As soon as I saw this tattoo by London’s Damien Voodoo (divine-canvas.com) I could tell there was something special about it — there was a unique energy about it that one rarely sees in a tattoo, and of course it has a clean, simple, beautiful design aesthetic that stands out from other tattoos as well. I asked Damien about it and was told,
I drew the symbol on this lady because she needed strength and protection. I remembered an Ahl-i Hava [Followers of the winds] symbol from childhood which is an African Persian symbol which represents a strong tree that can stand very powerful winds at the cross road between this world and the unseen world.
Click to take a closer look.
Eyeball Tattooing FAQ
by Shannon Larratt
- Unless otherwise indicated, this document refers to scleral tattooing (over the white of the eye) using the ink injection method, rather than to corneal tattooing (over the iris) using repetitive needle punctures.
- This document is under constant revision and reflects the current amateur understanding of the art of eyeball tattooing. It should not be taken as definitive or absolute advice. This document is not medical advice. This document will be updated whenever relevant and possible, so please check back for updates.
- Eyeball tattooing carries with it significant risks up to and including blindness and life-threatening complications. Nothing in this document should be taken as condoning or recommending or encouraging eyeball tattoos, or presenting it as safe. Proceed at your own risk.
- Because this FAQ is constantly changing, please do not reprint it elsewhere. Instead, please link directly to BME.com where it is hosted: http://news.bme.com/2012/10/18/the-eyeball-tattoo-faq/
FAQ REVISION HISTORY
Current Version: 1.1 / November 21, 2012
Updates since the previous version are highlighted in red (like this).
1.1 – Added additional risks information (glaucoma, ocular hypotension, etc.), multicolor inks, and various notes.
1.0 – FAQ updated after long talk with Howie/LunaCobra
0.9 – Original version written by Shannon Larratt
** What is eyeball tattooing?
Eyeball tattooing, in the context of this FAQ, is the process of permanently altering the color of the eye. Generally this refers to the injection of ink under the surface of the white of the eye, rather than changing the color of the iris, although this is theoretically possible.
** Why would someone want to tattoo their eye?
This is a rude question that no one should feel obligated to answer to anyone but themselves. But to generalize, people get eyeball tattoos for the same reasons people would get any tattoo or make any permanent change to themselves — because it makes them happy or feels right in some way. Because they like the way it looks. Because it suits them spiritually. Because they find it sexually appealing. Because they want to differentiate themselves from others. Because they feel tattooing has gotten to mainstream and want something more socially offensive. Because they saw it in a dream. Because it appeals to them as an artist. Because they want to make a political statement. Because they’re mad at their mommy for not hugging them enough. Because it’s none of your business.
I’m sorry posts are a bit light right now, I’m busy and Rob is temporarily away — we are being joined by some new writers soon that I’m greatly looking forward to. But tonight I wanted to leave you with a few tattoos from one of the very first French art tattooists I met, and still one of my favorite, the wonderful Lionel Fahy (who is also an extremely talented musician and author — his veins are just pulsing with creativity). I want to being by mentioning that you can follow his adventures and work in great detail at lioneloutofstep.blogspot.fr, and today I’m going to post just three recent pieces that caught my imagination. The first one, this charming and funny octopus, was tattooed at this year’s Nantes Tattoo Convention.
This endearing backpiece, as many of Lionels pieces, evokes memories of childhood and loves. The swing set reads “a vous tous” or “to all of you”.
Finally, I was especially struck by the strong graphic design in this wrist/palm tattoo, one hand a hanging lantern light, and the other an electricity tower, with a power line connecting the tattoo. I love the way that the lines extend onto the hands, powerfully integrating the piece into the wearer’s anatomy and also adding a sense of symmetry to two otherwise graphically unbalanced elements. Take the time to zoom this for a better look.
Those of you who are Christians and believe the Bible is the word of gawd, or who buy into the many “photos” of archeological dig sites showing it, there was a time when Andrew the Giant was known as Andre the Dwarf. Genesis chapter six begins (and you can look this up if you don’t believe me, I’m not pranking you),
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
But what you might not know is that the Archbishop of Canterbury, when doing the King James Bible edit, removed the next line, which reads, “And those giants, they were pierced, they were pierced with fucking giant rings.” Carl, an archeologist at the California Tattoo Company, theorizes that the ring he discovered on a recent excavation is a septum ring, but I know better. It’s not called a Prince Gibborim for nothing you know. Zoom in if you’d like, by the way.
I wanted to share the Czech Republic’s master tattooist Ondrash‘s latest stunner, a stunning bright multi-hue watercolor-style tattoo portrait of Poe. The portrait itself is beautiful of course, but the parts that really jump out at me are the little color blends where the hues flow into each other as if they were actually wet paint on paper. Be sure to check out Ondrash’s website if you like this, as well as the previous ModBlog posts — Eye of the Tiger and The Amazing Ondrash
Remember when I said I thought maybe I was posting too many scarification photos? Yeah, remind me to delete that entry, and while you’re at it, remind me to rename my testicles “Ryan” and “Ouellette”. Then maybe people will think that my wonderful balls traveled to Linkoping, Sweden and did this wonderful Jean Luc Picard as Locutus of Borg skin removal scarification on Elin’s back. Fortunately for Elin though, it was the real Ryan Ouellette, of New Hampshire’s Precision Body Arts (precisionbodyarts.com) who created this gorgeous piece of Star Trek superfandom over six hours of assimilation with his blade (and a little help from Nick Kelley who did the initial artwork design). Beautiful work as always — and I have to wonder if in the distant future, when this piece has faded as all scars must, if it might be an idea piece to give a second life to with a bit of tattooing?
A trailer for the new “Evil Dead” remake was played at and leaked from ComicCon, and it “wallows in limb-severing and tongue-splitting” because apparently when you are driven into evil madness, it expresses itself with DIY body modification. Tell me something I didn’t already know by the time I was summoning demons at age eight while sticking needles in my unmentionables. Anyway, here’s a screencap, and you can watch the cam-leak in the attached video as well — the tongue splitting is the highlight knockout punch that they put right at the very end of the trailer to seal the deal. Because you know there’s nothing more fucked up than someone splitting their own tongue. Gotta love mainstreaminbg and gentrification.
[Edit: The video has been pulled, unsurprisingly, so you'll have to wait for the official trailer to be posted or make due with the thumbnails I snagged. At least they should be legal fair use, not that this stops people from filing over-reaching DMCA takedown demands...]
The publishers at Edition Reuss have done it again, with the beautifully laid out and interesting book, Traditional Tattoo in Japan: HORIKAZU. This book is a comprehensive look at the the life work of Tattoo Master Horikazu, from Asakusa, Tokyo.
Click through to read the full review.
I have been dying to show you Howie’s latest masterpiece for weeks, but he’s insisted that because of the much higher risk and complexity with multi-color eyes that he didn’t want me posting it until he was sure that they were a complete success. They are of course on Pauly Unstoppable, who was the very first person to have an eye tattoo done (although with a different procedure) by Howie just over five years ago at my house in Toronto when he, Josh, and I became Howie’s first clients and opened Pandora’s Box.
Now, it can be hard to listen when your mind is blown — and if you’re anything like me, this makes you want to shove the next few colored objects you can find into your eye sockets — but Howie emphasizes that is the quickest, easiest, riskiest way to get yourself blinded. He has been developing this procedure slowly and carefully for five years. Because no one listens to urgings not to “try this at home”, Howie is in the process of putting together a seminar/information lesson on eyeball tattooing to (in his words) “minimize the worldwide story of blindness due to eyeball tattooing”.
I would very strongly encourage all artists considering doing this procedure (or currently doing this procedure) to get in touch via lunacobra.net with Howie and get every bit of education they can before putting clients and risk. It’s irresponsible in my opinion to do otherwise. I know it’s exciting and I know you want to jump right into the deep end with your clients, but given how choppy the water is and what the consequences of drowning are, it’s negligent not to get the very best swimming lessons available. And of course clients wanting eye tattoos and other procedures can also contact Howie at that same URL.
The very oldest example of religion that we have documented is in the form of a voluntary amputation found in a Polish archeological site dating back about 30,000 years — Blake wrote about this for BME back in 2003. Even today there are African, Australian, and other indigenous cultures that practice small digit amputations as a way of coping with mourning and the loss of a loved one. There’s something very instinctual about it in the human experience.
A friend of mine, an experienced cross-spectrum practitioner, recently did this amputation on a customer who had lost his mother, and wanted to do this amputation as a tribute or memorial to her. The procedure was fairly simple, although not as simple as the hammer-and-chisel that many people resort to. He used a number 11 scalpel to peel back the skin, leaving enough skin so that when he removed the bones there would be enough left over to create a flap to cover the wound to speed up the healing. Doing the procedure this way also leaves a more comfortable result, because the amputated finger has a little more “padding” on the end.