I popped into Self Sacrifice yesterday to let Cèsar get a look at his handiwork now that the tattoo is very much on the healing stretch. You’ve got to realise that you may have spent too much time in a tattoo shop when everyone greets you with such warmth as you arrive. Cèsar of course got me to lift up my top so he could see how the tattoo was doing, what I hadn’t expected was for him to call around another four of the (male) tattoo artists to join in the inspection. It’s not everyday you end up with five men intently examining your naked stomach and nattering away to each other in Portuguese. And may I say the examination involved quite a lot of touching. Strangely it was not awkward at all. I suppose to them my stomach is a piece of art rather than a body part. You will all be glad to know that it is healing well but will need a couple of touch ups when I get back from Aus. I left with many hugs and much love and a request to bring gifts from my holiday. Cheeky!
Those who know me, will know that at 18 I had a ladybug tattooed on my stomach. It was a symbol of a very important part of my life that I never want to forget but unfortunately the actual tattoo was a bit of a hatchet job. Not only was it uneven, patchy and the line work was appalling but it healed badly due to poor care instructions from the tattoo “artist” who did it.
As I have gotten more tattoos, I have become more and more reluctant to show people the ladybug because it looks so awful by comparison. A while ago when I got my Lapse tattoo on my leg, I asked Maio, the artist who did both my script tattoos about repairing it and he merely sneered at me and said, “I cover!”
I have had a concept in mind for ages but there was one element missing that I had not had the light bulb moment that accompanies all my tattoos about. This morning the light came on and set my whole mind on fire and so to Self Sacrifice I went.
Sadly, my beloved Maio has gone back to Brazil for three months. After pouting for a few minutes, I was offered the services of Cèsar Ciffer, who is an award-winning tattoo designer and artist who also works at Self Sacrifice. I had a look at his portfolio and on seeing that not only was his work breathtaking but also exactly the style I wanted, I handed over my concept and left him to design while I ansted away an afternoon at work.
If I tell you that Lapse was somewhat of a walk through a sunny park on a summer’s morning, you might get an idea of how intense getting (what I am calling) The Hibiscus Death done was. I sat for four hours while Cèsar painstakingly drew out and then coloured in his masterpiece. We stopped three times for both of us to take smoke breaks and for me to regain my composure and without the grace of Cèsar’s magical skin-numbing cream I can’t say I’d have made it… and let me just tell you it doesn’t numb your skin completely and it wears off after 20 or so minutes. Anyone who has ever had shading or colouring done will know the searing, flesh burning agony it is.
The result is this… and I apologise for my poor photography but I challenge you to photograph your own stomach. More pics here…
The meaning is such… the skull represents death and the hibiscus life and the way the hibiscus is wrapped around the skull is a representation of how life and death exist with and because of each other and are inseparable. The second representation is of the composition of my soul of both darkness and beauty both of which I embrace wholeheartedly as the hibiscus embraces the skull.
I am so in love with it that I wish to walk around nude for the next couple of years. Cèsar was so in love with it that he took about 200 photos of it for his portfolio.
Cèsar you will forever be part of me. I thank you for your patience, your creativity and four hours of your soul.
Let the itching commence…
I am amazed by the amount of interest in the new tattoo. I think everyone has been getting vicariously inked through me. Ha ha! I can now reveal that the new art is on my right calf and it says:
I’m not afraid
not to die
And this is what it looks like. There are some shots from a better angle here but they are not for the faint of heart because you can still see a lot of the blood.
For those who don’t know, it’s an Envy On The Coast lyric from a song called Lapse. It probably sums up how I feel about life, better than anything else I’ve ever heard and of course anyone who has been following my progress on the novel I’m writing will know it was inspired by the album that Lapse is on. So it’s a celebration of the project and how it is changing me.
I sat for about an hour, which is my longest by a very long way. Fortunately Kelly was kind enough to sit with me. Having her there to distract me made a huge difference because there were times where I came close to throwing in the towel. Once again, I had the gorgeous Maio, as my artist/torturer. He is the same person who did the tattoo on my arm and quite amusingly he remarked at how good that one looks. I reminded him that he did it and he was like… oh… ha ha! Sadly this time I was facing away from him so I couldn’t stare.
Now begins the clingwrapping and the itching and the scabbing and the blistering and all the questions about why I am carrying around nappy rash cream! I also envision many questions from various people when I arrive home next week. Wish me luck…
Today’s obsession is this YouTube video by vBlogger, Jimmy010. He does little bits of observational comedy. This one is about warnings on plastic carrier bags. I’ve watched it about a hundred times and I kill myself laughing every time.