Ink-spiration

Having gotten quite a few tattoos done in the last few months, they have come up in conversation quite frequently at work. It’s rare that I’ll go out of my way to discuss my tattoos (except for one here, of course) as I know the topic interests very few people. When my work mates see my new tattoo the first question they ask is “Why did you choose that?”

Television shows like LA Ink and NY Ink showcase the art of tattooing as a form of grieving the loss of a loved one. And for some it is. But for many people like me, tattooing is a representation of a myriad of emotions.

The inspiration behind a tattoo comes from various aspects of life, not limited to;

  • A favourite actor, band or musician
  • A person’s love of their occupation
  • Lyrics or a poem
  • Tattoo magazines
  • Art, whether it be street artists or history’s most recognised artists
  • Another person’s tattoo
  • Images found on the Internet
  • A dream or nightmare had
  • A particular tattoo style (ie. Japanese, Americana, Tribal etc)
  • Family heritage

Tattoos are not always to mask the painful memories or used as a reminder of the past. Don’t be fooled into thinking tattoo shows are a true representation of all tattooed people. Just like non-tattooed people, we’re all weird, wacky and complex creatures.

For me, personally, tattoos are an extension of my being. I’ve always been a visual and imaginative person, easily spending hours daydreaming, creating my own reality. I love how skin can be transformed from something so plain to a beautiful piece of art with nothing more than ink and needles (and some talented tattoo artists). I draw tattoo inspiration from most of what I have listed above. My tattoos aren’t meant to be understood by anyone but myself. I just hope people can appreciate them as art, no matter whether they understand my reasoning behind them or not.

Where do you find the inspiration for your tattoos? Comment below.

Inked Girls Issue 5 Review


(Credit: Inked Australia)

Five issues of Inked Girls and we’ve seen hundreds of different, individual and gorgeous tattooed women. It’s a reminder that the female tattoo community is continuing to grow. There are always fresh faces instead of recycling the same images of the same women like some magazines are guilty of.

Inked Girls doesn’t rely on heavily digitally altered imagery to sell copies. It’s the human fascination with the female form and how tattoos alter our perception. Look at a non-tattooed female and then look at a tattooed female.

The Sephora shoot is a perfect example of this. In one photo Kat Von D has every tattoo on her body concealed with makeup. In the other photo her tattoos are left untouched. There before you is the same person. Your eyes are drawn to different areas of her body.

I’m a believer in our eyes telling a story, likewise with tattoos. You may judge someone by the art on their body, but look in to their eyes and you’ll see the warmth.

I love how this magazine is another medium keeping the gypsy/freak show tradition alive. Decades ago people would pay their hard-earned money to see tattooed people in the flesh (excuse the pun). Tattooing was a novelty, a form of entertainment that people enjoyed from afar, but not a practice they would partake in.

We can project ourselves into the minds of the girls on the pages before us. Humans like you and I, they’re not ashamed to display their canvas to the world. Inked Girls is like Cleo or Cosmopolitan to some people. Seeing other like-minded women is inspiration.

Now that many women do have tattoos it’s not such a surprise to see one on the street, at University or in a workplace. However the allure still remains as heavily tattooed people are on a completely different level. It’s these women who are paving the way for others to break the gender stereotype and are attempting to dispel discrimination. There’s always power in numbers.

There isn’t much else that can be said about Inked Girls magazine other than it’s a must buy for any tattoo fan.

This will probably be my last review of an Inked Girls magazine, but you can read my previous Inked Girls/Inked Australia posts here.

Inked Australia/NZ Magazine Issue 13 – the 2nd Birthday issue is out May 2. And don’t forget that Inked Artists 2 is on its way.

The Missing Piece

The process of shedding skin as a tattoo heals is rather symbolic. It’s our bodies ridding us of our old self. Our once plain skin, injected with ink. There is no return.

It’s somewhat of a rebirth. Stepping out in to the world, visibly altered forevermore. After each tattoo I consider it another missing piece replaced in the puzzle of my life.

The tattoo artist creates the art and I create the memory.

Tattoos are the one thing that people, my job and society cannot strip from me. I don’t identify with the culture of following such archaic and outdated societal values. At times I may get worked up about what people write about tattooed people, but it’s not a deterrent. No matter what words or labels that they throw my way, I’ll always be able to call myself an individual.

Every year, month, week, day, hour, minute and second is another that we cannot get back. It’s not selfish to live my life for myself. I don’t need someone else to make me whole. But without tattoos I sure would feel incomplete.

100 Things To Do Before I Die – 91 to 100

91. Travel extensively throughout Europe.
92. View lemurs in their natural environment in Madagascar.
93. Make a guard outside of Buckingham Palace laugh. (It’s not as easy as it sounds)
94. Visit ancient Mayan Ruins.
95. Track down my extended family in Germany.

96. Travel on the Panama Canal.
97. Get launched off a giant inflatable pillow, Nitro Circus style.
98. Host a dinner party for my whole family.
99. Ride a mechanical bull.
100. Own a Chanel handbag.

100 Things To Do Before I Die – 81 to 90

81. Go to the Big Day Out, Soundwave, SXSW and Warped tour all in the same year.
82. Take part in Holi in India.
83. Annual tomato fight in Italy.
84. Go on a rollercoaster tour across the US.
85. Get hit in the head with a steel chair.

86. Learn how to breathe fire.
87. Take trapeze, silks and pole dancing lessons.
88. Drive across Australia.
89. Visit Four Corners. It is where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado meet and you can have a hand or foot in each of the four states at the same time.
90. Let a tattoo artist tattoo anything on me, and not see it until the tattoo is complete.

In Loving Memory

It has been a tough few years for my family. Just a couple of weeks before the Christmas of 2008 my grandparents were involved in a serious car accident.

I can only imagine the painful memories the accident would have brought back to my Grandma. She almost lost her life many years ago (well before I was born) in a car accident. She was cut open from her chest to her groin, had her spleen removed and was in hospital for several weeks recovering.

That Christmas my Grandad was still in hospital while my Grandma was with the family. I’ll never forget the image of her with those two huge, painful looking black eyes and the pain she was in due to her fractured ribs.

Due to his injuries, he required 24-hour care. All while this was going on, my Grandma was staying with my Aunty and her boyfriend. It was too painful for my Grandma to go back to her house and be there without Grandad. We sold my grandparent’s house and my Grandad was moved into a nursing home.

While my Grandad didn’t have a choice in the matter, my Grandma wasn’t so happy about the decision. She was always so self-defiant that they would never move into an aged-care facility. And up until the accident they had no reason to.

Her whole life turned upside down, and she knew it would never been the same again. There was her husband of 60 plus years, heavily medicated to the point that he recognised no one.  The person who she knew as her husband was gone.  She knew going in there would mean she wouldn’t see all her friends. She wouldn’t be able to go out whenever she wanted, she would never travel again.

Easter Sunday of 2009 my Grandma suffered a massive heart attack at the kitchen table. One moment she was laughing with my Aunty and the next she was dead.

I truly believe she died of a broken heart.

In a way we’re lucky to have had Grandad with us these last few years. It was quite possible that he could have died from his injuries. While he was beginning to lose his memory, his cheeky personality never waned. He’ll forever be affectionately known as Bert the Flirt.

If there’s anything I will take from them is to live life to the fullest. They loved being active, spending time with their friends, travelling across Australia and gardening. Most of all they loved spending time with their family. When their great-grandchildren were born you couldn’t wipe the smiles from their faces. They were loved by so many.

Just over a week ago my grandfather passed away in his sleep. Suffering from aspirated pneumonia, there was little doctors could do for him except medicate him to make him comfortable.

As much as I wanted to go visit him one last time, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. With how my mum described him, he looked nothing like the man we loved so dearly. I didn’t want to witness his bloated appearance and his inability to communicate coherently. I decided that I wanted to remember him on Christmas Eve when he was in good health, surrounded by his family.

 

I miss my grandparents calling me Stacie Michelle.

I miss the dirty jokes they used to tell.

I miss my Grandmother’s unique laugh.

 

It’s heartbreaking that he is gone, but now he can be reunited with his one true love.

Bert and Joyce…dancing in heaven.

 

100 Things To Do Before I Die – 71 to 80

71. Human body suspension.
72. Feed/hold a baby otter.
73. Swim in the Dead Sea.
74. Get Phil Collins’ face tattooed on me.
75. Camp in Death Valley.

76. Appear in a music video.
77. Go cliff diving in Jamaica.
78. Attend Rock in Rio music festival.
79. Skateboard/Snowboard in a half-pipe.
80. Visit Auschwitz.