Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Love Me Some Ink

As you may or may not know I've got a little thing for tattoos. I've got two and Antoine's got six (one of which he's getting worked on/expaned today...part of the reason I've got ink on the brain!). I've always thought they were intriging (and I've always found them attractive on the opposite sex), mainly the idea of wearing art on your skin. Plus, they're! Then when I was 20 I got my first tattoo, a small celtic symbol on my left wrist...
It wasn't until I started thinking about this tattoo that I realized that these physical pieces of art could also be tributes to the people who mean the most in my life. When contemplating my first tattoo I considered something related to one of my favorite songs, either Blackbird or At the Bottom of Everything, but nothing seemed to click. I wanted something small and simple that would mean a lot to me, so I thought, "why not do something to represent my family?"

As with many people of Irish descent looking for a tattoo design (particularly for their first tattoo) a celtic symbol entered my mind. So after research I found the triquetra... of the most popular of all the celtic knots (and I'll admit, not the most original thing in the world, but oh well). It's also known as the Trinity knot because in Christian tradition it represents the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But before that it represented Body, Mind and Spirit, among other things (and many many centuries later it would come the first thing you see on the intro for Charmed. And, yes, I get asked pretty frequently if I really like Charmed). But at it's core it represents three...and that's what made me choose it. Three has always been somewhat key in my grandma always used to say, "Good/bad things happen in threes". Also, it seemed like the perfect way to incorporate the three most important people in my life at the mom, dad, and sister. So there's the story behind the first one.

Now, onto the second. I completed my second tattoo about a year ago. It had been something that had been in the works about a year or so after my first tattoo (when I got the "itch" for ink). I had a general idea of what I wanted, but I didn't have an artist (which wasn't that big of a deal for the first one since it wasn't that intricate) and I didn't have the money (big tattoos cost big $$). But I knew I wanted another family related tattoo (this time representing the important women in my life) and one that included flowers. I finally decided on a group of four flowers, a flower to represent each woman...their favorite flower or the flower that reminds me of them. I ended up getting a rose for my grandma, an iris for my mom, a lily for my sister and an orchid for myself.

My first sitting for my second tattoo was in February '09, just before my 24th birthday. This sitting set up the outline...
Even after that first sitting I was indescribably psyched by this tattoo. Not only did it mean so much to me personally, but I knew that with the artist I had chose that it was going to turn out beautifully. What I didn't predict is that it would take nearly four months to finish.
The slow progress was frustrating, but at the same time it was so wonderful to see how the tattoo progressed and to experience how involved other people got into its progress. Co-workers would ask about it, tell others about it and be generally amazed. Near the middle of May '09 I had my fifth (of six) sittings and it was finally coming together...
Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the finished product (or at least I can't find it), but it's pretty close to this. I love it! But unfortunately it's only made my itch for ink worse. Now I've got a wide variety of ideas for at least seven additional tattoos, one of which includes making this flower piece into a full sleeve (having the flowers progress into greenery and then a koi pond with two koi fish). Crazy, I know!

Right now I'm trying to resist the urge for ink, however strong it is, since there are more practical things that I should be spending/saving my money on/for. But it's always in the back of my head! Plus, one of my friends Sarah (a former Sbuxer and the wife of Jake, the artist who did my flowers) will shortly be apprenticing to become a tattoo artist and I've already been promised some free practice ink! Yay!

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