getting tattooed with scars from self-harm-answers to common questions.

I’m not going to include many photos in this post, to provide my clients with some privacy.

side note: this information applies to most any kind of scar, not just self injury.

 

don hertzfeldt tattoo

 

I’ve got some scars from self harm. I know a lot of people do. it can be really embarrassing, or feel shameful to have them seen. if they’re in really visible areas, it’s even worse.

I’ve had mine covered with tattoos (I stopped cutting years ago, when I was still fairly young). I’ve gotten images that remind me of what I’ve been through and of what I’d like my future to look like. I want you to know you’re not alone with this, first of all. I also want you to know that not only are you not alone, I have seen and tattooed worse scars than yours- burn wounds, surgical scars, all of it. yes, you may have done serious damage to yourself, but no- it’s not impossible to tattoo over it.

wpid-img_20140927_234826.jpg

 

If you want to do this, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

  • you have to stop cutting in that area and adjoining areas for at least a few months before we can start working on it. the skin can only heal so much at once, so nearby open wounds will mess up the healing process of the tattoo. if you can’t entirely stop SH/SI, try to go lighter and in a completely different area for a while before you come for a tattoo.
  • make a consultation time with me first. that way we can figure out the pattern and texture of your scars and skin, what areas are “ripe” for tattooing and which may need more time. scars should be a little bit settled in before we tattoo on them, so the ink will hold properly. a consultation gives us a chance to also meet up and discuss what your goal is with the tattoo itself.
  • it’s OK if your goal is ‘hide these’, it’s OK if your goal is ’emphasize these’, it’s OK if your goal is to stop SH/SI and it’s OK if your goal has nothing to do with stopping. I won’t judge. I won’t look down on you. I know that you have your own reasons, and you don’t have to explain that to me or go into detail. you don’t have to relive your troubles just so that I will tattoo you. my goal is to make you happy with your tattoo- that’s all. I’m just here to make something positive happen for you.
  • minimal, crisp, geometric, thin-lined, pale, wispy art doesn’t cover or hide scars. if your goal is to camouflage the scars, we will likely end up doing painterly, saturated, textured organic shapes of some kind. branches, trees, flowers, plants, animals. things that have volume and texture. if your goal is NOT to hide or cover the scars, let me know, so that we can work out what you do want to do.
  • scars that are fresh, still healing, or very livid usually don’t take ink very well. usually, moisturizing often with vitamin e and/or a good scar reducing lotion for a few months will fix this. this is yet another reason to stop harming the skin in the area you want tattooed and the surrounding area. we need to give your cell walls a chance to regenerate, to hold the ink in.
  • don’t be afraid to email me or contact me EVEN IF you aren’t coming to me for the tattoo. I’ve been through some shit and I know how intimidating it can be to walk in to strangers and talk about this stuff. I can always answer questions, possibly suggest understanding artists in your area, or even just listen. I think everyone deserves a good experience when getting tattooed, and I’m here for that if you need it.
  • you’re likely to get an endorphin high during or after the tattoo, similar to what you’d get from shallow cuts or abrasions. getting heavily tattooed was part of how I broke my cycle of self harm- I realized I could get that sensation in other ways. it’s almost the same chemicals released as a “runner’s high”- so just speaking from personal experience, running and getting tattooed are both good ways to get that little kick, without doing more damage.
  • come prepared to comfort yourself. your favorite blanket, pillow, headphones, dress in comfy clothes. self-soothing is totally welcomed in my space, I will never mock you for making sure you’re comfortable and feeling safe. bring a snack as well, or something you like to munch or drink (no booze!) you can bring a friend or come alone- whatever makes you feel safer.

 

yes, that's me

me getting my upper arms worked on.

 

if you need further information, email me, or, preferably, comment below. I’ll try to answer any comments I get here as quickly as I can.

"don't cover them"

“don’t cover them”

it goes without saying that SH/SI is dangerous and you shouldn’t do it. we all know that. but I know, and you know, that sometimes it’s a thing we do to cope, and we can’t just stop until you find better ways to cope with all the bullshit life throws at us. I hope we all find better ways to cope, I hope everyone reading this is able to find things that help. I did-and if I can do a thing I am damn sure that you can do the thing.

I understand that it takes time and work so again-don’t feel ashamed. It’s just a thing some of us do. Be as safe as you can be.

 

(sterile saline wound wash, steri-strips, and clean hands help a lot)

 

xox

using a scar as a design element

using a scar as a design element

after. the indentation and raised areas become an asset to the design

after. the indentation and raised areas become an asset to the design

 

 

 

 

have a heart, NRA.

Originally published on 06/24/2012.

I don’t really think I need to re-state my position on gun control laws, since it’s obvious that I am a gun owner, and that I think owning weapon is a right, not a privilege.

However, I want to re-state them anyway.

I think everyone who has not committed a violent crime should be permitted to own whatever weapons they choose, without having to register them or alert the government. I see the need for background checks; it only takes ten minutes to run a name and see any violent convictions on someone’s record. I see no need for waiting periods, for anything else.

I am very, very lefty. I’m basically a retired anarchist; I would still love to live in a gift economy, but I do not think this can happen during my lifetime, so I’ve modified my actions based on what I think is possible to accomplish.

I believe in spending public funds on welfare, schools, higher education, and healthcare for all citizens. I believe that religion has no place in ANY publicly-funded system or in ANY politics. I think that people who want abortion to be illegal are idiots. I think that patriarchy is bad, that our culture is set up in many wrong ways. I believe in class warfare, unions as a concept, the rights of workers, and of the underclass to act out.  I dislike  the way we use our military to screw up other areas of the world, and I think our policies are a direct result of corruption and patriarchy. In other words, I’m not right-wing, I am NOT republican, and I am NOT in favor of god, the bible, and apple pie. I’m basically a commie pinko.

heart tattoo art

So- while I agree with some things the gun lobbyists stand for- such as my right, and everyone else’s right to bear arms- I can’t donate any money to them, can’t support them in any way, because when I go to an NRA site and see people rooting for assholes who would put me in prison for my reproductive choices, or touting some bullshit flag-waving nonsense about how we should bomb “camel jockeys”, or condescension to female members or participants-

Well, that just sucks, and all of that is what I am against, and passing laws to restrict what I can do with my body is just as repressive as passing laws to restrict what weapons and means of defense I can own, and you guys, THAT is some BULL SHIT.  Women want to bear arms too. As do socialists, abortion providers and people who have had abortions, pro-choice folks, people who aren’t in favor of recent wars, people who dislike racism and sexism- we carry too. So putting us down on the regular is just foolish.

Now I’ve said my piece for the day. Time for more coffee, I think. Again, I know that speaking out means some people won’t buy my art, or like me, or whatever. That’s ok. Fuck it- I’d rather just speak my mind and be broke (because people who agree with me are poor) than keep my mouth shut and pander for the sake of a few bucks.

SYTYN zine, 1993

When I was much younger I put together about ten issues of a zine.

This was in the early 90s, when such things were able to be picked up at bookstores, record stores, and the like.

I loved zines, loved them so much.

I built this with the assistance of my good friend and roommate Jen, she wrote a lot of stuff and drew things.

It’s amazing to look back and see how much and also how little my politics and deeper feelings have changed over the years.

more after the jump…

(more…)

The Secret Soul of America

images (2)I know a lot of folks from other nations who have a poor perception of Americans. They usually refer to wars, police actions, attacks, and poor choice of presidents as their reason for believing something terrible about us. They are missing the key to changing all those terrible things we do-
We are not bad people. In fact, we have a secret soul.

I know, you’re thinking of the blues, or of rap, or of Mark Twain, or about our affable naivetie. This is not what I mean.
Mr. Rogers. He is, in fact, the secret soul of the US.

(more after the jump)

(more…)

skinny women are evil, fat women are lazy. (or, SEA CREATURES UNITE!)

I don't care if you're skinny and covered in shag rug. I love you anyway.

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff addressing the lack of larger or fat women in advertising, as symbols of beauty. It’s good in a way to see more of this, because the focus on one body type in media can be really disturbing. The implications that anyone bigger than the models is sick, lazy, or unhealthy; that fat women are all ugly, these aren’t right and need changing. I really think it’s good to raise awareness about body image, and to show women of all different sizes as beautiful and feminine.

That said, I also find it disturbing that many of these essays portray thin women as “anorexic” “unreal” and “nonexistent”. Look, I do know that the use of photoshop and the like has made images of impossible women pretty damn common. And yes, a lot of celebrities have eating disorders. But this isn’t always the case. By portraying thin women as unhealthy, sick, or unreal, you are continuing body shame. You are doing the exact same thing to other women that media has done to you, and it’s just as rotten.You’re continuing the cycle of abuse. Yes, you. You were hurt, so now, you’ll hurt others. For shame?

(more…)

chai tea and plain donuts

I spent the day napping and drawing. I haven’t finished anything. Everything I’m working on is half-done, waiting. It’s been a strange day.

Here’s an older picture to tide you over until I find some motivation to finish something.

oh yeah, and an awesome video for you to watch.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eh-hdLKITZA&w=420&h=315]

vietnam wall in progress/detail

more of the king trouble.

Let’s talk about Desperation. Now…the book is not that great. It’s extremely heavy handed on the God tip. I can understand the religiosity and madness of some of his later work (the tail end of the Dark Tower series and suchlike) because after all he was injured and likely suffering from PTSD at that time. This book, however, has no excuse.

King always appealed to me because his work rarely got too philosophical- beyond the portrayals of small town “normal people”. In the work he did just before and after Desperation, he tended to start introducing himself, thinly veiled, as a character in his own work. The appearance of the godlike author in the Dark Tower series is the pinnacle of this nonsense.

Desperation has some redeeming elements as a book; the movie on the other hand…King wrote the teleplay of it. He did the adaptation and apparently had quite a bit of creative control. I won’t draw any conclusions yet about whether or not this is the source of the trouble with some of his films; we’ll wait until I get a chance to find a bit more information.

I know. He doesn’t care really, what we all think of his work. He gets paid, right? I understand that he probably has little negative response at this point from anyone whose opinion matters to him. and he HAS written so much really good work that he may feel he doesn’t have to worry so much anymore about the actual craft of scaring people. I mean, he’s written an incredibly good book about horror writing himself. But…I just want more of the good stuff. You know? I get like this, critical, mostly because I used to love his work so much. And I don’t read much pulp or paperbacks or genre fiction. I am a book person. A “real” book person. And I used to adore his books. Now, I find so many flaws in everything he writes. I know it’s a bit demanding but I want more GOOD movies and books from this man- or I want to stop having my hopes dashed. And so I’m sitting here in a stenched out room, with the smell of my own sick sweat encasing me, watching Storm of the Century and wishing it was Cujo.

Storm of the Century. Yeah, let’s talk about this one. Again, made for television. So again, we shouldn’t get our hopes up. Like Desperation, it was adapted by King himself. And like Desperation, it is heavy on the godtalk. Also, the cgi is hit-or-miss, but I assume that even though King had a degree of creative control, this may not be entirely his fault.

The dialogue is unbearable. The acting is mediocre. But…the manner in which it is written is the downfall. Blunt, unsubtle speeches. A bad guy named “legion”. I think that this, along with Desperation, belong more on the christian networks than in any nonreligious channel or network. Unscary to boot. As a non-religious person, the idea of demons or devils coming to get revenge on me for not praying just is NOT frightening. And no amount of heavy-handed bible talk is going to change that.

The Exorcist is a somewhat frightening religious movie. Desperation and Storm of the Century can’t just repeat that format with different characters and be frightening. It’s obsolete horror. It’s old. It’s been done, and better.

As usual he can write decent settings, but that’s always been one of King’s strong suits. Usually, that is.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhbrLjcAPw0&w=480&h=390]

Let’s talk about something else, instead.

Thinner, for example. Now, this book was all right. Not the top ten of King’s; not great, but not awful. I am hyperthyroid and have a high metabolism and have always had trouble keeping weight on, so it at least had some element of body horror I found personally frightening. It again is very morally heavy handed and obvious- but at the same time a bit more obscure and undefined.

The movie isn’t quite as terrible as the other two here- it’s not really that well-acted in general, and the pacing is awful- but the screenplay and writing, the adaptation, is fairly well done. It was not adapted by King. I’ve done as much research as internetting allows and it seems that King had little or less creative control over this one.

So…I’m gonna begin posting my ratings. My own personal opinion; The Shining (NOT TEH REMAKE) is probably the best King-related movie made. And The Langoliers is most likely the worst. So basing it on a scale from 10/shining, to 0/langoliers…

Desperation: 1.5, Storm of the Century: 1.5: Salem’s Lot: 3, Thinner: 2.

next up: Tommyknockers, Green Mile, The Stand, The Langoliers, Night Flier, The Mist (the mist, because I need a good movie break in teh middle of all the madness.)

DEAR FILM INDUSTRY:

more and better wolves please. and no cgi shit either.

Please produce an original well-written, non-cgi werewoilf movie as soon as possible, in order to entice me back to a theater again.
This means no remakes, no sequels, but a real, awesome, SCARY werewolf movie. No teenage love stories either, please.

I say non-cgi also because far too often I see movies that lean on the ffects when the rest sucks; however cgi LOOKS LIKE A VIDEO GAME and doesn’t improve a movie; it’s dated and ugly, like seeing an 80’s film with computer effects. So knock that shit off.

No remakes or sequels either. Jesus fucking Christ Hollywood, what the fuck are we even PAYING you for? Just because you’re cheap profit-driven fuckheads that won’t pay for a decent writer…ugh. I avoid remakes. I want to see something fresh- I will spend my money on films that take risks, not the same shit over again.

Werewolfs seem to be such an easy hit, too. Like really, we have so much connection to dogs/wolves. Our folklore (western) is practically MADE OF wolf; and yet we get more  vampire in our movie diet…Think dog soldiers or american werewolf in london- but don’t remake …those. WRITE SOME NEW ONES. Thanks.

Sincerely,
your former audience

pew pew

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