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Q: Looking for Tattoo Inspiration :) ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Looking for Tattoo Inspiration :)
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Visual Arts
Asked by: jem-ga
List Price: $12.50
Posted: 08 Aug 2002 08:56 PDT
Expires: 07 Sep 2002 08:56 PDT
Question ID: 52198
Hello All :)

Having happily lived with my current collection of beautiful bodyart
for 12+ years (approximately 4 separate tattoos but interwoven to
create one "complete" design), I am looking to add "just one more"
(that's what I said the last time!) tattoo as a special treat.

However, I need inspiration.....your mission, should you choose to
accept it is to help me decide my next piece of body art!

To help you with your quest, I will describe a) the tattoos that I
currently have and b) the types of ideas that I like with respect to
any future tattoo that I have.

a) current tattoos: one large bird of paradise (i.e. phoenix bird,
approx. 8 inches long) on left shoulder carrying a vine which curls
over my shoulder and onto my left arm which culminates in an open
fuschia flower surrounded by a baroque style heart.  Just below that,
I have a delicate arm band comprised of green flowing leaves (about 5
inches above my left elbow).  All tattoos are in full technicolour!
b) types of tattoo ideas that I like: 1) my chinese astrological sign
is the Fire Horse and I was born in the Year of the Fire Horse so I
think that's pretty cool - only problem is that I haven't been able to
find a suitable picture that shows enough detail 2) anything
meaningful (e.g. certain concepts like "integrity", etc) written in
either chinese or japanese although I'm open to other
languages/scripts if you can suggest any (pictures of the script style
and/or language would help).

I am happy to accept answers which are purely subjective opinion but
I'd be particularly delighted if you could back up your thoughts with
a few choice and/or favoured weblinks.

If you require any further clarification, please do not hesitate to
ask! :)
Subject: Re: Looking for Tattoo Inspiration :)
Answered By: missy-ga on 08 Aug 2002 10:10 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Jem!

This is a terrific question!  I love looking at other people's
tattoos, but I'm *such* a pansy - haven't gotten one, even though I
think they're nifty.

Let me tell you what mine would be, if I weren't so chicken:  an ankh,
the Egyptian symbol for "Life".  If you're familiar with the works of
Neil Gaiman, you'll know that his Sandman character, Death, wears an
ankh - not because she has a sense of the ironic, but because she
values Life and encourages people to live theirs to the fullest.  "You
get what anyone gets - you get a lifetime," she says to one she's come
to collect, a reminder that we only get one, and it's up to us to make
the most of it.

Here are a few pictures of Death, with her Ankh:

"Only Mortals Live Forever"

From "Death: The High Cost of Living"

Death, by Mike Lilly

Like the phoenix, the ankh has also come to symboblize rebirth or
enduring life - this may be a very good fit for you!

Another Egyptian symbol you might find interesting is the Eye of
Horus.  Horus was the falcon-headed son of Isis and Osiris - half
mortal, half god, Horus was seen as a link between the living and the
afterlife.  His eye is often found on sarcophogi, painted there so the
dead can watch from their place of repose.  The  Eye of Horus is said
to represent health and well-being, and was often worn as an amulet
for protection from sickness and injury:

The Eye As Sign And Symbol

The Eye of Horus

Chinese characters are quite popular, both among tattoo enthusiasts
and henna artists.  In particular, concepts such as Happiness, Hope
and Inspiration are often sought.  I've located the Chinese characters
for the following concepts for you - some are ornate, some simple, all
lovely:  Good health, Happiness, Heaven, Hope, Humility, Inspiration,

Frequently Asked Chinese Characters: G - I

Jun Shan has also posted the top ten most lucky Chinese characters -
among them Good Luck, Longevity, Prosperity, Love and Virtue:

Top Ten Lucky Symbols

Wildly popular Fairy artist Amy Brown allows the use of all but her
limited edition works for personal tattoos, the only stipulation being
that the tattoo artist may not offer the work commercially - in other
words, you can take your favorite Fairy in and have her tattooed on
you, but the tattoo artist may not add that picture to his "book" (to
offer to other clients) without getting permission from Amy first. 
(Amy is very generous with the use of her artwork, but will bite
anyone who abuses that generosity).

Here's her tattoo policy:

"A lot of inquiries about tattoos have been sent in. Amy allows the
use of her images for personal tattoos. Tattoo artists are not allowed
to offer the images commercially unless an arrangement is made with
the artist. If you have one of Amy's faeries tattooed on you, feel
free to send a photo of it to us."

Amy Brown Fantasy Art - General Information

...and a gallery of tattoos submitted by Amy's fans:

Fantasy & Fairy Tattoos

...and a few of Amy's nifty Fairies, because everyone has a little
magic in them:

Shy Violet

Fire Dance

Looks Like Trouble

Wild Rose

Book Faery (Perfect for a Researcher Girl!)

Fire Element

...or you can view her entire collection:

Amy Brown Fantasy Art

Elfwood artist Anna Gunnervaldh has posted a wonderful sketch of a
fire horse - it's not colored, but a skilled tattoo artist could
easily help with that.  The lines are simple, and would lend
themselves well to tatooing.  Of course, you'd have to get permission
before using it (don't want to run afoul of copyright laws!):

Fire Horse

Erik Mayer also offers an interesting interpretation of his Chinese
astrology sign:

Fire Horse

For a non-literal take on the Fire Horse, how about the symbol for it?
 I found it in a very odd place, but it's quite nifty.  You'll need to
scroll almost to the very bottom:

The Making of JT and HZ

I hope these are a good start for you, Jem!  If you think you need
more pictures, or have other avenues you'd like me to explore for you,
just ask, and I'll be happy to do it!

Happy inking!

jem-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
I really think Google should add an extra rating button for answers
like this e.g. "****** = I'm am so ecstatically happy with this answer
that I want to go and whip up a chocolate cheesecake and spread the
joy!"  Seriously though, a superb answer - very imaginative, GREAT
links (I'm particularly impressed with the "Fire Dance Fairy"), just
enough food for thought without being overwhelming and right on target
inspirationally!  Many thanks - much appreciated!  I'll let you know
what I eventually decide on! :)

Subject: Re: Looking for Tattoo Inspiration :)
From: owain-ga on 09 Aug 2002 11:08 PDT
If you decide on Chinese characters, check, double check and check
again that they mean what you want them to. Cautionary tale at:

All the best
Subject: Re: Looking for Tattoo Inspiration :)
From: pne-ga on 14 Aug 2002 05:54 PDT
Double-checking is especially important when you ask for
Chinese/Japanese characters suggestions on a newsgroup... most of the
time, on appropriate-looking newsgroups people are fed up with tattoo
inquiries and will give you completely inappropriate ideas. Check with
a native speaker!
Subject: Re: Looking for Tattoo Inspiration :)
From: natural_expressions-ga on 10 Mar 2005 06:40 PST
Subject: Re: Looking for Tattoo Inspiration :)
From: natural_expressions-ga on 10 Mar 2005 06:51 PST

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