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Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

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Use Me Like the Pages of a Book
tara--base by delirieuse
catvalente
It is time for a new tattoo.

Many are not aware, because my hair is long and thick and semi-sentient, and will possibly destroy my enemies and ensnare inamorata on its own recognizance, that I have a half-back tattoo. It is a map of Palimpsest, illuminated. I have often thought of getting another, but held off until something of Sufficient Import happened that I wanted to mark. In the case of my map, I was turning 30, and the book meant so much to me.

It occurred to me the other week that possibly, just possibly, making the NYT Bestseller List is a Thing to Mark. Rather a big thing, really. A huge and unlooked-for event.

So now I have to find a thing to put on my skin.

I know I want it to be wrist-cuffs. This has everything to do with my obsession with anchorites and how often I conceive of myself as one--I can't quite have my church, but I can have my manacles. I want a key on one wrist and a lock on the other, to say that I define the walls of my anchorhold, I set myself free, I am the closed thing and the opener all together. And for the sweet, loving Fairyland key. I want a design that wraps my wrist in a thick cuff and flows onto the top of my hand.

And there's where it get stough. Because I want flowing, intricate linework, swirling and gorgeous, perhaps even with bird/wing motifs and fern/thorn/vines, yet abstract, like the shapes and designs of the Alhambra--but if it looks too much like mehndi I feel it steers into cultural appropriation territory and I would feel uncomfortable presenting that to the world every day. But inked hands look a lot like that anyway, and I do love that aesthetic. And it has to be perfect, because I use my hands every day, and must look at them constantly. (Another reason to mark my hands, the way I make my world and my living, my most expressive parts.)

So I do not know when I will do this, or if it is even possible to have all that at once. Any of my beloved artists out there want to take a stab at it? glamour_junkie , maybe? I know designing tattoos is not what any artist really likes to do, but perhaps I can be forgiven.

I am patient. Skin lasts forever.

Have you thought about Aubrey Beardsley and other turn-of-the-century English artists as a source of swirly intricate-line inspiration from a European cultural tradition? And/or the Weiner Werkstatte? Because I can imagine wonderful keys in either of those styles that would feel very true to the spirit of your work.

I was also thinking of the Art Nouveau style. Especially if she leans more toward the Horta vortex swirls.

I don't want it to be too twee flowing flowers though...

John Coulthart has some great links here. I was thinking specifically of Josef Hoffmann; some of his bookplates are here, but I think my favorite is the one he designed for Freud.

Swirly, but never twee.