This is really only tangentially related to the overall subject of the blog, but...
I got new ink!
I've been thinking about this design for over a year. It's an adaptation of the Rush Starman (see below), which first appeared on the back of their album 2112.
The original Starman symbolizes "the abstract man against the masses. The red star symbolizes any collectivist mentality" [Neil Peart, Creem, 1982]. I identified so much with that symbolism and the sentiment behind it. I have felt like an individual fighting the masses... My experiences in elementary school and junior high (see the section on the "No Demon")--particularly being told that I shouldn't try to be the best in school because it was threatening the other students--have been a fundamental building block in my worldview and personal philosophies.
I became really enamored with the image, but I wanted to change it a bit if I were to put it on my body. I took the man out of the original because I feel like the abstract man. The placement of the star on my upper back (vice any other part of my body) is to remind me that the pressure is always there, behind me, and that I must stay true to my convictions regardless of what pressures I face, particularly in my art. I also chose to have it on my upper back because the muscles there are the source of strong dance posture, particularly in tribal style. I feel powerful when I contract my back muscles and stand tall, and that posture conveys a sense of control and confidence.
My entire life I've striven to remain an individual, to not compromise myself in the face of peer pressure, trends, and conformity.
And to give credit where credit is very much due... my tattoo artist is Susan Behney-Doyle at Jinx Proof in Washington, DC. She's amazing, and she made my star a reality.