I have been wanting to do this for a few years, and have been, it seems, annoying a few people with that desire. I was finally challenged to put up or shut up via a gift certificate for my birthday. Yesterday I took the bit in my teeth, or the needle in my arm, and headed downtown to do the deed.
I actually ended up with Chuck at Pepper Shade Tattoo which is the sister shop to Blu Gorilla and is right across the street (and some railroad tracks). Chuck is a friend of my long time buddy Ingrid Tugwell, and so came highly recommended. The shop was cool in that funky tattoo parlor kind of way, though I still cannot get over listening to Milli Vanilli in the place. I am hoping it was just a poor choice by the radio station.
Anyway, the time came, the design was given, and the ink flowed. It really didn’t hurt much at all. Honestly, the entire process was far less painful than some of the physical therapy I have been going through for my bum knee.
I was quite surprised by how little time it all took. I suppose that since I have been working on the design for so long, and building it up in my mind, that I was somehow duped into thinking the transfer would be complex. Not so. It was quick and simple. In truth, the design is only two lines, a swirl, and some embellishment.
More about that design a little later, but I will tell you this. When I first called to make the appointment for the tattoo my request was greeted with a bit of silence on the other end of the phone. “You want,” the gentleman hesitated, “a geometric pig’s ear?”
“No, no,” I quickly corrected. “A geometric figure. Figure. Not pig’s ear.” Luckily that was the end of that. Although come to think of it, maybe that is why they made my appointment in the secondary shop across the road. “Let’s not have this wacko coming in and scaring the customers with tattoos of pig anatomy.” I can hear it now.
First, the base inside the loop is the base of us all. The body. The physical. From there the path reaches up to the high point, the mind. Our intellect. It then goes back down, deep within, to the soul. Our spirit. Once the spirit becomes involved the straight lines cease and the path shoots back up to circle around and encompass who we are or who we were, and then it shoots off. Off to the right, to the East, to the rising of the Sun and the future. Those are the basics of it.
Additionally, note that the inside base and first line area a bit like a typewriter font; mechanical machine printed typography. The long vertical line transforms into what resembles an ink pen – notice the quill or fountain pen nib end at the bottom. And then the ink. The ink, the story, our lives, is the loop which flows out of our writing and off into its own. There is a line runs round the world…
There are other forms hidden in the design too. Different people who look at it see different figures, things that strike home to them, and that is great. I myself can see patterns and characters, logos and letters – all varied, all real, and all depending on my mood.
So yes, I am very happy with it. It is mine, and it is me. And it is here to stay.