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Turning A Collection Into A Bodysuit
For many collectors, the process of collecting often starts unexpectedly with a passion for something you love. Many years down the line what started out as hodgepodge pieces can often evolve into something much more complex. And this hold true even if what is being collected is tattoos.
In Western culture, where tattooing is motivated by an individual and not by established cultural practices, when and why a person gets tattooed is decided by the person getting the ink. The same goes for the choice of designs. Over time, many people find that they don't necessarily want all their tattoos to just be random bits all over them and instead would like a look that is more connected. Here are some things to think about when you decide to shift your stand-alone tattoos into a connected bodysuit type of design.
Take a look at your different tattoos... do you have any themes that run through the designs? Types of symbols or designs that are related are often a good place to start getting ideas for how to connect all your designs. Do you have lots of tattoos of animals? Or quotes? Do you have a favorite color that keeps appearing in lots of your tattoos?
Thinking About A Background
In Japanese tattooing part of what makes the various bold elements go together into such beautiful bodysuits are the wonderful backgrounds. Bold, shaded lines that echo wind and water work to tie together dragons, warriors, gods, fish and flowers. Creating a similar effect for Western tattooing is possible, but you don't necessarily want to imitate a Japanese-style background behind non-Japanese designs. Other options for backgrounds include textures, patterns (animal markings), freestyle blackwork, solid colors or extensions of the original designs.
For example, if you had a tiger tattoo on your upper arm, you could add stylized tiger stripes around the rest of your bicep to fill out the background and connect to other designs. If you have a lot of floral work, think about adding leaves, vines, more flowers, little bugs and other things found in a garden.
One of the trickiest part of tattooing when you turn a collection into a bodysuit is deciding on your edges, or where the tattoos are going to stop and just how they stop. A hard straight edge often looks a little strange although you can just stop if that's what you want. Some people opt to have the tattooing fade out at the edges, others have specific designs done to mark the edges (like bracelets on wrists). It's important to think about if you have to keep anything covered on your arms and legs and make sure your tattooing falls inside those boundaries. If you'd like to be tattooed but still be incognito in a t-shirt and shorts, you'll want to stay above the elbows and above the knees with your ink.
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