RoryQ

Collecting different styles

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I suspect that there is no 'correct' answer to the question I'm going to pose, but here goes...

Recently while browsing Thomas Hooper's blog I was blown away by his geometric black work. As it stands all of the coverage I have is either traditional japanese colour or traditional. I'm not sure that I could insert a large-scale black work piece, along the lines of something by Hooper like a Mandala, without achieving a sort of 'jarring' effect.

Is it important to you that you collect work which has an overall cohesion, visually and thematically, or do you please yourself and not worry about this so much. Would you (or do you) see a problem with having a black work back piece, japanese sleeves and traditional leg pieces ... Or is that variety part of the spice of life?

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I'm with Shawn. I didn't initially set out to have "a suit." If I had, I would've approached things much differently. I have no regrets about my tattoos (but I do have a coverup!), and I love what Dan Higgs said in an old video that Shawn posted. It was something to the effect of, "Don't worry about whether or not something will go with what you already have--just put it there and it automatically goes together. You got Hot Stuff next to Jesus next to a clown."

Take a look through my gallery and you'll see that I look like a yakuza from behind and a typical confused American from the front. :)

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I don't know how it would look stuck in the middle of a Japanese sleeve that was meant to be traditional Japanese. I think it looks pretty awesome next to traditional stuff. In my opinion done right, the way Thomas Hooper and a few others do it, I think it has the same power as well done traditional so they compliment each other very well. On a very basic level a lot of those stippled pieces follow the traditional formula; a third black, a third color, a third skin when you substitute the color with the lighter end of the gradient so it's not really surprising they work well together.

I'm with hogg, that Higgs quote is the first thing that popped into my head when I read the original post, that video was the most inspirational thing I've seen for a while.

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Having all one style of tattoo OR different styles of tattoos is great either way! They both look good when finished.

The collectors that have all one style have a very unique tattoo that flows so nicely over the whole body. Until it would be finished I would keep looking at it (if it were me) and saying to myself, "man there so much more to go till its done". LOL

With the collectors that have all sorts of different styles are lucky to have had the different artists tattoo them. Also they are really interesting to look at because its so very individual and can be so random. :)

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One thing to think about, get tattooed because you want the piece. Not just because that person happens to be doing a style that's currently in the spotlight. That is why so many people end up with a huge mix and match of work when they originally started off wanting all one style. They get caught up in the now and who's the big name. Get work because you like it, not because you see it all over blogs, magazines, and the internet. Would you have wanted that same style of work if you had never seen Thomas Hoopers tattoos? I say this because there are other artsts out there who excell in the same sort of work.

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Aaron- I don't really see myself as someone who gets tattooed according to what is the current fad, or on a whim. Although I agree with you that presumably there are people out there who do fit that description.

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Dragging a bit of an old thread back from the dead.... but I like a mix and match of styles. I am also a symmetry freak! I'm intending to go for colour realism on my chest and upper arms with neo-traditional work on my forearms. Maybe some japanese style work on my ribs. There are too many beautiful styles and amazing artists to stick with just one - as much as the cohesion of a body suit appeals to me I don't think I would value it as the mixed experience of getting work from a multitude of different people doing different stuff!

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I have a few tattoo's that don't "match" the rest. I didn't get them because the style was hot at the time (it wasn't) I was just 20 and that's what I was into. Then what I was into when I was 30 was different. I think about getting them covered, but it's like why? It's a road map of my life (lame way to put it, I know, it only sounds cool if you're a Russian prisoner) and so it's just what I was into when I was that age.

I get more OCD about colors matching than styles on a certain limb or part.

I also prefer, for myself, patchwork style. A ton of random tattoos, vs. 1 big sleeve or piece. Except the back, that large slab of skin with no nipples was made for 1 big ass tattoo.

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I've been getting mostly traditional tattoos lately, but I have a few other styles as well. I never intended to go the body suit route, (although it seems to be happening!) so i just kept mashing things together. I'm really enjoying the mix of styles, but I wasn't sure I would. I kept getting advice, "don't worry, just add them and it will work out." So far, it has. At least as far as I am concerned.

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This is so easy for me. As an extremely dark skinned African American, I only get black and gray work anyway. All my work so far has been black and gray fine line, and I'll probably get some black and gray traditional style for my second sleeve and on one of my legs, but it will all be the same color so even when the styles aren't identical it will still mesh.

I'm still jealous of the options you whiteys have with all the colors and the awesome american traditional and japanese work available to you but I guess the grass is always greener.

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when i first started, i had this vision of getting all black and grey, religious/dark art style imagery, 2 sleeves and a chest piece, because that was the tattooing styl i thought was best. i'd seen traditional, and liked them, but never saw myself getting them. however, as i got more and more into the culture, i found different styles, and now i have a mix and match of various styles. i try to keep all my black/grey work on one arm, and the bold, bright colour work on the other, but thats the only sort of control i have on mine. the imagery and subject dont particularly work in a theme, i just get work that i like. best way.

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Different styles, different meanings, people have their own stories and reasons for getting ink. It's cool to learn about people's history

- - - Updated - - -

Different styles, different meanings, people have their own stories and reasons for getting ink. It's cool to learn about people's history

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I decided early on that I would only get black and gray work. I am a pale native swede so I am sure colors would fit my skin but I just think black and gray looks good. I am pretty anal about matching clothes, for a long time I would wear mostly black and I think if I would have colors in my tattoos they would have to match each other and I would have to match my clothing with the colors in my tattoos.

That's just impossible to me! (I might come off as a bit weird here)

I don't know, I'm just a black and white kind of guy, I'm a photographer and I shoot mostly monochrome film too. I can drool over the subtle gradients or the harsh contrast in black and white photos for a looong time. And with tattoos, it's just beautiful with the skin and the shades.

Don't get me wrong though, I love a lot of the color tattoos I see every day and some of my favorite tattooers are very distinctly color artists. It's just not for me.

Having said that, whatever I put on my body is going to match a bit easier than for those of you who get different colors too. When I first started getting tattoos I had no clue about it really but soon I settled into a more traditional taste.

(The next sentenced I have tried to write 5 times all ready, struggling to not sound pretentious)

Nowadays I try to find artists with a style of their own, something that will shine through even without the help of colors. I'm pretty sure that to people who aren't as nerdy about tattoos as me and you, LST:ers, most of my tattoos probably look like they could have been made by the same 2-3 artists. But they aren't and I for one appreciate the fact that I can look at my tattoos and see each artists own vision and way of doing things.

So even if my scope is pretty narrow, disregarding any colors, I am letting different styles meet. For example I'd love to have something made by Hooper, I'm getting my second Deno-tattoo later this year, I have several ideas for tattoos to be made by Guy Le Tatooer and my next piece is going to be more neo-traditonal than anything I currently have.

</black n gray nerd rant)

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I have different styles, mainly because when I first started getting tattooed I had a much smaller budget and couldn't really afford bigger, more colorful tattoos lol so had to stick with smaller all black tattoos. As I got older and got a real job and the financial situation picked up, I realized I really enjoyed the colorful cartoonish type tattoos and that is what I tend to get now. I don't think it looks bad to have a mixed style of tattoos though. But once you find out what you like and what looks good on your skin, you usually tend to stick with it. Too much black doesn't sit well on my skin anyway, it fades to that darkish blue color, but colors look really nice on my skin because I am really pale.

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I kind of go off of a heirarchy of wants.

1. is there meaning behind it?

2. does it inspire me?

3. is it in a style I like?

4. does it blend with my other work (this is just a personal preference, and will often times get replaced by number 5)

5. when you look at it, does it make you go,"hells yeah!"

This is just me though. Some people really enjoy the random nature of no theme. Do you want your skin to tell multiple stories with different styles, or one longer story?

P.S. My situation was pretty similar to yours fizz. Only recently have I been able to invest in the larger stuff, so there are a few small, all black pieces scattered around.

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