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Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon Wants ‘Northern Exposure’ Tattoo, Design Help from Fans

Bon Iver
Mark Metcalfe, Getty Images

If you’re a fan of Bon Iver‘s music and happen to be a talented graphic artist with detailed knowledge of the TV show ‘Northern Exposure,’ today is your lucky day.

Band frontman Justin Vernon has taken to the web to enlist fans’ aid in designing his next tattoo, and the image he has in mind was inspired by the CBS series, which was a hit for several seasons in the early ’90s. This will come as no surprise to hardcore Bon Iver fans, who already know the band takes its name from an episode of the show — and that Vernon’s boutique label, Chigliak Records, is named after the ‘Northern Exposure’ character Ed Chigliak.

“I named my band after an episode of ‘Northern Exposure,’” explained Vernon in a post announcing the tattoo design competition. “In the episode, a woman transforms a gold rush village into a cultural place with one single dance in a tavern. They name the town after her: Cicely, Alaska.”

“The art direction in the episode is unmistakably Mucha [Czech painter Alphonse Mucha] and I want to get a very large tattoo of this on my left arm,” added Vernon, who uploaded a number of sample images for contestants to work from. “My favorite, hopefully what your illustrations will be based on, is the image I uploaded of Cicely with arms outstretched in mid-dance. You can’t see her with the flowing scarf in her hands, but it would be cool if we could involve that.”

Conceding that his fondness for the show borders on the esoteric, Vernon concluded, “This is a really important thing to me. I don’t know how to express that exactly… It’s a TV show, but it weirdly explained my life to me. Cicely is the metaphor for that.”

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