words and anchors - tattoo design

drawing and designing tattoos for people near and far has been such a cool and strange and unexpected part of my career. i love love getting to know a little bit (or a lotta bit) about people that i otherwise wouldn't have met had it not been for the great reach of the internet. even more, however, i love being able to create something meaningful for someone i've had the great pleasure of spending some person-to-person time with. it might be faux pas to do work for friends and family, but in my case, having the ability to work with care on something as intimate as a tattoo design has only ever been a joy. it allows me another opening into this person's life - a perspective i might not have been afforded the opportunity to view. if i could, i'd draw all over my friends and family members' arms/legs/backs/necks/etc! IMG_3189

this one is for a special and incredible bostonian - marisa, i can't wait to see how it turns out!

inky success

inky success

some tattoo artists just get text. like, really get it. the ebb and flow of line, the thin and thickness of stroke, the grace of curve and sharpness of point. it is such a wonderful thing, designing a tattoo for someone - and it's even better when the final inking so perfectly matches the sketch. thanks to ms. taylor for sharing a photo of her newly tagged forearm - 'great is thy faithfulness'. it's beautiful!

tattooing like whoa

these are all currently up on my tumblr and instagram (@jillyink) accounts, but i thought it'd be a good idea to post them here too - i'd love to share with you all the plethora of custom tattoo designs i've been drawing for people all over the world in the last few weeks. here we go!

{'wait and hope' for reed dunn}

{'friendship: one mind, two bodies' for two best friends}

{infinity symbol with 'memere' and '1.23' to commemorate kate lindsley's grandmother}

{'life/love' infinity symbol with feather detail for megan quesenberry}

{'non est ad astra mollis e terris via' translation: 'there is no easy path from earth to the stars' for shannon}

{'time bomb' last-minute design for megan holly}

this is all so surreal, and amazing. i love being able to share what i love with so many people. keep the commissions coming! more calligraphy, wedding-style, is on the way as well! cheers.

permanent ink: a portuguese-inspired tattoo

 

i was so pleased, totally surprised and completely flattered by the email i received from an old high school friend (and former mhs soccer teammate), asking if i would help create a tattoo out of a poem she'd written to honor her parents, her heritage, and love. 'of course,' i exclaimed! this is really special - she wants two acrostic poems woven into the shape of a heart, with each half of the heart for each foot, the point meeting down by her toes. the poem is written in portuguese, and it reads:

 

meu

amor

eternal

 

pessoa

amada

incondicionalmente

 

and it means, "mae" (mother) - my eternal love/"pai" (father) - loved unconditionally

 

i'm so honored to be a part of this - thank you jess, and i can't wait to see the permanent version!

and tattooed in texas

 

the stars must be aligned.. just two weeks after i designed and got my very own, very first tattoo (post to come), i received a very cool email from a very cool lady down in dallas, texas, asking if i've ever considered designing one for someone else. 'why, of course!' i exclaimed, and there began our adventure in finding something that utilized my script, her three children's names (madelyn, mitchell and merritt - adorable), and a feeling of 'whimsy'. after a few back-and-forths, here's the final design. just like my dear friend adam's tattoo (which was inked this morning over in thailand!), i can't wait to see the design in its permanent home, on her forearm. thank you valerie, for allowing me to be a part of this amazing process!

tattooed in thailand

my dear dear friend adam sent me a message last friday with the most surprising, most wonderful message - he's currently in thailand, learning very worldly, beautiful things, meeting amazing people, and walking along the most magnificent journey. and now, while on that journey, he's decided to add to his growing tattoo collection. with a gorgeous message, "never try never know". written in my hand.  

he's getting it done tonight, across the world. and i couldn't be prouder, happier, more honored to be a part of this moment. hopefully i'll have a photo of it on his arm soon.

add 'tattoo designer' under list of careers

so two (that's right, two!) people in the last two (yes, again, two!) days have asked me to custom design tattoos for them.  this pleases me to no end and i cannot wait to post samples up here when i've got some sketches up here. as a bit of a place-holder/inspiration accumulation, i'm deeply inspired by these gorgeous examples of either hand-lettered, drawn or personal-image based inkings.  any favorites of your own?

{gorgeous calligraphy by betsy dunlap - catch her here}

{love the sketch-style of those scissors.  katie henry also makes the most beautiful bags - look here and here}

{care of summer's inspiring blog, and originally found via emma louise, here}