Monday, September 08, 2008

A New Tattoo

Some of you may know that I have a tattoo on the right side of my lower back; others may not. For reference, here's a picture of it:

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I've had it for about three years, I think, and love love love it. It reminds me that I'm a writer, and always will. From the lame little cobbled-together sketch/clipart I brought the tattoo artist came this beautiful, elegant picture etched onto my skin in the perfect colours. I'm SO pleased with it.

In the last few months, I've been pondering the idea of another tattoo. I've looked at probably hundreds of pictures online, doing searches for this or that, and saving pictures I liked, though I may only like one thing about them. At last I have an idea of what I want, more or less, and went in to make an appointment at the tattoo shop today. It's not until the 14th of October, since these guys are the best and most popular in town. And the cost is a bit more than what I was originally thinking. But I know I'll be really pleased with the end product (and so will my husband, which is important as he'll be seeing it more often than even I will). Below are my plans for the design.

(Warning: photos of bare backs and sides below)

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Do you like my GIMP photo-editing skills? Amazing, no? This is the general shape I want it to be. It will start at my left hip and wrap up and around, stopping in the middle of (or maybe just below) my right shoulderblade so I can still keep it covered for whatever jobs I may have and look professional. I want dark brown for the branch, and a deep pink for the flowers. I'm not set on this placement of branches or flowers, though; the tattoo guys draw all their designs, and if they could make such a great picture out of the ideas I brought for my first tattoo, I trust them to do well with this one, too.

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I want the branches to look like this, with the knots and the high- and lowlights. A little twisted and old-looking, but still, I think, pretty.

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I like the look of these flowers, though I'd want them a little darker than this. But the size and shape of them are pleasing, and I like that some are just buds while others are full flowers; I might even want a few of mine to be missing a petal, or drifting down from the branch. I might also want a couple little green leaves here and there on mine; I don't love the pink ones here. (This tattoo was to cover up some scars from surgery, which you can see if you look closely. Interesting, I think.)

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This has little to do with cherry blossoms (and is, I think, unfinished), but I like the dimension of the leaves, how you can see the underside of some of them and how some are turned. I want some of the flowers in my design to do this.

I think it will be really pretty, but in addition to that, I like the significance cherry blossoms have in Japanese culture. People there have cherry blossom viewing parties in the spring, when they gather for the sole purpose of admiring the short-lived flowers at a scenic park or friend's home. The blossoms last for such a brief time, yet are incredibly beautiful during that time. It speaks of the transitory nature of life. Westerners would use the term carpe diem - sieze the day. James 4:14: "whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." I think it's a good thing to keep in mind: to live life to the fullest, to do the greatest good you can with what time you're given.

Feedback on the design? Suggestions? I'm not very artistic when it comes to drawing and designing, so any help would be appreciated. And I'll certainly post pictures once it's done!

3 comments:

sarahgrace said...

Way cool! I like that you've chosen a design to kind of complement your body shape, I think those are some of the best tattoos. Can't wait to see your after pics!

mikkers said...

I really like what you have so far! It's given me a bit of an inspiration as well. I've been thinking for a long time of getting some sort of tatto on my shoulderblade or lower back, but have been iffy on exactly if I want to do it and when. I think it's really cool that you posted this topic because my main tattoo thought has been of trees too. Maybe cherry blossoms or a weeping willow or something. In Japanese, "Miki" means "tree trunk"/"flower stalk" and refers to the delicate yet solid nature of a plant's trunk that supports everything else.

Please let us know how you get on with this, photos are demanded :).

Jenny said...

I LOVE that idea! I'm particularly partial to cherry blossoms too! That will look fantastic on you :)