Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Indie Ink Runs Deep: Christy Fearn

I'd been tossing around the idea of blogging a tattoo series for nearly a year. I know there are websites and books out there that have been-there-done-that already, but I hadn't seen one with a specific focus on the authors and publishers of the small press community. 

After hoarding the photos and essays I've been collecting from these guys since July of 2012, and with the promise of spring peeking its deliciously sunny head out through all of this winter gloom, I decided there was no better time than now to finally unveil THE INDIE INK RUNS DEEP mini-series!

Today's indie ink comes from Christy Fearn, whose novel Framed came out in March through Open Books. Brought up in Lord Byron's childhood home town of Southwell, UK, Christy Fearn was fascinated from an early age with the local poet. She studied English Literature and Drama at Clarendon College and then York St. John University. Her dissertation focused on William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Byron and the Shelleys. Framed is her debut novel which tells the story of the Nottingham Framebreakers. Byron is a character in the novel, stepping in to aid the local Luddites and making his maiden speech in the House of Lords.

A self-confessed Byron nut, Christy has a tattoo portrait of her hero on her arm, including the line from his poem "Maid of Athens" - Zwή ?ou σaς aγaπώ which in Greek means "My life I love you."

The story behind the tattoo 

I had wanted a tattoo of some sort for a while, but knew that it had to be something I liked enough to have on my body permanently. To begin with, I decided to go for something small, like an eye of Horus symbol. However, I realised that this was quite a popular design and not totally original, so I rejected that. As Byron is my hero I wondered if I could have his portrait tattooed on me. So for my first tattoo I created the Byron design myself, using one of his portraits surrounded by olive leaves (native Greek trees) and then the line of poetry. I chose that particular line because I felt it summed up Byron's attitude to life, and reminds me to make the most of my time. People always ask me if it's real - ie. not painted on, and also if it hurt. It just felt like a scratching sensation, not really painful. It was amazing to see the design appearing. The artist, Terry Stafford, is an expert in shading and portraits. He works in Nottingham. I'm proud to be 'The Girl with the Byron Tattoo'!

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