The boss tasked me to design a forearm tattoo for a guy and a lower back tattoo for lady. I came up with the "No Rain, No Gain" idea a while back, upon our move to the rainy Northwest. Of course, the skull represents a reminder of death and, in turn, to make the most of life. The cherry blossoms do the same, but in a more beautiful way. They represent the transience of life, as they fall from the tree while still in bloom. There is no life without water... "April showers bring May flowers" hence, "No Rain, No Gain." It also means something personal to me, as I couldn't get where I am now without making this move back home. Of course it goes without saying, "rain" is interchangeable with "pain" in this statement. There's definitely been some growing pains and life changes of late, but gross changes eventually get smoothed out. I came up with a metaphor between life and wood carving:
Sometimes, if you don't like how the carving is turning out, you gotta grab the chisel or saw and make some major changes. It might look ugly for a bit or it might not even resemble what you're trying to carve, but you eventually get down to the finer grit sandpaper and smooth it out the way you like it. Now other times, there are mistakes you make or outside forces come by and put a dent in your piece of "life wood" we'll call it. If it happened, it happened and you can't make it UN-happen... all you can do is grab that chisel or sandpaper and keep shaping. The main thing is that you have the ability to shape it the way you want it. Enough babble... here's the picture.
The lower back piece I came up with is a scarab beetle emerging from a lotus with a Tibetan flame and some Tibetan clouds used to accentuate the hips. The scarab beetle and the lotus have somewhat similar meanings. In ancient Egypt, the scarab represented resurrection or rebirth, since the beetles emerged from the dung where the eggs were laid. The lotus can be found as a symbol in many cultures, representing the triumph of spirit over matter, since it emerges perfectly from muddy waters, seeking the enlightenment of the sun. Also, since the flower retreats back into the water during hours of darkness, it also represented death and rebirth to the Egyptians. The flame represents the renewal and purification of the fire... passion. Of course, this is just a high level summary and the symbols carry much more weight than I care to write and you probably care to read. You're probably not even reading this right now. You're probably just looking at the picture below. Either way, I hope you enjoy it.
On a side note, I'm helping an old friend out with his short film called The Loop. I can't remember if I mentioned it in a prior post or not. Either way... check it out and support, if you feel so inclined.
Thanks for reading! PEACE!