HettyKet

Is dotwork a fad or does it have a place in traditional tattooing?

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I'm after having some work done inspired by the old circus sideshow tattooed ladies, many of the women had bracelets tattooed 'after' the tattoos on their arms, IYSWIM. ( http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/01/30/article-2270600-17409C19000005DC-452_964x1202.jpg Jean Carroll as tattooed by Charlie Wagner). A lot of the period (and older) bangles I like and that look like they'd translate to tattoo well have a kind of dotwork look, Antique Victorian Black Enamel Yellow Gold Bangle Cuff Bracelet at 1stdibs this for example. Another possibility is maybe some sort of filigree effect, thus: Edwardian 14k White Gold Filigree .20 ctw DIAMOND Brooch from arnoldjewelers on Ruby Lane.

The tattoos above the bangle will be Traditional American meets old fashioned 'stiff' realism. Any opinions appreciated! Obviously I will ask my artist and take his opinion on the matter seriously.

Please excuse my ignorance, I've done a lot of research but my starting point was nil knowledge and I've still a long way to go...

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Stipple-shaded traditional is, in my opinion, absolutely a fad. I feel like they're the kind of tattoos you'll be able to look at and pinpoint a two-year window in which they were made. I don't think there's anything wrong with it as a technique as such (a large part of my forearm is dot shaded) but I don't trust anything where the technique is put before other considerations. In other words, a tattoo isn't cool just because it's dot-shaded. It still needs the characteristics of a good tattoo concerning the strength if the drawing, silhouette, placement, composition, etc.

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That's just what I feared - that that one element would be in danger of dating the whole arm. Bugger. Was going to go with Venice lace until I found that that's everywhere at the moment. Hopefully the artist can come up with something based on filigree.

Still, thanks (again) Graeme!

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I think my link failed - this is what I was looking at translating to tattoo 214_1363252684_3-01.jpg Would much rather avoid all elements on the fad scale though. If only some fucker had published a list of 'em.

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There was a thread about "dotwork" a while ago and I got fairly involved and possibly upset a few people. Check it out, I think I already answered the question posed by your thread title.

Also, the word "fad" is inherently insulting in modern usage - but you knew that already.

While researching tattoos, tattooing, tattoo styles, tattoo history and tattooers is interesting and probably fun. It's still kinda like researching swimming. Most of it's value comes from being involved, taking part, doing it, getting it done and having it be part of your life.

Then again... On a long enough time scale, ALL tattooing since Ed Hardy opened the first appointment-only studio is a fad. Sailors going to war, getting tattooed in Honolulu was a fad. High-Society Europeans shipping esteemed Japanese irezumi artists over to tattoo dragons on them in the 1800's was a fad. Internet forums will be seen to be a fad. Finally, tattoo customers stressing about being period-correct like vintage clothing aficionados will be seen to be a fad of the early 21st century.

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Fad isn't such a shocking term in my mind. Not positive, probably not particularly respectful or complimentary of the subject but absolutely not inherently insulting. Fads can be fun. But it's been over 10 years since I last lived in an English speaking country. That probably has a bearing. Don't wish to offend.

Anyway, research. Well, I enjoy reading and tattoo history is new to me - why not have a gander? To me it's important not to feel I'm appropriating from a culture and tradition (tattooing) about which I've made no effort whatsoever to inform myself. I'm odd but it's not hurting anyone.

But, yes, thanks - interesting. Off to find and read that thread.

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Please don't think I'm after period-correct. I'm after a flavour.

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Thanks for the tip on that thread @Stewart Robson - it was a good read. Yet you liken researching tattoos, tattooing, tattoo styles, tattoo history and tattooers to researching swimming!

I thought that the style was maybe related to the influence of Georgian / Victorian jewelery, as many elements in traditional tattoos seem to be. ho hum.

Had never looked at the work of Hooper et. al. or the derivatives of their style(s) in detail at all mind. Just seen a bit of dot shading some dotty roses and an odd mandala in passing.

intricate lace-work on the ladies.

Me too, a lot actually. Especially when it's not over sexualised. Not sure about wearing it.

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Yet you liken researching tattoos, tattooing, tattoo styles, tattoo history and tattooers to researching swimming!

You can't learn to swim by reading a book.

To expand on that again, tattooing is best experienced first-hand. Many times, here on this forum, in the shop I work at and conventions etc, someone has mentioned that they wish there was a book that had all the information they were looking for about a particular subject at that moment. It usually doesn't exist. You have to find it yourself.

With regards to tattooing and "tattoo culture" We're living in a folk art culture. We should embrace the folk art tradition of oral storytelling and first hand knowledge and be relieved that we not (yet) shackled by the literary bounds of other art movements, cultures and historical societies.

But to be more on topic, in a general sort of way...

I'd stick my neck out and say that any style of tattooing (until maybe around 2000-2010) is influenced by the popular culture surrounding the people who get those styles. Sailor Jerry cribbed movie posters and other advertisements for many of his designs between the 40's - 70s. Mike Malone used objects and paintings he found in Chinatown as reference for many of his popular designs. It stands to reason that Charlie Wagner would have used Edwardian style filigree ornamentation (from a variety of sources, jewellery included) in his designs.

The dotwork thing is slightly separate. During the first decade of the 21st century tattooing entered a more post-modern, referential phase where most styles of tattooing referenced or were influenced by earlier styles of tattooing. Except dotwork. I consider the work of Thomas Hooper, Xed Le Head, Jondix (I'd extend that to Duncan X) to be the only "new" style of tattooing since biomech in the 90's - but that didn't seem to catch on outside of tattoo culture the way their work did.

That's why I still bother to get involved when someone refers to dotwork as a "fad".

While it is imitated ad nauseam, we've alive to witness the birth of a new tattoo style that was influenced by disparate artforms outside of tattooing to the point where it works and it's possible to have a coherent bodysuit of that style. Pretty exciting stuff.

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Heck, where to start? Thank you for bothering. Really.

We're living in a folk art culture.
Which is something that I feel deserves respect. I'm not a part of the culture, I'm a totally un-tattooed, tubby, 36 year old mothers of two - turning up and demanding a share and a story without bothering to google a bit and read a book or two seems, well, wrong.
You can't learn to swim by reading a book.
I would never hope to 'swim' as it were! Much as I rate my own taste (like a twat) I have to trust others on this one. Just hope to be almost-well-enough-informed to feel alright about asking tattooists who I respect to work on my skin.

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Just hope to be almost-well-enough-informed to feel alright about asking tattooists who I respect to work on my skin.

Don't worry about it. We work on people's skin every single day. We're used to it. Yes, even people who've never been tattooed before. Even people who "respect" tattooing and want something special. We tattoo 'em all.

To use my swimming/water analogy: You're not even dipping your toe in the water. You're asking for swimmers to let you know where the front crawl came from. Stop reading, start getting tattooed.

Until then, you don't get to be part of tattooing. You're a tourist and don't get to demand squat from any of us. A conversation based on first-hand experience is always more rewarding than one with a curious onlooker.

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Ach, I'm not trying to be part of tattooing.

Still a month to wait for my first appointment. No consult though so am a bit tense.

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Oh, and I'm glad I asked even if it did unintentionally ruffle a few feathers.

Cheers

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let me start by saying how much i enjoy and appreciate the style being discussed.

i think there is place for anything in tattooing as long as it works well, looks good and lasts. i know this is more of a discussion of "fadisms" and terminology but like @Stewartrobson has said, it would be great if it didn't have a genre/name yet.

let it enter the zeitgeist of tattooing on its own and stop asking do you do dot-work like its some kind of religious practice.

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Well, I have tried to fuck the fuck off and stop reading but unfortunately since @Stewart Robson had me look at that thread I've been compelled to look into the work of the artists mentioned on it. I am an obsessive type - it's been unavoidable. Very pleasant indeed too.

So, yeah, I ended up looking at this Instagram by Dave de Crom, a local-ish chap and mentor/friend/colleague of the bloke I'm off to see. And, erm, well, there might have been a certain level of soggy-panted-euphoria. It's the lines and shading on the bottom 2/3 of the piece that get me and at thee risk of being extremely irritating / getting shot / banned / whatever I have to ask if there's an acceptable way of referring to style of this piece.

(I can pretend to have had a shitty dolphin on done my bum, 'tribal' anklet and/or random flowers put on my breast 20 years ago, like many of my friends of the time, if that helps)

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Idk if waiting for the appointment or waiting for the healing to be done is worse ;)

Time will tell, I suppose.

Am not entirely convinced there'll even be time for actual tattooing at my first appointment or, that if there's time I'll be happy with diving right in with the designs straight away (the studio don't do consults - just drawing and lining appointments). Left a month between appointments when I booked them in, something I'm already sorely regretting.

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So, yeah, I ended up looking at this Instagram by Dave de Crom, a local-ish chap and mentor/friend/colleague of the bloke I'm off to see. And, erm, well, there might have been a certain level of soggy-panted-euphoria. It's the lines and shading on the bottom 2/3 of the piece that get me and at thee risk of being extremely irritating / getting shot / banned / whatever I have to ask if there's an acceptable way of referring to style of this piece.

Love it, that is a cool tattoo. You could always print out the tattoo and show it as a reference and say, "I love the style of this one." I brought a couple pics of ravens to Kim for my consultation a couple weeks ago, including a couple of printed out paintings and a couple of tattoos I liked by other artists. I didn't want her to duplicate any of them, I just told her what I liked about each one and said, of course, take it your own direction. She said of one of my pics, "Oh, of course, it's Seth Wood, that's why it's so amazing." I don't think tattooers mind if you show them the work you like of others as long as you are not asking for the same exact thing. Also, the style doesn't have to be named if you show a picture. Tell the artist exactly what you like about that one. Also, don't fuck off. :-)

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Before it showed up in tattooing, it was always referred to as "stippling".

Also, mentioned him before but cory ferguson has been doing that style for a long time as well and usually gets left off people's lists of who's doing/been doing this style.

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