I am always scheming up new ideas for tattoos. You may recall from the story about the head, my second tattoo, that I was already trying to determine how that one tattoo would be enhanced before it was even completed. In a similiar fashion, I had been thinking for years about getting a thematic series of tattoos on my left ankle. I wanted to get a number of symbols that represented things that were vital to my childhood existence. The final tattoo would be an exploration of growing up, starting with the tools I used for my childhood survival and ending with my ultimate escape to adulthood in New York City.
I only had two symbols in my mind. One would be representative of Duran Duran, the other the imperial seal from the film The Empire Strikes Back. The band and this film were the two things that I used as a child to escape from a rather unpleasant reality. Disconnecting these symbols from the actual fandom aspect of these two phenomenons, both represent a child who fantasizes about happier places. I spent a lot of time lost in a dreamworld where my life was entwined with a rock group or a science fiction movie.
The symbol here is taken from Duran Duran's 1983 album Seven and the Ragged Tiger. It was the symbol of the band during that period; a representation of the seven people who made Duran Duran as successful as they were during that time. Here are two screen shots from the video for "New Moon on Monday"; on the left Simon has a patch of the symbol and on the right the guys are grooving in front of a neon-sign version.
This symbol is the most representative of how I idolized these guys during my youth. I saw them in concert in 1984 and this symbol was all over their tour merchandise and used during the show. In the context of my ankle tattoo - an exploration of escape from reality - it was the only appropriate symbol to use. I extracted only the inner portion of the design, and I thickened the lines and had the symbol tattooed vertically.
This first installment of my ankle piece was done in 1997. It was a very quick tattoo, and honestly I couldn't tell you much about the experience. I went to a random tattoo artist on Miami Beach, showed him the drawing, and 20 minutes later I had the tattoo.
I still don't have the other symbols tattooed. I do have a drawing of the Star Wars symbol but I got sidetracked by other pieces! I may leave my ankle with just the two symbols, letting the other tattoos on my body represent some of the other trials I wanted to represent. Who knows...I have many more tattoos on the way and my ankle may continue to evolve...
As always, stay tuned.
Check out the second installment to the ankle piece, the Imperial Seal from Star Wars