Choosing a tattoo artist has proven to be a more difficult task than I thought. Since I have the artwork already, I need someone who will be able to execute it well, able to capture the subtle differences in the values of leaves of the bamboo, and the motion of the swaying branches.
So far I've met with Martin at Lucky Stars, Kahlil at Tatto City, Doug at Staircase, Jill and Horitaka at State of Grace, Nate at True Art and Jeff at Graven.
Horiataka and Jill at State of Grace declined to do it, because it's a difficult tattoo and I think they are more interested in doing custom jobs rather than reproductions. Totally understandable.
In the future I'll definitely consider either of those two to ink one of my limbs. Something custom, something that they'd like to do... hopefully something they'd like to put in their portfolio.
So far quotes have ranged from $130 an hour to $150. The time to do my design has been estimated at 4-5 hours. So the entire thing will run $700 at the most, hopefully.
At any rate I've yet to decide on an artist. I think I'm leaning toward Kahlil or Doug. Both of them seem to handle subtle tonality changes very well. So in the coming months we'll see what happens with my decision making.