Clarissa Johal: Tangled Tuesday-Inked

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tangled Tuesday-Inked

My Pictish Wolf from The Book of Kells
 Done by Errol J Cathcart

As writers, sometimes our characters mark us in ways that go beyond the psychological. It's probably a weird, writer thing, but when you create a character, it's kind of like evoking a real person. You take something that's indiscernible, perhaps just a glimmer of thought, and bring it into focus on the page. Is it any wonder that something you create would in turn, leave you something in return?

I was watching Ink Master the other night, which I like to do while practicing my ballet. An odd combination perhaps, but that's what I end up doing. It's an interesting show because you see the artistic work that goes into creating a tattoo. (You see a lot of fighting between the artists too, but I swear that's not why I tune in!) I'd love to be a guest "canvas" but would probably be a tattoo artist's nightmare. Some of the "canvases" are talked into things they hadn't planned on, and there's no way I'd agree to that. I put a lot of thought into my tattoos and ponder on them for months before making a commitment. To date, I have three--one on my ankle, one on the back of my neck, and one on my belly.

Right before BETWEEN was released, I got a Pictish wolf (above) tattooed on the back of my neck. You can read about why here (in the last two paragraphs), if you're interested. The warrior I dreamed of has gone into my character file, where he will make an appearance in a future novel, as he's already marked me in a physical kind of way.
The Pictish wolf is from The Book of Kells. It accompanies a poem about a warrior who has lost everything/everyone he loves. The warrior questions his life, faith, and dedication to his king and country as he wanders alone. The poem is a very sad one and stuck with me. Aside from my dream which led me to get the wolf, the poem seemed to represent Cronan from my paranormal book BETWEEN.  So, in a roundabout kind of way, I have Cronan at my back. If you've read BETWEEN, that may sound a little unsettling!

Image via Art Imagery via The Book of Kells,
7th Century Scotland/Ireland 
This is a companion piece to my wolf. I haven't gotten this one yet, but it represents Lucas, another one of my characters from BETWEEN. (I'll definitely omit the flower) I haven't decided where it will go.

*The Book of Kells states this is a lion, though it's listed as a hound on most websites, for some reason. I'm not particularly religious, but I've become obsessed with the artwork in this book.

As far as my latest novel, STRUCK, I've thought about getting a tattoo to represent Julian, one of the central characters. The only thing I could come up with would be a Lichtenberg figure on my back. Not only would this be quite an involved tattoo, but I'm not sure I'd want it! (The caused-by-lightning figure "brands" the character Gwynneth, in a "dark spirit attachment" kind of way.)
Julian may have to wait to leave his mark. In a physical way, anyways... *;) winking

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