Welcome To The Curios

The Curios have been gathered from near and far. They may be common-as-muck or one-of-a-kind. They may be worth a pretty penny or a dime-a-dozen. They may be horrifying, captivating, loathsome, or scintillating.

Whatever the cause of their creation, hopefully they bring enjoyment to someone out there.


Inked Again

Something a bit different today. Millions of people have tattoos, they've been getting them for centuries and by no means am I covering any ground that hasn't been trodden a millions times before by writing about my experience.

But you never know, there might be someone out there who gets inspired or educated from this one post, and ultimately, that's my goal.

Since getting my first tattoo from artist extraordinaire, Amy Duncan, in November '08, I knew I would be getting another as soon as I could, I just had to decide on a design. I knew I wanted Amy to ink me again and I wanted us to actually work together on a design, rather than a simple tracing job. To cut a long story slightly less long, I decided on a bat. I booked my flight to Melbourne and a two hour session at Chapel Tattoo.

In searching for bat images for ideas, I stumbled across this amazing painting "Bat Before the Moon" by Biho Takashi.

I love the way the moon fades into the night sky. I also love the way it's almost like a comic panel in its layout. But the bat itself is more like a flying mouse, and as a tattoo design, I would prefer if the bat was facing the viewer.

(more after the jump)

Then I found this beautiful image by Australian artist, Ida Outhwaite, which had the bat posed the way I liked it. Unfortunately, the face was just not what I had in mind, so I had to try and find the bat's face that appealed to me.

I love bats. There are so many different varieties! I'm particularly fond of pipistrelles, top left.

And so I threw this together with MSPaint at work one day and sent it to Amy as a rough guide. And then I realised something: there was a subconsious inspiration for my design all along!

From the origin of Batman, Detective Comics #33.


Chapel Tattoo, 155 Chapel St, Prahran, Victoria.

Then it came time to meet Amy and get the ink done. I still hadn't seen the final design, and I was genuinely scared - what if I didn't like the bat's face? What if Amy and I weren't thinking along the same lines? How long would it take for us to agree on something? I was flying back to Adelaide later that day, would there be enough time?

I needn't have worried - Amy is a professional through and through and as soon as I saw the designs she had made, I was absolutely thrilled. It was perfect. I didn't want to change a thing. Everything about it works: the framing and fading of the moon, the impish face that reminds me a lot of Brian Froud's work and the fact that it's neither overly aggressive nor cutesy.

Part of Amy's station. I love the fact that Donald and Davey Stott, aka Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, oversee all the work done here.

Halfway there!

I've only ever had my biceps tattooed and I didn't really find it all that painful. That said, as the tattoo gun rounds to the top of the bicep, it gets sore; like being pinched really hard.

Interestingly, Amy told me that my skin is slightly resistant to taking ink. It never occurred to me that different skin types would react differently to being tattooed.

The finished product! This was taken immediately after the blood had been cleaned away and just before the dressing was put on, so it's a bit red, the beautiful shading nuances aren't as easily discernable and the line on the underside of the moon has since disappeared (which was intentional, it was just a temporary guide line).

During the healing process, the two biggest annoyances are the itchiness and pimples but they're worth enduring to see your tattoo in all its glory.

Those paying attention will have noted that the bat is my second tattoo. Here is the first, taken from an Oingo Boingo design, still fresh in its dressing, caked in blood. It's since faded to be slightly grainy in appearance, much like an old film print, which is perfectly in line with my preferred aesthetics.

Thank you, Amy, for your time, patience and unparallelled skill.

Also, thank you, Bats. Fuck Yeah for providing an online resource for some of the coolest bat images on the net.

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