Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fantasy Ink

I first started watching LA Ink at the start of last season, the first season. Kat Von D's rock chick attitude disguises a rare ability to draw portraits, only she does them in ink on people. Tattoo artists are some of the most skilled artisans out there, they draw for a living every day. Since their clients have to live with the art for the rest of their lives, they can't make any mistakes. No erasing, no Undo key, they have to get it right the first time. The show is amazing, in part because many of the artists featured are women, and because it's such an intimate art form.

Every tattoo has a story behind it, and many represent deeply meaningful events in the person's life. Some are done as memorials, some are done to celebrate life. All are interesting tales, because our lives are not dull after all. The challenges we face and how we confront them, that's dramatic, that's interesting. Creating art from that challenge shares it with everyone, and on LA Ink it get's shared with the entire viewing audience. Every time I tune in I'm uplifted be one story or another. Whether it's Kat herself, one of the other artists, or someone getting their next tattoo, it's a gathering place for stories. I guess I just love a good story and that's why I watch, and to get inspired by artists at work as well.

There's a sacredness to tattoos as well. Many cultures use them as part of a ritual, because rituals are about transforming the mundane into the extraordinary. I have a tattoo idea in mind that I plan to get done by the end of 2009. I'll be setting aside some money bit by bit, but it's important to me that it gets done. Because I'm transforming as well.

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