At thirty-three it’s about time that I got a tattoo. I’ve often thought about getting a tattoo, but I’ve never had an idea that I felt that I’d still be happy with for the rest of my life (with the exception of a Calvin and Hobbes that Rhode Montijo drew for me back in 1999, that might be tattoo number two.)

I’ve long been an admirer of the Hindu god Ganesh, the Lord of Success. I was reading about the symbolism of the figure it occurred to me that with a little customization, it could be a piece that I’d want forever.

His upper right hand holds a goad, to propel you forward on the eternal path.

His lower right hand holds his left tusk which he broke off to use as a pen to transcribe the Mahabharata. This symbolizes sacrifice in the name of knowledge.

His lower left hand holds a rosary symbolizing the continuous search for knowledge. In the past I’ve used the sphere to represent the same thing so I’m going with that.

His upper left hand holds a noose, to capture and remove the difficulties in your way. Well, the noose has different implications here in North America so I’m replacing it. First I thought that a machete would be a good replacement, but that would be too ham-handed, so I’m probably going to go with a skeleton key instead. If anyone has any other suggestions for a one handed tool that removes obstacles I’d like to hear it.

The snake around his belt symbolizes the infinite energy of the universe and the mouse attending him shows that he is humble enough to be attended by the meekest of animals.

I’m having the tat on my lower back to be over my Swadhisthana Chakra, the chakra of creativity.

Then I’ll have the god of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth over the creative center of my body.

I’ve looked around for pictures of Ganesh and I’m thinking the design will be somewhere between this:
And this:

I checked out Avalon I & II, Chronic Tattoo, and Tower Tattoo and I decided to go with Bill Kieffer at Chronic.

Filed under: LiveJournal Days,Uncategorized
Comments: (16)


  1. wow. that’s really beautiful. good luck with that! it’ll hurt some and it looks like it’ll take more than one sitting, but it doesn’t hurt much and it’s well worth it.

    Comment by voz37 — June 27, 2004 @ 1:48 pm

  2. I assume you’re going with the lineart posted here for the design (with the tweaks you’ve indicated), but if you want more involved modifications of the figure done than that, I can do it.

    Comment by kirinqueen — June 27, 2004 @ 2:07 pm

  3. Well, I’m just going with black and a little grey, so I figure that’ll speed up to process.

    It’d be really nice to get it done before Comic Con, it’s customary to make an offering to Ganesh before and great undertaking and I hope to connect with some publishers.

    Comment by tone_milazzo — June 28, 2004 @ 3:52 am

  4. I’m going with the CG version for the design and the line art for the pose.

    Thanks for the offer, but I want Bill to design the tat, I figure it’ll be easier for him to tattoo his own design. And I want to see him draw it on paper before he draws it on my body.

    Comment by tone_milazzo — June 28, 2004 @ 3:57 am

  5. when i got the inuit sun on my back it took a little over two hours. half way through my legs started shaking and then went numb. if you love the design though, sitting through it is a great sense of accomplishment and when it’s finally done you’ll be incredibly happy. it sounds like you’ve given the design a lot of thought and that’s good. i’m sure you’ll be really really happy with it.

    Comment by voz37 — June 28, 2004 @ 6:22 am

  6. Tattoos are over. You should have a statue of Ganesha surgically implanted onto your sholuder, bolted into the bone. Or an actual baby elephant on your back, sharing your blood supply. That would be great… you’d look like Master Blaster. But with an infant pachyderm. Now that’s cutting edge.

    Comment by the_bone — June 29, 2004 @ 6:14 am

  7. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have “a statue of Ganesha surgically implanted onto [my] shoulder“?

    Medicine, bitch!

    Comment by tone_milazzo — June 30, 2004 @ 4:02 am

  8. Hey, all the cool kids are calling it the “sholuder” now. Jackass.


    Comment by the_bone — July 1, 2004 @ 3:55 am

  9. Chronic is an awesome little shop, that’s where I got my last one.

    Comment by animaetrix00 — July 5, 2004 @ 4:50 am

  10. Really? What did you get, and how was the experience?

    Comment by tone_milazzo — July 5, 2004 @ 4:55 am

  11. An artist I work with drew me an original picture of the Sandman with Death and I went there to have it done. They were great. It is on my upper arm, and after the experience I am planning on going back soon and having them help me plan out a sleeve to surround it with. tatt

    Comment by animaetrix00 — July 5, 2004 @ 5:11 am

  12. Nice, the cool thing about Sandman is it’s under-the-radar popularity will keep it from being a cliche.

    We have a friend in common, is the former roommate of some friends of mine. Do you know her from her SD Objectivist Network?

    Comment by tone_milazzo — July 5, 2004 @ 5:31 am

  13. Sort of. I don’t really ‘know’ her, but I have a few friends in sdon, even though I’ve never gone to any of the gatherings. We had a few mutual friends so added each other, and we peek at each other’s journals once in awhile. That’s about it. 馃檪

    Comment by animaetrix00 — July 5, 2004 @ 5:45 am

  14. On the subject of LJ peeking, I went to a random date on your LJ and found myself here. Don’t worry, I read the post all the way though.

    You seem like a cool person, wanna get coffee sometime?

    Comment by tone_milazzo — July 5, 2004 @ 6:34 am

  15. Hehe, alrighty. 馃檪

    Comment by animaetrix00 — July 5, 2004 @ 7:08 am

  16. If you are looking for one-handed tools of obstacle removal I’d suggest the Vajra chopper, a ritual implement that appears with a lot in Tibetan Buddhist dieties:

    Ignore the fact that Black Mahkhala is pictured stomping on Ganesh. It’s hard to explain. 馃檪

    Comment by modemx — July 18, 2004 @ 2:00 pm

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