Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tattoo Inspired

The other day, Bill asked if I was planning to get a tattoo. Like many marital conversations, it took me a minute to figure out what prompted that. It was the stack of books waiting to go back to the library.

To date, my interests in needle arts have been confined to the application of thread to fabric, not ink to skin. But I checked out a bunch of tattoo books to study the style of traditional tattoos. A couple of things had piqued my interest.

Don Ed Hardy
In the lunch line at the Missouri Art Education Conference in March, I talked to a woman who raved about a workshop on teaching kids to draw in the style of Don Ed Hardy. The iconic California tattoo artist's licensed images now appear on clothing as well as birthday suits.

I'm teaching an altered images workshop at a textile camp for kids this summer. When they start sampling on the first day, I want to be sure I have some images that appeal to them until they have a chance to develop images of their own. Something like tattoo-style images.

I thought about asking my nephew, a very talented tattoo artist, to draw something for me. And I still might. But I really wanted to see if I could sketch in a style that's tattoo-inspired but not tattoo-copied. It makes me uncomfortable to co-opt a culture without knowing enough to show respect and good judgment.

So my dollface doodles have been getting a makeover. I've been playing with biomorphic backgrounds, but don't think I want that much detail for these elements. I need to clean up some sketches, see how they transfer, and do some beading and embroidery on them. We'll see where this leads.

In the meantime, I'm planning to check out books on bonsai, motorcycle repair and animal husbandry. Just to keep my husband guessing.

Next time you're at the library, why not visit a section that's not on your normal path? Let me know what kind of unexpected inspiration you find.

1 comment:

  1. You have such creative thoughts and expand beyond the normal. You mind is working all the time. I love it.


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