Yet to Get: Tattoo

After a long few months and some serious soul-searching my quest for celebrating my 43rd birthday and beyond is complete. For decades I believed I was going to die at 42 from a thing called cancer and as it approached, I wanted to celebrate how this belief was overcome and negated and no longer a self-fulfilling prophecy. My glorious friend, Julia Hodge, suggested a tattoo. I knew she was on the money when the moment she mentioned the idea, my palms went sweaty, my heart was racing and I was filled with tense excitement and fear. For a woman who had only recently removed an intense needle phobia, this seemed the right way to get a combination of life affirmation and fear factor. This, indeed, was the perfect way to permanently show to myself that I have no limits, can overcome anything and that I am forging a new future, a new life and a new path.

This simple decision led to a multitude of dilemmas. What do I get tattooed? Where do I put it? What style? What colour? What on earth will I want to brand onto myself that I’m still going to like in 40, 50 or 60 years? Hmm, tricky questions I’m sure you’ll agree. So I scoured the internet, as you do, trying to find the right tatt for me. I knew I wanted it to have 42 in it, to show that I had overcome this belief, but I also wanted it to show no limits… growth… a sense of ’embrace life’ and ‘miles to go’ and ‘this is me: take it or leave it’. It’s remarkably hard to define what you want a tattoo to say, and even more difficult to explain that to someone else.

Eventually I landed upon Tattoo Tribes, a website that spoke to me on multiple levels. It resonated with its stylised designs, particularly, ones like Froggy Prince and the Tree of Yoga. Here were tattoos that had meaning and were styled with a modern tribal hand. They were also in black and white, which I felt strongly represented the look I was after (rather than a colourful mermaid or whatever).

So I commissioned GiErre (one of their artists) to design me a tattoo. In the meantime, I went scouring for a tattoo artist to put it on my body. Finding the tattoo artist was relatively simple. I either found a place I felt comfortable, or I didn’t. I visited maybe half a dozen local sites. One held promise with its clean ambience and friendly staff. I liked that the tattoo area was private and that it was air conditioned. After discussion with the artist’s mother, I discovered he uses numbing cream and this was an added bonus. Plus he is willing to do white ink (many were not as it did not ‘showcase’ their ability). So far so good. But he is booked out 6 months in advance! What the? Well, I presume he must be good if that’s the case! There’s two other tattooists (Sacred Skin [Steve, Willa, or Dave have the style closest to what I like] and Scorpion [Thomas or Mark]) I’d like to look at in the next few weeks, but if all else fails, I’ll go with Daniel. My only concern is that many of the images of his tatts that he posts are tattoos that I find repulsive. Which of course, means that the design of the tattoo is crucial.

So after many MANY weeks of back and forth, to and fro, and with no real idea if I was ever going to get a design that I loved, GiErre came through for me. I couldn’t believe how much hard work he was willing to go thru to ensure I had the perfect design. So here it is… Next step is the actual inking!

42 Tattoo (image designed by GiErre, all rights reserved)

42 Tattoo (image designed by GiErre, all rights reserved)

The overall shape is an Egyptian Ankh meaning life.
It’s also shaped liked a dragonfly meaning renewal.
It is also shaped like a rubenesque woman (namely me)
The arms are created by an infinity symbol representing that I am limitless
Inside my core is a dog paw print representing my affinity to dogs.
At the top are flames representing passion and they are engulfing the number 42 (the year I thought I would be dead)
the Ivy leaf on the side represents tenacity and persistence.
And the spiral at the bottom means a continuation of life.

The Stencil of the Tattoo (designed by GiErre - all rights reserved)

The Stencil of the Tattoo (designed by GiErre - all rights reserved)

The only question now is…. filled in or stencil?

Update: Just checked with Daniel on FB and he’s now booked up to January of 2012. Might have to seriously look elsewhere for a tattooist.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Tom
    Mar 21, 2011 @ 05:59:17

    That’s awesome … I love it!! =)


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