Thursday, 7 April 2011

My tattoo's nerdier than yours

A couple of weeks ago I started on my nerdtastic tattoo. It was sore, but not too bad. A bit like a swarm of bees stinging me repeatedly at a steady pace. This sounds a little dramatic, but considering the lack of surprise usually inherent in the sting of a bee, this was quite an acceptable pain. Also, instead of squillions of bee stings embedded in me making me all swollen, I have awesome ink. Bonus!

It sat in my skin in this form (intentionally faded in bits) for a few weeks and then last night I got it finished. I have to say that I was rather anxious about the shading because there was no nifty transfer that I could appraise before the dude took my blood and replaced it permanently with the inking of a design that existed purely in his head. So, to make the visual artist wriggling somewhere deep in side of me a little more at ease, I made him draw the number 29 (we'll get to that in a bit) on the bottom book about 8 times before he got it right and then proceeded to micromanage his decisions perhaps a little too fondly. Whatever, dude, in the battle of my skin versus his artistic authority, guess who wins every time? Correct. I wasn't a bad client though, I don't think...

Anyway, so I now have THE spiffiest tattoo known to mankind (assumption: I am mankind) and I'm rather sad that the weather is too cold for strappy tops.

When my tattoo guy went away last time, he told me to think about what I might want in that bottom book. I'd like to say I ummed and ahhed about it, but really it took me all of three minutes to decide that I have to have the number 29. This is not so much a particularly interesting and beautiful number (although aesthetically speaking it really is) as it is the title of my favourite Shakespearean sonnet. I'm not an outrageously loyal fan of the man's work in general, but this sonnet has a very special place in my consciousness (not my heart, because that might hinder its function - I prefer my arteries to be artery-shaped, not word-shaped) and unless it turns out to actually be about slaughtering kittens, I'm proud to have it on me forever.

When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least.
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
It kinda makes me a little squishy inside.

I also added a little keyhole into the spine of the book which I suppose you could call my little nod to postmodernism. It's my little avenue through which my tat does not have a fixed meaning, so that it may change as I do. In this, I don't have that sporadic sprinkling of panic in which I'm all "doubleyoo-tea-eff, mate? What if you don't like this when you're fifty?" Another way I avoid this is by not really having some deepandmeaningful story behind it, it's simply a way in which I tie my inside up with my outside by using some truly beautiful images, the symbolism of which will never get old or mehsome.

This brings me to a broader rant on tattoos these days. [Jeebus, I sound old] I look at people with their Hello Kitty tats and their zombie pin-up tats and my first thought is "man, that's cool," my second is "but dude, the permanency factor..." and my third is "I can't frigging wait 'til the next trends roll 'round, it's gonna be fun watching you get turned into a pick 'n' mix of sad, consumer-driven iconography." Sure, I would love a skull-shaped cupcake with cat ears, will I want a skull-shaped cupcake with cat ears in 20 years' time? Not so sure... I may be being far too harsh here, though, perhaps these kids are so forward thinking that they are assuming that laser tat removal surgery will be a DIY job with no scaring involved by the time they hit some semblance of maturity, in which case - wow, I applaud their optimism! Ahem... [To me, an attitude like this is a bit like using abortion as a birth control measure as opposed to, you know, being responsible.]

Tattoos can be beautiful things, and heck, they really don't have to be deepandmeaningful in my eyes, but they do have to be personal. In order to be super-spifftastic tattoos (in my not-so-humble opinion) they really do have to be both. If they're not beautiful *and* personal (oh oh, and correctly spelled), they're this:
WARNING: content includes the very detritus of humanity.

I must admit, though, this site has given me many hours of despairing laughs, so I guess these people have found some use in life. They who amuse me shall be spared. Sort of.

I'm afraid I don't have a pic of the finished product just yet. I will upload one as soon as I do. Also, bitchiz be warned, the needles used for shading are far less sore than the big ones used for lines when you're actually getting tattooed, but holy popculture reference, Batman, the aftermath feels like a Balrog is licking my arm. Ow! Terrible night's sleep (pain and slumber don't really mix all that well) aside, I totally love it.

Thanks for reading. I promise to have something a bit more interesting (and better structured) to say next time.

Peace, skulls and cheese on toast,

1 comment:

  1. Damn, your tattoo is pretty. I agree that a great tattoo should be both pretty and meaningful. I could never get inked for purely aesthetic reasons. Not that I'm saying it's wrong to get "tribal patterns" (the anthro student in me twitches every time someone uses that phrase) or a tramp stamp. Some of my best friends have tramp stamps. Well, not my *best* friends... but I know them. :P But the problem is that aesthetic tastes change.

    I used to worry that I'd be sick of my tattoo - well, I've only had it for a year and a half, but I don't even see it as a tattoo anymore, you know? It's part of me, something that nobody can take away (well, decapitation is always a risk, but moving on...) it's one of the best decisions I've ever made.

    That being said, I must admit, your tattoo's way more awesomely nerdy than mine ^_^