Monday, January 24, 2011

Tattoos and TV

Trinities, originally uploaded by Kevissimo.
While I debated butterflies and dolphins and favorite lines of poetry, hipper friends of mine have found the art of ink. Like Mandy, photographed here by our wildly talented friend Kevin Rolly. I've often wondered if a colorful tattoo would distract from my blinding white, SPF 45-guarded skin, but as a dedicated commitment and needle phobe, I'm still lily-white.

So when a tattoo reality show needed someone to recruit artists here in Portland, I was OBVIOUSLY the woman for the job. Asking friends and Yelp for the best up-and-coming artists, I google-mapped my way around the studios of my new home, Portland.  Some artists were obvious camera whores, ready for their close-ups, many just wanted their craft to be represented well, while others informed me ever so gently of the horrors of reality TV.

But, as a fellow L.A. transplant to Portland told me, everyone here is so NICE. And despite my mother's fears that I'd be talking to bikers in chains, most of the artists are just that, artists. They spend hours consulting with clients and sketching, helping bring about a shared, creative vision.

One artist and I talked about how to balance life and work / creating art.. He's started scaling back, after being booked 7 days a week, to do a little more living. "I can only be inspired in my art if my life is inspiring." Great advice. I'm going to try to find some inspiring (and free) things to do in Portland in the coming weeks. I talked with another about moving where life takes you, traveling abroad, and trashy TV. He had me crying-laughing as he tried to justify his "Rock of Love" addiction, which, by the way, UNjustifiable, and told me of a few good places on Belmont to check out.

I'm still not ready to commit to any body art, (as one tattoer told me, if you're not sure, put it on a t-shirt), but I feel even more connected to a community here in Portland. And learned that no, they won't pay me to practice their tats on me.

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