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.

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.