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I am deciding on my next tattoo which will be on the 25th. I owe the artist a concept by Monday so he can draw something up.

I know I want a barn owl.

I have an entire forearm open, and alternatively a calf. I have a full day sitting scheduled.

I am torn something fierce. Here are the two concepts I need to choose one and possibly refine it.

1) forearm sleeve idea. Barn owl showing its back on a maple branch on inner forearm with maple leaves on both inner and outer. Black/grey maybe hints of orange on leaves.

Here is the owl image 278cc495de76e00a56afbbdd89d5343c.jpg

2) outer calf piece. Barn owl standing on skull. Black/grey.

7936f00b3868188f312a7ce35f3346a2.jpg

Any thoughts?

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I have a barn owl on my outer calf. Here was my thought process: I knew I wanted a barn owl with a mouse in its beak or talons, partially to symbolize overcoming some personal fears, and partially just because it was cool and would differentiate me from the other girls getting cutesy owl tattoos. As far as style, I had no idea. As far as background, I was kind of thinking cherry blossoms just because they're my favorite flower. I met an artist who had done some awesome owls and I fell in love with his style and personality. We talked and he steered me away from cherry blossoms, because he said they weren't native to this owl's environment, and suggested we do a more woodsy type theme. I loved his concept. As he was laying the stencil, he suggested we could expand this idea into a leg sleeve, which I also loved. I had him add a hare ("I want a big, ugly hare, not a cute little bunny") on the other side of my leg. Still had a couple spots I wanted him to fill on my shin and back of my calf, but he unfortunately passed away before we could. Suicide is a hell of a thing.

So that's my story of my barn owl tattoo. I guess what I'm hoping you take out of that is that there are tons of directions a tattoo can go, and if you find someone you work well with, they'll come up with something cool you'll love. Maybe even something you could never imagine. Sometimes we worry about getting the "perfect" tattoo, but honestly, we'll never know what might have been if we went a different direction. So just find an artist you like and enjoy the ride.

Life is short, get tattooed. :) Here's a pic of my owl:

v30n6e.jpg

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Nice one!

I am also going for the outer calf. I would like a skull and some maple leaves. We are going to see what we can accomplish in one day so it may not turn into a sleeve unless I make another trip. I have been working with this artist on my back tattoo for a couple of years now but this was my last planned trip (8 hour drive).

I leave in the morning!

I decided on a barn owl because they are nocturnal and symbolize secrets. As a survivor of significant child abuse those two concepts have a lot of meaning for me. This is a tattoo of ownership of my past. I plan an upward facing koi sleeve for when I have progressed enough in therapy that my flashbacks stop. That will be a triumphant tattoo.

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What tremendous strength and courage you have - thank you for sharing the meaning behind your design. My wife and I have worked with our local Childrens' Advocacy Center for years so we've witnessed the devastation caused by abuse. I have no doubt we will see that koi design some day.

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