When I’ve been asked what I planned for my seventh tattoo my answer was … generally longer than a tweet. I eventually whittled it down to: a traditional style reinterpretation of “St Paul’s during the blitz” inside an ornate gold frame with traditional roses underneath. Which is only 130 characters long. But kind of confusing.
The idea for this tattoo came to me fully formed last November …
It’s no secret that I adore London. It was London which made me believe in the ridiculous Carrie-Bradshaw-esque notion of falling in love with a city. St Paul’s Cathedral is at the centre of my London.
It was crossing the Millennium Bridge with my hands clasped round a coffee and that Dome in my sights when I couldn’t keep from breaking into a wide wide smile.
I’ve loved the photo of St Paul’s during the Blitz by Herbert Mason for … as long as I can remember.
It was used as symbol of resilience, to show that – even as late as 1940 – London could not be brought low by destruction. What was not then well known was that St Paul’s was assiduously protected by local forces and citizens alike.
It’s a beautiful image and a beautiful sentiment. But I digress (SHOCKING, I KNOW).
I chose a frame to anchor the image, to make it stand alone as a tattoo. The roses link it from my right arm to my right side to my left thigh. And just because I love traditional tattoo style roses.
Jeremy Gill from Tattoo Machine did all the work and he was amazing. I loved the drawing and when he freehanded the smoke? It was kind of terrifying. He really was moving the machine like he was using a coloured pencil. Blech.
I ended up bleeding quite a lot.
And despite all of that? it wasn’t really all that painful.
Twelve days from now he’s going to add the colour. I can’t wait.