THE RETINA BOW & ARROW

Written by Jarad Johnson

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This past weekend I had the pleasure of taking an anniversary trip to Eureka Springs, AR, a quaint and unorthodox town that always seems to bring a wild hair to those who visit. There’s something about the beautiful scenery, street art and music, and crazy-hippy store owners that push the urge to do something drastic. My leap, assisted by a pint of beer, was to get a new tattoo.

I endured the standard dance with the tattoo artist—where they try to convince you that their idea of adding skulls, banners, and ridiculous shading will somehow improve your tattoo—and then I was finally under the needle. The tattoo I was getting (which has been recreated in the top left portion of this post) had popped to mind just hours before: a deconstructed bow and arrow. I was personally getting the tattoo as an homage to my (rather diluted, but nonetheless meaningful) Native American heritage. That, and it looked pretty cool in my head.

When the needle lifted and the tattoo artist had sufficient time to bask in the glory of marking yet another human for the rest of his life, we headed back to a street corner cafe to celebrate. While sitting on the patio and admiring the horizon, complete with a cartoonish giant statue of Jesus, we started discussing other things the tattoo might symbolize. Here’s a secret for all the non-designers out there: many logo explanations you’ve heard during presentations were either revised or changed completely after the mark was already created. One of the most intriguing ideas was the contrast of me working in today’s tech environment, where the hot new thing changes almost daily, with the ever-lasting technology that is the bow and arrow.

In the modern age, many of us have become tech junkies, continually awaiting the next small advancement to remain on the cusp. The retina screens, the thinner, the more powerful, the slightly longer battery life. Tattoos (for me at least) are meant to be fun, and in the end this bow and arrow will fade to the back of my mind, just as the tools themselves have over many generations. I hope, however, that it occasionally helps me remember the technologies that came before us. There’s an unfathomable chain of minute alterations that has lead us to this edge we strive to live on.