New Tattoo Isn’t What You Wanted?
Following on from my previous post about tattoos, I have gone against everything I said. When researching an article on Monday morning I dropped in to a local tattoo parlour to hear a story about a bizarre design featuring several bunny rabbits (aww) racing up a gentleman’s thigh and disappearing into his, ahem, warren. Not the happiest of endings for the poor rabbit, but it made for an amusing tale. While I was there and overcome by the sound of the drills and aroma of the surgical spirits, I mentioned an idea I had in mind for a tattoo on my left wrist; something uplifting and decisive to signify my career change and celebrate the art of writing.
I imagined an ornate fountain pen and ink well, delicately drawn and approximately two square inches. As an after thought I changed this to a pen in action writing the words ‘fear not’ (my favourite and utterly understated line from the 1922 silent movie, Nosferatu). The studio owner and artist, Rob, made no effort to conceal his opinion ie. he told me it was rubbish and I believe he also said boring. Rob suggested replacing the pen with a quill as the feather would add texture and movement, with lots of shading so it wouldn’t look like a stamp. We were clearly on different wave lengths and I left him to prepare several sketches certain that I’d return unsatisfied and reluctant to work on it further.
This afternoon I rocked up to Rob’s place resolved to politely turn down his service: then I checked out his designs. He’d made three options, of which none were even close to what we’d talked over, but I sure liked them anyway. So, after a brief argument about which way up is technically correct (and me choosing what I wanted instead of taking his advice), Rob started work. 30 minutes later it was finished. My new tattoo.
It’s larger than intended with a lot of unnecessary shading – which was not discussed or approved at any point – and yes, the ink well may resemble a toothpaste tube…but I love it. It’s brash, dynamic and imperfect. I love the sepia tone with the eye-catching white sweep, and the spur of the moment decision simply adds to the meaning.