else

"Tattoo Collector" ?????

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I was called a collector by an artist yesterday and I took it as a compliment and a sign of respect. I'm grateful to the artists that didn't let me make bad tattoo choices and explained what makes a quality tattoo.

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A few months ago, I approached an artist about doing a re-work to an older existing tattoo. He seemed ok with it at first, but later sent me an email explaining that he knew I was a collector and would be happy to tattoo me, but wanted to do something new and not re-work someone else's work. He explained that since I was a collector he wanted to put his best foot first and do something new and original on me. I didn't take it negatively. I thought it was refreshing honesty and made me even more eager to get work done by him.

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Yeah, I've never really liked the word because it seems weird to apply to tattoos but I don't really know what else to call what I'm doing. I don't really know why "collector" was the term that caught on instead of "enthusiast" or something but I didn't make it up and it's started sounding less awkward to me the more I've heard it.

In my mind a collector is someone that is getting pieces by different artists more for the sake of having their work on them rather than a specific image. Almost the difference between buying a painting vs having your house painted if that makes any sense.

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I thought it sounded weird at first too. "Collecting" tattoos, as if you could find some nice ones at a garage sale... but truthfully, it is similar to collecting paintings from different artists...and the term kind of fits.

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I had never heard the term before tattooers used it in regards to me. That's why I don't find it offensive.

True enough.

I hate when people say "but tattoo artists HATE it!!" about something.

Here's something: Some tattooers are douchebags. Them being a tattooer, even a GOOD tattooer, doesn't make them right or profound. It makes them another asshole with an opinion and there's nothing special or unique about having one of those.

If you think you're a collector, you probably are. It's a way to describe what you do- collect tattoos from people you dig. I collect toys. I collect dvds. I have a lot of passion when it comes to my collections; I think about which swatches to buy, know when some obscure film is going to be released on dvd, read articles about toy production.

I guess if you looked at it like that, I collect tattoos too. I find myself interested in the whole culture of it, not just "gettin' a new tat'.

Verdict:

It's not bad to be called a collector/call yourself a collector.

It's not bad to not WANT to be called a collector/call yourself a collector.

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In my mind a collector is someone that is getting pieces by different artists more for the sake of having their work on them rather than a specific image.

I think that pretty much sums up my feelings as well. Nicely put.

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True enough.

I hate when people say "but tattoo artists HATE it!!" about something.

Here's something: Some tattooers are douchebags. Them being a tattooer, even a GOOD tattooer, doesn't make them right or profound. It makes them another asshole with an opinion and there's nothing special or unique about having one of those.

If you think you're a collector, you probably are. It's a way to describe what you do- collect tattoos from people you dig. I collect toys. I collect dvds. I have a lot of passion when it comes to my collections; I think about which swatches to buy, know when some obscure film is going to be released on dvd, read articles about toy production.

I guess if you looked at it like that, I collect tattoos too. I find myself interested in the whole culture of it, not just "gettin' a new tat'.

Verdict:

It's not bad to be called a collector/call yourself a collector.

It's not bad to not WANT to be called a collector/call yourself a collector.

Pretty much sums it up for me. Opposite side of the coin.

I don't collect shit...

I don't owe anybody anything (well, except for that 1 student loan, and it'll be paid off next year).

I DO own:

1 old VW Beetle.

1 old Murray bicycle.

Some nice music gear.

Most of my torso and a good portion of my legs covered in art work done by only one or two local tattoo artists. Artwork that can't be duplicated because it's a reflection of me at this point.

Oh, and some books and CD's that I can't seem to part with.

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I had never heard of the term till I joined this site the other day. I have 11 tattoos but hardly any friends who have either a lot of ink, want more or are really into them so I had no idea there was this whole other set of terms with regards to tattoo. I'm not sure whether I'd be a collector or not since I've got 11 and 10 of which I've gotten at the same place by two different people over the past year. I always go in knowing exactly what I want, where and why and whether its actually feasible.

Now my next when I start on my half sleeve on my left arm I'm going in with a few general ideas of what I want and then let her just run with it and have fun being creative. To me I get tattoos for a myriad of reasons. One I like them, two I like how I look with them, three they do mean something to me, four the pain is fun and I like being idk its hard to describe but its like when you try to explain why you keep getting tattoos to someone who has none, theres a sense of being part of a group(not the same as the people with generic tribal bands around their arms lol)

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I sometimes say (half-jokingly) that I'm a "Tattoo Enthusiast".

I'm with @Shaun1105 on this one. I've never used the term collector, but I don't see anything wrong with the word. It's only a word, a description & probably a description that differentuates between a person that has a tattoo & a person that spends their time being tattooed. Makes sense to me, I don't think the word requires an analytical study of its' comprehension.

But yeah, I've referred to myself on the odd occasion as an enthusiast. Like, when some fkn idiot asks me...mate, why so many tattoos? I say...I don't know what you expect me to say mate, I'm an enthusiast.

Yeah, I'm fuckin' enthusiastic about tattoos.

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Just a quick one for you Guys: I noticed a lot of comments mentioning "collect tattoo from different artists"...

I have already covered a lot of my body surface with many tattoo but they are all coming from the SAME tattoer.... So I count on you now to propose a new nick name for people who "collect" tattoo and in addition coming from the same artist ??

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I personally wouldn't refer to myself or others as collectors, because I associate it with being snobbish. I feel that if you get GOOD tattoos, it is perfectly fine and acceptable to call yourself or others a collector in the correct context. It's when a person has an air of superiority and elitism about them that I dislike. Name droppers is what I loath the most though.

Art is subjective, and I think that's beautiful.

Just my 2 cents.

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just commented on this in another thread...i think

anyway - the dilemma with what i call collector mode

is the that the more you are trying to collect new and different

the harder it is to get back to tattooers you really like and want more from

only so much money and skin right

anyway - the challenge increases exponentionally - is that a word

as you meet more awesome tattooers

just something i was thinkin about

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^ I feel the same way. I don't know where the term came from but it doesn't bother me - it's just another label. The more I go to new shops, meet new artists/people, the more exciting it is to repeat that process.  

I'm a relatively skinny guy, so my real estate is used up pretty fast even when I get a medium-ish size piece. 

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On April 16, 2016 at 10:01 AM, marley mission said:

just commented on this in another thread...i think

anyway - the dilemma with what i call collector mode

is the that the more you are trying to collect new and different

the harder it is to get back to tattooers you really like and want more from

only so much money and skin right

anyway - the challenge increases exponentionally - is that a word

as you meet more awesome tattooers

just something i was thinkin about

I kind of feel the same way.  I want work from a few different artists.

For the artists i wanted and got one peice from them, I tend to feel more comfortable approaching them again.  Money is an issue for me as I don't have paying job until the end of May.

 

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Having started so late in life, I know that I won't be getting more than a few tattoos and, perhaps, just one more. So, I won't rise to the level of collector. As with the first, my next will have specific life meaning as opposed to approaching it from the art perspective. But, as others have said, it doesn't matter what approach you take. The works you have and want are yours and reflective of your desires and personality. Enjoy them no matter what brought you to get them.

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Interesting thread. I probably qualify as collector but don't really think of it that way. Tattoos are fun to get- great experiences combined with great art and self pride. I don't want to get tattoos from specific artists just because they are who they are but I do want to get good tattoos and have a good time doing so. I also know how to look things up on the internet so I guess, call me what you will. 

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At least someone didn't use the term groupie! I *hate* that term. I prefer super fan. Just because I see a lot of shows doesn't mean that I'm a groupie which for me has a negative connotation. For me, the term collector doesn't have that sort of negative connotation (or didn't until this thread).

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On Friday, May 24, 2013 at 2:28 PM, BrianH said:

@else I agree, sometimes it feels like a dirty word. I think it was used negatively in one or two of the last sparrow interviews and I would like to hear an artist's perspective on clients who travel to collect from a variety of artists. Are we a pain in the ass?

No, you're not. I would never judge someone who collects tattoos because I do it myself. Some people go to the same artist for life. That's cool (and we love you guys because you're our regulars), but it's no more valid than someone who enjoys collecting from a variety of artists. Personally I love collecting the stories that go along with the traveling, meeting new rad people etc as well as the sweet new tattoo. I also find it flattering if people travel to 'collect'  a piece from me. 

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