One of my constant mantras.
We are building an age of strangeness. Where we choose to engage rapidly with all sorts of scenarios we barley know, friendships, living situations, romantic, business, or otherwise. Forcing people to fit into who we imagine they are verses accepting them for who they are. Trading in intimacy for a quick swipe to the left or the right. Where in we project our own insecurities onto others, with “No one accepts me fully! No one accepts my weirdness!” That may be in some cases because we refuse to let people in intimately.
We fear our own pasts and being rejected for them so we keep people at arms length. Trading true connection for a quick cuddle that is as common as a handshake. Interactions induced by inebriants and gone just as quickly with the sunrise back to the other side of the country, requiring no accountability. Going from one experience right into another, digitally and physically, to afraid to know our own true selves or the people around us. Blindly repeating patterns over again. Forgetting and erasing names, faces, and memories into the addiction of “running away.” Creating the unhealthy co-dependency we complain about. When true interdependence is a beautiful thing. Which requires the whole truth of self and nothing but in order to attain.
Cherish those who know you well, who you can trust to call you out on your stuff with your best interests at heart. Those people are your truest friends. Cherish those who refuse to accept your half-truths and request that you share all of you past and present. Those you can trust want to know all of you in order to empower you and your future. Cherish yourself by being around those who know the whole you and support you being that whole self 24 hours a day. Cherish those who take moment to consider how their words and actions affect the world around them. Don’t settle for those who are not interested in knowing your truth, your whole truth and nothing but, past, present, and future. You know you are in good hands when you around those who hear your full story and see your depth and strength of character even more then before
Thank you to those in my world who I CHERISH big time
Life is a festival
- with similar lights and darks, sights, sounds, adventures, characters, and sparkly distractions
Within the everyday and the ordinary is meditation
- i do not mean just yoga or going to India for yoga. p.s. I have nothing against yoga or any other chosen path to a meditative state, which there are many.
Dehumanization is not a political or social justice tool
- harmful comments about people, icons, or whoever/whatever can be debilitating to a bigger picture. And in my opinion defending those who cause harm can as well
And may we refrain from turning the act of equanimity into just another cultural trigger word. Equanimity could be one of the next effective tools for sustainable change.
Good day on Treasure Island. Wandered through Treasurefest and had some great talks with small business owners about thrift stores, farmers markets, flea markets, and amazon prime... consensus (between today's talks and online written information) amazon may be great for small business, not so sure it has any benefit to the environment. It reminded me of why I am both open to technological upgrades ( especially if it helps small business such as your favorite local goat cheese farmer keep up with corporations. Which also helps to keep smaller farms with friendlier produce producing that produce) and why I have been a fan of farmers markets, flea markets, and thrifts stores since I was in my teens. Not always convenient to go with local, but can be worth the extra time and effort to support keeping a balance. And you get to meet some great people with great stuff!
At the Flea Market. There she sat. In the wide open with her crappy fold out chair and her crappy fold out table, dumpy and low to the pavement. She was beautiful in her uniqueness, in her non apologetic attire, and serious. Eating a pie from the vendor across the way, while her 1940 black type writer sat patiently baking in the sun. She had a sign...
...Poems. Pick a subject. Pick a price.
I gave a price and picked “quiet observation.”
My brain on tattoos.
these videos contain aspects of why i love the world of tattoo. taooing, being tattooed, supporting others through their tattoo experiences.
I am excited for what 2018 has in store!
Things I might listen to while designing, tattooing, dancing, or chillin'...
with a bit of reading. Really enjoyed this new blog I stumbled upon. A real silent Hill!
"Anything is possible, maybe some things not probable, but who knows!" - Friends ;D
A good number of us have done it. Looked at someone’s social media and wondered, how the hell do they live that lifestyle?
Good chance they don’t. It just appears that way with the minimal amount of information you are receiving. Not that anyone is intentionally misleading or that there are not people living exactly the way they portray. It is also the responsibility of the viewer to be accountable for their perceptions and assumptions. Don’t be going around assumin’. ;)
This is why my social media platforms are creative and business sharing tools. I’m still stuck on getting to know people in the traditional way through effort and real face time. What you will typically view on my pages are creative endeavors, tattoos, and work travels. With the occasional opinion share, bit of inspiration, projects of others, or a funny animal meme. Most of the travel over the last couple of years has been for work or study, creating amazing moments along the way!
Many of the adventures are a product of hard work, time, patience, dedication, determination, conscious practical decisions, and risky decisions. Knowing I might be wrong, but wanting the experience. Though my family was once extremely well off, there is no family money or secret trust that was available for me to complete goals (cheers to anyone whose got it!). Money has never stopped me, I generally have what I need and still finish what I set out to do. Also, thanks in many parts, to the empowering support of chosen families, partners, and friends over the years. Allowing for a balance of letting life flow and making choices. Allowing for the space to play like I missed out on as a kid, while able to adult it up. It has helped develop what I personally consider a well-rounded sense of happiness, including the not happy days. I work hard and play the way I want (most of the time). But sometimes I don’t get what I want when I want it, and I appreciate that.
I continue to be aware of living within my means at any given time and place, and to be content at all stages. Rather than living to try and meet possibly unnecessary self created expectations versus healthy goals. Which my workaholic side really likes to do. I don’t work with a focus to buy “nice things” (although it does happen), I work to create and experience life moments (such as choosing travel over things). I don’t work to be known, I work on being worth knowing. I don’t work to make my creativity popular; I work so that I can enjoy doing the things I am passionate about. Even when there is no money or acknowledgment, I still do the things I do.
Lately when I have asked others how they started on their road, I get real answers. Most responses have the honest sentiment that “I am not ballin’ like it looks like I might be.” Many of the people out in the day to day that have been inspiring me lately, work hard to have what they have. To own the business they own, to be going to the schools they are attending, to be reaching the goals they have set for themselves. They unknowingly make it seem like it is as “easy” as we project onto their “great looking life.” Each story shared has re-tickled that little part of me that likes the idea that anything is possible. Maybe some of the possibilities are not practical, but then do we always need to be practical?
To all my friends who are doin’ the thangs, in honor of all the decisions both simple and hard over the past year… anything is possible. I love you <3
There have been plenty of times when I have turned over thoughts regarding my business platfrom, its intentions, and working in integrity. Generally during a go around with those thoughts a person arises offering good conversation. Those conversation reminding me that there are effective examples out there of businesses running on similar ideas and foundations.
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!
I stole a glance to the right of the road, just in time to see a sign “Don’t Forget the Magic” flyby my window. Hanging from a rickety barn, the weathered sign was a flirty nip from the universe. “Don’t forget!”
There was a ridiculous amount of presence to the moment. I was innnnn it. It was a snapshot worthy moment that even with my heart cracked, that unfolding scene generated healing and expansion. I was reminded of why I had set off on a #vanlife excursion for love (the big love), magic, connection, tattooing, art, creation, travel, and experiencing the familiar world around me in a new way. At the start of 2015 my travel van, The Nautilus, was my ship out of the sea of La-La (Los Angeles). And the vessel that would carry me through my first wandering tattoo adventure. I was going to spend the next year traveling up and down the coast of California.
Recent image of Goldie (left), my fellow van sister's beastly chariot and the Nautilus (right) my trusted van beast.
The flip that switched my trajectory in tattooing was the multitude of personal interactions within the tattoo arena that called for some added care during an experience of pain and a true space to experience whatever arose during a session. In my practice, tattooing is an artistic healing modality with psychological and therapeutic effects. Through travel my mission became more focused and connected to further developing a whole and personalized experience for my guests. Taking more careful consideration of all the senses and how my offerings could support and affect them. My guests and I joined forces during these travels to kick ass and collaborate with life.
Now, with the memory of you in my head and in my heart (inspiring and empowering), I set off to collaborate again. Time for the next #tattour! We are going to develop amazing art for your body through a personalized ritual process. We’ll sit together in a safe container for the day, feeling out and creating your design (if not pre designed), rappin’ about stories, your vision, your dreams and passions; whatever we want to spill. The idea being to travel and share real face-to-face time with each of you and create a true wide reaching network of community and support. Not forgetting all the fun, stories and adventures to be had! I want to invite you to participate in this process, to be with me on this adventure. There will be images and short stories of my travels that anyone can follow and engage with. I love notes and letters! You’ll be with me, helping to create a tattoo experience that is powered by our mutual interests in seeing a world affected by compassion, empowerment, love, and practical magic. Oh and what the fuck, throw in a whole lot of badass-ery. So… how far can we go?
Thanks to the support of guests already booked on the tour, I will be wandering to several states in the coming months. But with your participation I may be able to make it to all of you, even over on the east coast. Check out the flyers on my Instagram and Facebook pages, they have the list of current states and the months I will be in each state. If you are interested in booking an appointment for any of the states I'll be visiting, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details. I am offering machine tattoo sittings and machine free/hand poke tattoo sittings.
Would you like me to visit your state?
Then send me a hello, with the state you live in and the month you are available to be tattooed. From there I will respond as promptly as possible to discuss further details.
Time is flying by and before I know it I'll be on the road again, heading to a reality near you!
* Want more? Read the insights from the first 6 months of my original tattoo tour! Check out the blog here: http://kbelltattoo.com/ramblings/14167402/tattootravel
* For more on my tattoo perspectives and process:
* Here’s another great blog for DIY tattoo ointment and a fresh perspective on tattooing:
* Travel Tunes: Suggested listening for road trip vibes: https://soundcloud.com/krystalbelltattoo/sets/tattour-tunes