COMING SOON, TATTOO’S by Bill Helin

Raven Feather of Honour

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My apprenticeship began recently and I hope to be ready for skin applications by August.

I’m very excited to be learning this permanent skin art for a number of reasons. Firstly I love doing detailed illustration and have been drawing ever since I was around 3 years old and was even getting paid to do illustrations for my Dad’s business presentations at the age of 13.

This is not the illustration for my Dad’s presentation but something I drew when I was a teenager.

I was never bored as long as I had a pen or pencil to draw on whatever was available to me.

Tsimshian Thunderbird Story

Why tattooing at the age of sixty?

I’m glad you asked me that question which leads me to the second topic on my new learning experience list. I now have the freedom to do something creative that has always appealed to my rebel spirit.

I don’t feel confined to my 40 year Aboriginal Art Career by the financial necessity or the demand at this unstable time in our history.

I also never desired to have a tattoo and thought the human body was a treasure from our Creator and felt it was disrespectful to permanently brand it, especially with some of the terrible words and images that I’ve seen on too many people.

Painting a tattoo styled octopus on a Deer Skin Drum

Having said that I have secretly wished I could learn the craft just to specialize in fixing ugly regretted mistakes. And I am now really looking forward to to doing just that, but more enthusiastically creating original story tattoos that can be proudly displayed and shared.

Meditative unity with the deep roots of the cedar tree