Table of contents for Design inspiration
- soul and inspiration, part 4: Memorial to a loved one
- a brief sidebar about Other People’s Art
- soul and inspiration, part 3: Spiritual designs
- Soul and inspiration, part 2: Should you ink a name?
- You’re my soul and my inspiration: Finding the perfect design
- soul and inspiration, part 5: Redoing existing tattoos
One of our cats died early Thursday morning, after a long illness.
And thus, today’s entry is about one of the most profoundly personal of all tattoos, one designed as a memorial for a lost loved one. From the simple addition of someone’s name, to something as elaborate as my nephew’s back piece that serves as a memorial for his fallen colleagues in Iraq and Afghanistan, the placement of an image to honor the loved and lost can be among the most satisfying of decorations.
It is important, though, in the decision to get a memorial tattoo, that one not act too much in haste. Taking proper time to think, consider, and allow the first sharp pain of the loss to die away a bit is essential to getting the very best design.
Start by making a list of all the things that would serve to remind you of your lost loved one. Set the list aside for a while (adding to it if you happen to think of something else). Come back to it in a month or so and reconsider. (Your ink will last forever, so waiting and thinking carefully first won’t hurt, and can really help make the design the absolute best.)
Would a portrait be appropriate? You will need to find an artist who specializes in portrait work, for the best results. Would a picture of something else do better? Would it be enough to just have a simple “In Loving Memory” with the person’s or pet’s name and dates? How large a design do you want, and where should it best be placed? Even more so than with other designs, a memorial should be the product of careful consideration.
My dragon tattoo is in honor of my grandmother, and it took me about a year of thinking, drawing, and re-drawing to get the design perfected. I didn’t put her name on it, but I did have the artist add a very tiny Chinese character for “woman” underneath. When a Chinese friend saw the tattoo for the first time, he said “Oh, it’s a GIRL dragon.” I’m sure my grandmother, who always thought that she was the reincarnation of a 9th century Chinese poet, would have smiled at that.
This blog, by the way, is partly my memorial to our cat. Her name was Calypso, and she was a calico, and I often called her “Multicolor” in honor of her lovely fur.I hope you'll submit my posts to your favorite social media sites. Just don't "submit" them to your own site pretending to be yours. Thanks!