Tuesday, June 17, 2008


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.


Anonymous said...

Sweet! I totally respect what this means for you. Awesome! :)

Amber said...

I really like the added shading at the bottom into black. It adds depth, and works with the placement as well :)

Desirée said...

As someone of a Pagan persuasion, this symbol reminded me immediately of the pentagram/pentacle used in contemporary religious Witchcraft (also used in ancient and medieval magical traditions as well). In this context, it is a very powerful symbol and is often used to represent Neo-Pagan religious Witchcraft in the same was as crosses and Jesus fish represent Christianity. The only differences between the pentagram and you symbol are that your star lacks the interior connecting lines, and the points of the star expand beyond the circle.

I was just wondering if the similarity between the two symbols was intentional or completely unrelated.

Abigail K. said...

Desiree... You know, I did acknowledge the similarity of my star to the pagan pentagram, and I like the fact that they are similar. The five-pointed star is such a universal symbol, typically representing power of some sort... I really love that nearly every culture uses five-pointed stars. So, I didn't intend for it to look like a pentagram, but I realize that there are similarities not only in form but even a little bit in symbolism.

Anonymous said...

I love tattoos with real meaning. Yours is beautiful.