Watching 'Miami Ink' on cable television has been making me itchy for a new piece of ink so when my Tuareg cross broke over Christmas I decided that I'd get it tattooed on my arm. This was to be my fifth tattoo and I took myself off to Giselle at Shamanic Art in Southend (please see link on the sidebar) to get it done. Giselle has done my last two tattoos, one being the word 'Skallagrigg' scripted down the back of my left calf and the other my birth date '30-07-65' across my upper back so I wanted her to do the work.
The relationship between the tattooed and their tattoist is important as you really need to trust the person who is, effectively going to scar you for life. I trust Giselle implicitly. She is a wonderful artist and always comes up with the little extra to embelish your ideas for a tattoo. In this instance she took the idea from my small cross and suggested that she make it look older and more like stone by adding the cracks and shading on the cross itself. I had already decided that I wanted some shading around the cross as she has done this on previous tattoos (which can be viewed elsewhere on this site). I am more than happy with the result. I love it.
My previous tattoos have always had some kind of significance to me personally, rather than just having any old design tattooed from the tattooists design books. For me the tattoo has to represent something. So what is this one all about then? Well The Tuareg are a nomadic berber people who live in the Northern Sahara desert. The cross they wear amongst other things is used to guide them through the desert. At night they will remove the cross and place it pointing in the direction that they want to travel the next day. They place a rock/stone on it to stop it being moved as the sands shift during the night and the landscape can change quite significantly. The next day they can resume their journey with the knowledge that they are heading in the right direction. To me it signifies keeping the the path you choose for yourself (bit wanky I know, but there you go).
It is still a bit sore after an hour and a quarter under the needle on Friday but it is coming along well with iberal applications of nappy rash cream. Here's to the next one.