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Tattoo U

The new tattoo. Another in my ongoing series of tattoos based on letterforms I think are beautiful. From a visual standpoint, I’ve been wanting something big, black, and smooth-edged that would peek outside of most clothing, but that I could cover up when I wanted to look respectable. As I was walking home from CBGB's last night (this month's Homo Corps, where I looked like an ass because I was wearing a suit and carrying a box of Jordan almonds since I’d been at a wedding earlier in the evening), I had this flash of inspiration that a letter with an umlaut on my back would be a nice touch, so that the dots would be visible above the neck of a t-shirt.

So I started looking at old-style serif typefaces, thinking that an "o", with its off-axis center, would be very lovely. Just for kicks I started looking at some bolder sans serifs and other letters, and the Meta Bold "u" really looked outstanding. I decided to move the dots of the umlaut out to the sides a bit more than where they would sit if the letter were used in text, since it looks better that way on its own. Once I did, I noticed this lovely effect where the letter began to look like two simplified figures standing side-by-side, one reaching out to the other. A little precious perhaps, but that little bit of added conceptual value was the clincher. (see how a nerd like me can turn an otherwise kick-ass tattoo into a tedious exercise of over-analysis?)

This one hurt like a motherfucker. It was so much bigger and darker than either of my last two, and went right over the bony parts of my spine. The sensation of the needle in the soft parts of my neck was also extremely unsettling. It was so uncomfortable that this time I give myself at least two or three days before I start thinking about another.

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