Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Travelling ink

tattoos, I see them quite regularly on my bus journeys in increasing numbers.

Professionally completed designs or those that appear self applied. Names, baby feet, poems, stars, geometric shapes, flowery swirls, stars the variations are many.      

As are the people sporting them, all ages, genders and clothing styles.

I am not to sure how I feel about tattoos in general, it is one of those tricky questions.  I can quite often be impressed by the skill and artistry of a design yet not like it at all as an image.  I can be delighted by an particular image yet be unconvinced skin is an appropriate place for it to be. Some of the clockwork underskin images are particularly clever yet also disturbing.

There are times I wish I had the courage to ask of those sporting inked skin why that particular pattern, phrase or colour.  What was the inspiration or the story behind the choice or the placement.  Perhaps they would be delighted to tell me, perhaps capturing attention and telling a story is part of the reason it is there.

For some, I might perhaps ask if they regret it now, like the elderly lady who started me thinking about this post, who has the ubiquitous LOVE and yes HATE tattooed on her knuckles (one of those self applied looking embellishments).  She has other designs that look more stylish, but I think it is the hands I would ask her about.

Some are just frustrating, why? Because with writing either it is so flowery I can't read it, of half the message disappears beneath clothing or under hair, or I can see it all and it is in another language!

The same can apply to images, is that tip of claw peeking out of a cuff attached to a tiger, an eagle a dragon?  Are the names on an arm in memoriam or a celebration of a childs birth?

Some I glimpse once, others are like me regular travellers.  The "art" appears ever more popular as celebrities make it mainstream.  Me, although I know people who have them, from a buxom semi naked cupid (a former boss and I did ask her why that design, not sure she knew herself exactly why it had called to her), to Egyptian Ankhs to stylized butterflies (and coordinating fairies) I am still not convinced that there is any image that would so delight me that I would want to make it part of me forever.