Journey into Ink

May 30, 2011 by     No Comments    Posted under: art


The artists’ black latex gloves grip a contraption made of metal, plastic, rubber bands and needles.  An incessant buzzing accompanies an outpouring of black ink, leaving a trail as would a fleeing squid.

Her skin was transformed, from Caucasian hue, to black lined, to red and raised-angry at the invasion.

She uses her yoga training, breathing steadily and “tuning in” to the literal vibration of the machine.  Entirely appropriate given the yogic symbol being tattooed onto her back.

Tourists come to check out this studio, made famous by its owner and her television show.  Some come to look or buy a t-shirt to prove their presence, others to indulge in the art.  And it is art, both ways.  The tattooist brings skill and creativity to the work.  The subject brings their own creativity, meaning and placement decisions.  Or not.  Some wander in with no idea beyond wanting something to adorn their body.  The decision for a life long mark comes quickly to those who know their art, surprisingly so.  And those who know the art intimately also know where on their body blank skin is, even when behind their vision.

A tiny, pretty girl, with sleeves of colored ink protruding from a black leather jacket, creates a large tiger on the shoulder of a paunched man, likely a veteran, taking a symbol on this weekend of American memorial.  A young man lays prone, grimace on face, stomach rising and falling with rapid breath, as another tattooist works with deep concentration on the patients underarm, a most sensitive area of the body.

Jeff, the artist, draws, outlines, and colors for almost 3 hours, but time passes much faster than reality.

Karen, the canvas, chats occasionally but mostly sits patiently, enjoying the experience as others might enjoy a relaxing massage.

Whether a person likes or appreciates a tattoo is a matter of personal preference.  The greater personal meaning belongs to the wearer of the creation.

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