Ona kanji

My fourth tattoo was the Japanese kanji "ona" -- translation: woman. The Bulkhead Gallery in Santa Cruz was hosting a tattooist again, and I had been going over and over the few photocopies from the Japanese dictionary that had vanished from the UCSC library the summer before. I wanted something to balance the Mayan glyph on my left shoulder as well. I colored many variations with my pencils and then just layed out all the paper and looked at them. One in particular drew my attention immediately, and that was it (bottom left photo). I made my appointment with Alexandria DeVoe.

My friend Jay came along this time, and he brought his friend Alan, whom I had never met before, with him. It was Alan who took the three pictures in the left column. Shortly thereafter he moved up to SF and we never heard from him again. Whenever Jay would see these photos, he would put his hand to his forehead and exclaim "whatever happened to Alan?!" We did see him for thirty seconds once, right outside Body Manipulations at the corner of Haight and Fillmore: he was a bleach-blonde to our surprise and was getting onto a bus, saw us, waved once and was gone again forever. Whatever DID happen to Alan?

The photos to the right give you a basic idea of how tattoing is done. Most artists apply some sort of outline, so that the design comes out correctly as they stretch the skin taut to tattoo it. Colors are filled in from darkest to brightest: from black to red (red IS brighter than white, hence it's place at the other end of the spectrum).

If you look at the photo to the right, you can see the basic equipment on the table: tattoo design, paint stock bottles, tiny mixing cups (mixed by the drop), water spray bottle for wiping off excess ink and lots of tissues and paper towels. Tattooists consume more disposable paper products than any other humans on earth, except maybe for new parents.

I also have the character koto tattooed on me.

ona - womantattoo care instruction

The above right image will take you to Ms. DeVoe's "Care and Feeding of Your New Pet" Tattoo Care Instructions.

Check out this body art!

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