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Dude have you seen that movie about body mods? I think it's called Modify. There's some pretty real shit in that movie. A lot of the people seem nice enough, it's just hard for me to understand going that far I guess. I always wonder if it comes from the same place inside as wanting to be heavily tattooed or if it's something else. I've had about 9 or 10 different piercings over the last 15 years, I still have one in each ear, septum, this one on my lower lip but kind of lower then the ring ones I don't know what it's called, and one in each ear. I feel like when I was a teenage I was only getting pierced because I wasn't allowed to get tattooed and it was hard to find someone who'd tattoo teenagers too.

I should also mention by saying I did a tattoo, I mean I horribly scrawled my initials onto my dudes leg with no instruction. I'm not saying I know how to make a good tattoo or even a passable one. I'd still be totally fine with doing a shit tiny tattoo on a friend who wanted that then cutting off a weird patch of skin on a friend who didn't have the loot for a real doctor.

Yea Modify! I've seem quite a bit (maybe too many) body mod movies/shows. It does really come down the mental 'line in the sand' of mutilate vs modify, according to my mother 1 tattoo is mutilation but to me lines only get drawn when you have to use a scalpel. btw I have preformed 'very minor' surgery on myself and a friend once. Put my own stitches in no problem as well. Only reason was young, stupid, no medical insurance, thank god I'm older now!

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people who are into tattoos get tattoos whether they are tattooers are not. if you're not tattooed then you'll never convince me that you are really into them.

my experience has been that non tattooed tattooers dont love tattooing, they love money and they think tattooing is an "easy" way to get some they are "artists" who cant make it as an artist in the art world so they become tattooers because it the only way they can figure out to make a living illustrating.

sidenote: Ursula, while the majority of the time you'd probably be correct it is not always true about tattooers being covered in the stuff we like to do. especially with people like myself who've tattooing for a long time. the 90's was an exciting time for tattooing and i am covered head to toe in tattoos that do not reflect who i am artistically at all anymore.because tattoos are permanent they do not change as our taste does so I have a biomech sleeve even though i havent done any biomech tattoos or had any interest in biomech at all since the late 90's.

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people who are into tattoos get tattoos whether they are tattooers are not. if you're not tattooed then you'll never convince me that you are really into them.

my experience has been that non tattooed tattooers dont love tattooing, they love money and they think tattooing is an "easy" way to get some they are "artists" who cant make it as an artist in the art world so they become tattooers because it the only way they can figure out to make a living illustrating.

sidenote: Ursula, while the majority of the time you'd probably be correct it is not always true about tattooers being covered in the stuff we like to do. especially with people like myself who've tattooing for a long time. the 90's was an exciting time for tattooing and i am covered head to toe in tattoos that do not reflect who i am artistically at all anymore.because tattoos are permanent they do not change as our taste does so I have a biomech sleeve even though i havent done any biomech tattoos or had any interest in biomech at all since the late 90's.

So taking into consideration you are covered in tattoos that do not reflect who you are anymore, what if an artist had aspirations to grow over time and wanted to save space to reflect the different "periods" they would go through? Would you still not think they were passionate about the craft or had aspirations to be great? Granted I doubt that would be the case with very many people, but at this point I'm just curious if anyone who feels so strongly would make an exception for certain cases

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So taking into consideration you are covered in tattoos that do not reflect who you are anymore, what if an artist had aspirations to grow over time and wanted to save space to reflect the different "periods" they would go through? Would you still not think they were passionate about the craft or had aspirations to be great? Granted I doubt that would be the case with very many people, but at this point I'm just curious if anyone who feels so strongly would make an exception for certain cases

that's what your legs are for ;)

no but seriously, i can't remember who it was now, but someone was shown in one of the tattoo age videos (i think, maybe it was another video??), an artist who i like and respect, who had a lot of space left on his legs, and i thought "aha! that's smart! and sneaky!" but understandable. hell, i want to get tattooed still when i'm in my 50's! and im curious to see what i will be getting tattooed when i'm that age.

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I'd much prefer my tattoo artists to have a good amount of ink, but I wouldn't hold it against them if they had no tattoos. But I probably wouldn't let them jab me unless they were proven exceptional artists.

I don't know of any good tattoo artists in Australia with no tattoos anyway.

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1) while those tattoos do not reflect who i am any more i do not regret any of them. they reflect who i was and where i came from artistically and i remember everything i learned from every one of them. i learned more about tattooing from getting tattooed by good tattooers than from anything else. i do wish i had room for more tattoos however. but not because i regret what i have but because i love tattoos and as i said previously "people who are into tattoos get tattoos" and that desire doesnt go away when you run out of room.

2)this isnt a discussion about saving a spot or two for future tattoos its about not having any tattoos.

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well actually it is "little to no tattoos" so forget number 2 . but still... saving a spot or two for the future is fine but not getting tattooed not at all or almost not at all because you might not like it later...well... that is part of the attraction of tattoos. the permanence. not getting tattooed because you might not like it later is like choosing to not date someone who's totally awesome and perfect for you because you might grow apart and meet someone better in 15 years. there's no way to know.

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So taking into consideration you are covered in tattoos that do not reflect who you are anymore, what if an artist had aspirations to grow over time and wanted to save space to reflect the different "periods" they would go through? Would you still not think they were passionate about the craft or had aspirations to be great? Granted I doubt that would be the case with very many people, but at this point I'm just curious if anyone who feels so strongly would make an exception for certain cases

I know you're clawing desperately for a way to be 'right' in this argument but this way of thinking would only apply to someone who is expressing themselves, for the benefit of their clients via their tattoos. Thats not the way it works. We get tattooed because we LOVE tattoos.

If a tattooer does save space for the different 'periods', by the time they are a decent tattooer they should have passed through so many 'periods' that they have a shit-load of tattoos anyway.

I still have space on one of my forearms. My bodysuit was finished before I did anything there. But like Bart said, that saving space, which isn't what this argument is about.

I'm guessing you, a friend or your tattooer doesn't have many tattoos and you're trying to find a way to be told "It's ok, you're different." It's ok, they will get lots of tattoos eventually.

But to put another spin on the argument: how many good tattooers (I mean tattooers, people who do tattoos that look like tattoos, not colour portrait guys) don't have many tattoos. There are a few, but not many.

Also, this isn't a theoretical argument, where logic wins. "If this is true, then this must equal false" It's a real-life discussion about real things and when it comes to tattoos and tattooing:

The tattooer is ALWAYS right. ;)

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If you love tattoos you'll probably be covered in them, or atleast have the desire to be. I'm not even going to comment on what you said about "artist with no tats is the stronger person"

"Serenity now!" as Frank Costanza would say...

I have both sleeves, both ribs, chest and stomach covered plus a couple of other tats and am about to start my back. I've lost count how many hours etc. I love tattoos. The tattooist who inked them all also shares my love of the industry and everything else that goes with it. He hasn't a single tattoo.

Until you know someone like this you can't just say any tattooer who doesn't have any ink doesn't get the craft. There prob are some guys/girls out there who are only in it for the money but I bet that applies to some with ink too!

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I have both sleeves, both ribs, chest and stomach covered plus a couple of other tats and am about to start my back. I've lost count how many hours etc. I love tattoos. The tattooist who inked them all also shares my love of the industry and everything else that goes with it. He hasn't a single tattoo.

Until you know someone like this you can't just say any tattooer who doesn't have any ink doesn't get the craft. There prob are some guys/girls out there who are only in it for the money but I bet that applies to some with ink too!

I bet your bro does sick ink and sweet tatties all day long, and he may say he likes tattoos but actions speak louder than words, and getting tattooed shows your dedication to the craft. I don't know I think this topic has been exhausted and we have heard from some of the best tattooers in the world and they seem to have a similar opinion. I am not saying someone can't put on a good tattoo without tattoos, but clearly he doesn't love tattoos as much as you or he would have some.

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as pretty much said in this thread I noticed that most amazing tattooists are covered in ink that is nowhere near the quality that they put out themselves, whilst I know this is because they obviously got covered before they mastered their craft, it still makes me feel kinda guilty that I'm getting an amazing custom sleeve from scratch which I feel they deserve to have aswell. (Well the artist doing my arm now is actually getting his whole arm lasered for a nikko hurtado piece which doesn't make me feel too bad! ha.)

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It's not an issue of trying to be right because in the end it's a personal decision and, having only been tattooed by heavily tattooed people myself, I dont really have a dog in the race, I'm just surprised at how a group so often subjected to stereotypes based on their appearance would be so quick to judge another based on appearance, even to the point of the above example.

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I bet your bro does sick ink and sweet tatties all day long, and he may say he likes tattoos but actions speak louder than words, and getting tattooed shows your dedication to the craft. I don't know I think this topic has been exhausted and we have heard from some of the best tattooers in the world and they seem to have a similar opinion. I am not saying someone can't put on a good tattoo without tattoos, but clearly he doesn't love tattoos as much as you or he would have some.

Hey David he spends most of his life researching, drawing, and then applying to the skin so i'm pretty damn sure he loves them as much as me. He could make far more money in photography but he decided to own and run tattoo shop!

Anyway I agree its been exhausted. I see your from Portland are you a Dandys fan?

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@Bart Bingham - yup totally right about people having old stuff they aren't so into anymore. I know lots of guys who are in the same boat as you with stuff they got in the 90's. Luckily I know about that stuff and can recognize that. Usually those people have a lot of newer or better stuff too, not always though. There's also the opposite ones, where the kid has only been tattooing 3 years, sucks at what he does, has no hope of being good ever, but got lucky and has a bunch of awesome work all over himself. I kind of hate those kids. Having a couple bad tattoos is like a right of passage you know?

Bottom line - always look at the artists portfolio. If you feel like his/her work is good enough to be on you forever, then I guess get tattooed. Personally, I always cringe and get those shitty feelings when I see someone with less tattoos than me doing tattoos. I may have a lot, but someone who's been tattooing more than 2 years should have at least as many or more cause I really don't have that many compared to someone who's trying to build their life around this trade.

Plus people who are tattooers shouldn't have all the 'regular guy' excuses like tattoos are expensive, parents don't like them, work doesn't allow it, etc.

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Hey David he spends most of his life researching, drawing, and then applying to the skin so i'm pretty damn sure he loves them as much as me. He could make far more money in photography but he decided to own and run tattoo shop!

There's no way he 'loves' tattoos and doesn't have any. Period. Nothing you can say will change my mind on that. All you did was prove Bart's comment that most of the people tattooing who aren't heavily tattooed are in it for the money because they couldn't make it in other art related jobs. There's no way he would make more money as a photographer. Every asshole with a camera fancies themselves a photographer now a days, it's a very very hard field to make money in, unless you are truly talented.

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It's not an issue of trying to be right because in the end it's a personal decision and, having only been tattooed by heavily tattooed people myself, I dont really have a dog in the race, I'm just surprised at how a group so often subjected to stereotypes based on their appearance would be so quick to judge another based on appearance, even to the point of the above example.

They aren't discriminating to dismiss someone off as a criminal or a degenerate, they're doing it to judge the persons level of commitment to their craft. Being regarded as a criminal or a freak in society has severe negative connotations, being regarded as someone who doesn't love his craft ...eh not so much.

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There's no way he 'loves' tattoos and doesn't have any. Period. Nothing you can say will change my mind on that. All you did was prove Bart's comment that most of the people tattooing who aren't heavily tattooed are in it for the money because they couldn't make it in other art related jobs. There's no way he would make more money as a photographer. Every asshole with a camera fancies themselves a photographer now a days, it's a very very hard field to make money in, unless you are truly talented.

it's really hard to make money as a photographer even if you are talented(one of the largest international photography prizes (the HCB award)is only $70,000, which sounds like a lot, but it's a grant and meant to be used to pay for equipment, travel, assistants, etc. and that all adds up quickly). but that's not why most photographers take pictures. they do it because they love it.

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There's no way he 'loves' tattoos and doesn't have any. Period. Nothing you can say will change my mind on that. All you did was prove Bart's comment that most of the people tattooing who aren't heavily tattooed are in it for the money because they couldn't make it in other art related jobs. There's no way he would make more money as a photographer. Every asshole with a camera fancies themselves a photographer now a days, it's a very very hard field to make money in, unless you are truly talented.

You have very firm views on someone you don't know, have never seen their work or their photography???

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This thread has been an excellent read.

Personally I would not get a tattoo from someone without any

That is not to say a non-tattooed person could not be a great artist

I just don't think they would fully understand what it means to be tattooed.

I know still "beating a dead horse", I only truly knew what that meant when I starting teaching :)

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Hey David he spends most of his life researching, drawing, and then applying to the skin so i'm pretty damn sure he loves them as much as me. He could make far more money in photography but he decided to own and run tattoo shop!

Anyway I agree its been exhausted. I see your from Portland are you a Dandys fan?

Not a Dandy Warhol fan but funny enough did see them in concert in Portland in 1995. I only spent one year of high school in Portland and one in Seattle. But the music scene definitely drew me toward Portland.

I have to say that I know a lot of people who fancy themselves photographers and none of them are making very much money because every asshole with an $80 digital camera is now a photographer and Every asshole with a computer is a graphic designer. I don't know your friends work, but what I do know is there are a lot of people willing to work for next to nothing and often time volunteer their work for free and people looking for this work know that and just will go with the free work, despite the quality. Gee what other craft is like that?

Tattoing is different than other fields in the sense that most feel you have to earn the right to tattoo by paying your dues, regardless of natural talent in art. Skipping this step, depraves you of a lot of insight to running a tattoo shop that aren't related to art. Getting tattooed was a way to learn about the industry and be present to some important conversations. Don't believe me go watch the Dringenberg Interview on the home page.

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So taking into consideration you are covered in tattoos that do not reflect who you are anymore, what if an artist had aspirations to grow over time and wanted to save space to reflect the different "periods" they would go through? Would you still not think they were passionate about the craft or had aspirations to be great? Granted I doubt that would be the case with very many people, but at this point I'm just curious if anyone who feels so strongly would make an exception for certain cases

its like a road trip, you'll never get to see anything different or interesting if you don't get in the car and drive farther than around the block. the only way to grow or find what direction your interests might take is by going out and experiencing it. i got tattooed quite a bit in the 90's and have stuff that i wouldn't get now and if i had those spots empty i'd for sure make a different decision now but i don't regret a single tattoo or the experience that came with each one of them.

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