Making Art

Jul. 14th, 2016 04:00 pm
ladysprite: (new)
[personal profile] ladysprite
Earlier this week I had the first inking session for my newest tattoo (and as an aside, when the heck did I become an ink addict? I never meant to get any beyond the first one....). It's going to be absolutely gorgeous, and my artist is amazing, but this was especially interesting to me because it was the first time I got to watch and be part of the art-design process.

I adore my artist; he has an amazing ability to take a vague description and a series of pictures and turn them into something that's exactly what I never knew I was looking for - but always in the past this has been a black-box process. I (or my husband, or my friend) give him a handful of concept pictures, talk to him for half an hour or so about what we want and why, and then go home. When we come back a week or two later, he holds up a drawing and asks 'Is this your tattoo?' And it always is.

This time? My email full of concept art went to the wrong address. So when I showed up for my inking, he had my verbal description and a couple of Google image searches for 'blue morpho butterfly tattoo' that he'd done on his own, and.... not much else. So the first hour and a half of our session was iterative art design as we looked up pictures, shared them with one another, and tossed ideas back and forth, him sketching as we went.

I can barely draw a stick figure, so watching him make lines on paper (in between looking up videos of his toddler to share with me, discussing the concept of negative space filigree, and comparing visual balance to Delsarte school of motion) and having them suddenly turn into a picture was nothing short of magic. And then watching the process of it go from generic-butterfly to my-image as we adjusted a line here, thinned a section there, moved a section to match the shape of my collarbone....

And all of this was followed by another half-hour of him staring at my chest and shoulder, making vague swoopy motions with his hands as he figured the precise shapes he wanted to bring out to match m body lines, and doodling and erasing sharpie dots along my sternum, pec, and shoulder.

Art is beautiful. Ink is beautiful. But I've never been privileged to understand the thought and design process that goes into making something exquisite and personal and special like this, and it was amazing - not just for the appreciation of skill and consideration, but for being able to witness the enthusiasm and happiness that the creative process brings to someone truly devoted to it. This is going to be an awesome piece...

(For the record, my initial description to him was 'something kind of like a blue morpho butterfly but not true-to-life, kind of stylized, with some surrounding shaping or lines or something to suggest movement and transformation.' What I'm getting is a 3/4 profile butterfly following the line of my left collarbone, with a negative-space filigree through and around it, spreading across my upper chest and shoulder....)

Date: 2016-07-14 08:32 pm (UTC)
mermaidlady: heraldic mermaid in her vanity (Default)
From: [personal profile] mermaidlady
Delsarte and tattoos! I love it! I can totally see the implications.

Date: 2016-07-15 03:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] evcelt.livejournal.com
(and as an aside, when the heck did I become an ink addict? I never meant to get any beyond the first one....)

Tattoos are insidious that way. I'm living proof. ;-)

Iterative tattoo design is a fascinating process. I've done everything from starting with a vague idea to coming in with what is essentially tattoo-ready flash (all with the same artist) and had them work their magic and make it art on my body.

There was one wonderful occasion long ago when I came into the shop, found that my preferred artist was booked solid, got into a conversation with another artist... he ended up looking at and rejecting my reference material, then spent an hour drawing on my shoulder with a sharpie, improvising a beautiful new design.

Magic.

Date: 2016-07-18 01:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gmkieran.livejournal.com
I've been told it's always that first one that gets you hooked. ;) Glad you're having fun participating in the process!!! Though, my first thought on hearing the butterfly species was this radio serial - http://www.zbs.org/index_new.php/store/product/dreams-of-the-blue-morpho-mp3

*hugs*

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