Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Art Therapy

When the going gets rough, the rough get painful artwork inscribed on their bodies. I've been busy at work, and it was nice to sneak away last night and get some long overdue, barely contemplated, lightly considered tattoo work done. Sure it's permanent, and yup, it should be a big decision, but it's just skin, and a night just thinking about the needle that's burying itself into you was a near therapeutic experience. I knew what I wanted (whimsy) and knew who I wanted to do it (Mel Wayland) and so that's what I got.


It's just the outline, and it'll get some colour, attention to detail, and filler artwork in early January, but the roughed out ink on my right arm pulls a grin out of me each and every time I catch a glimpse of it. I never expected to find something spilling out from under my sleeve, but I have to admit I'm digging it beyond expectations...far beyond expectations and it's nowhere near done.


Why an octopus, and maybe more importantly, why the balloons? Is that a kraken gripping those balloons and drifting upward? Well, yes it is, but why? It's a good question that might get something of a shallow answer...I liked the idea of it. I'd been dreaming up the kraken idea for awhile. I liked the notion of eight tentacles, all capable of juggling a different task, something very like my every day. The balloons were just pure whimsy. I like the idea of the giant sea monster drifting up into the clouds...a rather imposing looking creature clinging desperately to the simple toys of a child...a flying octopus? Awesome. Of course, there's more to it than that...the three balloons symbolize our family, June, Zoey and myself, and they will make sense of the balloon I will someday add to my inside forearm when we have our second child. That's right, I said second child. He/she is not a reality yet, but we've come to the conclusion that there's an inevitability to the broadening of our family, and we want very badly for Zo to have a sibling. So there it is, breathed out into our shared air now. If the best energy of the entire universe is on our side in any way, shape, or form, there'll be another little nail in my heart before next winter. Funny that there was an element of family planning involved in this tattoo design...perhaps not your average process but average is overrated.

The whole thing makes me feel good..strong...purged almost...and when it comes to the idea of wearing your heart on your sleeve, well, you might just as well take that term literally as any other way.

Here's a copy of Mel's original sketch, from the artwork that I sent her.


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