RAMBLINGS

  • It’s Not About Me.

    It’s Not About Me.

    Tattour

    Los Angeles

     

    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)

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    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!

    BIG Love

    Krystal Bell

    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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  • Don't Forget the Magic. Tattour Invitation.

    Don't Forget the Magic. Tattour Invitation.

    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 kbelltattoo@gmail.com 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!

    BIG love,

    Krystal

     

     

    *  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:

    http://kbelltattoo.com/about

    *  Here’s another great blog for DIY tattoo ointment and a fresh perspective on tattooing:

    http://www.scratchmommy.com/diy-whipped-tattoo-cream/

    *  Travel Tunes:  Suggested listening for road trip vibes:  https://soundcloud.com/krystalbelltattoo/sets/tattour-tunes

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  • 2017...

    2017...

    above image is an available tattoo design.

    ... and a GIFT for YOU <3

    2016 capped off with a bang! Bobbing on the waves left by the deaths of close people in my life, uncovering and seeing to the care of past traumas, loosing icons whom I never even took a moment to imagine them gone, global uncertainty seemingly enhancing day by day, and an assortment of events that created this very clear expression of “give” and “take,” it seemed like many of us could hardly come up for air. Yet through that muck imagine if you will, me walking with great purpose down an Oakland street. Black flowered dress dancing around my knees, squeaky sneakers squeaking, and crowbar in hand. That was the site to see after 3 hours in a homeless encampment where my stolen van was recovered by the Oakland Police Department. It was the moment I remembered the steps to the “give and take” dance that summons a particular calm, clarity, and strength that arises solely in moments of challenge.

    To usher that focused and inspiring (even though perhaps painful and awkward at times) “give and take” energy, I am gifting a tattoo!  The timing feels right for a Totoro tattoo with the first full moon of 2017 arriving and Hayao Miyazaki birthday just passing.  In the end of 2016 into the start of 2017 Studio Ghibli animations have resurfaced many times. The art of Miyazaki and Ghibli have always offered a special particular inspiration. I have been a fan of the animated art since childhood. Diving into the sweet and adventurous worlds of Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving castle, and all the others moved me to imagine greater and envision further…

    LIKE. SHARE. COMMENT and Tag... to be entered into the Tattoo Giveaway.

    Repost this blog or the Instagram post to Facebook and Instagram, like, share, comment and your name will be entered into the giveaway.  Don’t forget to tag me so that I can see your posts and enter your name into the magic hat!  The more you share the more your name gets added to the raffle!

    Well, here's wishing you all a loving, productive, creative, and compassionate 2017.  Thank you to all my friends and supporters, family both blood and chosen

    “Creativity Is Intelligence Having Fun.”

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  • Standing Rock.

    Standing Rock.

    I can't physically be at Standing Rock at this time and that reality has aroused different feelings at different times.  The recent Facebook "check-in at Standing Rock" campaign re-inspired my interest in the effectiveness of social media as a tool for support and change. Though I cannot be on the fields of North Dakota, I can express support and feelings through images I translate onto paper.  May this symbol give whatever support it can. 

     

    For all those at Standing Rock and beyond, Thank YOU for your courage.

     

    Please visit The Kitchen Sync Facebook page for incredibly raw and beautiful footage of the people at Standing Rock.

     

    Standing Rock Opposition of Pipeline Facebook page.

  • Silver Falcon.

    Silver Falcon.

    Silver Falcon.

    The story goes like this.  One wintery Tahoe day I was asked if I could create a snowboard design, inspired by a National Geographic documentary, within 24 hours.  I took on the challenge.  On the day I began conceptualizing a design I asked for inspiration and as soon as I sat down to focus, a Peregrine falcon swooped by the window I sat by and landed in the yard.  Looking pretty damn regal just chillin' in the grass. 

     The creative challenge was fun and never went beyond that.  Eventually the design found itself in the archives.  Rather than collecting dust, I have completed the design the way I had originally intended and am releasing it as a print via INPRNT. 

    Thank you falcon!

    Spirit
    Light
    Power
    Focus
    Prophecy
    Freedom
    Aspiration
    Intensity
    Determination

    "Falcon encourages calculation and strategy. If we have a goal, Falcons beckon to make plans and strategies to obtain goals. Falcons are focus - strong, one-pointed focus. Being called to focus on our desires and our goals, and do what is necessary to bring our desires into our reality."

    All Love!

    Krystal

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  • Luna Moth Moments.

    Luna Moth Moments.

    Photos of the process and adventure.

    Symbolism:  Luna Moth, Sun, Moon cycle, eyes, and the alchemical triangle symbol for fire. 

    The piece is to honor a very special being, a love for flames in poi spinning, the cycles of the moon, and the light of the sun.

    The crystal in the middle was another piece tattooed last month with a machine free technique.  The sweet guest went into the hot springs a few days later so healing as been a bit rough.  However it looks like it will not need touch ups!

    Thank you Ben!

    See more images on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krystalbell11tattoo/

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  • Krystal Bell Tattoo Video.

    It is my great pleasure and honor to share with you the first Krystal Bell Tattoo Video. Thanks to Matthew F. Smith of The Kitchen Sync, you can now take a quick dip into the world of Krystal Bell tattoo. Welcome.

    My heart soars, my imagination expands, and I feel completely blessed and supported by this world of creative collaborators and storytellers. Immense gratitude to all my supporters, friends, and family. May your lives be filled with balance, compassion, kindness, and ridiculous amounts of all that you need.

    Thank you!

  • Happy New Year!

    As we get ready for our 2016 adventure, let’s send out supportive thoughts to those people and places that have experienced struggle this year. Send out smiles for the memory of those who are no longer with us physically. In the eternal words of a beloved ghost, may you “live long and prosper!” I hope that your New Year is filled with loving experiences and “may the force be with you!”

    Please feel free to download the image from FB.
    The symbol/sigil is an artistic expression of a wish. It was created using a symbol of balance as the base and adding in the words thank you, new year, and love.

    Appreciating You!

  • Humans Along the Way - Talia

    Humans Along the Way - Talia

    Our story began in the circus. We worked together in the Wandering Marionettes for several years, but our true friendship started a bit after that, or long long before that, or both I suppose depending on the perspective of time. It was after I began adventuring off in other directions that we began to call each other to say hello and catch up. It was around that time that it occurred to me that something within our connection, in the way that she interacted with me, created trust. I felt a mutual interest in reaching out, when I did it was reciprocated. There was balance, a friendship was being nurtured and maintained from both sides. As years have gone by the story of her has unfolded to me in chapters, with a whole novel of who all of her is yet to be told.

    In the chapters I have been able to observe, I can say that she is a woman in the full sense of my definition with a heart vast and embracing. She is a badass mama-jama who can kick up some serious sawdust, crack a whip, get it done, and generously give of her time, space, and words. She smiles and everything lights up.  When she invites you into her world it is authentically, it is with healthy boundaries, and a foundation of trust. There is no space in her world for doubt about the people she surrounds herself with and her success in her life inspires the spaces around her. I would easily call her a ‘go-giver,’ which I am honored to be sharing this next leg of my adventure with. I have a feeling she will be teaching me a lot.

    Thank you Talia!

  • Heathen Child

    Heathen Child

    How did you start tattooing?

    I started around 25 years old. I am a humbled new participant in the tattoo world for the past 5 years now, 1 year as a shop assistance, another year as a shop assistant and tattoo apprentice and 3 years this September as a freelance tattoo artist. I decided to focus on tattooing after years of designing tattoos, several people asking me why I did not ‘do it all,’ with my best response being, ‘actually I don’t know why.’ At that point I had nothing to loose other then not following a passion that I had been carrying around since I was little, I had always been fascinated by tattoos as a child.  I recall vividly at 16, in my first year of college, strongly considering the tattoo route. Honestly though at that time I did not think I would be able to cut it, due to my age and because I had no connection to tattoo culture other then I had designed a couple pieces.   After my 3rd year of art school I ran away to join the circus, Cirque Berzerk (along with other creative groups in LA), and my creative focus was redirected towards training, performing, directing… design art took a back seat for a while. Requests for tattoo designs kept popping up though, so when I stepped away from circus around 25, I reached the conclusion that it was time to give tattooing my best effort and I was determined to start. After exploring the San Francisco tattoo culture, hanging out at shops way to much, probably being a nuisance, I returned to Los Angeles, updated my portfolio and started walking up and down Melrose Avenue going into shops, showing them my portfolio and putting aside my deep want to tattoo and focused instead on establishing relationships with tattoo shops and the people in them. Establishing relationships versus focusing on actually tattooing was a great reminder from a close friend of mine who knew me so well that she pointed out that going about it one way versus the other was way more my style. I love the connectivity and human elements of tattooing and realized I just wanted to try being apart of the tattoo world in whatever form my connection would present itself. Thanks to the support of friends and one of my favorite numbers 1111 (and that is a whole other story), I eventually was gifted an amazing opportunity to work with a great artist in Silver Lake and from there learned what I know of tattooing. I was very fortunate and I am grateful. Was not easy by any means, but was worth it.

    What do you love about tattooing?

    What I love most about tattooing is the magic. When I use the word magic I actually mean the ineffable quality of tattooing and the tattoo experience.   I love the connectivity, the potential for raw and authentic unfolding in conversations, emotions, and moments. I love that tattooing demands a certain level of presence in every second of each session. I love the light and dark of it, the modern influence of technology, technique, and art partnered with the primal and ancient traditions of many cultures with a tattoo history. I love that tattoos seem to have no limits or boundaries these days, it is all becoming a form of art, creating a tattoo world where there is every kind of artist, exploring every kind of style, for every kind of person seeking to be marked. I love the therapeutic and healing potential available from tattooing and within the practice of tattooing. I love the real opportunities to break down social walls and judgments that tattoos create. I love that in some cases tattoos help others express more of what they consider and feel is a fuller depiction of the self.   I love that tattoos can make people happy, that they can make them smile. I love that a lot.  

    What would you consider your style?

    As a newer artist in the tattoo world (which is varied and vast) I still have an openness to styles and exploration, but where my true heart lies is in black work, sigils, geometry or architecturally inspired lines, characters ranging from illustrated animals to faces and objects, with the occasional splash of color, or a combination of all those.  I like to put art on to skin; I love a sketchy drawing look that tells a narrative and find a lot of happiness in placing those drawn narratives onto the human body.   You can check out what inspires me in my FB inspiration album and also check out my available designs and archived designs to get a feel for what I enjoy creating. 

    Thanks everyone and I look forward to co-creating with you!

    BIG love

    photo shoot created by the Kangster and Lil Wolf.

  • Humans Along the Way - David and Gregory.

    Along the way I have the luck to run into incredoble characters with, at times, much needed life reminders.  These are two older stories that were shared right before I left Los Angeles to try my hand at living in a van. 

    David.

    David the Go-Giver.

    This seriously happy man was an inspiration to one Sunday. If you find yourself in Silver Lake, California on a Sunday, head to the farmer's market near Fred 62 and hang out with David. He'll get you smilin' right quick with his wit, his surly humor, and his thoughts on successful, positive, and 'go-giver' ways of operating a business. Grab yourself two cups of coffee at the farmer's market and prepare to talk away at least an hour of your morning. He is a purveyor of beautiful vintage jewelry and pieces that his wife, other artists, and he creates. He really loves to give and to teach, so if you are interested in learning something about jewelery making, if you like collecting coins, if you see a piece that you really like, be prepared for a willing giver to start gifting his knowledge and his work.

    Thanks David.


    Gregory



    Meet Gregory. A year ago, to the date, I was the fool who left her laundry hamper at home and found myself staring at my warm, dry laundry mumbling 'It would be great if I could magically find something to put my clothes in.' POOF, Gregory appeared selling his hand made laundry bags and I bought one.

    This morning Gregory approached me about his bags and I pulled out the bag I purchased from him a year ago and we began to talk. He asked me about my heritage because of my eyes and my overall physical appearance. 'Respectfully,' he said at one point 'I would like to offer a compliment..' Oh no. The dreaded compliments... I felt tension rise in my chest and shoulders preparing for the energy to shift in an awkward direction. I dove into the awkward and although getting much much better with accepting compliments, my childhood history has had events that make me weary. Without a response he went on to offer his compliments.

    He went on to teach me how to recognize a true compliment. He shared his wisdom on life and how we should never forget to love ourselves because through loving ourselves (which includes being healthy in mind body and personality) we love the world around us. He shared how he makes his bags because he must to survive and to do what needs to be done. We talked about his daughter and her path to being a teacher in Japan. He stated, while touching his finger to his head right between his eyes, that the mind should always be learning and growing. He paused and then touched his heart and said 'but this, never loose this.' We finished the lesson talking about smiles and how we should take our smiles out into the world and share them because there is no greater gift at times.

    Thank you Gregory.