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Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them

Personal Ink: Adrian Van Young’s “quoth the raven” tattoo story

in Potpourri by

Whether it’s a decision based on love or tequila, a tattoo remains on your skin forever. Inspired by the book Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them, our monthly column, Personal Ink, showcases the art that illustrators and authors have decided to permanently display on their bodies. In their own words, they let us in on the secrets and stories behind their tattoos, sharing how the images relate to both their lives and their work. This month we’re featuring Adrian Van Young, author of the short story collection The Man Who Noticed Everything, winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award. His first novel, Shadows in Summerland, is forthcoming in 2016 from ChiZine Publications, and his work has appeared…

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The art of the tattoo: memories that run skin-deep

in Nonfiction by

When I got my first tattoo, I remember sitting in a shop in the East Village, trying not to shake as the artist traced the pattern on my skin. It was the third time I made her reposition the swallows on my foot, and while I was afraid of being that person, I knew perfect placement was more important than being liked. The buzz of the machine started and the needle hit my skin. It hurt. The only way to describe it is to imagine being stung by electrified bees over and over in the same spot. It should have turned me off to the experience forever, but as anyone with a tattoo knows, once the seal is broken all…

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