May 23, 2010

ATTN ARTISTS (professional and amateur!)! Tattoo Input Requested

I sent an email very similar to this to an artist friend of mine....but I think I want to hear from as many of you as possible. Don't be shy! I want to know your visual considerations/ideas. If you feel like sketching/doodling how these pieces might all work together, I'd love to see what your mind does with this info, whether you consider yourself an artist or not. Send your ideas to me at alyssum (dot) pohl (at) gmail (dot) com . Let me know if I can share your work in a future blogpost, and if you have a website you want me to link to. Vinny, my brother in law and tattooist has warned me against image overload...but that's sort of how I roll. Image overload allows me to make sure I'm not missing anything, making the best decisions artistically, etc. I guess that means it's not overload.
I don't consider myself much of a tattoo person, so this might seem like a bit of leap for me. The tattoos I have now are simply dots at the base of each of my cuticles. They're brown, so they look like perfectly centered moles. I love that they mean a lot to me, but other people hardly ever notice them. They feel like a part of me, they look like I could have been born with them.
I think the new tattoo will be wonderful (amazing, even!) if I'm able to capture the essence I'm looking for...(isn't that what every tattoo is about? ha). My brother in law, Vinny, is a tattoo artist, and is offering to do it for me before I leave Boulder. I leave just over a week from now, so time is running short! (Get your ideas to me sooooon).

Here are the definites.
1. I want mirror images of the same thing on the insides (bends) of my elbows. Placement like this:

2. They will be all white tattoos. So they will be very subtle, and look more like scars than tattoos when they're healed.
(Lee's tattoo that inspired my fascination with white tattoos many years ago)

a pretty white tattoo
a white tattoo in the area I'm thinking of
Here are the fuzzies (loose ideas).
1. I am inspired by the unperfectness of this crochet, and the designwork therein
ha, ha, cute butt too
2. Similarly, I am inspired by lace, because of its geometric patterning (kind of henna-y in a way), the fact that it's white like my tattoo will be, and use of thick and thin lines
I especially like THIS lace which is art nouveau
I love the parts on the sides that curl up.
3. I like art nouveau in general because of it's organic feel. The way lines are thick where you don't expect them to be, the way lines change direction last minute, like long hair in the tide, giving a 2D image movement.
This heavy piece has so much movement!

Gaudi's work looks like it evolved rather than having been conceived of or built.

Another reason I like art nouveau is for it's lack of perfect or literal symmetry. The symmetry uses space and heaviness rather than simple line to be balanced.
This is one of my very favorite circles because it doesn't finish. I can see using something like this as the main motif in my tattoo, and then embellishing it differently than they've done in this pendant.

Not that this image or the one below are art nouveau, but their asymmetry is why I contacted my friend, Raven Ebner, in the first place (they're her drawings)

4. I like dangly bits. like the crochet wisps in the first picture. like the pearl on the end of the circle pendant above.
like the slip used to decorate this bowl

or the long feathery things in this pic

or this (i also like the asymmetry here)
5. i like arches and pinnate forms

6. dots and circles for embellishment are nice too

Here are some final thoughts
*The forearm is more tender than the upper arm (or so it seems on me!) I am imagining going bigish and boldish, but I might be a weenie when it comes down to it. I imagine there being (mostly) empty space in the crook of my arm partially b/c of the tenderness there. But maybe not.
*I am imagining form rather than content (ie, design work, not necessarily something definite like a face or a tree or whatever).
*I want something that is beautiful from far away and intricate up close too. (intricate can be simple, doesn't have to be complicated).
*The way Gaudi's work seems to have evolved, I love tattoos that seem like they were already a part of the person, like they were created to fit that specific person on that specific part of their body (like the maori facial tattoos), rather than looking like they were stamped on the wearer like a temporary tattoo.

This is harvey keitel in the movie The Piano, as a Maori interpreter. You can't see the dots above his eyebrows, but you can see the designs on his nose. I like how subtle these tattoos are, like they're just part of him.

I do have a preliminary "rough draft" of what I am sort of considering. It's just a jumble of the pieces I have mentioned above. If you want to see that, scroll down. Alterations, embellishments, suggestions on that are appreciated. If you don't look, just use your imagination.

Disclaimer: I recognize that asking peoples' opinions on a tattoo is somewhat akin to asking people to help me name a child in its personal-ness. Clearly, I'm looking for further insight and inspiration and may or may not heed what others suggest.


Cari said...

I've drawn a few of my friends (and my own) tattoos. I'll play with some of your inspirations. Are you a rightie or leftie or bothie? What do you hate (or are seriously averse to)?

Rebecca said...

So did you get the work done? Do you have pics? This is crazy... About the same time I was looking at having the exact same kind of work done. I had downloaded many of the same images/style of images. And finally decided on a filligreed stylized version of my daughter's name that I drew up, but couldn't find anyone in town (denver area like you) that after I talked to them... had done them before.... knew what a blood line was, what ink to use etc... so... Didn't get to do it. Even tried to make an appointment with Shannon Archuleta in San Fran (she did the full chest piece that you posted) but she was backed up a year or so... How did it turn out and did your brother do it? if they look good and he's in boulder that would make my year. I liked your design by the way. I think it would (hopefully does) look great as a white tat.

Alyssum Pohl said...

Hi Rebecca!
No, I haven't gotten it done. I worked with Raven Ebner a bit, and some other artist friends and got much closer to the design that I want, but the timing wasn't good, and I've been busy with school since then. I still think about it, though. Please share if you get yours done!