When people ask the person what the meaning of the tattoo is it´ll be a long explanation - "You see, there's this short story in which..." I wonder why the person wanted this particular line which does´nt make any sense on its own.
Long time lurker here, and huge Bukowski fan. Wanted to pass this along and get some thoughts on my recent "Leg Sleeve." As I mentioned, still incomplete, but a small publisher recently did a spotlight on it so I thought I would share with the board and maybe get Sara some more feedback and (hopefully) love from the Bukowski community.
Would love to hear feedback, we've got a lot left to do, will definitely update again once it's finished - just wanted to share a sneak peak - she read the poem and created all of this, I am completely amazed at how badass she is!
Can I start with a question? Pants have legs, not sleeves, so shouldn't a tattoo covering your leg be called a leg tattoo? I don't know, I'm not hep to all the lingo you kids throw around. I still don't know where to find the on-ramp to the Information Superhighway in my town.
But I know when someone can't draw. I'm sorry man, but I looked at the many pictures of your tattoo, and I'm trying to find something positive to say, but I'm afraid I can't. I can't say that's a good tattoo, or a well done tattoo, or a tattoo that's pleasant to look at. It's poorly conceived, poorly drawn, poorly scratched onto your skin - there's nothing there that looks good.
I understand that people who have the desire to become tattooers have to learn how to tattoo somehow, and they can really only learn by permanently marking other humans. That's unfortunate. But for something covering that much of your body, you really should have gone to a professional.
On the bright side, the sleeve of your pants will usually be covering it.
I was going to mention that in all likelihood you've tattooed more than a few John Martin words on your leg, along with Bukowski's words, but it probably doesn't matter, since much of the text in your tattoo is unreadable.
Cry for me. I've got some bad ones. 30 years ago I decided that I, too, could be a tattoo artist. It was taught then that you had to practice on yourself. The rest is history...uh, no...its still there on my leg. I actually got to be good, but its a dull life. I had to quit.
Here comes the guy with a different, more gentle oppinion on your legwork: I like it.
Well, I must admit, that I am not into tattoos at all, so I don't "like" it in the way of some art I would want on my own body.
But I do like the obvious devotion that you have for Bukowski and that poem covering your whole leg with it. I can't remember having ever seen such a huge body-part tattooed with just one subject. This takes some devotion and crazyness (in a good way, like: "some people never go crazy - what truly horrible lifes they must lead.").
Also don't find the drawing bad. I like it. Not on my body. But as an interpretation of the poem with a difficult to handle technique (as a tattoo of that size and shape [a pillar in fact] is.
Don't let the other kids drag you down for it. It sure isn't everybody's favorite, but it sure is one very special thing.
Let's not forget that it's a TATTOO we're talking about, not a needlepoint that a 12 year old girl made for her grandmother's parlor. If you're such a tremendous bad ass that you've covered your whole body with tattoos, I wouldn't expect you to get all teary-eyed over anyone's opinion of some of that ink.
People who consider tattooing to be an art form have a lot of standards that they want to see met before they deem a tattoo to be "good." They aren't the same standards that art done on traditional, non-human mediums is judged by. If someone asks for an opinion on their tattoo, it should be judged on "tattoo as art" standards, not by the amount of work involved, or the intention, or even if the person it was made for likes it.
The thing about being a tattoo "artist" is that you never get to create anything that is meaningful to you. Back in my day it was all Puerto Rican flags, Grim Reapers, Skulls and/or Bugs Bunny smoking a blunt. You have to do what the client asks for and it is a ploddingly dull, remorseless existence. I used to be thrilled when an appointment would cancel on me. Thats when I knew I had to do something else.
If you tell me you've had some elaborate extensive work done by the best of the best, I can tell you without looking at it that its going to be something I'm very happy is on you and not on me.
Today I look at 90% of what people have inked and think its trash. To me, the most artful images-on-flesh are very simple, crude symbols ala' Basquiatt with his use of crowns etc. to convey an idea. Or the ice man: 5,000 years dead with series of crude lines in groups at different places on his body. Even prisoners in Russian Gulags have better ink than the average American.
My leg tattoo is bad but my Mom still loves me. Going through life with a bad tattoo is far from the worst thing I've had to deal with.