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Freshly Printed- Tattooed Woman

Last week I successfully printed my tattooed woman block! To be entitled “Don’t Play Koi with Me!” this print celebrates both the human figure and the art of tattooing.

The human form is an enduring theme in art. To study, and to understand the human form, students often draw from live models. For the viewer, an artistically posed nude is a familiar, and pleasing, sight. And yet, a glimpse of a tattoo underneath a sleeve still conjures up negative connotations. My goal for this design was to show the artistic nature of tattooing through a traditional “art school” pose.

The design of the tattoo itself represents strength, courage, and the ability to overcome life’s challenges. The Koi fish is one of the most popular Japanese tattoo symbols. An ancient legend tells that if a koi fish successfully swam up the waterfalls of the Yellow River to the Dragon Gate, it would magically transform into a dragon. Thus the koi symbolizes courage and perseverance. Joining the koi are a waterlily (or lotus) and cherry blossoms. The cherry blossoms remind the viewer of the fragility of life, while the waterlily offers the possibility of reformation and rebirth.

I’ll be adding this print to my Etsy store soon, so stay tuned!