Let’s Make a Celebration of Life Tattoo … On the HEAD! *ouchies*

by Imani K Brown January 15th, 2023

Happy Tuesday #INKPLAY family!

For 2023, we're digging in to rollout an experience around my specialty - tattoo therapy.

And sharing more from our clients' experiences right here on the LIPS blog.

This year, we're starting with an amazing piece finished earlier 2022. In fact, because we really wanted to feature this journey, we. didn't include it in our 2022 wrap up.

But we're here now! ^.^

Let’s recap this amazing healing tattoo journey – a celebration of life tattoo made for an amazing human and artist, Asali.

Here’s the flower of life design for the crown of her head along with my favorite lining needles.

Now … let’s dig in to this amazing session with some photo spam while I tell you all about it.


Asali’s tattoo is a celebration of life is an ancestral venerationpiece that pays homage to her ancestors – both in bloodline and her guiding lights. Some people in this walk of life may say angels.

As a heart-led musician, she has many times been healed by her relationship with her violin. And plays as a way to communicate to the ancestors. She also uses her violin as vessel for ancestors to communicate to AND through her.

So it was important to make sure her ENTIRE head is styled as a gele that expresses the relationship between her, her mouthpiece (the violin), and her ancestors.

I am not at liberty to dissect all of the pieces and meanings of this piece. However I can explain that EVERYTHING is intentional placed around her and since this is a special piece using a tree and ancestry, I chose her tree to be the weeping willow.

The crown of the head is sensitive – still tender and you can find the soft spot easy, eve for an adult. So it was the perfect spot to create a gate or loop – a circle of life. 

One of my favorite sacred geometry adornment pieces is the flower of life. So we used that to brake up the deposit black that shapes the front of her head.

Style Point

Overall this tattoo is an illustrative piece. However, this piece is afro kawaii at it’s best, merging African element with a traditional Japanese bodysuit layout.

This includes organizing the main subject with decoration that supports the main piece, an elemental background, and untattooed skin – great for creating high contrast.

Her windbars mainly have a bukkiri style boarder to shape the hairline.

Approx. Time to Complete: 4 sessions = 16 hours

Glossary of Terms

Celebration of Life Tattoo: memorial tattoo that cherishes a deceased loved ones life, instead of a hallmark moment to their passing; in African belief system, life does not end with death, but continues in another realm. learn more >>>

Ancestral Veneration: ancestor worship and belief in eternal existence of souls of the dead as ancestors, periodic remembrance of ancestors, and belief that they influence the affairs of their living; ancestor veneration is practiced is African religion and also seen in Japanese Shinto, Hinduism and Chinese patriarchal religion learn more >>>

Gele: West Africa headdress that typically ties up at the crown of the head  learn more >>>

Weeping Willow: lush curved trees with relaxed branches, native to northern China, found throughout North America, Europe, and Asia with an indigenous species of willow common to South Africa learn more >>>

Sacred Geometry: an ancient science that explores and explains the energy patterns that create and unify all things learn more >>>

Flower of LIfe: a two-dimensional illustration that contains 19 equally proportioned overlapping circles; it has profound symbolic meanings for our existence, life on Earth, and the formation of the Universe learn more >>>

Bukkiri: means cutting-out by a straight line learn more >>>

I hope you enjoyed this session ~

Til next update!

I know you are ready to tell your UNIQUE stories on skin.

Your tattoos are clothes. That should fit you – reflecting your personal style & journey, what you have overcome and where you are headed! 

I style a lot of large-scale one-of-akind tattoo and can do the same with you.

Let’s Create Together

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