Monday, 13 February 2012

The Painful Journey of Self Expression

Lundi 13th Fevrier, 2012; 21:56
Location: Dejavu Tattoo Studio, Chiang Mai Thailand
Why: Murderously beautiful flashes of red and putting off homework.

I should be writing in my Foreign Language Journal, it's been three weeks. But right now, I am procrastination at it's finest. I have been creeping Facebook profiles, chatting online with my sister and Anna, Youtubing Whitney Houston songs (RIP Whitney) and putting lotion on my legs. You know, all the typical procrastination shite that I can get really good at when the occasion calls.

It is the third week of TEFL school, I've got two teaching lessons this week, along with a skit I have to memorize in Thai. I'm sure I'm going to eff it up with the wrong intonations. I may be Chinese but I'm all Falang when it comes to speaking Thai off my chicken scratch notes.

Another fine procrastination activity I've been doing tonight is running my fingers over the fine artwork that now embraces part of my back side. And trying my damn hardest not to pick the parts starting to scab over.

Alright, alright, I'm sure you're dying to see what it is; I've only been eluding to getting some 'work' done for the past little while. But first, some context. I've been meaning to get this for years but was always reluctant because it was so common. I'd doodled around with what I thought should be the image I wanted to have on my skin, trying to keep with tradition of what this creature ought to be.

Not satisfied with anything I drew or came across, I thought screw this, I'm going to design it the way I think it should be. It is 2012. I turn 36 this year. The Year of the Dragon. The result is a mythological combination of eastern and western divinity.

I had posted a snippet of this creature back in December but here is the finished drawing:

My back pre-ink. It's like a blank canvas, how exciting!

Got totally side tracked chatting with the lovely Toto...okay, gotta finish the post so I can stop procrastinating on TEFL homework. Sheesh...

On a balmy Saturday night two days ago, I sauntered into Dejavu Tattoos in the hip little area frequented by Falangs looking for the Reggae Bar. Yep, it's next door to Dejavu. After meeting with the artist and confirming the design details, I got on the ink gurney for a four hour excruciating journey of self expression.

Stenciling the outline of Red Dragon:

 The artist setting up his work station. It's all very fascinating for me:

And the pain begins:

Work in progress. This never gets any less painful:

The fourth hour was the most painful hour. I'm talking tears in my eyes and squeezing the pillow after each needle dug into my ravaged skin. I silently screamed in that last hour with wild, masochistic thoughts of murdering everyone in revenge for my suffering. I can be unnecessarily dramatic with myself sometimes.

Funny thing is, the studio's motto is "No Pain. No Gain". Fitting.

Enduring the last hour as the red and orange colours were permanently injected into me:

Murderous thoughts aside, once the last of the colour was bestowed upon me, I let out the biggest sigh you can imagine and clumsily got off the ink gurney. A wave of nausea washed over me as imaginary birds danced around my head.

Once I pulled myself together, I walked over to the mirror to inspect the work. Stah-nning:

Some people have asked me why I do it when it's so painful. I don't have an answer. Ask if I will get any more done. Hmmmm, I have another appointment this Saturday. I think I have an addiction.

My Foreign Language Journal is due in a few hours, correct spellings and all. And all hand written. I have become the Procrastination Queen at this point.


  1. Wow, amazing! Looks so fantastic on you.

  2. thanks sherri! it's been exactly one week today and is healing nicely (: