Friday, March 07, 2008

My Tattoo....well one of them

"My body is a journal in a way. It's like what sailors used to do, where every tattoo meant something, a specific time in your life when you make a mark on yourself, whether you do it yourself with a knife or with a professional tattoo artist." ~ Johnny Depp

My transformation over the last few years has also taken part in the form of a tattoo. For many years now I've wanted to get a large piece of art tattooed on my body, but the timing and the idea had to be right. Over 1 3/4 years ago (after researching the different tattooers in my area) I made a call to Trouble Bound Tattoos to book a consultation with Dave Munroe, the owner ; who also just happens to be one of the most sought after tattoo artists in Newfoundland. I had to wait for almost 17 months just to have a sit down consultation with him to discuss my idea for a tattoo. Over the course of that 17 months I scoured the internet for inspiration & images/colours (since I have no artistic ability) that would help me articulate /present my idea to Dave.

My patience paid off, as the 17 months allowed me plenty of time to really put some serious thought into the design. Finally the day came when I was able to have a face to face meeting with Dave. I presented him with a 6pg document that featured various images & colours, along with my notes scribbled around the images.

I had decided that I wanted a full sleeve tattoo (goes from the wrist, up to the shoulder, and all the way around the arm). I wanted the style of the tattoo to reflect a somewhat traditional Japanese Tattoo because I love the flow of their images and their use of colour....and especially since the main subject of my tattoo was going to be a dragon.

I wanted my tattoo to be a combination of the 4 elements: Earth, Air, Fire & Water; and the balance between these 4 elements represented the balance that I was seeking in my life.

Earth was going to be represented by a cherry blossom tree and it's flowers. I've always had a fascination with trees and it's my opinion that the cherry blossom tree & it's flowers are one of the most beautiful trees on the face of the earth.

Air is represented by clouds and is indirectly represented by the storm water.....all of which swirls around the fire element.

Fire is represented in the form of a dragon that has wisps of fire surrounding it.

Water is represented in the form of.....errrr.....well, water. Waterfalls, splashes and waves that surround the dragon.

Even though the 4 elements in the tattoo represent the balance of life; a balance I'm striving for....the water & fire elements are more prominent in the tattoo. The water element represents the turbulent struggle that I've had with weight & self identity throughout my life. The fire element represents change and my struggle to take control, and balance my life.

The dragon represents my guardian and steward of change, my courage to overcome the stormy waters of my fire is often associated with renewal.

Finally there are 2 other images that are present in the tattoo. The first is a solitary 4leaf clover, which represents luck, and although it doesn't belong in a Japanese, a little bit of luck is always helpful. The second image is various stars located throughout the tattoo (not included in the below image). The stars represent hope, guidance, and the unknown or mystical. Many people wish upon stars or look up into the sky and try to understand the mysteries of life. What does it all mean, where did we come from, where are we going, how does it end? These are but a few questions I've had/thought while gazing up at the stars. People also relied on the stars for guidance, whether it was sailors lost at sea, or the wise men guided by the North Star. The stars are also a mystical aspect in life. Constellations & their stories, our drive to visit the stars and far away places, the belief that our heaven or salvation might be among them.....these are all things that fascinate me, which is yet another reason why I included them.

As you can see, I have put a lot of thought into this tattoo. It represents my past, present and future. It is a story of my life. It is a living work of art that is now and forever part of my body.

I hope my ramblings have made sense. I might in the future go back and edit the above text, in case I missed something, or to try and clear up my explanations.....But for now I will let it be.

This image is the original drawing created by Dave Munroe......pure genius.

This image is after the first 5 1/2 hr session, & shows the completed outline.

This image was taken about 3 1/2 weeks after the first 5.5hr session of applying colour. Unfortunately some spots will have to be re-touched because the scabs pulled off some of the colour.....which is normal, but it's sooooooo hard not to touch them since everything is so ichy.

I'll have to try much harder after the next session.

More pictures to come as my tattoo makes it's journey towards completion. I have approximately 15+ hrs of colouring to go.....wish me luck.




Blogger Fat Lazy Guy said...

Dude! That is kickass! Awesome man.

I'm hoping to get a tattoo one day. I want to wait till I get to my goal weight though. I want to get ta moko (seeing as I'm Maori), or at least kirituhi.

4:34 p.m.  
Blogger Fat Lazy Guy said...

Dude! I love the colouring! Fantastic!

11:57 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog purely by chance, but I just wanted to leave a comment and say that your tattoo is absolutely gorgeous. *-*

2:32 a.m.  

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