Sabtu, 29 September 2012

Breaking the Mold

Tattoos can be beautiful works of art; anyone who thinks otherwise is just prejudiced. It's essentially a drawing, only using the medium of skin instead of paper. If a drawing can be art, tattoos can necessarily be art as well. That being said, there's a large amount of tattoos out there that are definitively not art. They're just stencils produced for the sole purpose of drawing on people that don't know what they'd really like on themselves. These come in a number of ridiculous varieties from sexy fairies to skulls on fire with snakes winding in and out of the eyeholes, maybe holding a rose in its teeth-you get the picture. Tattooed clich├ęs that stick with you long enough for you to realize "Boy, they sure put one over on me." This is especially common in big cities like Chicago and Boston where there's a shared background. In Boston you might get their tired tattoo stencil of a clover leaf, in Chicago maybe you get a Cubs or Bears tattoo. The long and the short of it is that you can ensure your long-lasting happiness with your tattoo by ensuring it's unique.

If you're an artist, this probably isn't a problem; you just come up with a stylized version of what you want. If your Irish heritage is really that important to you, the least you can do is come up with a creative way of presenting it. Of course, not all of us are artists. What do people, like myself, who aren't artistically inclined supposed to do besides relegate ourselves to the book of Chinese symbols meaning "love and water"? Well, for one, it's probably more likely than you think that you have a friend who is an artist. Ask around, maybe someone will be willing to help you realize your vision for a uniquely "you" tattoo. If nobody seems able to, this may come as a shock, but your tattoo artist is in this business for a reason-they can probably draw pretty damn well. Go through their portfolios, see who has a style that you feel fits your personality, and set up an appointment with them to talk about your idea. Most artists are extremely accommodating in this respect, as they are well aware how personal a tattoo can be to somebody. If you go back and you don't like their representation of your idea, for God's sake tell them. Too many people get tattoos they aren't entirely happy with just because they're afraid of offending the artist; most artists are professionals. They realize full well that not everything they draw is going to fit everyone's unique taste. Ask them to tweak a few things or just retry with a bit of a different theme; they may be a little bummed, but it's better than getting tagged with a tattoo you don't like, or one of those terrible stencil jobs.

Getting a tattoo is a big decision; it's purchasing art that will be on you forever. Imagine getting a generic picture of a butterfly hung up in your house that you couldn't take down without getting expensive reconstruction done on your home. Give it some thought-something will come to you.

Written by John Throop a writer for Jade Dragon Tattoo.

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