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  • HOL Word Association

    Right, I'm in need of a bit of help and inspiration with regards to a design I'm putting together and thought this would be the best place to start.

    I am current drawing up a tattoo sleeve (half or full arm, not yet specified) and the design is focused around of Leaves.

    Currently I have a Minotaur at the top of the piece, as well as a compass with the needle spinning, and an open book with the text 'falling' off of the pages, and have some other ideas of what I may include as well.

    Things like a tattoo gun, a stripper (or part of a stripper, such as a leg complete with stocking and heels, etc), cats for the Zampano link, and a film canister or some sort of camera, with a maze or perhaps a doorway in the background.

    What comes to mind when you think of of Leaves? These things can be literal or less obvious, but need to be things that can be incorporated into a visual design (e.g. a pelican referring to the poems of the same name). I was thinking of having Zampano's chest at the foot of the design with everything effectively flowing from it, but am undecided on this at the moment.

    Thank you all in advance.
    Last edited by Thomas L'Heureux; 02-15-2010, 05:54 AM.

  • #2
    A quick question. Is this tattoo going to be for you or for someone else?

    A few quick thoughts, when I picture a leg with stocking and heel the image I immediately get is of the lamp from A Christmas Story. Maybe do a full stripper wearing Mickey Mouse ears, and maybe give her a bunny rabbit tail.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by heartbreak
      A quick question. Is this tattoo going to be for you or for someone else?
      Unfortunately I don't have space for another sleeve design myself, but there is nodoby in particular in mind for the design at the moment. It's just something I've decided to draw up to see how it turns out.

      Looking on the internet, I can find very little in terms of visual creative output with regards to of Leaves, which surprises me considering what a thought provoking book it is. From reading the forums I can see that some of you guys have been discussing possible shirt designs for years and unfortunately nothing's really come of that conversation yet.

      Also, is it too much to suggest a dead child being part of the design? The most emotive part of the novel was for me the ending, but putting that onto paper seems a bit dark, hehe.

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      • #4
        I think the main reason the t shirt idea is dead in the water is because none of us really want to go forth with merchandising someone else's material without their consent. Even if we weren't making a profit on them.

        Knowing that the design is for no one in particular is good. With of Leaves being so vast and beyond that the interpretations numerous, I think the best place to start would be to list out what points from of Leaves you would want to make sure and incorporate. Also, what is the overall aim of the tattoo, do you want loose references to things within the book? Or do you want to do a more cohesive representation of what the book means?

        If the dead child is important to the picture why leave it out? What is too dark? If the darkness is very much a part of us, should we not represent it as such?

        Hopefully I'm not coming across as argumentative or difficult. Having designed tattoos based on of Leaves and already, I do find the process interesting.

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        • #5
          Whilst I can draw I don't think of myself as a particularly deep thinker when it comes to the design process of a piece of potential work. For that reason I'd have to say that the sleeve will effectively be a collection of different elements of the book (almost a collage which in itself draws parallels to those featured in the narrative).

          My usual way of working under these specifications is to draw all the different elements separately and to piece them together thereafter, editing and amended where appropriate to give a cohesive product. In my mind I have a picture of the basis of the piece, with the Minotaur's head and torso at the top of the arm with each of the other elements pieced around it in a way that appeals aesthetically. Being honest, I'd struggle to tell any sort of story visually because I've struggled enough using spoken words when I've been asked what the book is about in the past.

          It's cool that you yourself have focused tattoo designs around the book previously. Is any of your work available online or is it something you've done on a personal level? Either way I'd be interested to hear about it should you wish to elaborate.

          I appreciate your point about interpretation, which is why I feel the piece will lean more towards the literal parts of the book more than anything more symbolic or hidden. As I've said, this is purely recreational at the moment so there are no real boundaries to what I can and cannot include.

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          • #6
            Here is a picture of the of Leaves one. Sorry for the glare. I'm thinking I will get the one done this summer so I will post pics of it then.

            I think over_come did a really nice job with the one he got as well.

            When I was in Greece I saw a bronze statue of a Minotaur sitting in the position of Rodin's Thinker, it was holding a morning star and the spiked ball and chain was hanging down between its legs. I wish I would have had the couple thousand to spend on it but something like that might be cool at the top, or maybe put him at the bottom and everything else in a thought bubble in his head, or perhaps a speaking bubble from his mouth, the song from the pipes, and perhaps Z's trunk within his torso.

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            • #7
              I actually am working on my of Leaves sleeve!
              I was thinking that at the top (on the back), there would be a few pages, burning at the edges, and the letters will begin to melt into the staircase that Johnny drew on the envelope. The staircase will spiral down to the elbow...somehow, I just want to incorporate all of the narrators. That's really my main goal. Is how all of these people came together to make the vast tale of of Leaves.
              I think the most difficult person to include will be Pelafina?
              Oh, wait, silly me, maybe it'll be Mark himself? I'm praying to just about every god that that part of the tattoo works out. Haha.

              Someone brought up the point of using literal images rather than interpreted images. Excellent point.

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              • #8
                The whole thing should just be completely black.

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                • #9
                  The tattoo parlour that I went to to get my 50 Year Sword tattoo, the guy there had a sleeve that was just TOTALLY black. Like Chad designed it or something. It was stellar.
                  I didn't ask him what it was about though.

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                  • #10
                    Did you ever get around to posting a pic of that T50YS tattoo?

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                    • #11
                      Ooo, I'll go run and do it in the Out of the Way forum.
                      Stat.

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                      • #12
                        Awesome tatt! I think its the first T50YS tattoo I've seen. Very cool.

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                        • #13
                          In my little world, I'm wondering if I'm the only person with one right now.
                          Until I see physical proof, I am! BUAHAHA!
                          Glad you like it though. Everyone at work said, "Sooo, coloured quotation marks...what's that all about?"
                          "Oh gee."
                          Usually I just carry the book on hand and show people. Because Mark's books always speak for themselves.

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                          • #14
                            Yes they do.

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