Tattoo Master 21

Tattoo Master 21

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

I was having a chat with Woody the other day and he brought up an interesting, if not slightly nerve-wracking, thought. We were discussing that old sore point, tattoo TV shows and whether they were good or bad for tattooing. After much discussion, with no real answer, we changed track to tattoo magazines, which is when it got really interesting.

What Woody pointed out next certainly made me stop and think about what we are doing here at Tattoo Master. When I’m planning an issue, I want the best in that issue. I want top artists, brilliant copy and tattoos and artwork that jump off the page and slap you across the face! Figuratively, good readers, I never want to see any real harm come to you. But what I never thought about was this… the magazines that we are faithfully pulling together each issue, capture more about tattooing than we actually realise and this will only become clear in years to come. Even if in the present, the interviews and features have no further benefit than to entertain and broaden our collective knowledge, their true worth will only be realised in the future. As Woody puts it, “Even a small, unrecognised interview with Buddy Holly in the ’50s, is seen as gold dust now.”

So it seems we are not just pulling together something to entertain and inform, we are also writing and publishing future history! We are chronicalling our own past, and that is a massive responsibility. The good, the bad, and the ugly—all of it is being recorded every time we publish anything in print, make another tattoo documentary, or record our thoughts through social media. So, do we want our brief time in tattooing to be recorded in a positive light, or do we want the history records to be full of in-fighting, disunity and negativity? Well, we are the ones to decide on that. Only we can make that choice… and that is quite an idea to let roll around your head for a bit.

Back to the present and this issue’s guest editor… Kyle Cotterman. If anyone is going to be future gold dust, it is Kyle. Already he is a huge name worldwide and his tattoos and art are nothing short of genius. His work is consistently world class and his use of colour makes you wonder if he hasn’t absorbed the colour wheel through some form of mental osmosis. Add to this his down-to-earth attitude and passion for all things, art and you’ve got a formula that is going to ensure that Kyle is here for the long-run.

Who knows, our great-grand children might be reading this 100 years down the line, so let’s make it worth it! Let’s give them words to be proud of and tattoos to smile about.