you tell me where the entrance cut is for the Star subdermal and how long it was please, it seems quite well hidden.

    Don’t get too wound up on negative comments, surely it is part and parcel of every artist’s life to take all commentary on their work and not just the positive. How many who have commented could do better? Certainly not me.

    I find negative, constructive criticism far more interesting to read than simply “WOW, that’s like SO cool”.

  22. the entrance wound(s) are by the left point and the top point. i originally made the one by the left point, then made a 2nd cut to do some final adjustments on the right side. the cuts were small, took 3-4 stitches each.
    Iguana said it looked like a shooting star too:)

    and to wrap it up, I debated on posting Iguanas forehead work for a while, once it was all healed up, i decided to post them. i’m happy w/ the final results, even though they aren’t exactly perfect, they are cool.

    not everybody does work they’re thrilled about, but i was man enough to post it anyway, so yeah.

  23. Shawn,
    Not everyone is a hater. When you post things, rightly or wrongly you have to expect good and bad comments.

    Twelve people could be put in a room and asked to comment, it would probably be a 33% spilt, some loving it, some border line, others hating it and voicing their opinions.

    This picture has been taken with lighting that would show up every small detail. Im sure when this man is seen in the flesh he looks much different.

    It seems at least you were responsible and spent time discussing that is was ‘experimental’.

    This is a genuine question shawn, so no beating me up plz:) Do people who carry out your type of work have to have some sort of medical background? As some of the mods you are asked for seem pretty hardcore.

  24. HAHAH too much time…hell I have talked about this with so many mod artists and we all agree. Nobody wants to type shit cause there is enough drama in the scene to begin with. You do bad work expect people to point it out. If i seen you do good work i would say something nice. i just have not seen too much or anything nice enough to comment on. not my fault.atleast with bad ink i know its bad…hell i wont try to whine and insult people and deny it is bad. lose the ego buddy.If I was tryin to be rude or a dick I would have posted annymous..I posted under my name cause i had nothing to hide .

  25. Whatever the original intention, I think it looks great and doesn’t overpower his face either, which is pretty amazing considering the size of the implant… Plus stars look great.

  26. There is drama in the scene, and people like John(stigmata) cause it. I’ve seen bad work from every mod artist, and didn’t say shit. if you have nothing nice to say, shut the fuck up! considering all the other MODBLOG stuff Shannon has posted of mine, why you choose to comment badly on this one out of all of them is beyond me. next time, type your words more carefully, cause you come off like a jerk.

  27. If i am coming of like a jerk you are coming off like an ignorant , egotistical asshole in denial of his own shitty work. I didnt start shit…i called bad work bad work. Its not my fault you seen bad work and didnt comment on it.probably just sat around talkin shit behind their backs though like people do in thie piercing world. I have never wanted to comment on other stuff cause the focus was not on you. it was on that amount of bad work down so visibly on one person. If i dont have anything nice to say…blah blah. You cant take one bad negative comment on your own mistakes so you start more drama about me to take the blane off the fact you openly admitted to it all being off. everything your sayin not to do you are contradicting yourself and sayin it about me. so there is a point its ok then in your eyes to comment on bad work afterall then i guess.

  28. I’ll be completely honest. All discussion of asymmetry aside, whether it was meant to be crooked, whether or not the transdermals looked straight (or centered) in the beginning, that star at that size in a forehead is at the top of my list of irresponsible things i’ve seen done in quite awhile. It’s my opinion that the wrong people seeing someone walking around with that star in his forehead is what’s gonna push higher level legislation to the forefront. Sometimes it’s just ethically better to say, “that’s not the greatest idea.” I’m just really glad he had no problems with it.

  29. I feel that regardless of how any of us feel about the “outcome” of the work, it is worth respecting the person who lives in the body the work is on, and it is worth respecting the artist who did the work. It was stated that the star was experimental. I think that was an extraordinarily bold move to make, as I have not seen an implant with such placement, size, or shape before. Further, incidents with healing the mohawk explain issues there. Asymetrical or not, the bottom line is that calling work “shitty,” as if it is an objective matter is rude to the artist and the bearer of the work.

  30. Honestly, I didn’t notice the asymmetry at first. My first thought was similar to AshesOfAnIris’…”Holy crap, he looks like Moby!”

  31. I don’t see why the transdermal would effect it being centered…can’t you just turn the star so the transderm is lined up with a “dip” instead of a point?

  32. …also that would have put the lower point straight down the bridge line…instead of smooshin his brow.

  33. I’m over it, anything else, just say to me in person, Iguana’s happy, i’m cool w/ it, and he gets positive reactions from it. Nobody asked for drama, and this is worse then high school, keep your negative comments to yourself, cause nobody asked you,hater.

  34. Now why is it everytime you say keep your negative comments to yourself..you follow it with some type of negative comment right back… high school you say…shit i feel more like im talkin to some kid in 4th grade. Only drama i see is what you are making it. Just a few people here sayin you did bad work. no big deal

  35. Probably not the best idea to be complaining about “haters” and accusing other people of acting like they’re in high school in the same post, Shawn.

  36. Hater is not a high school term, a hater is exactly that, a hater. All this crap was unprovoked by me,quit nitpicking my posts.
    and i’ve never heard a 4th grader say hater.

  37. I don’t quite understand why bad work should go without comment?

    I don’t say anything because I haven’t been piercing long enough to be correcting other pro’s mistakes really [sometimes I wish I could]. But I feel like it’s irresponsible of professionals in this industry to just let bad work slide…

    Maybe that’s just me…and maybe that’s wierd. I just think it would be better all around if artists in the field were less resistant to criticism of their work. Take it in stride.

    I mean…how are we supposed to keep learning and advancing if we’re all going to have our undies in a twist every time someone says something that isn’t entirely positive?

  38. Shaun,
    Did you expect to receive nothing but praise on this posting. Its real life my friend it dosnt happen.

    Maybe if you had just responded in a responsible manner instead of calling people ‘Fucking haters’ you would not have stirred up so much interest. Or maybe thats what you wanted.

    There is always someone in life who will stick a barb in your ass just for the hell of it to see if they can get you to respond exactly how you have.

    If you and your client are genuingly happy with your work then why not sit back on your laurels and admire the results.

  39. Lol I love it here ive been banned and kicked from so many other web sites for just expressing my open and honest opinion. It’s just my opinion but the STAR is placed and in perfect order it’s his head that is out of whack… lol I have some really nice tattoos that inmy opion are not perfect and symetrical and at first it gets to me but then I remind myself that I am not A perfect symetrical Buddha myself and I learn to be more accepting of who i am and actually enjoy and take pleasures in my im- perfect self.

  40. I think the star is successful for just healing such a large implant. The fact that it may have moved is the same as any migrated modification, and it doesn’t detract from the fact that this massive implant survived and doesn’t show a massive insertion scar along with it.

    I’m assuming that to move it around at this point would be difficult because of scar tissue? But even so, if everyone’s happy with the evolution process, then just go with it and learn from it.

  41. its not that its not even spunto have the point up its that its way off anyway. that should not have doen all that. migartion is not the cause of that. and when i was talkin about the 4th grader shit..i didnt mean hater…although times have changed and im sure they use it in some 4th grade some place now.i was referrin to the name callin and finger pointing towards me and whoever else didnt suck up and praise you. as for the scar i think that photo there has been photoshopped because i saw other pics where you see the scar much easier and larger.

  42. If the person this is on is happy with it, I think that’s the end of the story, personally. Especially if it was an experiment. Some experiments succeed exactly as expected, and some don’t.

  43. I didn’t expect praise, or to have the pic on MODBLOG, what i didn’t expect is such rude comments. words like ”shitty” to describe ones work/face is just uncalled for. Some people should just keep their comments about the work, and thats it, this all went way off-track, and is unnecessary.

  44. Really, Shawn, if anybody should have kept their mouth shut around here, it’s you. At the beginning of this thread, most people were talking about how the asymmetry was intentional, and how cool it looked.

    Once you stuck your nose in here, complaining about “haters” like you were Kevin Federline or something, and made it clear what an immature twit you were, the thread changed rather drastically. There are half-a-dozen pictures on your page of clearly asymmetrical, sloppy piercing work, and you yourself react childishly to criticism.

    I don’t hate you. I do think you do bad work, though, and I don’t think people should be paying you money to modify their bodies.

    Now, go ahead, complain about how much time I must have taken to write this. Four whole paragraphs of my life that I’ll never get back.

  45. All I have to say is that this piece is pretty intense looking. The fact that the star is off center irritates me personally because I have stuff that looks off balance ir isn’t symmetrical. That however is just me being an anal retentive bitch.

    I personally wouldn’t stick something like that on my forehead by somewhere else would be quite cool.

    Shawn everyone has an opinion, being an artist you have to be open to critisim, that’s just the way it is. Not that i’m trying to be rude or anything it’s just fact.

    Take it at face value and look where it’s coming from ( no offense guys).

    As long as the client is happy with the end result, that’s all that should matter.

  46. wow, i was wondering what iguana mike had been up to and where he went.
    he did my first piercing almost three years ago, and i wrote an article on him in high school.
    looks like he’s been having fun.

  47. I’d just like to keep in known that i said nothing about the quality of work or whether this artist was or is “qualified” to do these types of procedures. Merely the repercussion of A: attempting it, especially if it failed, as a test and B: the public response to “amateur” artists performing such extreme work and it’s impact on legislation. I’m not going to try to say that everything i do goes off without a hitch, but, i think i did a pretty good job with Corinna’s bamboo backpiece scarification and that thing is circulating every website on the net these days, as well as spam emailing, with terrible feedback. It’s just a better idea these days to play it a little more safely, i think.

  48. I’d just like to keep in known that i said nothing about the quality of work or whether this artist was or is “qualified” to do these types of procedures. Merely the repercussion of A: attempting it, especially if it failed, as a test and B: the public response to “amateur” artists performing such extreme work and it’s impact on legislation. I’m not going to try to say that everything i do goes off without a hitch, but, i think i did a pretty good job with Corinna’s bamboo backpiece scarification and that thing is circulating every website on the net these days, as well as spam emailing, with terrible feedback. It’s just a better idea these days to play it a little more safely, i think. Portfolio artists will end up aiding the decline of the industry.

  49. Here I come to save the day!!! It’s the perfect one, Iguana…lol just joking. I have three things to say and I’ll leave it at that.
    1) Lets start with my implants, I am very happy with the implants that Shawn has done on me. I know that they are not perfectly straight, the star was planned that way due additional work that will be completed in the future. The ridges however are my fault, I was stupid and drunk in Mexico….needless to say it is expected that when you recently get work done you should not fall on your face drunk…due to my mistake one had to be removed due to the lack of bloodflow after my Mexico incident.
    2) I was not put in this world to impress anyone except my parents, I am sorry that you were not impressed with Shawn or myself. (you know who you are) and hopefully we will be able to meet at the APP conference where you can get to know me better.
    3)I have recently come into my own personally complications due to being diabetic for 22 years. It might force me to retire from my life’s passion. Due to the lack of bloodflow to my eyes, I have been told by my doctors that by this summer I will loose 30-50 percent of my sight. So I will leave you with this, you only live once so live like there is no tomorrow and be happy with the modifications that you are able to get.
    Your friend to all,
    Iguana Mike

    PS. Happy New Year

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  51. Hmmm …o well still think that u have a crooked head.It is said that the key to vitality is to practice 3 hours of inversion everyday…one would think that it would help the blood flow to your eyes. There are many devices to help people new to inversion lifestyle. ~_0

  52. Well hey.

    Intentional or not, I kinda like the star off balance, it looks sort of like a stamp, to me. But, I like assymetrical artworks generally too.

    I agree with the post waaaayyyyy upthread that it looks like a shooting star.

  53. “I’d just like to keep in known that i said nothing about the quality of work or whether this artist was or is “qualifiedâ€? to do these types of procedures. Merely the repercussion of A: attempting it, especially if it failed, as a test and B: the public response to “amateurâ€? artists performing such extreme work and it’s impact on legislation.”

    xPUREx – by making the statement that you are saying nothing about the quality of work of this artist yet are worried about the repercussions of the public response to “amateur” artists, then by implication you are stating this artist to be amateur? Please correct me if i read this wrong..

  54. unless he has a big neon sign with at least 4 differant colors to it he is considered a total amatuer. Sorta like how I only choose a tattoo shop that offer’s buy1-get1 free

  55. To Iguana,
    Im so sorry to hear about your medical problems, couple of my friends are diabetic, its a toughie to live with.

    I am just curious, would it not help your illness if you changed your body back to a totally natural state, no foreign bodies?

    I know, I know we only live once :)

    Hugz x

  56. I hate to bust bubbles on here, but anyone performing that type of work here IS “Amatuer”…to the best of my knowledge there is NO ONE even remotely close to being a “Qualified plastic surgeon” on this website at all. Just because someone is a professional piercer doesn’t make them “Qualified” to do that type of work at all. It is of GREAT risk of a piercer to attempt those type of procedures, and should hopefully relay that info to their customers requesting that sort of work.

    I have to agree with XPUREX here that that type of implant and placement is by far a “Bad idea” and the practitioner is lucky that the guy is OK.

    The fact that lots of people commenting here think that it’s amazing that a large implant healed nicely is very odd, because it’s not…larger reconstructive facial surgeries and gigantic breast augmentation surgeries around the world are being performed daily with excellent results. The fact is that an implant of that size is best not suited for the middle of a forehead where movement is so great.

    and again…we should be so lucky that nothing extremely bad happened from a procedure like this in the U.S. This entire industry is walking a REAL fine line with these type of procedures being done so publicly now.

  57. hmmmmmmm so he says he wanted a crooked implant done. in my opinion thats a cop out cause what can you really say to bad work cept make excuses. even shawn awhile back said it was experimental and off. hell do you not recall the conversation in vegas about the work bein off? im guessing yes..but you say you wanted it that way for future work … i really hope your not goin to try to cram anything else in your face. I do have a question though…. At first i thought the star was the new 2″hollow ones but it looks much bigger like its 3inches…which is it

  58. i am correcting you, Jesus. by “amateur”, i mean not a doctor. “amateur” as seen by the professional public.

  59. xPUREx – thankyou, i understand the context now and agree.

    _Stigmata_ – you are an ass.

  60. I just looked at iguanas pic again, would it even have been possible to have had the star totally upright, surely it would be too close to the first spike on top of his head?
    Maybe a smaller star would have been better, just a thought.
    Hes hot star or no star :)

  61. That star should not have been put in there in the first place. actually if the star had been done centered and upright it could have worked fine because the spike would have been off to the side of it with room to spare

  62. Stigmata, you seem to be an expert on the subject, have you had simular work done yourself?

  63. what a waste of money….you look like an idiot. Seriously….how much of an attention whore do you have to be to get a hockey puck in the form of a star crammed in your skull…looks sweet man!!

  64. I like the horns, but wtf is up with the star? Thats just begging for a pimp slap. It is just plain unsightly….

  65. yeah im an expert in an unperfected art. bottom line is that is way to big to have ever put in there and should have been done by someone with a little more knowledge on doin the work. i dont think anyone with a good background and good name in the field would have done that and felt comfortable doin it. im sure there are a few artists out there that will do anything for money and could care less about the client. a smaller star would have been a much better choice

  66. Stiggi,
    The trouble is my friend, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, if iguana is happy, then maybe we should all just be happy for him.
    Im guessing you have mods yourself?
    I think maybe you did those for yourself. In life we cannot please all the people all the time. Sometimes we just have to do things for ourselves and hope those around us like what we have done.
    I personally would not dare to make these changes myself. They are life time decisions, I change my mind to often. Half way through a tattoo I would be thinking, erm maybe I should have done it a different way. Thats why I admire people who make these life time decisions.
    Hugz x

  67. Hey if he is happy then he is happy. im not taking that away from him. but i will not sit back and not speak up about bad, unsafe unskilled people doin work they should not have done. it makes all artists in the field look bad cause of one person. it bothers me though cause mike himself in vegas admitted they were off and shawn admitted they were off then he says he wanted it that way. thats just a lie… its like people that have bad ink. when you point it out its off they alot of times cop out and say i wanted it that way. just cause at that point what can you say. yeah i know my work is shit but what can i do. that dude has issues with his health. i think thats not the best thing to be doin experimental stuff on him then.

  68. Morning Stiggi,
    Im sat laughing at your last posting, no not like that, I could have writtin it myself thats why im laughing :)
    I am the same way I dont back off when I think something is wrong.

    I dont know much about implants, but on posting 66, I feel the same way, if someone is sick should these type of implants have been done. I would think a healthy body has trouble coping with this level of implant.

    The trouble is I think only one person is getting hurt over this and thats iguana, and maybe right now he dont need that just some support.

    Shawn just seems thick skinned, his way of dealing with things is to accuse everyone of being ‘haters’. Even his webpage calls people haters.

    Have a good one.

  69. People who like implants are gay, almost as gay as people who get them, if you want to look like gay mutants then wash your genitals in toxic waste or radioactive material

  70. yeah but whose fault is it that mike got hurt of people noticing his work is way off. not mine. thats why i said at the beginning that if you were experimenting on such a big peice to do it in a more hgidden area. the public can be mean when they see visible work they dont agree on. its life

  71. His Iris’s look so burgundy. That’s pretty. I think the shifted and off-centeredness of it all makes it look a little natural? We are all too used to perfectly centered peices.

  72. I personally think it looks disgusting, i love tattoos and piercings but this looks f**k ugly.

  73. he looks like moby ! look at the first pic and picture him with glasses like moby he looks just like him

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  76. I heard since that Iguana has removed the star and replaced it with a doughnut implant. I guess he didnt think it looked THAT good, after all. lol

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