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Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind…

Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them

by Isaac Fitzgerald

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I've noticed more and more people seem to have tattoos these days, and although I've had mine for more than 16 years, I might be thinking about getting another one.

Whether I do or not, I always enjoy looking at other tattoos and of course pondering the stories behind them. Isaac Fitzgerald is the editor at BuzzFeed Books and has put together a book of tattoos from people from all walks of life and the personal stories behind each one. Illustrated by Wendy MacNaughton, the result is Pen & Ink: Tattoos & The Stories Behind Them.

I'll admit it was unusual to read a book about tattoos without colour photographs of the artwork, but I'll admit a certain pleasure seeing the drawings of the art instead; no trouble with poor lighting or distractions from the human canvases.

Pen & Ink: Tattoos & The Stories Behind Them would make a great gift. ( )
  Carpe_Librum | Nov 2, 2014 |
While not a fan of tattoos, I am amazed – in both good and bad ways – at some of the artwork I see and have often wondered what motivated the person to make the choice they did. After all, this isn’t a decision that can easily be changed. In Pen & Ink, the authors asked the question ‘why’ to a range of mostly ordinary people (there were a few rock stars and porn stars in the mix), and received a fascinating array of answers.

While the stories are often serious, the book is presented in a whimsical fashion with the tattoos drawn in 4-color illustrations rather than photographs, and the essays are printed using a handwriting-style font. At first glance it resembles a graphic novel.

The stories range from only a few words, to long, full-page explanations. Some were done on a whim, others for love and still others as a tribute to a loved one or even a beloved pet. All were emotional and revealing – and a few were scary as people described giving themselves the tattoo!

An interesting look at pop culture and a revealing book for anyone who has ever wondered ‘why?’. ( )
  UnderMyAppleTree | Oct 16, 2014 |
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