Ani Markarian resolves to spark a cultural renaissance with tattoo designs that pay homage to Armenian identity and tap inner strength. An American of Armenian descent, Markarian emigrated from Lebanon to Los Angeles to find a haven from the horrors of civil war. Her art aims to heal the wounds of a painful past and celebrate a future brimming with hope and possibilities. Although Armenian identity is indelibly linked to a history of tragedy, Armenians can convey their emotions with contemporary tattoo designs that bring a new sense of cultural awareness and pride. The 38 tattoos were inspired by the Armenian alphabet, which has 38 letters. The designs signify a reborn Armenian identity that boasts a glorious vision of life. Infusing aspects of contemporary society and a cultural resurgence, the tattoos allow Armenians to transcend their past.
Transformation Through Process
Documenting my thoughts as an artist has been inspiring yet challenging. For the past twenty years, I’ve been on cruise control, doing what I have to do without stopping and asking myself why I do things a certain way. By observing my process, I have concluded that as a painter and a designer I like to change my work constantly, and I love what I do, and my goal is that I will continue to learn and transform.
Reflecting on my past and tracking how I’ve changed as a person and an artist has been enlightening. I can imagine how artists can relate to feeling creative and ordinary at the same time, and knowing how to break from mediocrity, prevent mistakes, and do more of the creative work. It is more about the impossibility of ever getting it right. In general I have the tendency to complicate life and try to find ways to simplify it, and through this process I investigated the nature and the production of my knowledge. My mission was to reveal and weaken my assumptions and ideological foundations. Because of my uncertainty, the hypothesis of my process has been revised several times.
I am thankful to have experienced the endless gift of transformation. I have been given enough time and enough rational sense to try solving the mysteries of my own unusual life and everything that I have managed to solve thus far.
Although I quite often contradict myself, this documentation process and the inspirational poetry both helped me realize something that I’ve always known about myself: Just let it go, Live in the present moment, and Transform for the better. It is a gift.