Tattoo me now… tattoo!
Before I get permanently scarred by an ink-depositing needle, I research. I come up with an idea for a tat in my mind, then I draw it, then I Google image it. I look for ideas based not only on other people’s tattoos, but also from art, history and symbolism.
The first tattoo that I paid someone to put on me is a set of Legos. Both of them are located on each tricep. I wanted a Lego tattoo since high school for many different reasons. First, I am a huge fan of symmetry. I like the way the little 4-peg cubes are perfect geometrical shapes.
Most importantly, the Legos are symbols of my heratige, not only becasue I obsessivly tioled over Legos as a child, but also because the Lego corporation is based in Denmark- the country of my Viking ancestors. I have visited Denmark twice, and went to the original Lego Land the first time at age 16.
The next tattoo I got is an Española Zia. I really wanted to get something that represents my love of my state, plus the fact that I was born and raised here. So, I decided upon a Zia. What better way to represent my state other than using its symbol? But as I researched, I saw that a whole hell of a lot of people have a Zia tat, so I researched further. The Española Chamber of Commerce created a symbol to represent the town and the state at the same time. It’s essentially a blocked-off, three-pronged variant of the traditional symbol. This tattoo is also symmetrical, and as such, I placed it in the center of my back. The Zia represents the sun, as well as seasons and winds. The four portions each represent a different season, and the cyclical nature of the symbol mirrors the cyclical tendencies of life. I like to believe my version is an attempt to find consistency and uniformity in the chaos that is life. It’s split into four distinct portions, and the blocked off look portrays stability.
It’s been a year since I got my last tattoo, and keeping with my tradition of telling blood donation people that I just got a tattoo and may have Hep C, I need another one. I’ve been tossing ideas around and photoshopping like a mad man. I have arrived upon an idea that first manifested itself years ago. I’m gonna get three side-by-side squares filled in with gears. The three panels represent past, present and future. The gears represent my gear-headed nature. It’s gonna be carbon black, just like my others. I’m not sure what my aversion to color is. It could be the fear of colored tattoos looking cartoonish. It could be that I remember a famous graffiti artist proclaiming that everything should be painted in black and white first, because color is just a crutch used to cover up a lack of talent. It could also be because I’m from Spaña, and I’m used to black prison style tats.
During my research, I came upon several tattoos that I wish I had thought up first. These were found mostly by accident and appear in no particular order.
The first is a tattoo of an automotive diagram of a turbocharger. I like it because it shows the wearer’s love of turbos and is also a testament to the size of his undoubtedly large testicles, because this is a huge painful tattoo:
Some forum speculators insist that he should get a legend for the diagram on his other arm. The next tattoo that’s right up my ally is this one:
I like this tattoo a lot because I’ve often had a cup o’ joe, then hopped on my bike. The tattoo lacks one thing though— the extreme need to pee after drinking coffee then biking. Maybe there should be a droplet falling off the gear- to denote urination, chain lubrication, and java anticipation. The next image is another that heavily involves symbolism. Heck, it is a symbol. It’s the symbol for an NPN transistor in an electrical diagram:
These two are hilarious and memorable, two traits that I find appealing in tattoos. The next few are music related. I have considered a band tattoo, but still have not found anything that I want forever. When searching “band tattoos” I arrived upon Adam Duritz and the playlist for 94 Rock tatted on some unfortunate people’s backs:
This is why I research my tattoos. I won’t regret them if a) I know exactly what they mean to me, and b) I can’t see them! I cannot see my tattoos without trying, how could I regret them? Plus, our society is changing. It is no longer taboo to tote tattoos. All of mine are easily concealed by a t-shirt, and I’ve had no problems finding jobs thus far. As soon as I visually mangle my body with another tattoo, I’ll be sure to update!