Cat Memorial Tattoo

After our cat, Charlie, passed away in 2014, I wanted to memorialise her in a tattoo. SInce then, I’ve known what I wanted to do, but feeling ready to do it was another story. The first step to realising the design was extracting and creating a waveform of her purr. Firstly I needed to isolate a snippet of the sound of her purring; a comforting and fairly unique bubbly little sound, from a video I had of her. I seperated the audio from the video using VDSC and then imported the audio into Audacity and tidied it up a bit. After I had done that I zoomed in on the chosen section and took a screenshot, which I then finished up in photoshop. It came out looking a little something like this:

The Waveform of her purr
The Waveform of her purr

On its own, the image of her purr would have been a nice tribute, but I felt it was lacking something. Inspiration came to me whilst looking through the photos I have of her, and realising that one in particular happened to fit the shape of the purr really well. It also happened to be my favourite photo I took of her, which was a nice piece of serendipity.

My favourite photo of Charlie
My favourite photo of Charlie

Having decided to marry up the photo with the waveform, I printed out a sheet of the sound images and set to work with a brush pen. I really wanted to freehand it because I wanted a simple and fluid image, the temptation for me is always towards the accurate, and that wasn’t what I wanted in this instance. It was also very important to me that this tattoo was one entirely created by me. I came up with three designs:

Tattoo Options
Tattoo Options

Initially, I was drawn towards the third one, but in between designing the tattoo and booking the appointment, I came to prefer the gentle sketchy nature of the first option. I am really pleased I went for that one now, as the detail in the other two obscures the waveform a bit too for it to really be effective. This is how it looked freshly inked, it is still healing, so not quite ready for a final photo yet!

Freshly Inked
Freshly Inked

My tattoo was inked by Alex of Empire Tattoo Studios, who did my first tattoo (which is directly above my cat tattoo) and is absolutely awesome. You can check out his work over on Instagram, the designs he comes up with are amazing, and I’m looking forward to having him design something for me later this year.

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