No, it’s nothing to do with tattoos, it’s a myth that got started in the 1980s. It’s because a few people got tattoos they didn’t need. They got them because they felt they looked cool. That kind of got popular in the ’80s because they were a thing. People can get tattoos to look like rock stars and politicians. They get tattoos they don’t need or want.
When I got the tattoo for the first time I was very, very disappointed. They’re supposed to be cool, beautiful symbols for people that have something beautiful that they want to share with the world. I was not ready so the first tattoo I ever got was for my friends. I was looking at it and I was like, ‘Yeah, it’ll make me look cool, it’ll inspire people to do better.’ That’s what I like best about the tattoos, it’s not just about the art, it’s about the expression.
How much of a role do you think the tattoo industry plays in the art of self-expression?
It’s a huge role – I know that it’s a huge role but there are other ways in which a tattoo artist can make money. One of the ways is, if you have a large tattoo that you want somebody to be happy looking at, that person is going to get on the website or Facebook site and buy your tattoo. You can also create a Facebook store where somebody who has the means to do that can sell their artwork, give them a little piece of your art to take home. It’s a lot easier now because there are more places that have internet, more people have things connected to their phones. The internet means that you, the artist can really do what you want.
If you’re an artists, you don’t take that as a challenge – just because you get paid a lot, isn’t a goal of mine to make money. I do it because I find it very empowering.
You’re very open about what you do behind the scenes and on Instagram. How did you come to be able to be open about all this?
I think it just started off as a small thing which is the idea of going to the studio every day. Some artists do, that’s fine, but the best tattoo artists come to the studio every day and they’re doing their own things and they’re doing their thing in their own time. Sometimes they work 24 hour days or some days in the week. They’re all in
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