...Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...

All Tatted Up

So I am suddenly, as of today, as of right this minute, totally pumped at the prospect of my upcoming half-sleeve tattoo (6 more months or so, if all goes well, woot woot!). I love the prospect of coming up with a tattoo design because it's both exciting and intimidating (because you better damn well like it enough to live with it FOREVER... EVER... EVER... EVER...). And a half-sleeve is even MORE exciting and intimidating. And even moreso, I love knowing that I will have designed it all, every square inch, and it will be all mine mine mine.

Right now, I'm still pretty set on the focal point of the sleeve being an anatomical heart.

I'm torn between what *type* of "anatomical" heart design, however.

This one I think is wicked cool in an abstract, totally-lending-itself-to-a-tattoo sort of way:

But I think I'm still pretty certain I want something a bit more campy and retro-looking, kind of along the lines of this (though this isn't the exact design--the one I have in mind is at home and is in blue and red):


So yes. I've gotten that far.

However, I am still unsure of what to do with the background. It's difficult, because I don't want it to overwhelm the heart in the foreground, so I want to steer clear of anything TOO busy. But then again, I don't want it to be too monochromatic and UNbusy, because that sort of defeats the purpose of the whole half-sleeve tattoo in the first place.

I stumbled across this tattoo today while doing a bit of roaming, and I am rather enamored with it and the way it curves and curls to fit the arm and shoulder's contours. (If I were a boy, I would be so gloriously tatted. But I like my breasts too much to ink them.)

So I'm thinking something along those lines in the background. BUT not solid-black. AND not up onto my breastal area. AND probably moreso the OUTLINE of these types of curlicues, with some subtle, colored patterns within them. (Basically, SORT OF like the curlicue tatts above, but then again, not like them at all.)

I have ordered several books of Japanese designs from the library, mostly for their pattern-work, which would be something I think I'd like to fill the curlicues in with. I am not Japanese. I have no meaningful connection with the culture. So I don't really wanna snag distinctly Japanese symbols/icons. But I *do* love the sense of pattern in the iconography and designs I've seen, so I may incorporate some of that.

I also know that I would like to very subtly and in tiny script on the inside part of the half-sleeve (so it's readable when I reach out my arm to grab something), sneak the end-most lines from Brigit Pegeen Kelly's poem "Song" which I just adore:

"This song
Is sweet. It is sweet. The heart dies of this sweetness."

And that's about as far as I've gotten.

But boy, am I enjoying getting there.

So if any of you with sleeves have any recommendations as to what to steer clear of or what best to consider incorporating, please do give me a holler. Any input would be much appreciated!



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