Tattoos can be polarising – you either love them or hate them.
Some people love and cover themselves in them, or just have one that you might regret. Some would never dream of having one but admire them from afar, and some people even judge another person’s character based on how inked up they are – I just find the whole thing fascinating! Especially in this day in age, where some of the most influential and famous people in the world are covered in them **stops to Google image search David Beckham pics, returns half an hour later empty-handed unable to pick a favourite** and yet we are told to cover them up for job interviews or important business meetings. In 2014. Really?
I guess at this point I should mention that I myself am not covered in tatts but I have dabbled… starting with an ill-judged decision to get a small heart tattoo on my shoulder at the age of 16 to ‘always remember the best day of my life’ (I now have no idea what I did that day other than get drunk). It’s not the most elegant of designs but I don’t hate it – it actually makes me smile when I see it, a warm reminder of being a rebellious teenager with nothing to actually rebel against.
Then when I started doing more sketching a few years later, I became really interested in tattoo art – it lends itself well to pencil/pen drawing and shading techniques. I started researching and creating ideas for my next tattoo which became good drawing practice. I couldn’t decide exactly what I wanted and where on my body so I eventually went off the idea. It was too much pressure but I kept on drawing up tattoo design ideas and looking at traditional techniques. I really liked the common themes I was seeing – flowers, skulls, intricate line drawings and patterns, hearts and daggers – I love how striking these images can be, often even without any colour. I love the Mexican art influence of sugar skulls and bright patterns with political/religious messages. Tattoo designs often have quite dark themes which can give them a beauty that has a unique emotional impact. I took influence from tattoo art for my drawings and paintings which lead me to realise, it’s actually tattoo design that I love. I want this style of art and illustration in my life, but not necessarily all over my body.