My first tattoo!

JULY 8, 2010

I always feel a little naked when I go to Williamsburg (or almost anywhere else these days) since tattoos have become a symbol of fashion awareness rather than mystical cult status or memories of a drunken evening. So, I felt a warm sense of belonging as I set out to create a fearsome and indelible icon for an article about "La Familia," the dreaded Mexican mafia.

The big question was, however, could I turn my skill at creating fluffy little rounded shapes and bright colors into something that appeared sinister and evil? Surprisingly, I actually went a little too far and was asked to tone down my first round of sketches so as not to alarm or frighten the gentle Italian people.

I now feel authorized, if still a bit hesitant, to join the celebration. Does anyone know where I can find a clip-on Septum ring?

I've been asked about designing tattoos many times but, always declined as I felt unqualified due to the lack of personal body decoration.

Surprisingly, the finished line art bears a passing resemblance to my rough scribbles.

For a first round, exploring the imagery of "Santa Muerte" as suggested by the client, I proposed a variety of options with requisite skulls, weaponry and mystical stuff.

Asked to refrain from imagery that would disturb the superstitous, I skirted the boundaries of ethnic profiling to engender a kinder yet, cogent representation of our gentle friends from South of the border.