Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Tattoo Evolution

Finished product

On July 3,2010,after years of interest and debate I finally broke down and tattooed my body. 35 years old and finally starting to live with a little adventure as I sometimes refer.Of course I have always been a late bloomer in everything I do so it's no surprise that I waited this late in life to add a little color to my Casper looking skin tone. I often get asked the meaning behind the tattoo and the story behind it so it's time to blog about it.

A coworker recommended I check out the website: and explore the portfolio of her artist Shaun Carroll. It doesn't take long after reviewing his work to decide this is the man in charge of permanently inking your body. Wow! If you ever consider a tattoo I would highly recommend this being the first place you consider for the work. If you think the artist is too pricey...Consider this: You are investing into art work that you WILL be wearing for the rest of your life. Isn't worth every penny to make sure it's done right. As my dermatologist put it to me as I asked him his opinion on tattoos; "As long as you know there is no cure for them"

My tattoo concept was simple. I wanted an evolutionary tree of life with a double DNA helix as the trunk of the tree and a snake intertwined. It's a concept to clash both science and religion. Shaun submitted 7 different drawings before I declared a winner. Many concepts were approved and some discarded. The end result tells a story of the evolutionary process. From the origins of life represented in the roots to the DNA which links all living things great and small and from the tips of the tree branches which represent all modern species including you and I. The purple snake represents the talking serpent in the biblical creation story that so many people continuously believe in; Even in  the 21st century. The "skull" placed in the roots is an actual preserved fossil labelled AL 444-2. Part of the Australopitecus afarensis family of fossils that were discovered and still being discovered in Ethiopia. 444-2 was discovered in 1992 and has been dated at approx.3 million years old.  I wanted a fossil in the roots to symbolize the beginnings and origins of our species that realistically clashes with young Earth creationists that insist that the world we live in is only six to ten thousand years old. And last but not least I added some clouds that represent the mystery of it all. Mankind does not and perhaps may never have all the answers to the "big questions" in life. But imagine where we would be in today's modern society if we still played the tune of "Well, I can't explain it or understand God did it" 
The first sketch received. My aunt Yvonne sees this and says "I'm thiking: the Meadows of Dan"

One idea presented for DNA snake. Considered having this weaving through the roots

Two snakes: Loved it,but wasn't the right representation

No Roots! Would have saved time and money but I wanted them there. The roots was the hardest part for me to approve i was picky 

The final sketch: As soon as I saw this I knew we had a winner! The artist signed this for me and I had it framed :)

The outline...July 3, 2010


  1. Dude. You nailed it. I've been looking for a DNA tree for a year now. That was my Father's Day gift from my wife in 2012. It's now '13 and I think I've got a winner.
    Would you share the image of the 4th sketch down from the top with me?
    The one without the roots? The image on the site is too small and when I try to blow it up to see the actual size the image becomes too distorted
    That's exactly what I'm looking for...and for reasons a little different than yours.

  2. Hey, I love your tattoo and had something very similar in mind. Like Jason I found that the pic is too small to blow up to see all the details of it. Would you mind sending me the original of it?