Two examples of tattoos and scarification dancing on a face in one day!!! You may recall this facial scarification by Iestyn Flye because I included it in the images in the entry about his recent scarification seminar. Since then, Damien Voodoo, also of London’s Divine Canvas (divine-canvas.com), has added a series of chin tattoo lines that echo the scars higher up on the face. I especially enjoy how the tattoo extends up onto the lower lip. I think if it was me, I would have drawn the lines right over the tattoos already on the neck, but that’s a highly personal decision where I think it’s quite fair for ones history to outweigh graphic design. Speaking of graphic design, looking at this tattoo from multiple angles shows how incredibly challenging it is to create parallel geometric work on a surface as topographically complex as a face!!! Either way, I think the two of them have fused their work successfully to create a striking and unique facial project.
So… How about some nice thing implanted forehead ridges for the trifecta?
Click to zoom in a bit of course.
I love this scarification pattern done by Iestyn Flye on I believe Muffe Vulnuz. Normally when I see scarification over blackwork, I think it’s best left as light lightwork in a field of dark when healed, but depending on how this heals, I think it might look nice re-tattooed in the long run. Imagine if it healed either raised or better yet, sunk in, and then could be tattooed a dark, almost black red… It really would look like dragon scales then!
By the way, I should add that no one has told me that it’s meant to be dragon scales — that’s just what I see when I look at it. So I hope I’ve caused no offense at this assumption!
Another person I could have included in my post about Iestyn Flye’s scar work and upcoming seminar with Ron Garza was the brilliant and aptly named blackwork tattoo artist Matt Black who works at London’s Divine Canvas, since he has some eye-catching skin-removal on his nose by Iestyn. Even though you don’t see this type of facial scar that much, it has a strong historical basis and in fact Maori mokos, which are based on their wood carving art, were first done as “skin carving” before they became the more commonly seen “normal” tattoos.
I hope seeing it and similar pieces will encourage more people to explore this artform on their faces. The nose seems to really carry the scar well — although I would urge people to only go to the best for this sort of thing… Your nose is not a piece of anatomy you want someone learning through trial-and-error on!!! Here is a recent picture of Matt’s face showing both the scar and the rest of his amazing facial tattooing.
But I also wanted to share two recent blackwork tattoos that Matt has done. I’m not sure who the hand work is on, but the chest is on another great body artist, Damien Voodoo, who has an incredible collection of work that I will certainly show more of in the future. You can find Matt at divine-canvas.com along with many other top-notch artists specializing in (but not exclusive to) the modern neo-tribal tattoo style. By the way, look carefully at these tattoos and you’ll see they’re not just a “boring old solid fill” — it’s actually a dense field of dotwork.
I shared this tattoo when I posted a gallery of Iestyn Flye’s work on ModBlog (click here if you don’t remember — it is in regards to the scarification seminar he and Ron Garza are hosting that you don’t want to miss if you’re a London-area professional in the field), but I also wanted I’ll just share this wider shot of Dom here, because I also really like her dotwork scars. I can imagine an entire body done in these, and have seen such things in Africa of course, but not as often in a “modern” context. Beautiful work.
PS. Ignore the “smartphone” on the picture, it is only of use if you’re trying to track her down on Facebook!
Speaking of Iestyn Flye (see the entry below this one for the scarification seminar he’s hosting with Ron Garza), I also wanted to share this amazing set of very British deep chest piercings he did. You may be wondering to yourself how such a thing could heal, since of course if you shrunk the whole thing down to 14ga, this would be about the least advisable way to do a surface piercing. However, once you start talking about this bulk of tissue, the body responds quite differently and rather than trying to spit the material out like a sliver, accepts it as “too large to fight” and sullenly heals around it — albeit in a process that can take a year or more to fully mend (with a certain amount of kicking and screaming by the tissue!).
I have been reading some of the comments on things I’ve posted with great interest. I appreciate the many warm welcomes, but it is interesting to note there are some very conservative voices commenting with knee-jerk reactions to fringe body modification pictures without reading or understanding the associated text. I wonder if that will happen with these as it did with the subclavicles? Please, readers — try and give what I post the benefit of the doubt. If I post something I feel is unsafe, I assure you, I will say so. Yes, I have a high tolerance for the unusual, but I am also not a naive fool that doesn’t have enough experience to know what the body can heal safely and what it can’t. Over twenty years ago, in the 1980s, when I was a kid in highschool, I told my then-girlfriend that I would never get a tongue piercing, and that to do such a thing was an insane risk. That seemed a reasonable thing for me to say at the time, but it sure sounds silly now, doesn’t it? If I’ve learned anything since then, it’s that the body is a remarkably pliable vessel for our sentience, and that it will tolerate being manipulated and sculpted in far more diverse ways than common sense would suggest. Now, there’s nothing wrong with caution — it keeps us alive — but there is something wrong with continuing to have that fear when time and experience show something to be possible. And of course we must remember that aesthetics differ not just between cultures, but between individuals, and one may enjoy pale plainskin, another symmetric perfection, and another a face that looks like it was caught in an explosion at a body jewelry factory. To me, that’s always been a wonderful thing about BME — that it embraces all those flavors.
I wanted to share with you a flyer on the scarification seminar being hosted by Iestyn Flye and Ron Garza the weekend of the London Tattoo Convention (September 30th and October 1st). This is a hands-on fundamentals and theory class for active practitioners (you must be working at a shop and familiar with blood borne pathogens to sign up) interested in scarification, hosted by two of the top scarification artists in the world. Of course Ron Garza is an old BME favorite, but since Iestyn (of Divine Canvas in the UK) may not be as well known here, I’d like to begin by posting a small sample of his scarification work.
Whether you are a fresh beginner, or whether you’re an experienced artist, I can’t imagine anyone not coming away from this seminar with vastly improved skills to offer their clients. If you’re a scarification artist or a piercer or tattooist interested in getting into this field, and can get to London for this, you won’t regret it. Here’s the flyer itself:
Hexagons, octagons, these are the shapes that we see quite a bit, now heptagons, that’s an entirely different category. Technically this is a heptagram, but you get the idea. Given the positioning of this scar, as well as the contrast between the big removal, and small pieces, it’ll be interesting to see how this heals up.
Scarification by Iestyn Flye.