Thursday, March 31, 2016

Under the Needle - Thursday

Today I'd like to share the latest part of my ink collection with you guys. Because this one took a little longer to heal because, I wasn't able to write a post on it right away. It has officially healed completely (for the most part), so I am ready to tell its story on The Stares today. First, here is the completed piece:

(If you're not able to tell where this is placed, it's on the very top part of my thigh). A popular question I've gotten is if I got this tattoo because I consider myself a super fan of The Weeknd. There's no question that I love a majority of the work The Weeknd has done, and yes. I would definitely consider myself a fan. But honestly, I've never consider myself a super fan of any artist. This piece and this mixtape represents the gateway moment in my life where music started becoming more than just sounds to me, but rather, a habit and lifestyle.
Now if any of you are fans of the contemporary R&B artist, you're probably familiar with this cover art from his second EP "Thursday". This particular EP was so important to me because I can still vividly remember this time in my life where music started meaning something more to me than what I just listened to on the radio. Even though I had already claimed myself as a fan after "House of Balloons", it was this mixtape where I started seeing the R&B music and artists past from that held such strong influence over almost all the music we listen to today. For The Weeknd in particular,  there a strong hint of MJ that just can't be glossed over. What had been so fascinating to me about it at the time was how he was able to incorporate that classic sound into his own dark, original music. That was so powerful to me. From that point on, I never heard music the same. It was during this time I really started to develop a desire to learn about everything music, starting from classical and working my way forward. About historical events that influenced certain songs and how certain songs influenced historical events. I know I still have a long way to go, but nevertheless, that passion was birthed following hearing this Thursday EP.
Another large part of my inspiration behind this piece was solely the artwork. The moment I laid eyes on that artwork, I was almost immediately drawn to it. I was drawn to her. And at the time, I wasn't sure why. But since I've seen it, I've always felt very connected to her and the emotion she's displaying in the photograph. Going through that motion of emotions was something that was difficult for me, as I'm sure it has been with most any woman. But growing up, I always remember just feeling everything in such extremes, which is something I didn't really understand or know how to embrace within myself. So it always served as an obstacle when dealing with my issues. I didn't know why they affected me so. It took me growing up and finally learning how to be okay with feeling any and all emotion to get the positive results I was looking for within myself. So this girl on this mixtape cover was just so familiar to me, and I felt like I really knew her.
Now as you can tell, the girl heads on my tattoo are not the same girl heads you see on the featured cover art, as other sources of inspiration translated my vision for it. As a young African-American woman I have always felt empowered by the women of color who share a voice in the creative arts. With that being said, I thought that the pictures and poses of the women I chose for the tattoo mimicked the original work quite similarly. I also loved that my artist used old school tattoo animation for my piece. For some reason, it just made the message of my tattoo feel more personal and authentic.:




Ink work by Corey Lambert (Walk the Line Tattoo - Athens, GA)

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