Tattoo Junkie

I adore tattoos.

Not being one for impulsive ink, I prefer to mull over styles, colours and compositions. I’m ready for my next drilling but it’s been a struggle to come up with a compelling design. After much thought I fell upon the ideas of a) typewriters and b) moths.

So to give a little context, it shall be a quarter sleeve, elbow to armpit: a gnarled, knotted tree trunk at the centre becoming roots at the pit. Several images will emanate from it, akin to leaves, with the overall feeling of vibrant, dark, swirling images in graphic detail.

Now to choose those crucial and, I guess meaningful, leaves. One shall be a moth, one a typewriter and *ahem*…so on.


Below is an example of a wonderful typewriter called the Malling-Hansen writing ball. The first typewriter ever! Manufactured by a teacher to the deaf and dumb as an aide to communication. It represents a monumental point in written communication. A beautiful machine and, apparently, an accurate and efficient tool.

Malling-Hansen writing ball, created in 1870 by Reverend Rasmus Hans Malling Johan Hansen

The alternative is this fabulous, almost ridiculous looking, contraption. It has the classic, square-shaped keyboard and qwerty organised letters.

Bar-lock front strike, created in the 1890s by the Columbia Typewriter Company

It was hardly a successful model, but the Gothic eccentricity appeals.


With a mere 165,000 species of Lepidoptera in the world, how to select one? Ideally striking, uncommon and suitable for graphic interpretation, the several options include:

Io moth

Io moth

  • pleasing silhouette
  • incredible colours
  • two, large piercing eyes
  • a slighty mottled look to its upper wings
  • presence in Ontario, Canada
  • looks a little too similar to a butterfly

Great Peacock moth

Great Peacock moth

  • charcoal grey
  • more complex, speckled design
  • uncommon. The only recorded UK sighting was in my birth year. A sign?

Emperor moth

Emperor moth

  • both male and female are equally pretty
  • common in Britain, with many in Wales
  • famously painted by Van Gogh in Saint-Rémy hospital
  • very similar to the Great Peacock, but the extra eyes are somewhat excessive

So, there be my dilemma. The next stage is seeking out a suitable artist; yet another epic quest.

Open to suggestions and recommendations.