Taking the Plunge: Here Comes the Ink
I am one of the many people that did not care for tattoos. Growing up in the suburbs, exposed tattoos were not very common (even in California), and ones that were visible were often tattered from a lifetime of sun and had no meaning. Even as I got older and started having friends getting ink, they would often return with cheap work (Taco Bell salaries don’t usually provide for top notch inking). Being young spoiled kids, their designs also had no correlation with who they were and usually were around because they honestly thought it made them look tough. There were flaming dice, devils, small pinup girls, and others that make up all the cliches of the rainbow. Things peaked when I was in line at my local supermarket in college behind a woman with a gaudy, flowing script across the back of her neck that read “John’s Bitch”. Classy.
It wasn’t until I spent time with people more associated with urban and artistic communities that I started to see what incredible work could be done and what fantastic and sincere stories could lie in the symbols they decided to permanently put on their body. Eventually I figured that I was not against tattooing, but I could not think of anything valuable enough to me to make it permanent. As time went on, I started getting less stuck up on the deep meaning behind everything and instead saw it as a form of expression and even as a way to connect with a specific style or artist you find dear. I started paying closer attention to work around me and noticed just how common it was and how much I enjoyed it. It wasn’t long before I started to crave getting a little bit of work done myself, so much so that I came up with a concept while in a very unusual frame of mind one afternoon and had it never leave my head for months. Eventually I admitted to wanting to get this work done, but dragged my feet because I still couldn’t see myself making the lifelong commitment. It was about that time when this video starting hitting the tech blogs:
It occured to me that maybe my tattoo did not have to be such a lifelong commitment. Sure, the ink would be there, but what if I could make it dynamic? The artist in the video managed to make a tattoo that linked to YouTube to give an extra twist to his design. If you can link to YouTube, who says you can’t link to a permanent location and redirect to anything else? Video, audio, social networks, documents, mobile applications… the list goes on. I decided to give it a shot and take my simple design to a new level. My interest in this approach inspired me to take my original idea and turn it in to something that really does mean a lot to me, then go all in and make it interactive. As a result, I have a design I made pixel by pixel that is exactly what I wanted to see. But just because it has been inked doesn’t mean the design is done, and I can keep it alive as long as I want.