Skin Deep 261

Skin Deep 261 1 March 2016 261

I booked myself in for an eye-test last week–yeah, yeah, I can hear the jokes from here you know. Anyway, it turns out I need a pair of bins for seeing things very far away. (For our non-domestic readers and those who don’t get out much, ‘bins’ = ‘binoculars’. It may be a phrase from the ’70s for which I apologise). Important things like: cars coming towards you at speed or for being able to tell in a split second that the thing you just swerved to avoid was a plastic bag and not a fox.

I’ve put this off for years having been quite content knowing that trees consist of leaves even though what I actually see is a green shade with no definition, so kind of like Fuzzy-Felts. Remember those? It was what you got as a kid when your folks couldn’t afford Lego or Meccano.

So much like Daredevil, I’ve always relied on my other senses to fill this gap in my abilities. For instance, sooner or later you just ‘know’ if it was a plastic bag or a fox.
I jest. Honest.

What I actually want to get at this month is how we’re all super busy looking at tattoos with our eyes doing all of the work but over recent months, I’ve also got into the habit of listening to a tattoo… though obviously not with my ears. That would be stupid.

See, once a tattoo is in place, if it’s done properly, it will either a: sit there like a tattoo does or b: become part of the person it’s on. Both are equally valid–of course they are, it depends what you want from it–but as time has rolled on its merry way, I’ve seen a huge difference between what I consider to be good tattooing and great tattooing.

The tattoo itself as ‘art’, stands alone and that’s fine and dandy (that’s what it’s supposed to do) but when you see a tattoo become part of the wearer, that’s worth its weight in chocolate bars. I’ve likely said it before around here but there are two types of tattooed people in the world.

There are those who find their tattoos own them and then there are those whom you don’t even notice are tattooed because they wear, and own, their ink so completely.
Check it out for yourself. Take a look around at your own work and your friends work—see where it is and what it contributes to the body. Look closely at the tattoos you notice and closer at the ones you don’t… there’s a dark art to placement and visibility that’s getting lost in the mix as we bludgeon our way forwards into instagram oblivion.

You can create a great tattoo anywhere but for it to really spring to life, it should be right in the skin and not sitting on top of it.

I know you know what I’m talking about.

Interestingly, up at the other end of the magazine, totally independent of my thoughts, Paula brings up the same train of thought in her column.

We can't both be wrong. Can we?

-Sion

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