RAMBLINGS

  • 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.

  • Blue Moon Review: Tattoo Travel

     

    7.31.2015
    Aug 1st stamps the end of the 6-month mark of my traveling experiment. On Feb 1st of this year I let go of my apartment, my part time job, 10 years of connection in Los Angeles and set out on the road in my van. Months later I reflect on the experience and A. can’t believe it has been 6 months, B. that I have had all the experiences that I have had in such a short amount of time. The greatest of all experiences, is that of being able to connect with others in a way that would not have been possible was I still submerged in my self-absorbed hustle of city survival. Don’t misunderstand that statement as a dislike of cities or of the people in them, I have every intention to see the cities (and villages) of the world and connect with the people there, but for me it was time to set off on my own.    

    I made this choice not because I had a ton of extra finances to just breeze through (I certainly did not), but because I wanted a better quality of life, a smaller footprint, with less expenditure to create and hopefully save more income. I wanted this without having to continuously be in a state of stress and without sacrificing my goal of a life sustained and elevated through art and tattooing. Most importantly I wanted to create and sustain all this through a business platform powered via honesty, transparency, kindness, compassion, and healing. So what I thought was going to be a badass wandering adventure, where I would be giving rides and tattoos to people all over the country, became a surrendering to the kindness, compassion, and healing provided by the world around me (still badass of course). I thought I was going to be the strong caretaker and instead I was given the opportunity to slow the fuck down and see the strength in others and thus consequently see the strength within myself.   I have seen heroes and heroines within the people who I have been honored to tattoo, stay with, connnect with, who also want to give to and care for others. They are remarkable in my eyes and I am humbled to have experienced the gift of their ‘touch.’

    It has not been easy; there are trade offs and sacrifices just as there are in all other lifestyles. But the journey that I have undergone has been worth every unsure, insecure, exhausted, sad, scary moment that balances out all the intensely happy, fulfilling, successful, connective, growing, and tattoo filled moments. A love fllled adventure package packed with practical and tangible manifestations, indefinable encounters with omens and moments of crystal clarity. I have mingled with the stars on cliffs and rode the storms in and out of many places. Where sidewalks end, I have walked towards what appeared to be ‘the end’ of the scene, which became the beginning thanks to sudden and sometimes delicately subtle shifts in perspective. An outstretched hand, a warm smile, a phone call to check in and see how I am or where am I, a written word in an abandoned book… all appeared to remind me that North was still in front of me and my heading was true.

    Life will never be the same. Life in its truest moments, in so many ways, is ineffable.

    What I can piece together from the nearly indescribable journey, some new, some old, some borrowed, looks like this from my observations (fair warning that there may be some bias due to the fact, and I think it only fair to reveal, that I have been single and celibate for almost a solid 2.5 years now):

     

    Believe in things and question it all.  Keep yourself on your toes.  Dance with change often and find stability in the absence of.  Chaos is the womb of calm and creation, be the eye of your storms.  Stand on as many cliffs and in as many storms as you can.  Ride the winds.  Follow that inexplicable longing towards people, places and things.  Observe until there is legitimate reason to act, most situations reveal the resolutions.  Choose wisely, act authentically, and be forgiving when you don’t.  Be quiet, be still, and listen.  Be, through discovering where your thoughts, words, and deeds come from, otherwise you may never know who is captaining your ship.  Aloneness is not loneliness; in fact it is a great tool, assistant, for discovery and self-love.  Be single after a break up of any nature or at anytime, let the mind, body, and soul let go, reset, and honor the spaces of the past.  Don’t have sex or have sex, but don’t feel you need to settle even for sex, lovers, when chosen wisely can be empowering and great teachers.  Do not mistake sex for love, they are both great in different ways, but they are not the same.  Be naked or wear everything, but make the choice and other choices from a place predominantly uninfluenced by others.  Spend time in nature.  Positive messages are delivered from all sorts of messengers.  Things happen for reasons, sometimes things just happen and that’s the reason.  When it feels right, a mixture of nervousness and excitement, fear and courage, take that time to make leaps, take risks, take chances and support others in doing so.  The more we follow our hearts and support others in doing so the more the whole world will do so.  Money is absolutely not everything, but it is useful in this current reality and it is nothing to fear if you feel good about how it is generated and expended.  There is black, white, grey, and all the colors in between, you can choose what hues to paint with at all times.  Sleep as much as your body needs and always loose sleep for creative spurts.  Have quality friends over quantity.  Being kind and compassionate also includes being firm.  Say YES, even to saying no.  Ask yourself what you are saying yes to through your choices.  Ask yourself what supports your balance.  Dream and dream bigger, then work backwards to manifest dreams into reality, practicality is a friend in creation.  Science is magic explained, magic is science unexplained.  The environment around you generally provides all the necessary options required.  Love big and wide without touching and without giving into the need to consume, a burning passion for life will build bigger and brighter.  Get lost so you can be found. Don't want everything right now, because if you get it at the wrong time you may not appreciate it.   Ask others what is their perception of you.  Ask others about their vision.  Ask me about the couch therom.  Be open to receiving what you need versus what you want.  Don’t follow the crowed, the culture, the cool vibe, walk your own uncharted trail, because even ancient wisdoms may need to adapt to modern ways of existing.  Anyone who wants to lead should probably not be followed or at least be given ample time to show their true nature.  Push your comfort zones and discover your strength.  Hypocrisy and contradictions are everywhere; find the balance in it all.  Plan often, but welcome the detours that happen.  Travel and discover that ‘family’ and ‘home’ is anywhere and everywhere.  “The lifting of a finger disturbs the farthest star.’  Life is details and sauce. ‘You get one chance at a first impression, but many second chances to share who you really are.’  Please share!  We are not going at this solo, we are not as special and entitled as we like to portray; everywhere certain people are experiencing similar thoughts and events, they share an unspoken bond, so when we are ‘lost,’ too busy to call, needing time to ourselves, know that we will reconnect with those bonds, with the people we love and who love us.  It really is never to late to start again... unless of course, it's going for gymnastics training and your 80.  Actually, there might just be an 80 year old practicing gymnysts out there.

     

    My eternal thanks to those heroes and heroines who have been a major source of support, my gratitude extends far beyond what I can type out into the digital realm. Thanks to you, thanks to the world at large, I look out over the next several months with a mixture of nervousness and excitement, fear and courage, ready to leap and continue onward.

    BIG love.

    Painting on the front proch.

    It's all about the Crayons.

    Machine free tattoo session in Oakland.

    found an abandoned journal on a hike in Oakland and flipped to this random page.

    All the things swirling and twirling, the wonder of our lives. Life is long and beautiful, colorful and black and white. All the things and all the absence of things. Emptiness and fullness. Ineffable. Life is long and beautiful, to live it like it is short is to cheat the details, the small perfect little things that can create the biggest impacts.

    Tattooing in a vintage studio in Los Angeles.

    Wandering in the Flagstaff woods.

    This is what my tattoo travel looks like.

    tools of passion.  Machine free tools.

    Bruce and his witches planning an Arizona travel adventure.  One of the ladies is on Facetime.

    Sky for days.  Driving from Arizona to California.

    Machine free session.

    On of my favorite moments to witness at Lightning in a Bottle.

    We sister witches three, created our and tattooed our sigil at Lightning in a Bottle.

    Flagstaff Arizona.

    Flagstaff Arizona.

    Capitola California.

    Sunrise on my 30th birthday, Santa Barbara. 

    The view from my conference call ont he side of the road in the middle of somewhere.

    Panther Beach Santa Cruz.

    Big Sur California.

    Big Sur California.  Biggest fallen tree I have ever walked across. 

    Rise and shine archery session. 

    Long Beach California Session.

    my  temp roommmate during one of my visits to Los Angeles.

    Sun Dog in Santa Cruz. 

    Hipster hang out.

    Decided to dip my feet in the ocean. It has become a thing when I land in certain areas. I waded into the water and stood there for a moment. A feather washed up coated in oil from the recent spill and I picked it up along with a black rock that looked like a piece of coal. After a bit I walked back to the sand, kneeled, and placed the rock and the feather together. Using a Green Tara mantra (Om Tare Tutare Ture Swa Ha) shared by Lama Tsultrim Allione I mediated before burying the stone and the feather in the warm white sand. I love our oceans, so fortunate to have them.

    Campsite on the California coast.

    Last sunset of my 20's.

    cliff in Big Sur.

    Fist day of vanlife.  Feb. 1st 2015.