Man, there really wasn’t much you could do with this one, was there? Everybody’s just drawin’ tattoos. One I saw had a tattoo coming to life all D&D prestige class style. Not much else. I guess that’s all okay but it doesn’t give me personally much meat. Here’s what I was gonna do:
– tattoo artist who’s just given his subject a hitler mustache for yuks. Like a thirteen-year-old kid or something, not some hardened skinhead. Yeah. Yeah, that didn’t really work.
– this dude in the neighborhood, I call him Captain Ska. I think it’s a tattoo. He’s got a checkerboard pattern on his face – all over his face – to match his checkered jacket. No joke, this is Portland. But I didn’t remember what he looked like, exactly, and was so surprised when I saw him walking by I didn’t think to draw him.
– I don’t know, man, some evil priest that’s just kinda sitting there daydreaming out the window or maybe eating some mutton or other feudal crap, something real mundane you don’t think of evil priests as ever doing. Maybe taking a whiz at the side of the trail to the sacrificial temple or something. But see, that’s more about evil priests than tattoos. So yeah.
Anyways I wound up going the verité angle. There’s an artist I’m thinking of, I don’t remember his name – I saw a book of his in Powell’s, called “Pictures of Girls” (dork) – pretty recent stuff, 1998 and thereabouts, self-consciously hip pictures of Suicide Girl types, possibly even actual employees of the organization – but the point is, it all sounds miserable, but they were actually good pieces, or they looked like it in the book anyway. You can never tell with fine art. But they had a depth to them as well as an edge. My pic here’s not nearly as good on either dimension – it would help if I actually had intimate knowledge of sketchy mid ’90’s era tattoo shops – but I am gunning for some kind of psychological dynamic here and hopefully that’s apparent without me sitting here prompting you to see it.
If I’m good, I’ll remember to go into Powell’s tomorrow or the next day, dig up the book, and come back with his name, and maybe even a web link if we’re lucky.