I have always been fascinated by mechanics, robotics and mechatronics, and for the last few years I have been thinking about how to incorporate that into a tattoo. Early sketches covered basically the whole back, incorporating the biohazard sign I already have on my back into the design. Though I like biomechanical tattoos to a certain degree I now think an entire backpiece would be too much for this type of design (ask me again in five years though). The particular idea with a cogwheel using a heart as the hub first crossed my mind about a year ago, and shortly after I did the first design.
I have doodled on this design and changed quite a bit during the last year. The main problem lately has been that I have done too much details and thin lines. Since human skin is a living material it is extremely hard to make small details by pushing down ink between the skin layers (which is basically what you do). Even if you do, chances are that the details will be lost. Ink is a liquid, and liquids float and spreads out, making everything a bit fuzzy at close range. This is considerably more noticable on older tattoos, where it can be hard (or even impossible) to make out text that was clearly readable when the tattoo was first made. I have still kept a certain degree of details, mostly for thin light lines and shadows. We’ll see how they look like a few weeks from now. Also, it is quite a bit darker now (especially the lines) than it will be when healed.
I put in some symbolism in it as well, but will not go into details (let’s just say I’ve been hurt enough times). Also, can you find the Douglas Adams reference? 🙂
Tattooing your chest is a strange thing. It really hurts, but you don’t always feel the pain where you should. When Nille first started on the top right side, I felt it in the shoulder. Moving down, all of the sudden it felt like someone put a soldering iron to my nipple. This was not quite as bad as doing the elbow, but not far from it. Good thing I had my phone with me; Playing Solitaire and FreeCell partly took my mind from the pain – It helps to concentrate on something else.
Serotonin is both a classical neurotransmitter and a signaling molecule. To simplify things, it is a brain chemical that also can be found throughout the body (primarily in the digestive system). Its functions are among other things to help control happiness, sleep, aggression, impulsiveness, appetite, sexual lust, body temperature and metabolism. Due to a condition of mine, I have lower serotonin levels than most people. To fix that, I decided to add some of my own. 😉
I have stylized the molecule by replacing the letters HO, HN and NH2 with rings. Aside from that, I have thickened the lines and changed the angles on the inner parts slightly. If this should be entirely correct, I should replace the corners with rings as well, as they in this case represent carbon. But I chose style over substance, everything is still explainable and it looks much better this way. Big thanks to Micke Lind for the input on the molecule design!
Tattooing the elbow is probably the most painful ink I’ve done so far. The hearts on my inner upper arms did hurt a lot (and longer), but there were more twitching involved when doing the elbow.
Yesterday my gf Marianne went to Salvation Tattoo to get her latest ink from Nille (who has tattooed both me and her in the past).
The motif was a custom scene portraying Snufkin and the Moomintroll on a bridge. It took about 2½ hours (not including preparations), and she was very happy with the results.
If you recognize the tree (previously done) that it joins with, it is the Tree of Gondor from Lord of the Rings.