inspired ink : philippine art nouveau

My sister Christine worked with tattoo artist David Glantz of Bobby Five Tattoo Studio in Toronto, Canada last year to design her new forearm band tattoo. Being a designer herself, Christine directed the whole process. The end result is beautiful and unique. I needed to share it here.

The tattoo was originally inspired by my sister's love for Art Nouveau, a discovery of Philippine Art Nouveau in the book Philippine Style (which we both own) and seeing the influence Art Nouveau had on turn-of-the-century architecture in the Philippines. Oddly enough, my sister found a book cover design (directly below) in a friend's library in Manila a whole year after she got the tattoo done which featured amazing examples Philippine Art Nouveau illustrations very similar to her design.

When Christine had her consultation appointment with the artist she brought along examples of Alphonse Mucha's work as well images of Philippine lace/embroidery on traditional garb for the same period.

Click to enlarge any/all images.

Alphonse Mucha poster

Christine also brought in examples of flora and fauna indigenous to the Philippines such as: the Philippine eagle (the national bird), rice terraces, Hibiscus flower, Sampaguita flower (the national flower also known as the Philippine Jasmine), Anahaw leaf (the national leaf), banig (or woven mat) and thatched roof patterns and other architectural details. She also wanted to colors to look like burnt wood on her skin.

Based on all the imagery and direction, artist David Glantz came up with this sketch from which the final tattoo was based.

Christine had the big moment documented. (Her appointment had to be made almost a year in advance!)

Below are the images of the finished work. (click to enlarge) *Note the colors appear less saturated/bright than they are in real life. I though the end-result looks GORGEOUS. It's very feminine and bold. Almost makes me want to get inked again. Almost.