The journey of a tattoo collector is arduous and frequently full of stops, starts, and sudden unexpected twists. My journey from the owner of one, small, crappy tattoo to a serious collector is a long, slow burn and if you like unedited content, non-sequiturs, and BS, can be explored in full on this site. I am in the home stretch – 2 sessions left (says Teresa Sharpe who is a notorious liar when it comes to how much more work we have left) on my leg sleeve of the Hell Courtesan or Jigoku Dayo
This project began as a 1-day leg piece at a convention almost 2 years ago and has grown and morphed into the most beautiful thing I own made possible by a tour de force of scrimping, justification, and self-indulgence. It has been a pure delight working with such an amazing and talented artist. But now that I am almost done I have all this other skin asking the question, “What next?” Tattoo design can mean many things from flash to bodysuit and there are many types of collectors and no right or wrong way to get tattooed. But I fall into the category of “go big or go home” collector and find myself stuck on where to go next.
I don’t have the answers yet but I am starting to give it some thought. I asked a friend with a discerning eye for help determining what should be left clean and where the next pieces should go – not content – I have a swirl of concepts and ideas and will ultimately let my artists have a big say – but more along the lines of negative space and flow. When you have a large collection the space between the tattoos speaks as loudly as your ink. It is hard to see yourself from all angles accurately so I enlisted the second pair of eyes. Japanese calligraphy brushes, Sumi ink, and free rein resulted in some interesting conversations about where I should consider getting my next tattoos and what I should leave clean.
Like many pleasures in life, the anticipation carries at least half the fun. The delicious waiting. I am starting to feel the pull of my next tattoo(s) and not knowing what they will be yet make it all the more sweet and mysterious. That is one of the many aspects I love about tattoo collecting. The tattoo design, the concept, the hunt – sometimes even the chase of the artist. Even the practicality of planning travel and squirreling away precious resources is part of it. We value what we work hard for. It is a pleasure reserved for those who find pleasure in it and I can’t wait to see where I will go next.