Monday, October 16, 2017

Maple Syrup

I worked in a natural history museum in the Midwest for over 20 years and was lucky enough to have a great biologist on staff who would answer all of my silly cabin questions. Over the years, we started making our own maple syrup all the while learning more and more about the nature all around our little cabin in the woods...

This is one of my tattoos that always brings a smile to my face in remembering all that he taught me from his perspective...

Me...I was a collections gal :-)

Jackie Hoff
Independent Museum Collections Care Consultant

Want to share your own story and tattoo?
Email Beth: bredmondjones (at) sdnhm (dot) org or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Vegas Strong

After the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017, several tattoo shops around town started doing Nevada and Las Vegas tattoos and donating 100% of the proceeds to the victims and first responders. A few museum people I know have participated, and I'm sure there are many more I don't know of yet.

In addition, people across the museum community, who I mostly know from emails or quick meetings at conferences, have reached out to check on us and offer much-needed kindness and support. It's a little bit of beauty at an otherwise difficult time.

Emmi S.
Springs Preserve

Want to share your own story and tattoo?
Email Beth: bredmondjones (at) sdnhm (dot) org or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Sonic Tattoos for Museum People

As we are waiting for our next submissions to the MPT blog (hint, hint) here's a cool new type of tattoo that lets you include sound AND images!

Soundwave Tattoos let you include an image that can be "decoded" by an app to play up to a minute of sound relevant (or not!) to your nearby tattoo(s).

This seems like a great thing for museum people with tattoos --- dinosaur roar or bird call or narrated label text anyone?

Find out more by clicking over to the Soundwave Tattoos website!

Want to share your own story and tattoo?
Email Beth: bredmondjones (at) sdnhm (dot) org or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Lamppost Tattoo

Eliza Sanders is a writer for Corporate and Foundation Giving at The Field Museum.

Here is her tattoo tale:

I got this tattoo at the end of a crazy year. In 2015, I finished a Ph.D. in English and moved in with a family friend in Chicago rather than attempting the crushing academic job market. I wanted to be able to choose the city I lived in, and to have more structure in my daily life…but among my university colleagues, I was a pioneer. Before that move, the largest town I’d ever lived in was Iowa City, and I’d never had a 9-5, non-academic job for more than a summer. It was a huge leap, but within a month I had found an apartment (in the same building as a brother I’d recently discovered – long story) and a job working as a grant writer at The Field Museum. It was a complete transition into a new life.

This image is taken from the original illustration of the lamppost in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. It’s an object that marks a transitional point from one world into another. It also represents my scholarly identity, since I studied the ways that religion has influenced science fiction and fantasy literature. It reminds me of my childhood reading experiences. Most importantly, though, the lamppost is a symbol of light in dark places, and of hope. I got this tattoo out of an incredible feeling of gratitude that I had leapt into the unknown and been caught and set down safely – by God, by my new city, by all the people who selflessly helped me get to where I am.

The Field Museum's Tattoo exhibition, opening October 21, 2016 explores how and why people have been marking their skin as a means of expression for more than 5,000 years. Share your tattoo stories on Instagram and Twitter using #TattooFM, and your story may be featured in the exhibition or on the Tattoo website.  

Want to share your own story and tattoo?
Email Beth: bredmondjones (at) sdnhm (dot) org or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Nautical, New Jersey, and Tolkien Tattoos

Janine Napierkowski is a Project Coordinator at Rube Goldberg, Inc. and she was kind enough to share the following images and stories about her tattoos:

While I have numerous tattoos, I’ve chosen to feature three here because they are the most emotionally significant to me. All of my tattoos are a bit of a work in progress, as I am constantly adding more as ideas come to me. 

First is my largest work, the full sleeve on my left arm. The entire piece is nautically themed, with my favorite elements being the diver’s helmet/octopus and the ship-in-a-bottle. The quality of the line work and weight, in a “wood cut” style, to convey specific textures like wood, metal and glass while keeping the piece lacy and open, was very important to me and my artist did a wonderful job! (I often get asked if I am going to color it in and the answer is no). 

I grew up being fascinated by boats, romanticized pirates and buried treasure stories; I always feel calmer near the water, and this piece reminds me of the feel of salt on my skin and smell of the sea even when it is far away.

The second piece is on my upper back and is by far my geekiest tattoo. It is a quote from Tolkien’s the Fellowship of the Ring and reads “The road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began.” I’ve always been a fan of fantasy books, but this piece is much more a reminder of the person who introduced me to LOTR than it is a fan-girl work. He passed away after a long medical struggle as the result of a car accident. This quote reminds me that life continues on from its starting point and to not take it for granted. 

The third piece is my newest work: on my inner ankle is an image of Tilly from the Asbury Park arcade on the Jersey Shore. This was originally just an outline of NJ (that’s where I grew up), but when my high school art teacher and first mentor passed away this spring, I decided to fill in the outline in his honor. I love the bold Americana (Jerseyana?) colors and shapes, and it makes me smile.  

All of Janine’s tattoos featured on this blog were done by Mike Wingate at Big Joe and Sons' Tattoos in Yonkers, NY between 2012-2016.  

Want to share your own story and tattoo?
Email Beth: bredmondjones (at) sdnhm (dot) org or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Deep in the Woods

I've moved around from one city to the next throughout my museum career, but my heart has always belonged deep in the woods. When I'm not doing what I love in the museum world, I'm typically off hiking through nature or camping in the backcountry. My tattoo is one way I can have nature with me no matter where I happen to live. The stylized tree is the focal point of the design, with mountains far off in the distance.

As a collections manager, I've always been responsible for integrated pest management (IPM), and have spent quite a bit of time learning about insects in general, those hazardous to museum collections as well as those beneficial to the environment. I volunteer as a butterfly monitor, so my design also has representations of my favorite butterfly, the Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon), a butterfly that exists all over North America. I've seen them throughout all of the cities I've lived in, as well as places I've hiked through, including Alaska.

Britta Keller Arendt
Senior Collection Manager
Chicago History Museum

Want to share your own story and tattoo?
Email Beth: bredmondjones (at) sdnhm (dot) org or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Jorge's Infinity and Turtle

Currently, Dr. Jorge Perez-Gallego works as an astronomer and exhibition developer at the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in the magic city of Miami, where he leads the development of the upcoming Frost Planetarium and Feathers to the Stars exhibition.  You can learn more about Jorge and his work by clicking over to his SCIENCE MUSES blog.

Here's what Jorge had to say about his tattoos:

As the Museum People's Tattoos blog reminds us, many museum folks have a love for tattoos—their cultural significance, their artistic quality, their documentation of the natural world, and some, just for their own personal meaning. The abstract stories behind mine, written by a younger version of myself, at the time I got them, are below.

Infinity (2009)
one day you realize
forevers are not forever
and only then you fall
for all those forevers you had
and only then you fall
for all those forevers you await
maybe one
maybe more
maybe none
one day you realize
you are perishable
and although neverending
infinity hides a notch
deep in your heart
only then your eyes smile back
as they did at dawn
and your soul dances
to the music of colors
water your gifts
with care
before they become givens
and shrivel
your eyes closed
embraced from behind
white kisses
and hope
all that
in your wrist
for real

Countdown (2005)

You open the eyes while Morfeo is still reigning. You get away from his fantasy kingdom. You sweat, you always do. You look around and see nothing but darkness. Shadows. You wake up and see someone next to you, someone who looks at you faithfully while resting. Your loneliness. Forever. You have breakfast. Fractals made out of cocoa and milk. You wash your face energetically. Cold. You ride your bike. You curse the luck of a colleague that will not do it again. You ride your bike. You arrive to your office. Lonely, dark, empty. A paradise, ephemeral, intermittent, vanishing. You work without stopping for six long hours. Proposal. Telephone. Proposal. Paper. Web page. Email. Proposal. Email. You yearn for the salty silence, the sea breeze, having goose pimples, a supernova in your retina, your feet disappearing under the sand, the swinging of the waves. Only then you realize how far away you are from yourself. You look your conscience in the eyes. You smile. You have lunch. You fall and look at the sky. They hurt. Your fingertips, your palms, forearms, shoulders, chest. You close your eyes and imagine yourself climbing outdoors. You like to get home before it is dark. You call your parents, your sister, your grandma. You do it every now and then. You do not always like to talk for talk's sake. Communication. You talk with your virtual family seven thousand kilometers away. So far, so close. You have dinner out. The design burns in your pocket. Among the nostalgic pages of the red notebook that someone gave you. With your stomach full. After one thousand and thirty seven days you finally show the drawing to a stranger. Thirty two minutes later you are not the same anymore. You are a little bit more... Yourself. A cake with the shape of a turtle. You go to bed and only then you are aware that your ID put yourself for the first time closer to turn thirty than to have turned twenty. ¿Twenty what? ¿Thirty what? You smile. You are happy. The world thinks it knows who you are, where you come from, where you go. It has no idea. You still feel like a kid... and you love it. Alive. A turtle is climbing on the back of your right leg...

Want to share your own story and tattoo?
Email Beth: bredmondjones (at) sdnhm (dot) org or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.