Tattoo Master 23

Tattoo Master 23

One of the questions I get asked most is, why don’t you start tattooing? My response is usually along the lines of manic laughter, but I would be a liar if I said that I don’t think on it every now and then.

All artistic credibility aside, the first thing that puts me off is the thought of doing an apprenticeship. Though I am a firm believer in them, at 40-something, I don’t think I could put up with being made to do all the lackey jobs around the studio—I’ve got four kids, I do enough of that around the house. Don’t get me wrong, I would happily solder needles and strip ‘n’ build machines until my fingers were charred stumps and my eyeballs ached… but sweeping and pandering to the needs of a shop full of tattooers, no thanks. As I said before, I already have four children to look after. Paradoxically (can’t believe I got to use that word), if some one came into my tattoo shop with that attitude, I wouldn’t hire them. Who said this was going to be straight forward?

As far as the artistic flare that would certainly help towards being a tattooer, well this is where we get a little shaky. Hell, truth be told, we get a lot shaky. When it comes to design, I think I’m quite brilliant. I reckon I could paint like DaVinci too! My biggest problem is getting it out of my head and into the real world. This is when I slide down that slippery slope of greatness, stumbling until I find myself, pencil in hand, trying to out gun my four-year-old son. Well you don’t need to design, I hear you cry, you have stencils, you could do flash. Now we’re rocking, I can colour in. What are we talking here, whack a stencil on, draw the outlines, colour in. Give me a few months and I could be the next great flash artist to hit the street. Sorted.

The problem is, if you have seen as many tattoos and read as many tutorials as I have (I must be the most knowledgeable tattooer that never was), you will know that even tattooing a single black line is ball-achingly hard to do without messing it up. In that single line where you have to maintain an even thickness, keep it straight and keep your needle under control so the ink doesn’t bleed… well, it’s a talent in itself. Oh and the colouring in, just slap red there and green there, that bit… well that is just as hard. Anyone mention saturation, shading, colour flow?

So yes, I would love to tattoo. Will I? Probably not. 

- Trent