Tattoo ideas wanted: ancient history themed

All the recent tattoo threads made me decide to start my own!

Here’s the situation. I’ve wanted a tattoo for about 8 years, and abandoned the design I thought I wanted when I was 15 (yes, it WAS a Chinese symbol). There are two important considerations: first, it must be meaningful, and second, it must be beautiful.

Meaningful is not too hard. I’m currently doing my Masters in classical history, and even in the event that I decide that academia isn’t for me, I’m pretty sure my love for ancient history will be with me forever. As such, I thought it would be a neat idea to get a picture of Klio (the Greek muse of history) designed into a tattoo.

The problem? Greek and Roman mosaics are ugly (there, I said it!) and the only other depictions of her are in statue form, which I think would be pretty hard to make into a good tattoo. So I want to widen my base of ideas again.

Don’t be afraid of suggesting something too hard to find an authentic picture of - I have a mighty library at my disposal.

(And don’t worry - I won’t be going off to get it any time soon. I also know the importance of finding a good artist and a place - luckily, a friend of mine, a wonderful artist, has recently made the career change to tattoo artist and is fantastic. Finally, please don’t tell me tattoos are ugly. Feel free to believe it, but not here, okay?)

Mr. Nightingale suggests a Da Vinci illustration, something like this. I have to agree, it’s a very cool idea (and I’m not really a ‘tattoo’ person).

Why not go for an etching from the Renaissance or Enlightenment of Klio? There are some lovely ones out there of other muses, I know, and they’d definitely be out of copyright.

Have you given any thought of finding a picture of another muse and having her portrayed as Klio? You know, just editing out Ourania’s globe and staff and replacing it with a scroll or books. Something like that.

I have an angel based on an older greek wood carving. The guy worked hard at it, did it in gray ink. It looks like a pencil sketch on my arm.

I like the statue idea. Have it done in whites and grays. Just shop around for someone who can do the work correctly.

Sure we can’t interest you in a nice anchor or a hula girl or something?

I say,

SPQR and an eagle
go with a winner!

Why not get a good photograph of a statue of Klio, and ask the artist if they could design a tattoo from that? You might be surprised at how nice a design they could make based on a statue. It’s worth a try at least isn’t it? Maybe ask an artist who also designs tattoos as part of their craft if they could give you a flat rendition of Klio based on a statue you particularily like? Janet Chui designs tattoos, but I don’t know if she’s free for commissions right now. (Check out Janet Chui’s works here too for an idea of her range.) Once you have a design, you should be able to find a tattoo artist capable of inking it. Try to see if your muse idea is workable, then go from there if it isn’t. Good luck.

Along the “SPQR” lines: given the number of Irish descended people I know who have Celtic Knot tattoos around their biceps, if I ever get a tattoo, it’ll be a laurel wreath around my bicep.