• Eli

Tattoo culture and society through my eyes

These are my personal views and perspectives.

Main stream tattoo artists becoming celebrities is kind of everything that tattooing is not suppose to be. I don’t believe in all these tattoo shows, celebrity shows, in American culture where two tattoo artists go head to head for a grand prize. They have portraits of themselves on buses for goodness sake. I think we have lost our minds if we think that’s what tattooing should be about.

If you are a celebrity tattoo artist you are considered more of a brand. I don’t think that’s cool or normal. That’s not what tattooing is suppose to be. Tattooing is suppose to mark an experience in your life, and the end product of that will be considered a tattoo. It's not good to mark someone's body just because it's a celebrity, following modern trends.

I think celebrity tattoo artists should become a lot less about themselves, stop posting all these fucking selfies, stop hanging these half naked portraits of themselves outside tattoo conventions, stop posting so much about themselves and more about developing their art, their tattoos, developing inwardly, instead of projecting everything they want outwardly and becoming self obsessed. I mean, posting on Instagram a video of yourself smoking a big blunt? I mean, is that what tattooing has come to. Good god girl get a grip (the 5 g’s)

You know, selfies are fine, but there are them artists out there who just post half naked photos of themselves, have a separate profile for just photos of them and I just think this is the result of these smart devices we hold in our pockets everyday, mixed with mass manipulation that is going on right in front of our eyes. Just think to yourself, why are these people so special? This is not a jealously thing, I'm just sick and tired of people being sold an artists name, instead of them selling their art. It sometimes seems like its not about if your making good tattoos anymore, but about how good you are at selling your ass or selling your biceps. Social media, self branding, i don’t know if i believe in selling my looks to get clients, i don’t believe in that what so ever. If someone books in with me because they think I look cool the that’s up to them, but I don’t make a separate Instagram with just selfies on it to get a following and more clients? Like what the fuck. What what makes you think your so special that you want to do that? It’s a problem that’s deep rooted in this modern way of communicating online.

I personally, am a little bit worried about certain genres of tattooing like black work for example. And I’ll tell you why, because I don’t want it to lose its meaning and traditional roots because people are just aimlessly getting it. I don’t want to see it get so popular, that we disrespect the people who created it in the first place. The Maori for example, and other tribes and cultures back in the day worse this art with pride, I don’t want people to lose respect for these cultures and their history. Because without them i wouldn’t look the way i do now, and be so inspired by it everyday!

It is scary when i see people in mainstream society, and especially the younger generation at tattoo conventions, 18 years old and you can see the majority of their bodies blacked out. In a way these celebrities have a bigger voice, so i think we should use that voice to tell people "look, its not about the way people look" its about the art of tattooing more. Not "look how cool my black sleeve is, and 30 things not to do with a black sleeve" I think that will kill tattooing all together, if it carries on going down that road. Westerners have killed tattooing, yes some of the art now a days has evolved so much from where it originated from but have we kept the morals the same? No. In my opinion we haven’t. We’ve made it almost normal to have a tattoo? Normal to have a black sleeve tattoo? WTF.

I think the job title "tattoo artist" will become an everyday thing, like a postman, a cashier, a taxi driver. I think eventually a tattoo artist , or a tattooed person will become the norm. I don’t want that to happen, I want tattoo culture to remain out of normal society.

In regards to social media and the tattoo community, I have seen fb pages made up from tattooists themselves, just to hold and host photos of what they believe to be bad tattoos, and then just slag, and insult the people on the photos because of the choice of tattoos they’ve chosen. I think its so easy for people to just type what they think and never have to face it again, I think that’s another reason why tattooing could go downhill in the future. People are becoming so judgmental in an industry that used to proudly promote individualism. Why? Bloggers, you tubers, popularity of celeb tattoo artists, tattoo shows where people compete to win the best award? How can you compete in art? Stupid bloggers with 1 tattoo who say 100 bad things about someone then someone turns on them. It’s just crazy what I see going on today.

People have become so judgmental now. Get rid of the social media, and you will see those people who judge so much, wouldn’t be as bad as they are now. We are trying to promote individualism, but actually in fact, if you work in the industry long enough, you’ll realize, some of the more successful people in the industry are some the most judgmental pricks you’ll find. They will either fuck there way to the top or they’ll judge and fuck over as many people as possible, while creating drama and spreading hate all over the net. I haven’t got time for people who claim to be world renowned artists, but shit all over beginner artists. I come from a place of experience, I’ve had countless people online give me threats, and abuse. I've had death threats sent to me. These types of people are not sane who live in this social media world. None of these people are real. There only keyboard warriors.

New topic now.

Our planet

There are more tattoo artists now than ever before, I think its time we wake up to the fact that everything is wrapped in plastic, the beds, machines, ink cartridges, everything is plastic, so i think its about time that we wake up to the the fact that we should look after the environment more. Why don’t we use some new type of biodegradable equipment that can be absorbed back into the planet and benefit our planet instead of destroying it. An Eco-studio if you like. That's one thing I can see becoming more and more popular in the future


My views on sex being used in the tattoo industry to sell tattoos. I think it's a mass manipulation to everyone who looks at it. Advertisers know as we all know, sex sells. I think it's the number one worse thing that someone can do to sell their art pieces, to stick it on a naked person, take a good photo of it, and then repost it everywhere, the city, buses, TV, on products, back of packages, booklets that come with tattoo equipment, What it says to young people is that, hey you can be cool too, they attract your attention from the nudity, and they sell you the product. And it works. I’m not saying I don’t like it, but its in my opinion just a huge manipulation, to get people to feel like they need to belong to a certain community, otherwise they're not worthy, or uncool and will end up a loner.

There are probably some people reading this who think "I’m a model, and I model tattoos magazines" and that’s fine?

But I don’t see the reason why you need to create a Instagram page with literally nothing but your ass, or your pecs or biceps. Why? Why do we want to see you in nude all the time? Or modelling all the time? What makes you think that your so interesting? I see it as psychological problem that people need to put out that information about themselves, just to validate yourself in the world you live in. Some people out there might disagree with what im saying, and that’s fine? But all I’m doing is just take a min and just think to yourself and if you dig deep and think into why you do what you do, and think how you would feel if you woke up and you didn’t have any of your tattoos left. Or your precious Instagram profile with all your nudes was deleted? Very few people would feel comfortable. Especially these celeb artists who just video themselves smoking and post sexy dudes all the time. They’d feel like the hole world has ended. And this is the trap I’m talking about. People actually think life is over is there Instagram was deleted?

We need to realize what tattoos mean to us, and try to hold on to that, and not let our western culture and chat shows blind us from the real meaning of why we do it. For me tattooing is a spiritual experience, not that that’s the only reason for people to get tattooed. But what I’m trying to show is a different perspective. Think about why you are doing what you are doing. There's more to it than just looking cool. There are deeper underlining reasons. I just want to show a different way of perspective. I want people to be aware, that it's not just fun and games. With every single thing you post you are selling yourself as that person you portray yourself as.

I'm not here to spread hate on anyone, not celebrity artists, not any tattoo models, I’m not trying to spread negatively on the internet or the tattoo culture. I'm just trying to spread insight and a different perspective. There's always a bigger picture. Some people see through the bullshit. So we go along with it. Id just like to see a bit of a change within the industry. Stop being so judgmental towards people and start coming together a bit more.

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