THE TATTOO EVOLUTION
ANIMATION BY JASMINE CURTIS
I remember a time when I was five years old on holiday, I could see people flaunted their tattoos in the sun. At the time, I couldn’t think of anything cooler than getting a tattoo. Just to bare in mind this was 2001 and everyone except for the kids couldn’t help but have a face of disgust at these tough looking men; revealing oriental and tribal designs down their arms. My mind set never changed this entire time, the same with most 90s kids.
After visiting London Tattoo Convention in September, I really couldn’t get enough of the tattoo world and how different it is to everything else. The environment and the people you meet are delightful. Since I got my first tattoo at the age of sixteen, you couldn’t stop me… although practically being above the poverty line did.
I wanted to experience another tattoo convention so I slicked back my hair, slid into my trainers and made my way to the Old Truman Brewery for the London Tattoo Collective.
I was welcomed by a warm purple lighting and a wide open space before I hear faint sounds of buzzing. Its a dangerous noise because as soon as I notice; my pupils widen and my blood pumping; it encourages me to get a tattoo. What a time it would be to get tattooed; surrounded by very popular and familiar tattoo artists, easily recognised by enthusiasts.
The sheer sadness that is; you realise this isn’t as big as London Tattoo Convention and maybe you aren’t having such a good time. There really is nothing like going to a tattoo convention but I was left feeling slightly disappointed.
I was salty that I did not get a tattoo… at a tattoo convention. After reviewing my dead bank balance; I thought it wise to sit this one out. I wanted nothing more than to lie in that chair and chat s*** in the tattooist’s ear for half an hour. The problem with getting tattoos is that you always want to get something awesome for your next one. Getting something awesome at a tattoo convention leaves you broke.
There was art exhibitions and the venue itself felt like an art gallery as opposed to a brewery. I could not understand why it did not pull out all of the stops for me. The TTTISM mag made an appearance and of course after finding out the hefty price of £15, I had to buy it. Niche items are supposedly worth it anyway.
I didn’t feel in my zone at the collective, the tattoo world is completely different to anything else, that’s the motherf***ing truth. Just because you got that tattoo in Malia once and a cheeky one for when you turned eighteen, doesn’t mean you’re a tattoo aficionado.
I’ve always considered myself a lover of tattoos from the little boy that was once in Cyprus, I knew I was going to get tattoos. Tattoos are an addiction and we are likely to keep getting tattoos until we feel satisfied. Where does it end?
Do I get a face tattoo? Will they ever become accepted by a majority? I don’t mean to trigger, but I quite like them. Leg tattoos were fashionable and I think face tattoos are on the rise. Are they going to become more acceptable in society? You see more models in latest editorials with a simple design next to their eye. It adds something which makes you really stand out… I mean no one is going to miss ink on your face are they?
The Maritime Museum held an evening of Tattoo History, with contributions from Aimee Cornwell, Matt Lodder and other tattoo artists and enthusiasts. Overall, it really showed how tattoos have progressed. The increase in the use of colour having evolved from a dark and shaded era. From a long time ago, when we once saw full body tattoos as a statement, we now appreciate the art. Most of us anyway.
The 100 hands display showed a variety of designs from different artists and the unique art that can be found in tattoos. Portraits of Goku and Luke Skywalker were included among the traditional black and white, asymmetric and emblematic tattoo styles.
The Maritime also offered me a free drink, you know the way to my heart.