Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tattoo #6 - The Set Up

I've been in love with this giant phrase from Early Morning Blue's "Chapter One" since…well since Bryan posted it on the EMB twitter before the song was even out. That long.

Can I bring my black and blue, bruised, broken body back to you / to mend for me / 'cause I have seen the ugly truth of the world

Obviously that's an entire paragraph and there's no where on my body that it's going to fit, which is a bummer but at the same time I get it. I've spent the past few months trying to break it down to something smaller to take pieces of it without ruining it and I wound up just completely lifting from it to just two lines

black & blue
bruised & broken

I like the way it hints at the lyrics, where I'd have to explain the whole phrase and I like that it touches on how the feeling of the lyrics are. The person is beaten and in need of repair. Having it like that is stating the state that it leaves someone in. And honestly? It's a way I feel often these days.

I was chatting with Rana, my cohort in most things EMB fan girl related, and we were tossing the idea about of her tattoo, which would be her first. I was telling her she needs to get around to getting it even though she hasn't yet and I was trying to be supportive. We chatted about getting it down when I'm in Boston of the EMB show, because why the hell not? I had my birds tattoo in mind for the joint effort, but Rana's idea is lyrics from her favorite band, written out by the lead singer. We joked about getting Bryan to write mine out, but there's this tattoo picture floating around that he supposedly wrote and it's almost impossible to read. We made jokes that it would be ugly and we'd feel bad.

After a while though she wore me down and she was right, it would be pretty damn cool if Bryan wrote it out and even if it was unreadable and kinda ugly, I'd probably still love it. Of course I wasn't even sure he would do it and there was always the worry he'd think I was completely 100% nuts, just for asking. (If he hadn't already come to that conclusion about me). Eventually though I wound up tweeting the EMB account, asking if he'd do it for me. He came back pretty quickly with an "of course, send us an email."

(I should point out here that I had a laugh that he knew I would know where to find the email for the band. Either that or it was some sort of test, but yeah I knew right where to go to grab it.)

When I emailed him, he got back to me pretty quickly, telling me he was flattered that I wanted the lyrics and honored to write them out for me. He asked how I wanted it to look which left me a little shocked because I hadn't thought it out that far. His handwriting was about where it ended.

I started talking it over with Nat and she asked me the big question. "How do the lyrics make you feel?" I said messy and in need of being stitched back together. That was about when I started drawing the stitched heart in my mini art journal I carry around I told Bryan messy and bold but readable.

There was a painful week of waiting and after 7 days I wound up sending a follow up email reminding him gently that I wanted to get it done this week. He came back with an apology that it took so long but he just didn't like anything he'd written out. Still he scanned what he had and offered it to me, telling me to let him know if I didn't like it and if I needed something else.

Of course I immediately fell in love with it especially the one on the far right. The top one has that same bold feeling, but the far right just looks so natural, so much closer to his own handwriting. (At this point I feel the urge to point out that he actually does have really nice handwriting, and I'm starting to wonder if that written out tattoo was actually him or just a a bad tattoo in general).

I emailed him back this sort of blathering type email where I told him how amazing he was for writing it out for me and how amazing it looked. I mentioned pairing it with my own artwork and that I couldn't wait to show it to him on Friday after I got it.

What shocked me was my phone going off a few minutes later, with a response email from him. He wanted to know what kind of artwork was going with it. A little surprised I explained the heart and said that it was a result of how the lyrics made me feel, like being in need of being stitched back together.

I got another email back with him agreeing to how the lyrics felt and telling me how much he liked the heart idea and that there was an urge on his end too for another tattoo. At this point we went back a few times, me asking about his ideas for his next, which surprisingly enough might wind up being inspired by mine. I guess he was due up for an EMB tattoo anyway. (He has logos from both of the BLG albums on his arm as well as a few 'tour' themed tattoos from when their tours. An EMB tattoo seems like a must right?)

My other favorite part of the night of emailing was to get the twitter update coming from him:

The fan would be me and of course my timeline on both twitter and tumblr blew up a little in excitement.


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