Friday, May 30, 2014

Meera's Animal Kingdom Tattoos

These tattoos are dedicated to the people and creatures that are a part of my life. My fascination with animals and the natural world began as a youngster in Queens, NY where I visited many museums, zoos, and gardens over and over again.

After studying Natural History at SUNY-ESF, I wanted to cover myself with illustrations that represented the animal kingdom.  So far, I have included birds, insects, reptiles, and fish. Although I still have a long way to go, each animal reminds me of an extraordinary person, critter, or experience.

The zebra finches are my pet birds that I had as a child - Joe & Judy. As a kid growing up in Ozone Park, I didn’t have much exposure to the natural world. One day my aunt brought home these lovely birds and they became very special to our family. Joe even lived for over 9 years!

The bees remind me of my love for gardening, and helping kids overcome their fear of bees – a fear I thought I would never overcome!

The snake spine combines my attraction to both science drawings & skeletons.  Our museum has lots of animals children can meet and touch, most of them being reptiles. Holding a snake is another fear I have recently overcome, and it has become a part of my everyday museum routine.

When I got my first tattoo at 18, I asked my mother “What should I get?!”

She responded, very seriously, suggesting that I get a seahorse. At first, I thought this was a ridiculous idea. Five years later, my most recent tattoo, of a seahorse, is dedicated to my mother.

Meera Jagroop
Science Educator
Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Want to share your own story and tattoo?
Email Beth: beth (at) redmond-jones (dot) com or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Nature Lover's Work in Progress

Steph Hample submitted this "work in progress" and here's the story...

When I was in high school I was obsessed with wolves!  In college I decided to get my first tattoo not knowing it would turn into something more!

I was visiting a friend at college and we decided randomly (yikes!) to go and get tattoos.  For me, it felt like a natural choice to get a running wolf, and although I love the concept it unfortunately didn't turn out as great as I had hoped.  Fast forward 11 years and three tattoos later, I decided to finally get my tattoo covered.  I still loved the concept of the wolf but it just needed some revamping.  I have always believed tattoos to be a form of art and my body is just a medium for the art.   I try not to tell the artist what to do but rather give them a guideline and let the artist create their work.  I told the artist that I would like to cover the wolf, add a new wolf, and incorporate a maple tree in fall foliage with a owl in the tree --- OK so I did have SOME stipulations, but I did let him do the creative part.  The image included is the result - so far.

What I love about this tattoo is, well everything, but mostly the wolf.  I know the wolf isn't done in this image but when I got the running wolf at 19 years old it was very appropriate for my life.  I was busy! Always moving, always looking for the next thing.  These days my life has settled and I enjoy standing still to enjoying the scenery.  The owl also has some significance as well.  To start, it was created from an image of an owl I work with, Oliver, at The Wild Center. I have loved owls for a long time and that love has worn off on my daughter, so it also represents her.  In addition to that I have a cousin that has Muscular Dystrophy who also has a love of owls.  For that reason it is also representative of him.  Needless to say, it's pretty significant to me.  Finally the tree.  It was probably the one part of the work that I was most particular about.  It had to be a sugar maple tree, and it had to be in fall.  I wanted color, and lots of it.  The artist was amazing, getting the "u" shape of the falling leaves of the sugar maple!

You may be wondering 'how the heck is he going to cover the wolf?!' It is still very obvious and I had no idea how he was going to do it so I left that to him. The tattoo artist is going to turn it into a hole in the tree...somehow, I'm very interested to see how it all turns out!  So far there is about 6 hours of work done and I would expect it to be at least that remaining.  There is a lot of detail to come and I will send an image when it is complete!

Stephanie Hample, The Wild Center

Want to share your own story and tattoo?
Email Beth: beth (at) redmond-jones (dot) com or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Celestial orbs

This is happens when your art history degree blends with a natural history museum. Kandinsky circles become celestial orbs and renaissance etchings of the night sky suddenly become far more relevant to your day to day experience.

For many years, I had the rocket isolated on my right arm, the cranes on my left and characters on each of my wrists. It was symmetrical but the images were completely random- like I had placed stickers on my arms. I needed an update; I needed to create a composition.

One day while on the subway, I saw someone with beautiful colored orbs on their shoulders and I knew that I wanted something similar. I had also been been looking at the mural of the constellations that is painted on the ceiling at Grand Central Station. I work under the Hayden Planetarium and staring at the stars has become a part of my daily existence. In the end, I took a print out of a painting I loved (Kandinsky's "Several Circles/Einige Kreise) and several renaissance etchings of the stars to Ink/Ink in Venice, CA. Stephanie created a new universe on my arms, the colorful graphic circles becoming spheres in my constellations.

Hillary Spencer
Assistant Director, Global Business Development
American Museum of Natural History

Want to share your own story and tattoo?Email Beth: beth (at) redmond-jones (dot) com or Paul: info (at) orselli (dot) net.