Halo sat in a crowded hotel ballroom hunched over pictures of Johnny Depp. Tattooed crescents framed Halo’s eyes, and blue and green curls crept like vines from the neckband of his black T-shirt. He wore his hair in a vertical black and green Mohawk and jaguar spots dotted one side of his pale scalp. Even at a tattoo convention, Halo was a highly visible specimen.
In the photos, Depp looked sexy-paranoid; his eyes veered sideways as if someone was following him. The night before, Halo had watched the thriller Secret Window to capture screen shots and absorb Depp’s character. This was all in preparation for tattooing Depp’s portrait onto Sarah Garza, a bubbly tattoo artist from Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Sarah wore stylish plastic glasses set off by an Orion’s belt of studs embedded in the skin below her right eye. Anticipating a long ordeal—the tattoo would take about five hours—she came prepared with an iPhone and a water bottle full of something alcoholic.
“The wetness in his eyes. The pores on his face,” Halo rhapsodized. “I’m gonna capture it all, darling. You’re gonna love it.”