I’ve been agonizing over what to get for a tattoo before I discovered there was enough in the bank to justify getting one at this time. I’ve gotten embarrassingly responsible when it comes to money these past ten years, and didn’t want to set anything up to get the next one until I felt there was some disposable income to apply to a new tattoo.
As previously expressed on this site, I was fairly certain I wanted another raven for my right forearm, but I’ve been flipping back and forth between going modern, Celtic, Nordic, photorealistic, or perhaps even Haida (NW Coastal native tribe). On that arm, over my bicep, I have a Celtic armband of two hounds biting each other’s legs, something straight out of the Book of Kells, so it seems like I should maybe go more Celtic. The main issue I have had is that the art I can use to give the tattoo artist for guidance that I can find out there has Celtic knotwork in the ravens, but rarely with the ravens knotted themselves, and the knotwork in the ravens is either simplistic, or it feels too modern for what I had in mind. Or the ravens were iffy silhouettes and don’t much look like ravens (more like blackbirds in many cases). Or artists are intent on tossing all kinds of gore on their art, thinking it looks very trash polka when it doesn’t quite look like that either (I equate trash polka with more sloppy graphical design than with knotwork, although I like it as a style on it’s own).
I had considered a few weeks ago doing something more modern, influenced by Death and Matthew (from Sandman), but something doesn’t quite seem right about it as I turned it over in my head. I may go back to it, but I couldn’t quite make it work in my head the way I imagined, nor could a Gimp (free alternative to Photoshop) something that look like what I had in my mind.
This afternoon, I was frustrating myself with searching some more because I was disinclined to write or play games (my only real hobbies). I was surprised to stumble on this image, which seemed to check quite a few boxes in my mind (I can’t give credit because the person claiming credit does not seem to be the actual artist; different style/ability and it doesn’t match the initials, so this is stripped of the watermark they put on some variants):
This particular piece captures many of my needs. Largely photorealistic (as opposed to stylized). Decent knotwork that is integrated well and matches the style on my armband. Two ravens (Huginn and Muninn were considerations for inclusion). Some trash elements. I think I might forward this to my artist and see what she thinks of it. I’m tempted to add a knotted pentagram as a shadow behind the tail feathers. Or see if she can somehow tie it into the armband (which could use a recolor after 28 years, but that might have to be a different visit and reassessment of finances).
I think I feel closest to this compared to all of the other ideas I’ve floated past myself and people who know me.
Thoughts from y’all?