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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I love my Tattooed Monkey

So just spent the weekend in San Diego with my son, whom I like to call my Tattooed Monkey.  He's the son who decided forgo college to become a tattoo artist.  I know as parents we often worry or criticize our children's decisions in life and when our son said "I'm going to be a tattoo artist", I have to admit a bit of apprehension. I have to say my apprehension was foolish and I am amazed at how he's successful, confident and taken his talent for art and live the life many of us crave: dedication to artistic endeavor.  Some might not approve of the medium but it's gaining respect and the fact that many tattoo artists are now commercial successes through TV and licensing, you can see how its popularity is increasing. I'm waiting for his work to show up on a pair of shoes, just like Ed Hardy. 

My second favorite thing about hanging out with him, is that unlike fine art, tattoos are everywhere on all kinds of people, and hanging out with him I am with an art critic. We can look at line, color, content and know the difference between a good piece of work and a poor or mediocre one. He can look at crisp lines, colors that bleed and tell me whether it's a "good tat" or a lame one.  I now have a new vocabulary for people besides "hot" or "fat". 

The true icing on the cake is going to his shop.  Last time I was there, there were three newly minted Marines in the lobby. Cute, hair shaved high and tight, and probably used to following orders. So the three of them poured over the many possible "Semper Fi" tattoos trying to decide what to get on their first weekend leave.  I said I was the tattooist's dad, they all said "cool" in unison.  I suggest they take their shirts off so they could decide where to put their "tats".  "Turn around" I suggested, "let me feel your muscles, yeah, I think you should put a tat here on your chest." "How about on your leg?" They didn't hesitate to show me some thigh. Just then my husband came into the shop and suggested that "we've done enough for the troops." Sigh. 

So while I agonize over what my tattoo might look like....a small rose on my ankle.....a dolphin on my hip, maybe....or a full scale "angel wings" on my back. My friends, neighbors and even my brother's retired in-laws are getting inked.  Hmmm what about a rainbow....would that be too gay? In any case, I'll wait for it to be done by my Tattooed Monkey, if he can find time for an Odie on my calf....maybe?