Friday, August 20, 2010

Jessica's Chest Piece and a Tale of Two Tigers

There may be eight million people in New York, but it's still, at times, a small world town.

Last month in the Amtrak section of Penn Station, I spotted Jessica, a young woman with a beautiful tattoo across her chest:

This piece even was our banner here for a few weeks, thanks to Jessica.

The inscription reads "Never Love, Never Lose," which is certainly thought-provoking, a slight spin on the aphorism, "It is better to have loved and lost than never loved at all." It also recalls an Irish claddagh ring, with two hands holding a heart. Feathers on the ends of the hands were added to even out the design.

I particularly like the fact that Jessica is wearing a key around her neck and, in the photo, it is lying across the keyhole at the center of the heart.

Jessica collaborated with the artist known as Ollie XXX in Montreal. If you look at his portfolio on his site, slide 87 shows a brighter original version of the tattoo when it was first completed.

When I asked her how many tattoos she had, she said, twenty-two, and showed me her most recent, a Peanuts tattoo. When I inquired where she got it, she said Thicker Than Water on the Lower East Side. "Oh," I commented, "you got one of the $50 specials?" I knew that the shop had done a $50 tattoo event the previous Saturday. Jessica confirmed that she had, in fact, attended with a friend.

I continued, "Shon Lindauer was the artist for my tiger,"and I rolled up my pant leg to reveal the piece Shon had inked at the beginning of the year when they were in "Year of the Tiger" mode. Well, you could have knocked Jessica over with a feather and her aunt, who Jessica was seeing off at the station, was also surprised. Why?

Jessica pulled down her right sleeve to reveal a familiar, but more feminine version of my tiger from my calf.

Shon had inked a variation on the tiger for her in February. Jessica's aunt insisted we pose with our tigers together.

I love how the designs are so similar, yet hers is much more feminine (or mine is much more masculine).

Granted, inkspotting certainly reduces the odds, but nonetheless, our paths crossing still seemed incredibly amazing.

Thanks to Jessica for sharing her work with us here on Tattoosday!

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