Disneyland was a whole new world of adulting adventure, where I sat across from a brilliant young couple with the relentless yearning for truth and wisdom and a brilliant young physical therapist who had an equal yearning in the realm of nureo medicine. I sat in a Tiki inspired world, filled with delectable drinks, island gods and angry volcanoes. We swam in our margaritas, shipwrecks and lava libations while delving deep into the seas of thought and theory. Which just so happened to land us in a treasure trove of tattoo and scarification conversation.
We all agreed that there is still a heavy bias towards tattooed and body modified humans, at least when it comes to some jobs and job opportunities. This agitates split living experiences, a riff within society and self, that, at times, forces us to choose between our self expression of who we may really feel we are and who the world thinks we should be in order to succeed.
The conversation steered toward the psychological and therapeutic aspects of tattooing and scarification. Stories were swapped, recalling accounts of personal tattoo experiences that meant more externally and internally. The deeper meaning theme continued to unfold, leading to the consideration that rather than hiding scars (memory markers of certain pasts) with tattoos, a subtle perspective shift made it more about embellishing and transmuting. Perhaps there need be no shame in the scars we may carry, just like there need be no shame in the body modifications that we choose. Albeit as long as such modifications do not needlessly harm anyone, seek to promote harm and insult to others, or are done without consent.
If it is plausible that tattooing and scarification can be an alternative form of therapy and healing, then returning to certain practices in tattooing may not be so strange. Practices that view tattooing as ritual, healing modalities that can indicate past traumas to another practitioner of healing or portray empowering works of art on a beautiful and consenting human canvas. What if for some people the practices of tattooing and scarification are a good form of self-care and self-healing? To spend extra time caring for the body, the mind, and the heart both pre and post experience. To sit intimately (in some tattoo situations) with another human, while undergoing a process that seems to allow for introspection and deep conversation/connection. What if focusing on tattoo set and setting, further nurtured such occurrences between artist/human and guest/human? What if it’s not about me? What if it’s really about a constantly expanding bigger picture of us?
That fun and familiar arena of esoteric thought led me to solidifying some concepts around my own practices in certain areas of tattoo retreat experiences both in my private tattoo studio and while traveling on tattours. It’s not a drastic shift from the familiarity of working in a studio, it just brings in another layer of attention to set and setting (amongst other tattooing factors). And added attentions that don't necessarily need to be talked about, but that produce a sense of just what is. A comfort and a serenity to the whole experience. Offerings of healthy foods and drinks during a session. Offering guests the opportunity to choose their own audio (and sometimes visual) experiences should they feel the need. Where is the studio and how does that environment affect the whole experience? When traveling and tattooing where does an artist land? A beautiful home hosted by caring humans deep in the mountains might be just the thing, or perhaps an offered setting near the vast sea. Over the last couple of year I have created the conditions that have allowed me the time and space to practice (even mildly in the past) these thoughts and ideas, drawn from traditional wisdoms of this art.
Moving forward with those thoughts, I will be offering larger illustrative designs for machine practices and alchemy, spell, seal, sigil, magical emblem (whatever you would like to refer to them as) inspired pieces with machine free practices. Again nothing to far off the path I have already shared with many of you, but more focused and solidified. It is my hope that I will have the honor of continuing to work with many of you and develop new connections with other like-minded healing art collectors who have yet to appear... (blog continues after images)
examples of larger illustrative pieces offered through machine practices (also by machine free upon request)
Examples of alchemy, spell, seal, sigil, magical emblem (whatever you would like to refer to them as) inspired pieces with machine free practices.
Massive thanks to all the guests that joined me for the Los Angles portion of the tattour. Equally grand thanks to my gracious and caring hostess and host, whom allowed me to create a tattoo retreat in their stunning mountain home. Who knew this side of Los Angeles existed! Thank you to all the artist out there sharing their work and healing someone somewhere, even through a Dr. Strange comic.
I will be establishing a little more consistency between my visit to Los Angeles for tattoo retreats and my tattoo retreat style sessions in my private studio in Oakland. I’ll be updating you all on my next visit very soon!
set and setting
Every so often set and setting may need a handemade, fully stalked, fairy twinkling bar.
I have not been to Disneyland in about 10 years. I was really excited about this sign. wee!
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