Tattooing in the Western hemisphere is a pretty crazy deal. From the first recorded tattoo shop in New York city in 1846 to the countless modern day tattoo shops throughout the United States, the art of professional tattooing has bloomed exponentially in the span of its mere 171 documented years in this country. The expansion of the technological revolution and the internet super highway has changed the very core of tattooing itself. Where once there was an iconic secretive outlaw culture of craft images, you now find millions upon millions of tattoo flash and pictures available to your disposal at the click or tap of a button via the internet.
Despite the informational spread of these images, there remain tattooers in the world that resist to bend and compromise to the popularity of these prolific changes that the internet has brought to the masses. What that means to us as tattooers, is that the fundamentals of what a “good tattoo” is remains the same throughout the ages. Generally speaking, a tattoo should be clean, solid, easily readable and recognizable so that it may be seen and interpreted correctly for what it is meant to represent. There are many different styles of tattooing both in the Western hemisphere and throughout the world. American Traditional, Realistic, Black and Grey, Japanese, New School, Surrealism, Tribal, Geometric, Blackwork, and Portraiture tattooing are among the styles that remain the most popular in today’s tattoo culture. All of these styles require countless hours of craft practice and research on the tattooers part, in order for the finished product to remain true to basic fundamentals of those individual styles that the customer is interested in wearing on their body forever.
And tattoos are forever. From the moment that a person gets tattooed, their life is forever changed whether they realize it or not. There is often times a common misconception that tattoos can be easily removed. Although technology has advanced with various methods of tattoo removal, there is no such thing as 100% removal. There will always be some tiny particle of the tattoo pigments still floating somewhere within your body, even if you cannot physically see it.
There is no doubt in our minds that the tattoos a person receives will place them into a different social and spiritual category of humanity. Depending upon an individual’s background and religious orientation, people with tattoos are viewed in different regards than the rest of society. While some cultures of the world view tattooing as part of their religious obligation, others shun, ban, and oppress the very act of tattooing itself. This has been noted by scholars throughout the many recorded civilizations of mankind since before the times of Christians. According to Smithsonian archeologists, the oldest recorded remains of a mummy with tattoos, dates back to 3250 BC. These types of archeological discoveries make the action of marking ones skin and temple as old as humanity itself.
This brings us to the realization of the peculiarity that the United States of America finds itself in this present day and age. We are a country made of many different religions and ethnicities of people from throughout the world. Our own indigenous tribes of people wore tattoos to represent themselves within society, assert their place in the universe and cosmos, and mark their rite of passage and coming of age into adulthood. Because of the many races that encompass what an “American” is, there is no unified standard to mark our present day rites of passage from one period of time into another. The most we are offered by our culture’s standards is cigarettes, alcohol, pornography, marriage, and service to your country through the military.
That being so explains why the Western world has bloomed with tattoos and the culture of the people who wear them. Although it is more socially acceptable to be a tattooed individual in the United States of America, than it is to be anywhere else in the world, wearing a tattoo upon your body is still taboo. While different classes of society get tattooed for various reasons, most people don’t realize the different ways that their lives will be impacted. The majority of tattooed people have a few tattoos to represent themselves, ideals, their love or their struggles. Modern day tattoo trends clearly show there is a growing population and culture of those individuals from all walks of life who are heavily tattooed and represent a different sector of society. Tattoos are the American’s coming of age, the passing of innocence into adulthood. The rite of passage that we as a society seek to separate and differentiate ourselves from our fellow man.
And it is definitely a rite of passage. The act of breaking the skin, releasing blood and marking one’s self for any reason, is by all means a crazy spiritual deal, shamanistic in it’s core aesthetic, both for the tattooer and the client. Tattooing is permanent and painful, and those who sit through the long painstaking hours of the tattoo process to attain sleeves, chest pieces, back pieces and bodysuits have earned it. They have earned every minute of it, and rightfully so, deserve to wear the marks they have chosen to place upon themselves for the rest of their lives, proudly for all to see.
It is in this way that we seek to find you. We look for those individuals who want their skin to tell a story. We want to be the ones who help you tell it, through the iconic imagery that has been passed down from generation to generation in the tattoo community.