Ohh where to start and what to talk about.
One of the things that has been on my mind a lot lately is religion. This could turn into a looooong rant about the subject but I will try to quickly turn it towards my tattooing and keep it (as much as possible) at that.
I have had a lot of people who asks if they can get their tattoo without any upside down crosses or any other satanic symbols. Well of course you can! I'm not out to turn the world into satan worshippers one customer at the time. I tattoo what people want me to tattoo but of cause I have been steering towards some symbols now and then, that being either christian, freemasonic or Satanic. This doesn't mean that I will force anyone to get satanic tattoos unless they want it.
Right here I would like to note something. Back when everyone was doing freemasonic symbols I would hear people complain about how I used the freemason symbols without being a freemason (I will get back to this later) or without knowing the true meaning. Well... first of all I do what people ask me to tattoo. I use the symbols for their mystic value and I also know that half of the people who ask for stuff like that doesn't have a clue about it either. Should we educate the customers about this before tattooing it permanently on their body or should we simple refuse to tattoo these symbols until they are aware of the true meaning or even in this case a real freemason? I personally don't think so and I don't really care what you are or what you stand for or what clubhouse you belong to. In that case shouldn't we make sure that people really did believe in god before we do crosses, virgin marys or jesus on people? What makes that so different? My main goal is to make a permanent mark on my customers that looks great and will look great no matter what you believe in. I don't believe in any god and I don't worship satan (some believe in Satan as the devil, opposite of god. Some think of Satan as a more natural power manifested as Satan or Lucifer). I do find it interesting as an opposite to the standardized religion and church... uhhh, gotta be careful here... trying to get back to the tattoo part again...
I do like to use the satanic symbols for several reasons and I feel that in most cases my customers feel the same way about it. Some want them for the same reason as everybody wanted freemason stuff not too long ago, because it is mysterious and in this case kinda occult. Of course there is always the ones that just wants it because everybody else have it.
Another reason, I think, is that people use these Satanic symbols as their way of saying fuck religion. Maybe not in a that harsh way but still. This is one of my main reason for using them. This is my way of representing the opposite of believing in god. I don't believe in anything but atheism doesn't have any really cool symbols. Call it a youth rebellion that showed up way too late but this is my opinion and I will be happy to hear others opinion too.
One of the things I wanted to say with all this was also that I feel that the use of these symbols are getting worn out by the mass use of it. I realize that I have been guilty in this my self and I am a part of the ones doing it but I'm starting to see what the Masons fuss was all about. I realize that when you stand for something or is a part of something you get annoyed when others use what is important to you... when people water out what you feel strongly for so it feels less valuable. This is how I feel about the Satanic symbols thrown in everywhere these days. "but Allan, I thought you said you didn't believe in Satan or any god?" That's true but my opinion about religion is the reason I started to use theses symbols in the first way. It might have started almost as a joke but underneath the meaning was there and still is. So even now when we make jokes about how metal and Satanic this next tattoo will be and it might look more cute and funny than really evil, there is still my opinion about reliogion in there. I just wonder if everybody else who throws upside down crosses in their tattoos, like nobodies business, feels the same way or if they just do it as the new freemason symbols? I guess it's just because I have seen a lot of tattoos lately that has gotten me thinking about this... just random designs where the upside down cross doesn't really have any meaning or reason to be in there.
I don't care if you believe in one thing or the other and it's not like I don't tattoo christian, Hindu or any other religious symbols anymore. Anyone who have seen our shop knows how much we love Christian symbols and icons. I usually call our shop the most christian looking atheist shop because of all the crosses and rosaries and shit we have everywhere although we don't believe in anything. I have a lot of friends who believe in god and I don't have a problem with that. I know that it's something they feel for and need in their life. It's just not for me.
I don't really know where this rant ended or where it was going but here we are. Almost at the end.
What I started saying was that you DON'T have to get an upside down cross in your tattoo. I guess that after this rant a lot will feel more like they CAN'T get an upside down cross in their tattoo. I still see the humor in using it randomly, so bring it. If your idea works it's fine by me. I still see the humor in small cute Satanic animals and stuff like that. In fact the irony makes it show that it isn't really Satanic either. As I said before, my main goal is to make a good looking tattoo and most of my customers know that I feel that it's more important that the tattoo looks good than what it means. It's a tattoo... it's there to decorate.
I think I better stop now. This went on longer than it was supposed to and I have no idea if this made any sense since I just went with it and I will post it without going back to read it... so bear with me if it's a complete mess. But do feel free to share thoughts on the subjects.
Now it's time for the pictures!
First up is a tribute to Yoann's grandpa who was a hussars de la mort... I don't think he was a fox though. But foxes are pretty cool.
Henriette got her some swallows. One just because but the other one is with her boys name in a banner.
Natalie came back for two more sessions on her sleeve. This time we had two succesfull days with two finished pieces and no tears! First day we finished the lady with her birdcage in her hair. Some might think that's a strange place to put a cage but to that I say mind your own damn business! She can put it where ever she wants!
Second day we did this siamese magpie. We all know how they love their bling bling so we had to put a diamond in there... you know ... to symbolize ...um.... eternal struggle...umm ...as..or...with...It's pretty ok?!
It's also a coverup.
Up last we have my Norwegian homey Martin who came to finish the sleeve that started it all.
I would like to note that NO actual churches were harmed doing any of his tattoos!!
We also did a second day on hime where we did a secret project. I didn't get a good shot of it but maybe if you're lucky you can find it soon on the Conspiracy Inc blog.
Martin will also be my guide on my photo trip to Norway to get some some pictures for my Black Metal art show.
I almost forgot to tell you all about the news stuff:
I have gotten a GO for my Black Metal show. The main pieces will be the watercolor portraits that I have been working on, based on Peter Beste's book True Norwegian Black Metal but also my own photos from Norway and some more tattoo related paintings based on Black Metal. I'm looking forward to have the time to get into this subject some other day.
Have a nice sunday