How Many Words Is That Tattoo Worth?
Be it the symbolic stamp of a life-altering experience, the constant reminder of a lost love, or just the product of some late-night revelry, every tattoo shares one thing: a story. San Francisco illustrator Wendy MacNaughton and Rumpus managing editor Isaac Fitzgerald have made it their mission to condense these stories into the delicately drawn, concisely potent posts that comprise Pen and Ink — a blog of illustrated tattoos and the tales behind them.
But what’s their story? We talked to Wendy and Isaac about their tattoo philosophy, and how life, in essence, is really mastering the art of the mistake.
Who’s idea was Pen & Ink?
WM: It was Isaac’s.
IF: It was Wendy’s.
WM: Isaac, stop. It was yours.
IF: OK, well, I knew Wendy’s art from working with her on The Rumpus and have always been in awe of her amazing ability to capture a story with her drawings. Most tattoos, to me, represent some form of narrative, so when I thought of trying to capture the stories behind peoples permanent ink scars I immediately knew that Wendy had to be a part of it.
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