One of the biggest questions I get here at Bellaonline is “what should I get tattooed?” I am constantly amazed that someone would write to a total stranger and ask what they think another total stranger should wear on their body for the rest of their life. Really, it happens at least once a week. For me, a tattoo should come from inside you and be a part of you if you are to remain happy with it for ten, twenty, thirty years or more. I’ve been developing or heavily contributing to all of the tattoos designs that I wear for years now, and am going to share my process for my latest ink with all of you here.
The last time I got tattooed it was in early 2001 and was a Tibetan mantra that sounds like my full name, rendered down the middle of my torso like sacred calligraphy on marbled paper. This latest piece of ink isn’t much simpler in concept, but I have been thinking of this idea for a few years now and this is the base concept to me: the left side is about how I take in energy, about truth and how I like to analyze the facts, and the right is about how I send out energy, about individuality and uniqueness.
The two symbols, one for each side, I found in books that are both essentially dictionaries of symbols. Sometimes you have to look very specifically for what is right for yourself. The emblem for the left side of my chest is a ancient Christian design from the catacombs which means SUB ACIE DEDICAVERUM, or “for those who died for the truth.” On the right is quinta essentia which is the fifth element, that essence that defines the diversity and multiplicity of life. This emblem comes from the Pythagoreans. I am neither Christian nor Pythagorean, but I identify strongly with the concepts expressed by each ancient symbol.
Then for each side there is also a background design for each side, to support each symbol. On the left is lunaria also known as “honesty” and on the right I’ve decided on peacock feathers. In going with past work I have, the left side designs will be rendered in black and white, and the right side will be full color. Any further details about the design I will want to discuss with the artist, to start to shape it within the confines of actually having to tattoo the artwork.
Next up, the working design process....
If you're thinking about getting tattooed, you might like
Ink: The Not-Just-Skin-Deep Guide to Getting a Tattoo
by Terisa Green
The Tattoo Encyclopedia : A Guide to Choosing Your Tattook
also by Terisa Green