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
Here beginneth a series on where to find the best designs. They may not be where you think they are.
If you watch shows like “Miami Ink,” you will see many people coming in to have tattoos done that have great personal meaning. A photo of a lost loved one, for example, or something that represents an experience that was life-changing in some way. To my way of thinking, these tattoos are the best, and the least likely to send you running to Dr. Tattoff and associates years later to be blasted into oblivion.
My own tattoos are a group of seven stars (personal significance a bit too complicated to explain), a multicolored Chinese dragon (in honor of my grandmother) and an Egyptian design of lotus flowers surrounding a scarab and an Eye of Horus (in recognition of my lifelong fascination with Ancient Egypt).
It helps not to have a lot of discretionary money lying around to be used at the tattoo parlor on the spur of the moment. My designs were considered and re-thought and refined over a long period of time, and in all cases the artists contributed their thoughts and made my designs even better.
What really matters?
What’s important in your life? What happened to you that really, really meant something? What person meant the most to you, and why? What symbol would best represent your most significant life-changing moment? Take some time to think about that. Get a sheet of paper and write those things down. For each person or event, see if you can find a symbol or design. To use my tattoo as an example–my grandmother ran a nonprofit foundation called Draco and she wrote a novel about a ninth-century Chinese poet. She was one of the most important people in my life and that won’t change, so the dragon was a natural.
See if you can find childhood photos that show your favorite object or toy. See if you still have great artwork done by your child(ren) when they were young. Work with your artist to design something representing those. Don’t expect instant gratification.
The more you think about what you want, the more time you spend refining and improving the design, the less likely you are to be face down on a table ten years from now getting the Tazmanian Devil removed from your butt.
Seems like simplistic advice, but this is something that will be on your body till the end, and better a picture of your red tricycle than some cartoon character that ten thousand other people already thought was oh, so cute and are now itching to get rid of.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!