Mark Bee Posted February 17, 2013 Share Posted February 17, 2013 Hello everyone. My name is Mark and I am from Toronto, Canada. A bit of background...I got my first tattoo back in 1992 or so. (I'm 42 now). I recall the tattooer telling me the experience was akin to applying a sunburn. He was right. What he didn't tell me was what an amazing, life-long experience it was going to be. I didn't get another for several years but the idea was never far from my consciousness. I got a few more simple designs done over the next decade, continually looking for designs and artists that drew my attention. In the late 2000s I started to get more serious about tattooing. In a couple of years I added about ten new pieces. Sometimes it was because I was drawn to a particular design, and other times simply because I wanted to get tattooed. I had a few custom pieces done, but I also had some taken from flash that really caught my eye. For me, there is no greater way to feel really and truly alive than getting tattooed. I continued to be struck by the stunning artwork I saw on people's arms as I walked around town. However, while I appreciate art, I lack any and all talent in that department. I decided that if I was ever going to have the sort of tattooing I really loved and admired I needed to get serious about finding a shop and artist(s) I truly appreciated and felt comfortable visiting regularly. After months of poking around I finally found the perfect shop for me deep in the heart of Toronto. (I'm new at this forum and at this point I'm not mentioning names because I'm not sure of the etiquette surrounding naming shops and artists yet, especially for new posters like myself.) Once I found the shop I turned to figuring out how I wanted my arms/back/legs to look. With the help of artists at this shop I began to explore the history of American tattooing. I found that I was particularly interested in traditional-styled tattoos and I began collecting some work that reflected the early days in the Bowery and nautical themes in particular. That interest led me to neo-traditional art, which for me at least, blends beautifully with the older style. A historian by trade, I was drawn to old documentaries (Sailor Jerry, Stoney Knows How) and I spent (spend!) hours pouring over the shop's books of flash, design, and booklets (from the Tattoo Archive.) I'm currently beginning work on a full sleeve for my right arm that is based on traditional designs and patterns. Next, the left arm, which I hope to do in a new-traditional style. I hope that the contrast between the two styles will make for an interesting visual spectacle while acknowledging the history of the art form. Most of my time has been spent doing this on my own, poking around and figuring things out. There are all kinds of fascinating questions that tattooing raises for me that I hope taking part in these forums will help me explore. And, I'm sure I'm not the only one who is working their way through this world and finds themselves wondering what other people are up to. Anyway, that's my long-winded introduction. Thanks for reading it! M. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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