An amazing combination of summer, new books, writer’s block and small personal projects has done away with my ability to write posts for the past many weeks. So no… I’m not lazy, just distracted. Anyway, I got a tattoo. Seems obvious enough, since the post even features it along with an unassuming apple, that turned out to be sour.
Like most people I put a lot of thought into my decision. I wanted a way to pay tribute to great works of literature in a different manner than just writing about them. The permanence of a tattoo, its roots in ancient customs and culture, seems ideal for such a tribute. Visible and a fun conversation starter.
It couldn’t be just any work though, not just any reference. The tattoo itself has to mean something on a personal level, it should be aesthetically pleasing to me, and should function as a singular work of art and as part of a larger piece. The plan is to fill my arm with literary references to my favorite books, genres, writers, and/or characters, making my arm my own personal celebration of literature.
This first one, made by Marcus at The Evil from the Needle in Camden Town, London, is a reference to Small Gods by Sir Terry Pratchett. It is my favorite from a series that’s had a major influence on me. In short, it’s a call for truth, for looking beyond and fighting against dogmatism, especially related to religion, though at the time I took it as seeking truth in all avenues of life.
The turtle motif and letter combination is a reworking of an original work by A-A-Fresca on DeviantArt. Appealing by itself, it needed to be opened up for the tattoo to look its best. The turtle is a central part of the Discworld mythos, hence its use in the piece. I suggest reading Small Gods, so you may experience yourself why it is of such great importance to me. It’s a very good book. 🙂
And finally, the work had to be good by itself (in case I wuss out and don’t proceed further), and to be able to integrate well with other styles and ideas. As this project continues, I hope to add more references (at least one more this year, assuming I have the time and the financial surplus) and will update you accordingly. Currently I’m toying with quotes and some other themes but nothing had crystallized yet.
If you’re interested in part of the process, you can follow my Pinterest Tattoo board. It’s not solely about literary tattoos, but more of a general overview of stuff I find fascinating when it comes to body art.
What do your think? Let me know. And no, it didn’t hurt much. Its like scraping your skin for two hours, it stings but isn’t really pain.
Image by Andrea Palfi. Click it to go to her stuff.