Thursday, August 1, 2013

Steampunk Tattoos

As both a lover of Steampunk and a lover of tattoos, it was only a matter of time before I decided to combine my loves.  About a year ago, I got my first (of hopefully many) Steampunk tattoo (not my first tattoo, but my first punky one).  It's on my left thigh, a nice place for women to get tattoos as it can be easily covered, and it usually ends up looking quite sexy (especially in a bathing suit).  Here's a picture, which has rather bad resolution and is upside-down, unfortunately, but I have an awful camera so I hope you'll forgive me (there's a much better photo in my tattoo artist's portfolio, on the second row down):

I already have my next Steampunk tattoo planned.  It will be a mechanical Sailor Jerry style swallow.  I'm debating whether to do it in rich purple and blue, or traditional brown, grey, and gold (like the koi above).  Since I already have a bright blue and purple tattoo on my back, I think I'll go with the copper and metal color scheme.

When it comes to getting one's love for Steampunk permanently inked on one's body, I am in good company.  There are hundreds of photos of Steampunk tattoos on the internet, both very good and very bad.  As in everything we do, Steampunks are passionate about our ink; those of us with it, that is.  There are people with "mechanical" arms and geared wings and airships and Cthulhu monsters and more.

It's nice to see that there are a range of styles and colors of Steampunk tattoos as well.  Some tattoo enthusiasts go with the old-fashioned black line-work, while others choose a stereotypically brown-and-black Steampunk color palette, and others still, like me, go for a bright rainbow palette.  There are Sailor Jerry style outlined tattoos and realistic three dimensional portrait style tattoos.  Just like Steampunk costuming and characterization, tattoos vary widely in design and color and placement and defy the greater world's stereotype of Steampunk.

I've seen Steampunk tattoos criticized widely on the internet with the usual argument of "you're really going to regret that later."  (Hint: people who get well-thought-out and well done tattoos never regret them.)  It seems like tattoo haters look down on "subculture" and "geek/nerd" tattoos especially harshly, with the opinion that our love for Steampunk will pass as we "grow up," so we shouldn't get our childish pass-times inked on ourselves.  (Since when is Steampunk childish?  It's always seemed squarely adult to me.)  To the haters: boo on you.  It's none of your beeswax.

If you are a tattooed Steampunk, then I say welcome to the club!  I only hope you thought out your tattoo well and chose a great artist.  And if you're thinking of making your body a permanent Steampunk temple, then more power to you and good luck on the process.  If you're interested in more lovely punky tattoos, join the Steampunk Tattoo page on facebook.  And in the meantime, enjoy these pictures of Victorians and Edwardians with tattoos.

The Lonely Alchemist

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