When you design stuff for a living, people automatically assume that you have one of the most funnest jobs ever. Probably because when you're a kid, drawing crappy pictures to put on the refrigerator is loads of big fun. But alas, like so many things, once something becomes work... well, the fun is kind of sucked out of it. The pressure to be creative under a deadline is probably one of the more stressful jobs you can have.
I'd put it right up there with neurosurgeon and bomb squad technician.
Basically, if you mess up in our line of work, somebody is going to die.
Anyway... because everybody thinks that drawing pretty pictures all day is like a non-stop party, they feel that they are doing you a big favor when they call up and say "hey, I need you to design something for me". And because I'm a sucker nice guy, I usually go ahead and do it if I can find the time. I design menus and invitations. I draw birthday banners and CD covers. I create posters and advertising. It's an endless parade of little projects which everybody tells me "will only take a few minutes" (ha ha ha ha).
The latest trend is people asking me to design their tattoos, like this one I drew up yesterday...
This is particularly painful for me, because I've always wanted a bad-ass tattoo of my own. Unfortunately, I could never manage to pull-off being "bad-ass". This is about as "bad-ass" as I can get...
Needless to say, having a cool flaming demon skull tattoo is not an option when you look like Gumby.
And so I have to continue to draw awesome tattoos for everybody but me.
Except I still want one.
So my option here is to try and come up with something that my boyish charm can pull-off. Something totally lacking in hostility. Something that is bad-ass, but in a "non-threatening" kind of way. I'm thinking that it will end up being something like one of these...
My other tattoo is a flaming demon skull. This one is pretty self-explanatory. It gives me the ability to imply that although the tattoo you are currently looking at is fairly reserved, somewhere else on my body is another one that's truly bad-ass. My only fear is that somebody will then be inclined to go looking for it.
Cartoon Skull. Though there is no way I can pull-off a realistic-looking skull and crossbones, I'm fairly certain that a cartoon version could work for me. It says "I'm bad-ass", but not so bad-ass that I have to worry about somebody mistaking me for an ass-kicking tough-guy, and want to fight me.
Bad Monkey. Because, well, you know... everybody just loves a monkey.
Garden Snake & Flaming Heart with Liz. This tattoo kind of covers all the bases. Since a scary serpent would be difficult for me to wear convincingly, I settled for a harmless garden snake. The flaming heart is a tattoo classic, but by making it look like something out of Hello Kitty, I don't risk anybody thinking that I want to rip their heart out and set it on fire. And lastly, I've got "Liz" in there so I can proclaim my love of Elizabeth Hurley and impress her with my dedication once fate brings us together.
Now if only I could decide where I want to put it after I pick the design...
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I think you should definitely go for the garden snake & flaming heart tattoo. Liz would love it for certain. I think you should get it done on the small of your back, so that it’s visible only when you lean over and your t-shirt rises up… blokes seem to think this looks sexy on girls, so why wouldn’t it work the other way round? Then all you would need to do is find Liz, and er… bend over in front of her!
So, as you need to decide, here is some help:
Don’t go for the “My other tatoo…”. This is so lame, like wearing a phonebooth around to indicate that you are secretly a super hero.
Also, the flaming snake one is too complicated, when people look at a tatoo, they spend less time than looking at the daily cartoons, or the news (in that order). So most likely, they won’t grasp how perfect that on is for you, but instead, just say “what a stupid burning snake, maybe his mother is called Liz…”.
I think it’s pretty much a tie between the monkey and the skull. I would personally go for the monkey, as the Skull alwasy conjures images of death, where the monkey is just making me afraid of banana peels on the floor….
Oh, it’s gotta be the cartoon skull. Very much you. A small tat like that should go on the hip.
I’m actually taking the plunge and getting one this summer. The only reason I’ve held off this long is that I’m a skinny, nerdy looking guy and didn’t think I could pull off a tattoo.
Of course, then I became a Miami Ink addict and that sort of tipped the scales.
I know what I want but haven’t finalized a design yet (so, you know, I’ll hit you up for one fifteen minutes before my appointment).
my vote is for the monkey. The monkey head, with crossbones, to make it a little edgier.
I think you could definitely pull that off.
Okay, I think they’re all pretty bad-ass, but let’s think practically here. Can you get a white tattoo, or will the skull end up being skin colored? Might not be quite as bad-ass that way. I think bad monkey is the way to go – it’s still playful, yet everyone knows monkeys can rip your arms off when threatened. Or at least they can throw feces.
White ink is a tricky business, because it doesn’t always “work” on some people’s skin. Since I am quite pale, there is a good chance that white will show up okay… but even if it doesn’t, I’d be okay with that. When I design, I always draw it twice… once with the white so the artist can see the detail, and once without so that the person getting it can see how it will likely turn out.
I love the potential implications of the “My other tattoo…” tattoo. But I have a couple comments about the others.
Nope, no skull for you. Even a cartoony one.
I really think that should be an inchworm and not a garden snake.
After all this, I think you need to go with Bad Monkey. He’s you. He’s your creation. He’s one of your claims to fame. When we think Dave, we think “Bad Monkey.” Well, when we’re not thinking “Gumby,” that is.
Found this today and thought you could use a Liz fix! 🙂
You might actually be ok with white ink – I have very fair skin and the tattoo artist who did my ankle told me that if I wanted to do color, white would work just so long as it was outlined. She told me (as she was pressing my foot to her boob) that white comes out pretty well on fair skin. None of the advice that I got on tattoo placement will actually apply to you,as far as I’m aware… but just in case:
1) don’t put it on your belly – it will stretch when you get pregnant (from my ever hopeful mother)
2) don’t put it anywhere that will interfere with the neckline of your wedding dress (from my ever hopeful mother)
3) don’t put it on your lower back – “tattoo on the lower back? might as well be a bulls eye!”
4) don’t get tattooed on your face… then I won’t remember you (that last bit came from my 6 year old cousin)
I think you should go for it – I hemmed and hawed forever and could not be happier that I have one now! 🙂
You can get any bad-ass tat that you want. Just get it on your forehead and you won’t have any trouble. Try SpongeBob with a hard-on that disappears into your hairline. Just think of those big meetings. Doesnt SpongeBob With a hard-on kinda say, “I’m a cartoon guy but puttin the wang on the Sponge probably means I’m a little out there and puttin in on my forehead means that I might just eat your liver”?
My vote is with the monkey.
As for the white ink, it really does depend on the skin type of the person getting the white ink tattoo.
The avatar to the right is identical to my tattoo, which is on my right upper bicep. The white ink in that took pretty good and every 3-4 years, I go for a minor touch up. The white ink tends to fade more than the other colors and I think it could be related to skin type. I’m not all that pale, but my upper bicep tends to get pale during the winter months.
When you do get your tat, I expect a complete blog of the entire process.
ooops.. early morning typing. I meant, the avatar to the left.
Bad Monkey. All the way.
Maybe leave out the word “Bad,” though. Let its (and your) badness speak for itself.
To paraphrase Katherine Hepburn: If you have to TELL people you’re bad…you really aren’t.
Bad Monkey, definitely. .
Although the facial expression implies oral sex to me — therefore making it look like you’re saying that you’ve received bad head from monkeys — but then everything implies oral sex to me.
I think you should just get a tattoo of the word “tattoo”. Simple. Elegant. To the point.
OK or maybe a little cartoon Dave shootin’ stuff up with a big gun and a cartoon Liz on his muscular cartoon arm?
If I must pick only one of the four, it’s the monkey.
I have two tats, a fleur de lis in the usual spot above the ass, and a texas lone star on my left inner ankle. I want another star for the other ankle, but that would negate the idea of the lone star. Damn. I screwed myself on that one.
Never get a tatoo anywhere that will droop or sag as you age.
good luck, if you do get a tatoo, I want to hear about it, but talk’s cheep.
You’ll have to post a photo to convince me you didn’t wimp out.
Monkey; NO WAY!!!
it looks like it belongs on the tee-shirt of a 9 year old girl. i HAD a teeshirt like that
go with the skull, it definatly says bad-ass
you are too bad ass
Aw, man, now *I* want a Bad Monkey tattoo!
This from the woman who, on her honeymoon, applied temporary Razorback tattoo to her left boob for husband’s titillation (HAR–How funny am I with the puns???). And now the world knows.
A Razorback tattoo?
Belinda. We should talk.
Kathleen–it was temporary! I swear! And it was good for a laugh, and came off in the next shower.
Oh Belinda – I’m not pointing you out like you think I am. 🙂 Only certain people get temporary hog tattoos on their boobs. It’s a certain type of love, ya know? woooo. that took a lot to say.
btw, I can’t find an email address on your page, maybe I’m stupid, but I can’t find it.
You should get a cupcake and crossbones. For sure. Go to the attached URL. totally. really. click on it now.
can you get me kid rocks american bad ass tatoo?
I like your cartoon tattoo design, beautiful.