Tattoo’s are a beautiful and artistic way to express yourself. Not only are tattoos aesthetically appealing, but they also tell a story, or narrative. Almost every tattoo has a story behind it, whether it be a long and elaborate one or a simple “idk I was drunk” type of story. Either way, they remind the owner of an event or a person. For my final project, I chose to listen to the stories behind why people got inked, and then posted those stories along with the tattoos online for others to see. Personally, I have always had an interest in tattoos, even though I currently do not have any. However, I plan on getting inked in the near future. This interest in tattoos sparked by idea for this project. I will discuss my rational, creative process, technology use, and digital characteristics of my project.
The reason I chose to do this project on tattoos, as stated before, is because I have always had an interest in them. Ever since I was younger, I wanted one. I can remember a friend from high school walked in one day sporting his new ink on his left bicep. Not only was the tattoo impressive, but the reason why he got it was as well. He got the tattoo in honor of his grandfather, who had passed away. When I was thinking of an idea for this project, I thought back to this moment. The stories behind the tattoos are almost better than the tattoo itself. Also, earlier in the semester, I did a project with a few others called ‘UPJSEXFACTORFICTION’, which was a collaborative project because I worked in a group and the participants agreed to participate in the creation of the project. Without them, the project would have never been possible. The interest in tattoos gave me the idea for the project’s content whereas the UPJSEXFACTORFICTION gave me the idea for the organization and format of the project.
In terms of the creative process, it was an easy choice. First, I thought about everyone I know that has a tattoo. This was easy because most of my friends have at least one that they are proud to show off. After that, I asked each participant to email or text me a picture of their tattoo, along with the story of why they got it and where they got it done. This gave me all the content necessary for creating my project. Every single person I asked actually wanted to participate because they were happy with their ink and eager to share their stories.
After I gathered all of my information needed for my project, I then thought about the technology I would use. Since tattoos are visual, Instagram instantly came to mind for my social media platform. I decided that I would post the pictures of people’s tattoos on an Instagram account, kind of like the non-linear mashed-up ‘esdfunnysports’ project that I did earlier in the semester with my group. Instagram made sense because I could post all of the pictures of the tattoos and it would look like a collage of images to the viewer. When gathering my information, I asked the participants where they got their tattoos done. I asked this because on Instagram, you can tag locations to each picture. This gives the project a location-based element, like the War Memorial project I did with my group earlier in the semester. Also, the project has an interactive element, like the google maps essay I did with Dan Yost. To finish off the project, in the bio, there is a hyperlink to a Tumblr page. Here is where you can find each person’s story attached with the same picture that can be seen on Instagram. I chose Tumblr because I could provide more text in order for each person’s story to be told.
Overall, I enjoyed this final project the most. Tattoos interest me, and the stories behind each tattoo vary, but they are all interesting. They all hold a special meaning to the owner. As for me, I hope to get inked in the near future. the phrase that I would like to get is “Angel of God.” This is the title of a prayer that my mom and i would say every night when i was younger. The tattoo will look great, but the story behind it will be even better. Instagram and Tumblr were the best social media outlets to use for this visual project.