I am seeking a design for my first, and what will likely be, my only tattoo.
I plan on locating the tattoo on my upper arm, and would like it to be large enough to run from where my arm meets my shoulder down to my elbow (approximately a quarter to a half sleeve in size - although it doesn't need to be so dense as to fill in every inch of that space).
The design should be done completely in black, white (the relief) and shades of gray (no colors). It should also be borderless, in the sense that I don't want it to stand out as a distinct shape ("Hey, look, there's a circle on my arm!"). Instead, I would like it to kind of amorphously blend into my shoulder and arm.
My older brother and younger sister both have tattoos as well, and I very much would like some element of theirs incorporated into mine. This does not have to be in the literal sense. Details about their tattoos are as follows:
Specifically, my brother has a tattoo of Jerry Garcia's right handprint (short middle finger and all) in black on his shoulder, with Jerry's palm filled in with a red heart. (Image attached.) While I could never articulate the full meaning of it, to me it represents his free spirit and his super warm and loving heart.
My sister has a tattoo of a pink circus elephant standing on up on one leg on her inner wrist. (Image attached.) Again, my summarization could never fully capture the meaning, but the key idea is that elephants are believed to have amazing memories, and the pink represents breast cancer awareness, which was responsible for taking the life of my maternal grandmother and the life of a young aunt on my mother's side.
As far as themes that are massively important to me, I have two main ones:
The first is the idea that each day may be our last. In other words, I want to be constantly reminded that life is unpredictable, that there are no guarantees on living to a ripe old age, and that I should be making the most of every day that I'm lucky enough to live.
The second idea is that of regular self-reflection and improvement. In other words, I want to be reminded to constantly push myself to be a better, stronger person in mind, body and spirit. On those days when I feel down and out, and when self-pity starts creeping in, I want to be able to look in the mirror and use the reflection to snap out of it: to have a renewed sense of what is important in life, to be thankful for my amazing, kind and supportive friends and family, and to be appreciative of all the cool adventures and opportunities that I've had.
For example, as a teenager I was very into technology, but wasn't athletically driven, other than the time I spent skiing in the winter and aggressive rollerblading in the summer. As I got older I wanted to experience more.
Now I'm a very avid snowboarder and have tackled some quite serious and dangerous terrain across the US. I also went from running a few 5Ks, to a few half-marathons, to completing my first Olympic triathlon this past September and my first marathon this past January. I'm also learning to surf and to rock climb.