I have chosen an Art Nouveau design for my tattoo entry as it is my favourite design period. To me it represents the time when people, especially women, were finding in the course of a few years, their world had changed drastically. The old order and button down existence they were used to no longer suited a world changed by war. A shortage of available men meant women took jobs outside the home, and when WWI ended they refused to go back to their kitchens.
British woman were granted the vote and American women were soon to follow. There was a real desire to celebrate life and new found freedoms. Corsets were expelled and free flowing, highly decorative, colourfully embellished clothing suited the new aesthetic. Art Nouveau emerged out of this new found philosophy towards life. Ceramics, jewellery, architecture and clothing all became less linear with beautiful curves, swirls and sculpted lines and a nod to stylized representations of nature.
I have chosen a dragonfly as to me it quintessentially represented this decorative movement and the time period itself. The dragonfly’s metamorphosis from a small fragile aquatic nymph to a beautifully colourful flying insect with a strong spine and broad gossamer wings is much like the women of this period. Proving that something delicate in appearance it is also strong, adaptable and very capable.
It is always awkward to see what/who we consider innocent, doing not so innocent stuff (like exploring sexuality), because we also come to realize that they are more than just “adorable” beings and that they will not stay like that forever.
I choosed one of my favourite flowers, full of mysticism and historical meaning. The Iris (Fleur de Lys) is an heraldic symbol of nobility and royalty, and appears in the crests of the most important european families, as well as in the Canadian flag. It’s a symbol of femininity because of the sensual and gently ruffled shape of it’s petals. If white, represents purity and virginity; when yellow, passion and desire. Purple iris means mourning and widowing. But it is also a mark of adultery for ex-prostitutes and unfaithful women, as worn by Milady de Winter in Alexandre Dumas ”The Three Musketeers”. Since then, has become a symbol of both female seduction and death sentence.
The articulation parts were drawn by our makeup artist. “Ashley” our model is recovering from many traumatic life experiences and her story strangely enough parallels Cinderella . She loved the photo shoot. It was a great starting point for rebuilding her self esteem.
I actually did this shoot for your birthday before you announced this years contest. My wife and I have been fans for years and I hoped this would fit the criteria. The image is a real photo that I altered with pencil and computer to make the Cinderella Doll look damaged.
I decided to use ivy because it has always been beautiful to me. I wanted something more universal than a personal story to be reinterpreted by each viewer. I also thought ivy is a very workable and its form is almost script-like.
I used watercolor, pencil, and illustration markers.
She is Goddess of the Sea. On her stomach is coral, on her legs are waves. She has a headdress of shells and pearls.
My inspiration comes from the 3 headed Dragon of Russia.
I wanted to use a woman as the Dragon slayer as a woman
could only handle such a complicated task.