Swan Song


So upon turning older I finally decided to get one of my swan drawings tattooed on my body.

Tattoos hold a lot of symbolism for me. My first tattoo was a stanza from Rimbaud’s Une Saison En Enfer on my back-



Le loup criait sous les feuilles
En crachant les belles plumes
De son repas de volailles:
Comme lui je me consume.

-Arthur Rimbaud


My second was a heart that I drew…

Which was inspired by this qoute-

What uniform can I wear to hide my heavy heart? It is too heavy. It will always show. Jaques felt himself growing gloomy again. He was well aware that to live on earth a man must follow its fashions, and hearts were no longer worn. -Jean Cocteau



So why swans this time?


I started drawing and painting them constantly since my trip to Scotland in November…


I was visiting this girl. I found myself entranced by the swans we found whilst walking one afternoon. The power of their wings, how serene they could look one minute, and then how violent they could be the next. I felt like life was like that, taking flight-change is like that. Escaping a situation, overcoming an obstacle, it is never a neat and tidy thing.

I wanted to document an animal for which I found a catalyst.



(for more of my swan series go here-http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikamae)

So I started drawing and painting swans constantly. This drawing stayed with me though, like the heart I drew I knew I needed to get it on my skin….

It was probably the most painful tattoo I’ve ever gotten…but I love it all the more for that reason, I wanted to document change, or perhaps document my decision to try to make the changes in my life positive after a year of negativity.


(It’s in the healing process in these pictures and no photoshop was used, so bare with the texture and uhh under eye circles).

I’ve realized you have to work for some changes.

So this year I’m going to try to do my best as I take flight…

One thing that I find so interesting about swans is the legend and folklore that come with them. The fable of the ugly duckling, the irish tale where the stepmother turned all of her stepchildren into swans, the hindu mythology, the norse legends involving purity….

Swans seem to represent many things, but mostly one thing-



Swan Song is the  belief that upon death the otherwise silent Mute Swan would sing beautifully.


~ by volatilestructure on April 13, 2009.

13 Responses to “Swan Song”

  1. oh mika you are so beautiful you dont need photoshop, i love those photos of you and that tattoo is gorgeous i must say.

    would you say the swan is your spirit animal people often find a connection with an animal mine is the cat, you remind me of a swan their beauty and strength, their wings. thank you for sharing this and may your tattoo heal soon.

  2. Its gorgeous! It really is beautiful! I visited those swans just two days ago! 🙂 You should come back! x

    • dear i miss you! and cat! and tiddy! and the swans!
      that trip was seriously so special to me, you have no idea.
      i think it was the highlight of my year. ^_^
      i am going to put your blog in my blogs to check out section btw, i adore it and saved the pictures of the horses to my desktop…too cute.

      • aww ^..^ that’s nice, I shall do the same!
        When you come back there will be plenty more beautiful places to go to!
        My fella and I are having great fun finding them and going on our mini-adventures!
        If only you could come to our tea party we are having soon!
        I hope your weeks going swell! x

  3. ^gah what a horrid smiley face! It looks evil! ^..^

  4. wow – your tattoo collection is amazing, esp the heart and the swans which desolve somehow… if one steps farther away 🙂

  5. Beautiful tattoo. Do you remember that fairytale about the seven swans? I’ll try to find a link for you, it’s my favourite. Also, Leda and the Swan-I love that myth too.

  6. http://www.grimmstories.com/en/grimm_fairy-tales/the_six_swans

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