5 hours getting stabbed - but he was asking for it


A little over 4 years ago, I designed and got a tattoo of a dragonfly on my back. I loved the little guy and I figured if I couldn't see it everyday, I'd be less likely to get sick of it. I think it worked. I still love seeing him hanging out back there.


It got Leo thinking that he might like something himself. He asked me to think of some possible ideas. He knew he wanted something that had a female face, and he was thinking he might want an armband.

Now, I dabble in illustrating, but it is, by no means, my strong suit. I sketched, I used Illustrator, I submitted ideas to him and yet we kept coming up with misses, not hits. I'll be the first to say that no one should get a tattoo unless they feel 100% sure it's what they want and, luckily, Leo feels the same. Yet, I was beginning to think I'd never come up with a design that could meet his discriminating taste.

Finally, we hit on an idea that seemed perfect to him. Two female profiles facing each other with their hair intertwining around his arm. It was a design that we hasn't seen on anyone else (which is not to say that it hasn't been done, we just haven't seen it) and Leo thought he could love it enough to have it forever.

When I finalized the sketch and got it to where he thought it was perfect, he asked if I could include a Japanese character in the middle. I've take a little bit of Japanese before, so I knew enough to search for the character online and then look it up by it's radical to confirm the meaning. There's still a chance that it has some colloquial or slang meaning that may come back to haunt us, but I suppose that's the chance you take when you go getting tattoos in languages you don't really know.

Anyway, the characters should mean "lion" which is what Leonardo means as well. Leo jokes that it's as close as he gets to being between two women at one time. Ha! Funny, very funny.

You may recall that I said the designing happened over 4 years ago. We went to a few places in LA to see what it would cost but we it ended up just falling by the wayside. Over time it just seemed to be (I thought) forgotten.

Well, bruised, beaten, exhausted and bloodied, after 5 hours of continuous inking (he said she didn't even take a potty break) his tattoo is done, and from what I can see, it's amazing. Want to see it? Check the pics after the jump. If you are not so fond of the look of freshly tattooed skin under plastic wrap and tape, you can see the original illustration here.

It's pretty amazing to see one's own design, permanently inked onto another person's skin and when it's someone so special to me, it's all the sweeter.


Marnie - I love, love that design! What a great tattoo. I can't wait to see Leo's all healed up!

I can't see much, yet, but the original design is awesome. You should get us each little tank tops with that design. Leo can stand between us and his dreams will come true!

[What's that you say, Leo? There's a little more involved in your dream? Who knew?]

Wow, that's cool. To have designed it yourself and have someone you love emblazon it on their body. Awesome! (And can I say how much I like that it goes all the way around? It irks me to see people with armbands that stop under the arm!-That said, I can't imagine how bad the underarm part must hurt!!!)

What a great tatoo and collaboration! It really has a lovely flow to it and the sylized profiles go so well with the hair and the lettering.

I couldn't see the tattoo very well on his arm, but I love the original artwork. The funny thing is I didn't see the faces right away, instead, the shadows of the chin/neck area looked to me like two little stylized lions guarding him. Then I saw the faces and they look awesome too, but I like the idea of the hidden lion guardians. If I were going to get a tattoo it would be a drop spindle... ha ha... but then, I'm pretty much a dork. Actually I'd probably get my chameleon logo, I like that.

Awesome! You're a woman of many talents & I guess Leo has a high tolerance for pain?
Nicely done.

Wow! I love it!

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Fabulous! It's an awesome design and I'm sure it will look great when it's all healed.

Did you know he was going to get it done while you were in India?

Awesome ink (I feel the need to add a "Dude" to that!) I'm still trying to pluck up the courage to have my done.

Wow, I can't see the inked version too well but the original is stunning. Can't wait to see it healed and in glory! :)

I felt the same way when my little sister asked me to design a tattoo for her just before she turned 21. She wants another, but it'll be a few years before she can afford something of the magnitude that she's considering so I've got plenty of time to work on it.

Ooh. I like the symmetry broken by the Japanese characters! So did the lady make a transfer and stick it on him, or did she do it freehand?

Oooh! Can't wait to see it unwrapped! How exciting! And it being your design is even better!!! The pink plastic wrap makes it look like mock gore for halloween. Also, those pics of Leo and Panda are so sweet. Things like that make a man even more attractive :) I'm sure you 2 must make quite a pair, you both seem so sweet! And now he will always wear 'your' tatoo, a nice meld of both your creativity.

it looks amazing! i bet you can't wait to see what it looks like underneath the wrap.

Wow! Very cool. And unique, whish makes it even cooler.

That is amazing! I can't wait to see what it looks like when the wrap is gone. Where is your dragonfly tattoo (shoulder, lower back, etc)?

The design is very striking. Looking forward to seeing it all healed up.

i always find it fascinating about how different places treat tattoos. where i got mine, they gave me a little solo cup of "tattoo goo" specially designed for tattoos. then they gauzed it, and said to put the goo on (i can't remember the frequency, this was over 4 years ago, lol).

my daughter got several tattoos, and all they told her is neosporin, and that she could take the bandage off as soon as she got home. granted, mine was on my stomach, and hers were on her ankle, wrist & foot. who knows.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Marnie published on October 9, 2006 9:19 AM.

Off the clock and in overdrive was the previous entry in this blog.

Unwrapped is the next entry in this blog.

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