Back in May, I got in touch with Fine Line Tattoos on Oswald Road in Oswestry. I’ve always been interested in the idea of doing some art connected with tattoos and tattooing – nothing particular in mind. Having said that, two things about tattoos have always interested me.
I’ve always been intrigued by the idea that a tattoo is a public – and permanent – expression of a sometimes very intimate thought process, that it’s only one visible element of a long and involved personal narrative for the person getting the tattoo.
Secondly, as someone who draws by constantly erasing and changing what they’ve drawn, and whose illustrations form only a small part of any final, published entity, the idea of creating a permanent artwork that becomes part of the client is fascinating.
We’re having a meeting this morning in the Willow Gallery about our new Inside Out art project: Artists at Work. This is our project aimed at bringing together artists and businesses in Oswestry. It’s a kind of informal artist-in-residence type project. We’re encouraging Inside Out artists to make contact with a retail or manufacturing business in Oswestry and try and find some common ground on which to base an art project of some kind. There are no boundaries, no guidelines, no restrictions – it’s up to each individual artist to see how this can best work for them – and for the business they link up with.
I’m hoping that I can convince Keith, Stuart and Rena at Fine Line to let me work along side them over the course of the next year as part of Artists at Work. I’d like to shadow what they do and explore the narrative content of their work. The idea that a tattoo studio is a nexus for hundreds of little stories – from customers and artists – really intrigues me. This obviously fits in with my recent work with comics and graphic novels, and my initial feeling is I’d like to work towards something like a web comic – as well as some stand-alone prints – based on some of these stories.