I started the next stage of my new tattoo adventure today. I’ve decided that getting a tattoo is more like a journey than a simple event. For me, it is not a simple day of work with a permanent result. It is a long process that has excitement, soul-searching and challenges along the way.
This journey started a few months ago. After my last adventure completed, I jumped straight into this one. I gave my tattooist a quote that I wanted to capture in graphic form. I had a few rough ideas of what I wanted but nothing concrete.
Thankfully, my tattooist is wonderfully creative. He is able to take my terrible ideas and making them into something amazing. This is a time-consuming part of the process. I think we had around 4 face to face consultations and he did approximately 6 drafts before being satisfied.
Today I went for my first session of actual tattooing. I returned over 5 hours later loving the results. We still have a long way to go. Today’s progress was only the outlining. There is still a lot of shading to do.
My wonderful tattooist is also going to redesign the top section. We decided to leave it off this time as it needed re-shaping. There were also some other parts that were left off, to be re-thought and re-drafted.
This might seem like a long journey for the tattooist and not for me. I suppose in many ways it is.
My journey involves the first ideas. I wanted my tattoos to represent me. I love literature and wanted to take my concepts from my favourite books. For this one I chose from Kurt Vonnegut‘s Breakfast of Champions. The concept came from this:
Trout sat back and thought about the conversation. He shaped it into a story, which he never got around to writing until he was an old, old man. It was about a planet where the language kept turning into pure music, because the creatures there were so enchanted by sounds. Words became musical notes. Sentences became melodies. They were useless as conveyors of information, because nobody knew or cares what the meanings of words were anymore.”
I adored this concept of music being the conveyor of information. I loved the idea of depicting words becoming musical notes. Not an easy task though.
I settled for a scene that looked peaceful, beautiful and represented music. Musical notes will be added later. To add to the challenge I wanted the notes to actually play something and chose Fur Elise. This was a piece that I loved to play on the piano growing up and was a strong part of me.
As this idea came to life in draft after draft, I started to dwell more on what this meant to me. I realised how much music has meant to me over the years and how it has disappeared from my life of late. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on how the things I love have been pushed aside to make room for children and routine. This has been part of my drive to reclaim my life and the things I love.
This journey has also found me challenging societal conventions and weighing them against my own desires. The fears I once had about being accepted with tattoos rose to the surface. This tattoo would be far more prominent than my earlier ones. I knew this to be what I wanted, but found myself fearing what others might think. Again, this has led me to a lot of soul-searching.
I am looking forward to the rest of this journey. I can’t wait to see the final results. Here is my new tattoo so far. Remember, it still has a lot of work to do. I will keep you up to date on its progress.