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Get the Tattoo
Field Trip | No.39
Field Trip is design culture explored through research, literature and creative practice.
Make the first thing
A lot of people have a lot of ideas, and a lot of them are great ideas but until you do anything about them they remain just that. I know too many talented people sitting in wait; for the idea to be clear and perfect before they do anything. Getting the first thing done or putting the first thing out into the world is nerve-wracking but it gets easier every time.
I was thinking recently about how long it took me to get my first tattoo. It had to be the perfect idea in the perfect placement. It of course felt like a huge deal at the time because what if I didn’t like it in a few months? I was so worried about the longevity and literal permanence of getting a tattoo that I overthought the hell out of it. I can confirm four years on, I don’t like it. It’s my least favourite tattoo by far but with each new one I get the less and less I care about it. The attention is drawn away from the first one by the newer, better ideas i’ve had. And i’ve come to appreciate it for what it is – the one that started the process and a permanent lesson to think less.
The more space I fill on my skin, the more i’ll have to think about it and be a bit more precise about placement and how it all works together but that’s a long way down the line. I suppose what I’m trying to get at is, there will come a time when you have a body of work to play with and you’ll be thinking about the bigger picture and its cohesiveness, but that all comes later. The most important thing is you get the ball rolling and figure it out as you go. This is a constant reminder I tell myself as I start projects and overthink them to the point of never getting anywhere. Have big goals but limit your vision to what you can achieve right now. The momentum will build and you’ll get to where you want to be, but you have to set things in motion.
Plus, anything you want to do is much less grand and permanent (maybe not tattoos) than it feels at the time. Most things are deletable; you can erase everything and start again whenever you feel like it and even if you can’t, it doesn’t matter, it’s all a part of the process.
If there’s something you want to do, just do it ✔™