When I was in grade school I became obsessed with origami. Like many of my creative endeavors, I threw myself into it with an extreme amount of passion and a minimal amount of talent, and even that description is being generous.
I discovered the revered Japanese art of paper folding thanks to my school librarian, Linden. One of the most necessary skills school librarians possess is the ability to get a bunch of snot-nosed, obnoxious children to settle down and sit still. As an adult, I marvel at Linden's prowess at convincing a bunch of youngins who wanted nothing more than to turn the school library into an indoor playground to silently focus on crafting elegant cranes. She was an honest-to-goodness magician.
But this article isn't about magical librarians, it's about origami. There is something so relaxing about trying to manipulate a delicate piece of paper into any of millions of shapes... when it actually works out. The rest of the time it is completely infuriating, especially when the kid next to you has an entire family of perfect cranes sitting on their desk and you're still struggling to make just one that doesn't look like it is severely deformed. My plump sausage fingers were a curse I was unable to overcome. These less than ideal digits are also the reason I ended up playing bass instead of guitar, forever relegating me to the afterthought that is the rhythm section. Every once in a while I was able to get over my genetic shortcomings and create a piece of origami I was truly proud of.
While the experience can be maddening, the feeling of executing a fine piece of origami is remarkably satisfying. One may even go as far as to call the feeling elation. So despite my complete lack of ability, I was hooked.
Given that much of modern tattooing can also trace its roots to Japan, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise that origami has found its way to becoming a tattoo motif. But unlike the terrible little trinkets of paper I would foist upon my parents each holiday, all the origami in these tattoos looks fantastic. Enjoy this gallery of origami tattoos.