October 2010, was my 40th birthday; I know, hard to believe that such a handsome and youthful (dare I say boyish?) face can be 4 decades old?
As a gift to myself I decided to get a tattoo; something personal, something significant and definitely something that I wouldn’t regret.
Now, even if your idea is awesome, even if it is utterly symbolic and meaningful, much can go wrong between concept and creation.
It is vitally important to take your idea to someone who is not only artistically creative and technically skilled but to someone who is sensitive to your needs, your fears even.
Jake is the son of my very dear, creative and sober friend Karen. She is also an artist, a photographer; something clever, in fact, like social anthropology…ANYWAY, I DIGRESS.
Jake has also been incredibly supportive of my Equality Advocacy work and totally understood my desire to permanently place my, well Harvey Milk’s, mantra on my arm: NEVER BLEND IN.
Having these words so beautifully emblazoned on my forearm has opened the door to so many incredibly inspiring conversations.
People, often students (who are also people), ask “why these words?”
I love that this gives me the opportunity to explain about Harvey, about equality and ultimately connect on a deeper level than I could if I were wearing say a suit and tie (or anything that didn’t distinguise me from the masses).
Tattoos, as far as I’m concerned, should be individual, unique and a personal statement to reflect identity. I’m no expert and I imagine that there are many theories on the significance, cultural history etc of tattoos but, for me, this is what they are; a symbolic use of language and/or imagery to define or express individual identity, perhaps even to reclaim ownership of one’s own body. Or is that getting too deep?
Anyway, Jake and I talked as he worked on my tattoo – we talked about anything and everything and, despite the slight discomfort, the afternoon was joyful, enlightening and has left me scarred (BUT IN A GOOD WAY).
I can’t begin to express my gratitude to this talented, highly professional, creative, artistic and fascinating young artist but what I can do is recommend him to you.
If you have any questions, comments then ask Jake.
Colour Your Body is the alias of up and coming independent tattoo artist Jake Galleon.
Jake is a tattooist who mainly specialises in large scale, Japanese inspired tattooing, also working in other established tattoo styles such as traditional western and black & grey. while also putting a fresh twist into every piece.
Although he is self taught, he learned and continues to learn a great deal from the people he works with, the people who have tattooed him and ultimately from the customer’s themselves.
Tattooing out of South East London where he was ‘born and bred’. Jake finds a lot of inspiration from his surroundings in his artwork and is proud of his heritage