I got my magpie tattoo partly because of the symbolic resonance, they’re social chatty birds with a reputation for charm and roguish nature – all elements of my personality I enjoy and have somewhat of a reputation for. Some believe they have a drop of the devils blood on their tongue, certainly the Italians call them gazetta which is the same name sound of a group of drunk people chatting - incidentally where we get the name gazette for tabloid rumour led newspaper form. Magpie’s are the bird of Dionysus, the god of wine and revelry a sort of a patron of mine.
I’ve also always loved the striking nature of the colours, simple black and white, clean lines, shocking without being gaudy. I’m not much of a nature fan - in fact I’m a city boy through and through, I would die without neon, smog, litter, noise, and being distracted every thirty or so seconds. But magpies are a city bird, feeling connected to the magpie as a totem means wherever I go I have some friends and the source for the charm and confidence to find more.
I knew I wanted a magpie but didn’t seem to know what pose, after putting a call out on twitter Andy Mabbett (@pigsonthewing) provided several pictures and this one jumped out at me, the magpie is changing direction suddenly and the pose is so dynamic and interesting I knew it was the one. Its pose even told me where to put it, it fits on the chest so well and has the added bonus of the tips of the wing creeping out into sight when I wear low cut collars and shirts.
The tattoo itself isn’t finished, it will have more colours on the wings when I get the money to finish it, but the line work was so well done it already looks amazing. The artist, Kurt Marlow of http://www.fallingleavesstudio.co.uk/
, normally does the more traditional tattoo’s but when I went back and saw how great he was at natural forms I knew he was the guy to do it.