Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ink Exchange


(Barring technical difficulties, please forgive the teen lit photorealism. I promise that it has a point, even if my first post lacks on the technical side. It'll get better with practice!)

I grew up in a pretty conservative, sheltered environment. Okay, *really* conservative. Certain things like graffiti and tattoos have generally been accepted as taboo and rebellious. What could possibly change this, one might ask. There’s nothing like a good dose of personal experience for judgmental minds.

In the peak of her rebellious phase, my sister got five tattoos, all somewhat descriptive of her personality to varying degrees. I was intrigued but aloof. Mostly it was fear of the pain and commitment that kept my curiosity at bay. What would it mean to commit to bearing one piece of artwork on your body for the rest of your life? I can’t even commit to one hairstyle for a day.

As I grew into a deeper passion for art, the tattoos kept coming back to mind. There were the horror stories about “mistakes”, mostly involving names of old flings and similar idiocy, as well as the temporal fads. *coughhipstertattscough* (I’m not actually hating on them, promise.) Once in a while, however, there were some really gorgeous works of art, things I wouldn’t be ashamed to show off forever. This, I believe, the facet of tattoo work that involves deeply meaningful fine art on human canvas, is what drew me towards the extensive fold of those who appreciate tattoos.

As for the book that I happened to borrow the title from, it helped to romanticize the whole tattoo process for me. No, I didn’t believe that getting a tattoo would somehow help me to meet my true love who just happened to be a fairy king. I also didn’t believe that this would be made possible via his blood being mixed in with the tattoo ink. Seriously, that’s just weird. Teen fantasy lit and I have such a love/hate relationship at times. //Honestly, Sarah, make a valid point./ It’s the cover art that appealed to me. It’s a fantastic mix of photo manipulation and illustration that I found to be truly inspirational. A lot of cover art does that for me. Maybe I should try it?

There are many directions I could go on this subject, most of them tangents. The cover art and graffiti topics might be saved for another time. As for the tattoos, I’m not here to decide for you. Just like all other art forms, tattoos are a matter of opinion. Whether you approve of them or not; which ones you consider interesting or inspiring, it’s all up to you. Personally, I’m thrilled to bits to enter a new state of awareness on their behalf. They’re not just for the rebellious, as I found out with my first experience under the needle a mere month ago. (Any guesses from the cover art as to what my tattoo might be?)

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