In which I start on the next full-sleeve tattoo.

Tattoo #11

634 words about life — 10:26 · 9th Mar 2024

I’m pretty sure it’s my eleventh tattoo.

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about tattoos, so as a refresher, here’s where we left off in The Troubles with Taboo Tattoos

I want to design a full-sleeve tattoo where the theme is about the balance in life through learning and wisdom.

After appropriating deities from Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism through a very Western lens in a sketch dating back to December 2015—have I ever told you how long my tattoos take some times—I decided to look at my own heritage and our Norse mythology instead.

This is when I realised that Neo-fucking-Nazis are appropriating it. Fucking dickheads.

So the entry simply ended with the sentence, “I’ll have to think of something else.”

Right, all good?

Up to date?


And you know what? I did think of something else.

After some more research, I managed to find a source of mythology that promotes body modifications, has no living practitioners, and is not associated with hate groups such as white supremacists.

Closeup of Book of the Dead of Hunefer (Hw-nfr) frame 3; fully coloured vignettes; coloured border. The scene (vignettes) shows episodes in Hunefer's judgement.
Book of the Dead of Hunefer (Hw-nfr) sheet 3; fully coloured vignettes; coloured border. Judgement vignette with captions and spell 30. Courtesy of the British Museum's object: EA9901,3.

I’m taking inspiration from Hunefer’s 19th dynasty papyrus Book of the Dead, specifically The Weighing of the Heart.

A few sketches later I had a rough composition and a clear enough picture in my head that I could explain it to a tattoo artist.

Closeup of Carlos Eriksson pencil sketch of Anubis holding a heart and a feather.
Playing with some ideas and compositions.

Now I just needed to find an artist whose style would be well suited for it.

Enter: Josh Peacock, most known for his “Critter” tattoos.

Once Josh and I got to talking about Egyptian mythology I knew he was the right artist for the sleeve.

And we’ve already started.

Closeup of a scarab tattoo in progress. The tattoo is mainly black outlines and some of the purple transfer can still be seen.
Scarabaeus sacer.

Now I know what you might be thinking, “hold on Carlos, that’s not the sketch.”

No, it isn’t. It’ll all make sense when it’s finished, you’ll see.

Since getting my first tattoo, I’ve always said I would never cover up or fix a tattoo once it’s done.

I’ve always liked how they serve as physical memories I carry with me, proof that I was that person once upon a time.

But as I’ve been working through memories and photos, putting things in their place, I think it’s time to move forward a bit more.

So, I’ve changed my mind and for our next session, I’ll be saying goodbye to and covering up my first tattoo: the yin-yang with weird tribal swirls that 16-year-old Carlos designed himself and had a former strip-club owner tattoo on his forearm.

I’ve made sure to take photos of it so that I can still look back at my lovely ugly first tattoo.

I have a lot more sketching and designing to do but this entry serves as a good marker of, “Yes, Carlos, after almost nine years of contemplating, on 1 March 2024, you finally started on your next full sleeve tattoo.”

Stay tuned.

You’ve just read Tattoo #11.

In which, 1 month ago, I wrote 634 words about life and I covered topics, such as: tattoos , and josh peacock .