I Ink, Therefore I Am

18 Oct

Hmmm, should I get a tattoo?

Now that the sales of eBooks, Kindles, iPads and Nooks are surging, I wonder where all the ink from the printing of traditional books is going?

My theory is that most of it is ending up on various body parts as (you guessed it) tattoos.

Take a look around you (especially if you’re cursed to live in a stylish, relatively young and ultra hip city like Los Angeles, Miami or San Francisco) – what do you see?

Hmmm... can I tattoo my eyeballs?

Everyone and his mamma (statistically accurate + or – 25%) is sporting a tattoo.

Tattoos are also ubiquitous in the designs of T-shirts, sneakers, jeans, jackets, leather accessories, whips, glassware – seemingly everything but caskets.

Just ask artist Ed Hardy.

When did pretty in pink become pretty in ink?

I can’t pick up Twinkies and vodka at the A & P without being flashed by sexy tattoos from every woman who bends over to empty her grocery cart or pick up a can of creamed beef from the bottom shelf

(God forbid she spill her purse on the floor and have to scramble on all fours!)

No doubt the popularity of tattoos and low-rise jeans has magnified the shock and awe of classic “plumber’s crack.”

Peek-a-boo! Thrusting out at you from a red tattered thong strap is a snake entwined rose bush, a couple of love birds on park swings, a broken heart with the letters “R.I.P. U S.O.B.” and a couple of smirking skeletons “doing it.”

All hands on deck!

Pray tell, must every sacrun and coccyx from Hoboken to Hialeah be personalized in ink?  Must every metacarpal and phalange from Philly to Fullerton be branded in henna body art?

Celebrities such as Kat Von D, Jesse James, Carey Hart and Tommy Lee encourage the myth that all this ink on your skin is an irresistibly cool thing!

You lookin' at me?

Me thinks skin that’s totally covered with ink should be called “skink.”

Me thinks the tattoo mania will peter out soon… hopefully before the ink dries.

If you’re feeling like a relaxing YouTube break, check out the video below that portrays ink making as a sensual experience. Really.

The music alone – Alfred Brendel Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat major Op.73 -“Emperor” – 2 Adagio un poco mosso  – will sooth your soul.

(Think spa day!)

(Credit: A Chief Ink Maker shows how colour and ink is created from the raw ingredients–powder, varnish, and passion. Everything designers and printers need to know about the process, the challenges and joy of ink making.


The Printing Ink Company: True Performance in Colour
Presented by Peter Welfare, president and head ink maker, The Printing Ink Company. )


29 Responses to “I Ink, Therefore I Am”

  1. Sharon October 19, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    Great essay, Barb. Loved the video, interesting and calming. I wonder what will happen when the cute young things and studly men reach old age and various body parts sag?? Henna tattoos are okay they only last a couple weeks. I’m been known to do the henna thing. But permanent? I saw a woman with Robert Pattison’s face on her back. What?!

    • BARB BEST October 23, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

      Thanks, Sharon. Great comments. I actually enjoy the temporary heart or rose tattoo now and then!

  2. Dawn Weber October 19, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    I agree, Barb. It’s too much ink, methinks.
    Great post! And you’re dead-on about the plumber’s crack.

    • BARB BEST October 23, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

      A clever FB friend suggested the ink not being used on printed books be used to print more money…

  3. Kari Marie February 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    There’s a rebel teenager in me that wants a little ink. Not a lot, barely more than a half inch. I don’t know why. But that whole body thing-no thanks.

    • BARB BEST February 23, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

      Yes Kari, I’m no doubt repressing such a desire as long as possibly can… Actually I love the temporary tattoos – little hearts and roses are sweet.

  4. Health and Humor - by Dave Glardon February 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    Barb, this one hits close to home. I’ve never been a fan of body art, but two years ago when I bought my motorcycle my wife started nagging me to get a tattoo. “You’ve got the bike, now you need a tattoo!” So last year I got my ears pierced thinking that would satisfy her, but it didn’t. So I finally said, “I’ll get one when you do.” Famous last words.

    So now I have to figure out what I want inked in my skin for the rest of my life. Any suggestions?

    • BARB BEST February 23, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

      How ’bout “Easy Writer” or “I Love My Wife!”

  5. Zan Marie February 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    LOL! I think you’re right! See you around the crusade.

  6. Cleveland Dietz II February 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    The thing that bugs me about tattoos being fashionable is this: people get fashionable tattoos. They get “cool” tattoos rather than meaningful tattoos, so I suspect you’re right. They will wind up regretting the decision to get one like all those socialite girls regretted their purse dogs.

    I think the story plays a little differently when a person gets a tattoo that is personally meaningful.

    • BARB BEST February 23, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

      Sure, Cleveland, I agree. Elizabeth (in this post’s comments section) has an inspiring story about her tattoo.

  7. Barbara February 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    I read a book to my kids when they were young. One of the characters was a boy who got a potato tattooed on his ankle. That’s about as wild as I would be too, if I were forced to choose. I do enjoy french fries, potato chips, and mashed potatoes. I think it would be a sexy symbol of my true love for food.

    • BARB BEST February 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

      Yes Barbara! Sweet potatoes are especially sexy, don’t you think!

  8. Elizabeth Twist February 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    Pish posh, I have a tattoo, in a location that is more sag-resistant than many (which location, I’ll leave to your collective imaginations). Like many of us who are inked, it has a personal meaning. When I was 20, I was in an accident that left my arms badly scarred. When I turned 30, I decided to take back my power: for me, a tattoo was a mark I’d chosen for myself. I don’t regret it one bit. Like my scars, it’s part of me.

    • BARB BEST February 23, 2011 at 7:38 pm #

      Elizabeth, (seriously) I appreciate the personal meanings and poignant stories. “L.A. Ink” does a great job showcasing the “why” behind people’s tattoos. Very often it is a tribute to something lost or a loved one who has died. Your story is inspiring, I love it!

  9. Alison February 22, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Haha – I guess I’m taking away from the written page then – I have four and craving more!

    Nice post fellow crusader!

    • BARB BEST February 23, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

      thank you Alison, you are a good sport!

  10. Alison Stevens February 23, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    I cringe to think what everyone will look like in 70 years (since we’ll all live to be 150 by then). Droopy dragons. Ew.

    I have an award for you at my blog.

    • BARB BEST February 23, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

      Thanks Alison, I love awards!

  11. Suzy February 23, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    I can hardly wait to see a bunch of 80 year olds walking around with their tramp stamps sagging into their butt cracks.

    If someone hasn’t taken the name Pretty in Ink, you should. Great name.

    • BARB BEST February 23, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

      thanks Suzy, this is the first time the term “butt cracks” has appeared on my blog! I recall tweeting a one-liner including “Pretty in Ink!”

  12. Faith February 24, 2011 at 5:40 am #

    I don’t have a tattoo, but if I ever get one, you’d better believe it’ll be somewhere that the skin isn’t likely to sag and turn a flower into a garbage bag (or something equally as disturbing). I’ve seen a few giant Twilight tattoos, with Pattinson’s & Stewart’s faces and everything… talk about bizarre.

    Henna, I get. It’s temporary and a cultural group thing done in celebration of special occasions. So with that, I say go as CRAZY as you want!

    • BARB BEST February 24, 2011 at 10:48 am #

      Great points, Faith! I agree. I love movies, but it’s absurd to see a mural plastered on some fan’s fanny!

  13. Regina Linton February 24, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    I once worked with a man who was in his 70’s and covered in his own tattoo’s that he did back in the day on his arms and hands…even across his knuckles. When you see all that faded ink and saggy skin you tend to think that is not so pretty. I am now in my late thirties and glad that I never opted for a tattoo when I was younger. I would agree that Henna would be the only format that would suffice if I would fall prey to peer pressure. lol.. Love your post.

    • BARB BEST February 24, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

      Thanks, Regina! Henna has my vote, too.

  14. Susan Schreyer February 25, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    I laughed all the way through your post! Loved it! Hi from a fellow Crusader!


  1. I Ink, Therefore I Am (via Barbs Blast) « Barbs Blast - February 22, 2011

    […] Now that the sales of eBooks, Kindles, iPads and Nooks are surging, I wonder where all the ink from the printing of traditional books is going? My theory is that most of it is ending up on various body parts as (you guessed it) tattoos. Take a look around you (especially if you're cursed to live in a stylish, relatively young and ultra hip … Read More […]

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