The evolution of my tattoos
The evolution of my lower leg tattoo/s (A work in progress)
This is the story not of a first tattoo, or even a tenth tattoo, I am heavily tattooed, all large pieces, I have around ten, so this is more like a story of an eleventh , twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth tattoo, though I have brought these separate , related ideas together into one cohesive design, which I hope will eventually cover my entire lower right leg.
It is also most defiantly my nerdiest tattoo. All my other tattoos are ravens, wolves, nature spirits, adder snakes and so forth, in ‘Pagan’, ‘Celtic’, ‘realistic’ and ‘Haida’ styles, striking and lovely artwork, quite butch for a girl, and not in the slightest bit nerdy.
However, I am a closet nerd, I have always been fascinated by nature, biology and evolutionary biology in particular, (Richard Dawkins and David Attenbourgh) anyway, last year I decided to educate myself a little, and took two ‘Open University’ biology courses.
One was on ‘Fossils, and the history of life’ and the other one ‘Charles Darwin and Evolution’ I promised myself that if I did well in these very interesting and actually quite difficult courses (the OU is a serious institution, it’s courses are excellent,) I would reward myself with a new tattoo.
I first of all wanted to get just a simple tattoo of an ammonite fossil, but then wanted to incorporate more into the design to relate to the ‘Darwin and Evolution’ course (assuming I passed either)
Since I had a pretty long wait of three months to get my course results, I decided to be optimistic and set about designing my tattoo-to-be. I added several species of flowers with stems and leaves growing from the ‘open’ end of the ammonite shell, up my outer calf to my knee, spreading out around my leg so that the stems of the flowers looked a little like the tentacles of the long-dead cephalopod.
I chose some of the species of flowers because they were particularly remarkable in their evolution, and some just because they looked pretty and fitted the design well.
In honour of the great Erasmus Darwin (Granddad of Charles, it was Erasmus ‘s ideas on the origin of life, which he quite correctly believed had started from micro-organisms in the oceans, that eventually inspired Charles to carry out his research into evolution, and so to the publication of his definitive work ‘On the origin of species’) I added the Latin script ‘E conchis omnia’ or ‘everything from shells’
This was the motto Erasmus, who was an eccentric but kindly country doctor, had painted on his carriage, although he soon had to remove it due to the ridicule his radical ideas brought upon him, not to mention the accusations of heresy etc. That it provoked from the simple minded folks that liked to believe all animals and all life had magically appeared in seven days, ‘perfectly’ formed.
Anyhow, I digress, I eventually got my course results and to my amazement and delight had done fantastically well, so, with my design now (almost) perfected, I headed to the tattoo studio, ‘sinkin ink’ It’s a great little studio in Stoke, Staffordshire, and the artist, ‘Kim’ is fantastic, and although I am a pretty competent artist, she effortlessly improved my design and helped me develop it further.
Kim was pretty excited about tattooing my design, which is always a good sign.
I don’t need to go into the tattoo process, we’ve all heard/seen/read it a thousand times, and anyway this story is about the ideas behind, and the coming together of a tattoo, not the actual tattooing.
About a week after getting my tatt. (Which turned out beautifully, and at this point was comprised of the Ammonite/flowers and latin script) I decided it would be a good idea to add a bumble bee, since bees are our main pollinators and play such an important role in the ecosystem (and sadly bumble bees are on the rapid decline in the UK,)
Anyway I was pissed at not being able to be involved in the extINKed conservation project a few years ago in the UK (When people applied to be ‘ambassadors’ for life for a particular rare British animal or plant, got a tattoo of it and try to raise public awareness to the plight of their own allocated species featured in their tattoo.
SO, I decided to get a tattoo of one of our most critically endangered bumble bees, the ‘Great yellow bumble bee’ and at first I wanted a small one to fit between the flowers on my leg, but I have never been a fan of small tattoos, and after much deliberation decided to get the bee quite large (5 inches by 3) on he front/side of my shin, which still leaves lots of space for further developing this tattoo in the future, into a lower leg and foot ‘evolution and nature’ theme massive piece of tattoo art
Needless to say, Kim did a great job on the bee, it’s very colourful and detailed, almost photo-realistic, I plan to continue to add to this theme further in the near future, so that the design will eventually cover my whole lower leg and foot.
Photos of my beautiful tattoo/s are viewable in the ‘wildlife and nature’ tattoo gallery of BME.
If you’ve got this far, thanks for reading
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 June 2011
in Geek Tattoos
Artist: KIM SHEARD
Studio: SINKIN INK, STOKE
Location: STAFFORDSHIRE, UK