Tattoo Master 18

Tattoo Master 18

This is a trade publication and so this must be a studio where you are working.

I was delighted to add into the last Tattoo Master, the cutting from the Telegraph newspaper, as printed in 1963, concerning the exploits of a tattooist called Dennis Dilks as part of the Alan Park article. If you read it you will be aware that he was arrested for tattooing a child with a naked woman. What interested me was his reaction when confronted with photos… he asked if he could buy them.

The point is that I strongly believe he was sticking two fingers up to authority. It is not that I am anti police, it is more that if you are to lead a full and rich life you have to constantly break the rules, or become soulless and defeated. I myself had a pair of officers come to my shop the other week to tell me that I had to take down a tattoo image from my Facebook that was causing havoc in my town, or be arrested for offensive and abusive behaviour – I had only been on Facebook for two weeks too.

Tattooing was never just about art; if it was, we could draw on paper and save ourselves a lot of pain and trouble. Tattooing has always had an edgy quality that makes it frightening but enticing. There is a fear that if tattooing continues to become mainstream at this breakneck speed, it will lose the qualities that have made it so magical.

It is for this reason that in this issue I went out of my way to find some of the most bonkers characters I could, all of whom add to the rich and colourful scene with their own character.

You have in your hands a magazine that is looking at tattooing in a different way insofar as it is not really about tattoos, but the very people that make it happen, what they have to do to make it happen, and how they can share that knowledge, if somewhat grudgingly, to help it to happen everywhere in a practical way.

Despite the negativity that understandably is pervading our industry, with economic issues affecting our outlook, I still see creative outpourings from within the tattoo scene. I have never met anybody in the tattoo world, to this day, that does not at some point find they still have that creative urge to break out of the doldrums and reach for a new excitement.

It is for this reason that I love to interview the most outrageous, arrogant, outspoken, anti-authoritarian, insolent upstarts that can be found sitting quietly in the corner of tattoo studios, ready to upset the status quo so that the world can once again discover what it is like to feel refreshed. And at the same time they seem to open up to me with inspirations that I now share with you so that you can learn new tricks, grow, prosper, be prepared for the good times that are surely ahead, to finally break free from the shackles, and like Dennis Dilks, proudly stick your fingers up the noses of the unremarkable and dull existance that tattooing stands against.