Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tattoorism: Sean Returns Part I

I got the ditch of my elbow done probably about a year or so ago.  It is a flower of sorts, of my own design, made up of various geometrical shapes.  The tattoo represents two parts of our world, nature (the floral shape itself, petals, leaves, etc.) and science (the geometric shapes making up the flower).  I believe that one should not base their ideals solely on nature or science/technology, but on a mixture of the two.  It represents my appreciation for both nature and science.  Basically, I am fascinated by technology and the sciences that are its basis, but at the same time do not feel that science should trump nature all together but rather, have the two working together in harmony.  It was done by Robert “Binky” Ryan at Electric Tattoo in Bradley Beach, NJ.

The sparrows circling my outer elbow were my next pieces done.  I had attended a Marine museum in Philadelphia which had a great exhibit on the tattoo culture surrounding the Navy and sailors in general throughout history.  According to the exhibit, sailors would earn the right to a single sparrow tattoo after traveling 5,000 miles at sea and a second sparrow after 10,000 miles.  I am not much for sailing, but the idea of the sparrow representing travel and all the hardships, journeys, and successes that surround that travel appealed to me.  Further, I have a general appreciation for American Traditional tattoos and their overall aesthetics.  These were done by Rich Heller at Electric Tattoo in Bradley Beach, NJ. 

Don’t quite remember when I got my feet finished up, but it was sometime within the last year and a half or so.  My feet are tattooed with a sun and moon, which I drew myself about 6 years ago.  The duality of the sun and moon, and various meanings that these two symbols hold are why I had them tattooed.  The idea that each represents night and day, or two opposites that work together to make up a whole, are what drew me to having the designs placed on my feet.  Further, it represents the two sides that I have to myself, a lighter, happy, and caring side and a darker, selfish side.  I feel a person cannot fully understand themselves without acknowledging and accepting all parts of their personalities.  I also gave the sun and moon, a dark, kind of macabre, look as I am a huge horror fan and have always been attracted to the darker side of things.  Originally, I had them inked by Robert “Binky” Ryan (then at Body Art World in Pt. Pleasant, NJ but now Electric Tattoo in Bradley Beach, NJ) in 2004.  They were done in grey wash and I was happy with them for about 5 years, in which point I decided to have them colored in, and had some background added.  The color and background were added by Brody Longo at Slingin’ Ink in Pt. Pleasant Beach, NJ.

The next piece I got was an anchor on my inner forearm.  The anchor represents all the things that drag me down in life.  Across the anchor is a banner that reads “P.M.A.” the abbreviation for positive mental attitude.  I feel the first step in pushing through any kind of hardship in life is to have a positive attitude, and the rest will follow.  I want to say the original use of PMA was in a Bad Brains song, but I pulled it from its use in the Glassjaw song “Piano.”  This tattoo is also a throwback to the band Glassjaw, as they have been my favorite band for I would have to say at least 10 years now and I have experienced just about every emotion possible while listening to their albums.  So as an added bonus, the tattoo brings me back to all those memories.  The tattoo was done by Rich Heller at Electric Tattoo in Bradley Beach, NJ.

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