Daily Prompt: Tattoo….You? Do you have a tattoo? If so, what’s the story behind your ink? If you don’t have a tattoo, what might you consider getting emblazoned on you skin?
As long as I’m able to remember, I’ve been obsessed with tattoos. Even when I was just 10 years old, I couldn’t stop admiring other peope’s tattoos while designing my own future motives. Thankfully, I wasn’t allowed to get any of these early ‘designs’ tattooed because, well, a 10 year old’s designer talents are rather ugh ‘liminted’. Over the years, my taste improved and I got more and more selective with what I’d like to get under my skin. That’s why I’ve only two tattoos (both are on my right arm). However, I do like to think that someday I’ll have a full arm sleeve if not more.
My first tattoo was done in 2009 in New Zealand. As soon as my New Zealand travel plans began to take shape, I know I wanted to get inked there. I began to think of the motive and place. Months later, I decided to get the Elvish word ‘Erchamion’ tattoed on my arm stump. There are several reasons and meanings why I chose that word and that place. For one, ‘Erchamion’ is the Elvish word for one-handed. People tend to perceive disability as something negative. Able-bodied people still see us disabled one as ‘broken’. The reality couldn’t be more different. So I thought that if people want to stare at my arm, they have to do it on my terms. They have to hear my tattoo story and re-think their ideas of what it means to live with a disability. The second meaning behind that tattoo is that it is a reminder of the amazing time I had in New Zealand. Every time I look at my tattoo, I have to smile. The third, and last, meaning, is connected to Tolkien (obviously). Erchamion is actually a reference to the character Beren from The Silmarillion. There are, in fact, two amazing characters in The Silmarillion that lost their hands and which I utterly love. Tolkien means a lot to me and without his work, I’d be a different person today. The fact that I’ve got that Tolkien-themed tattoo done in NZ is an additional plus.
When You Lose Small Mind You Free Your Life
My second tattoo, the one on my shoulder, was done four years ago and says “When You lose small mind you free your life”. While I did the design, a local tattoo artist in town inked it under my skin. At that time, I’ve just gave up a life long dream and started something I wasn’t sure I’d succeed in. I’ve finished my first semester studying English and American Studies after giving up my dream to pursue an art career full time and study 2D Animation. The reasons behind this story cannot be given here (they might get their own post someday), but I was frightened, knowing I had to start from scratch after working years towards a future in arts. Was it a good idea? Was it the greatest mistake I’ve done in life? All this and more went through my mind. However, soon I began to realize that it actually may have been the best decision I’e done in my life. Today, I can’t think of a future that doesn’t, one way or another, go back to my desicion to study English and American Culture and Literary Studies. At the end of my first semester, I realized that you have to be open-minded and brave enough to take risks. Sometimes, this bravery is rewarded with amazing things that you’ve never thought would or could happen to you.
More to Come
I’ve been thinking about getting a third tattoo for three years now and I’m still undecided. I’m a perfectionist and want tattoos with a certain aesthetic and meaning. The truth is, I’m obsessed with the idea to have more typography tattoos on my right arm that slowly turn into an abstract typography sleeve. Part of me wants this to consist of typography tattoos only, the other part wants more diverse and less restricting designs as well. Maybe I just need to hand the design process over to a tattoo artist. While it is not certain when I’ll get my third tattoo, it will happen someday.