Tattoos...permanent pieces of beautiful artwork emblazoned on a person's body for life, but more importantly...the first true window into a person's soul. A tattoo can and should have worlds of meaning to the wearer. A tattoo is a gift to all, not only from the artist whose skillful needle graced the collector's soft canvas, but from the collector themselves. In truly artistic fashion the collector has given the world a piece of themselves, to be viewed and admired and explained...only if and when they choose to do so. In this way a tattooed individual's skin is much like a framed piece of artwork hanging in a high class museum, only this artwork can not be set on a wall and kept silent for centuries to come. It cannot be erased ,or stolen or given a monetary value. It is priceless..ageless..meaningful and best of all soulful.
A tattoo is not the sole possession of the wearer either. The tattoo artist, who masterfully painted this piece onto the skin, in an almost effortless fashion, also has a claim to the tattoo..to EACH tattoo that they imprint their soul on. The tattoo artist is so much more than just a "biker with a needle" as I have sometimes heard.
Not every artist can be a tattoo artist..but every tattoo artist must be an artist. These were words that were spoken to me quite often by one of the most talented tattoo artists that I have had the pleasure of knowing..my first husband Skott. He lived and breathed the world of tattooing. Every second of every day of his short life, he was drawing, or sculpting or painting or tattooing. The art was in his heart and he taught me the true meaning of what it is to be a tattoo canvas. I live that title with pride. I am not a tattoo artist, but I am a true tattoo canvas. Every piece however big or small, that graces my skin has a meaning and a story. I take pride in wearing my tattoos every day. I wake up every morning to the sight of my full sleeves and I go to bed every night reading the tattooed words and mantras that grace my wrists. If I wish to see my deceased husband again all I need to do is look at his portrait on my leg and if I choose to tell you the story of his death and how I have been able to live past that I will show you the memorial tattoo I have for him and the others that died one night. Want to know my favorite song? Read the title that I wear across my chest. Care to find out what the past two years of my "coming out" has felt like for me..ask to see the rainbow colored phoenix that is beginning its new life after having died in its flames on my chest.
None of my tattoos have been done "just because I had money and wanted to do it". Do I have flash on my body? Yes I do...but I challenge you to pick them out on me. Every flash piece has been altered to suit MY life, my meaning, my desire.
My tattoos tell the story of my life..the ups, the downs, the likes and the hates. The challenges I have faced are all right there, you just have to want to see them. I do not look at the act of choosing a design and getting a tattoo done as something trivial or something to do when you are bored...I see it as my life. There will be no history books written about me, my challenges, failures and triumphs are not large enough to be made into a movie and I do not have any written pages chronicling my life...but I have my tattoos.
If you want to know about me...ask me about my tattoos.
And for the true collector, the one who wears their tattoos not just on their body but on their soul..ask them about theirs. If they have gotten them because they felt compelled to by a force beyond their control..then theirs will have stories as well..and so will the artists who did them.
“My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story”
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By Mark Hudson