• 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