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"Tattoo Collector" ?????

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I've only ever been called "collector" by the artist who's done the bulk of the work on me, mostly because 99% of the artwork on my body is classic, traditional tattoo imagery. It didn't really bother me, but in my own mind I prefer to think of myself as "illustrated".

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I've got work from a few different artists in So. Cal but I wouldn't call myself a "collector" because I haven't really been done by any renowned shops or artists.

I've only ever been called "collector" by the artist who's done the bulk of the work on me, mostly because 99% of the artwork on my body is classic, traditional tattoo imagery. It didn't really bother me, but in my own mind I prefer to think of myself as "illustrated".

Is collector more in tune with people who collect classic traditional images? I have all custom work in only black/gray. When we use the word collector do we typically think of someone who has a number of recognizable American traditional pieces?

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When Grez told me I had a nice collection started, I was like "hell ya!" I never gave much thought to the term, but the fact that he liked the tattoos I was getting I figured I must be doing something right. It's nice to have great tattooers appreciate your involvement in the culture. I think being called a "collector" kind of brings us more into the fold.

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I've got work from a few different artists in So. Cal but I wouldn't call myself a "collector" because I haven't really been done by any renowned shops or artists.

Is collector more in tune with people who collect classic traditional images? I have all custom work in only black/gray. When we use the word collector do we typically think of someone who has a number of recognizable American traditional pieces?

@Genie of the West...

It doesn't really matter if your tattoos were done by any "well known" artists, or if your tattoos are purely custom B&G, or all done from Bert Grimm flash.

If they are well done and you can't imagine what you'd look like without them, and you plan on getting more tattoos, then I guess you're a collector.

FWIW, all but a few of the tattoos on my arms (I'd say "sleeves", but I hate that term. I just kept getting tattooed on my arms until I ran outta room there and now they're all sort of connected.) are 80's/90's punk rock or Greg Irons inspired, and 2000's era traditional stuff, done either B&G or B&G with only red or green, just because my skin color works well with that color combo.

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Ah, c'mon. You know you're all thinking if you ever get a chance to have Valerie Vargas or <insert your favorite here> tattoo you, you'll be ready. You might even have a spot you're saving up just in case. Just because you don't have any big-name tattoos--yet--doesn't mean you're not a collector.

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Ah, c'mon. You know you're all thinking if you ever get a chance to have Valerie Vargas or <insert your favorite here> tattoo you, you'll be ready. You might even have a spot you're saving up just in case. Just because you don't have any big-name tattoos--yet--doesn't mean you're not a collector.

Well, there is the right calf I saved for Danny Reed to put a hot stuff devil on and the stomach I've saved for Oliver Peck to put a cry baby on...

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@Genie of the West...

It doesn't really matter if your tattoos were done by any "well known" artists, or if your tattoos are purely custom B&G, or all done from Bert Grimm flash.

If they are well done and you can't imagine what you'd look like without them, and you plan on getting more tattoos, then I guess you're a collector.

FWIW, all but a few of the tattoos on my arms (I'd say "sleeves", but I hate that term. I just kept getting tattooed on my arms until I ran outta room there and now they're all sort of connected.) are 80's/90's punk rock or Greg Irons inspired, and 2000's era traditional stuff, done either B&G or B&G with only red or green, just because my skin color works well with that color combo.

Well I guess if that's the case I would consider myself a collector. I've got a constant itch and I plan on having a full body suit before I stop. I love my ink.

Ah, c'mon. You know you're all thinking if you ever get a chance to have Valerie Vargas or <insert your favorite here> tattoo you, you'll be ready. You might even have a spot you're saving up just in case. Just because you don't have any big-name tattoos--yet--doesn't mean you're not a collector.

Yeah I would definitely be ready in a second. And I do plan on flying out to the east coast when I have the funds and having Mike Adams do my left sleeve. I also have a couple other names in mind for my back. Considering Kim Saigh (I believe a couple other LSTers see her too) for my stomach. Only thing stopping me right now is cash.

The hard part is my current tattoo artist I have now does such great work I almost don't want to get tattooed by anyone else. If I didn't want a couple different styles I would probably just stick with him. But for the most part, I've gotten my tattoos from different artists every time. My sleeve is really just two connected half sleeves from different artists, and my chest which is also covered, has been worked on by 4 different artists.

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To me, the difference between a collector and the average client is that the collector does their research... They have plans for what they want and where, and when they plan a vacation they probably visit a shop or two if funds allow. I like the term, personally; I'm actually surprised so many don't. I guess I just never considered that people might find it a snooty term.

Someone mentioned an artist feeling pressured/nervous tattooing near existing top notch work... The other week I did a tattoo on a talented tattooer (already stressful!) about six inches above a full lower leg piece by Rubendall. I was simultaneously stoked and sweating like crazy. And damn, that Rubendall piece looked PERFECT... Absolutely stunning. I felt privileged just to get to see it!

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The only times I've heard the term as a negative was in reference to people who seem to think they know more than the tattooer, simply because they have tattoos themselves. In the end, it all comes down to your own mentality.

That being said, pretty sure there are a few folks out there who are just collectors who probably do know more than a lot of tattooers out there. Maybe not technically, mind you, but about some of the other aspects.

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I don't really have a problem with the title! Just a way of differentiating between someone who maybe gets work from a few people rather than one artist?

'Tattoo Aficionado' anyone? Haha

I sometimes say (half-jokingly) that I'm a "Tattoo Enthusiast". Sort of like some motorcycle gangs will say on the record that they're not a gang, they're motorcycle enthusiasts.

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I don't think the term is douchey, like mentioned earlier in the thread you can act like a douche whether you have one or fifty tattoo and it's of no consequence who did them. The biggest thing I would say is just DONT ACT LIKE SOMEONE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND JUST BECAUSE THEY PUT ONE TATTOO ON YOU, NO ONE LIKES A NAME DROPPER.

I haven't taken it as a negative thing from tattooers, cause I mean if you think about it, most of the time you choose to collect a tattoo from them and sometimes travel for it, it would be kind of douchey on their part to have that kind of attitude towards their clients.

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As long as you're getting the tattoo's because you're into them, what's it matter? It's like "hipster" no one wants to be called one and there's a million different definitions. I know plenty of people who'd be called "hipster" by others but they're nice, genuine and awesome people. So fuck what words others use.

If someone called me a tattoo collector, I couldn't ARGUE, I guess it all depends on their tone though whether or not I'd be upset at them for it. If they mean it in an asshole/snotty way, meh, fuck them right? It'd be upsetting if it was an artist, to get some attitude like that, but I haven't run across that. Most people who tattoo me just ask who's done mine because they just really wanna know who's work it is. Do they know them? Shit like that.

Anyway, yeah, words are words, being a dick is being a dick no matter what word is used and if your'e a genuine and honest person, whatever. Let people say what they will. You're in it for you right? I'm gonna go write a self help book now, brb.

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I really don't refer to myself as anything but I guess I do collect tattoos intentionally from different artists that I like so technically, I guess I could be called a collector.

The term doesn't offend me, what else are you supposed to call it?

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The biggest thing I would say is just DONT ACT LIKE SOMEONE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND JUST BECAUSE THEY PUT ONE TATTOO ON YOU, NO ONE LIKES A NAME DROPPER.

Haha yeah this too. I used to date a girl who was like that. If she met someone once, tattoo artist, c-level celeb, whoever, she acted like she was buds with them all of a sudden. It's always kind of funny.

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If someone called me a tattoo collector, I couldn't ARGUE, I guess it all depends on their tone though whether or not I'd be upset at them for it. If they mean it in an asshole/snotty way, meh, fuck them right? It'd be upsetting if it was an artist, to get some attitude like that, but I haven't run across that. Most people who tattoo me just ask who's done mine because they just really wanna know who's work it is. Do they know them? Shit like that.

Just to be clear, Paco and his buddy weren't being shitty about it, they were specifically talking about how it's kinda cool but also adds extra pressure when they're tattooing a collector. They didn't mean it in any kind of negative way at all.

I was just a little taken aback. Although tattoo collectors are something I'm aware of, I had never even considered putting myself in that category... really, just a person who is into getting tattoos!!!

The getting them from a bunch of different people is as much a consequence of my work as it is a choice, I move every couple months or so, it would be impossible for me to stick with only one or two tattooers...

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I've never been called a "collector" in a shop before, but I have been asked if I was a tattooer on numerous occasions. My response is always that I'm just trying to do things right and support the tattooers I look up to and who are in it for the right reasons.

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I use the term to describe myself sometimes. I never thought of it as being snooty, though. I just thought it referred to the efforts I have made to get tattooed by a range of people. I think as long as one doesn't use the term to try and be superior to other people, then its fine. As soon as ya start being douchy about it, then there is a problem.

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Just to be clear, Paco and his buddy weren't being shitty about it, they were specifically talking about how it's kinda cool but also adds extra pressure when they're tattooing a collector. They didn't mean it in any kind of negative way at all.

I was just a little taken aback. Although tattoo collectors are something I'm aware of, I had never even considered putting myself in that category... really, just a person who is into getting tattoos!!!

The getting them from a bunch of different people is as much a consequence of my work as it is a choice, I move every couple months or so, it would be impossible for me to stick with only one or two tattooers...

Ah, gocha.

Yeah for me getting stuff from different artists just makes sense. There's so much talent, so many awesome styles, why be shackled down to just one?! I guess there is a stigma on us who go around seeking out particular and multiple artists though. I embrace it though.

I'm also a collector of OTHER things (toys, comics, records) so to be labeled as such never really hits me.

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I sometimes say (half-jokingly) that I'm a "Tattoo Enthusiast". Sort of like some motorcycle gangs will say on the record that they're not a gang, they're motorcycle enthusiasts.

They aren't "gangs", they are CLUBS. "Gang" is a pejorative assigned to groups of motorcycling afficianados who have formed clubs by PIGS.

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I've heard paco refer to himself as a collector. So i don't think it is a negative thing at all. He likes to get tattoos from certain people too.

Ahhh! Paco is a doll. He's like a sweet grandmother that says "fuck" a lot ;)

Couldn't be easier to sit for!!

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I was in a studio over last winter and got talking with the artist about who had done my other pieces and he commented "So you're a bit of a collector then?" This was the first time I had considered this but I have work by eight different artists so I guess that is the start of a collection right there. I definitely don't think it's a negative thing, it's just the way you choose to show your passion for tattooing.

Being a "collector" does cause me a little bit of a problem though as I definitely do not have enough skin for all the pieces I want to get done, and as is ever the case the list never seems to get shorter. The available space definitely gets smaller though.

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