A Methodist minister approaching retirement chose this Celtic band for his first tattoo. Leaving the enclosed cross shapes open without shading emphasizes them, and as he represented the word of Christ throughout his career now his own skin is the cross.
This week's toughest assignment: a man had gotten a Celtic circle all in blue ink a decade ago (by someone else). It was far too small for his arm, and blurred. In the bottom left photo the old blue circle is still visible underneath the outline of the new Pictish boar, surrounded by an oroboros snake of Celtic knotwork. In the right photo is the finished cover-up. Ink magic.
This cross is modeled after one on Iona, in the graveyard of the Scottish Kings. It has beautiful knotwork interlacing, and the central cobweb that hearkens back to the story of Robert the Bruce taking inspiration from a spider's perseverance while he was imprisoned. He saw that the spider tried over and over to achieve his goal, and resolved never to give up. When the spider finally made the link to achieve the span of web, the Bruce knew he too could succeed. A tattoo for Celtic heritage, for strength of purpose, for noble effort.
The tribal sign of the Sullivans, the family crest of they who were once Lords of Cork in the West of Ireland. Their motto in the banner reads: "Lamh Foisdineach an nachter" = "What we gain by conquest we secure by clemency." A wise strategy to rule by.