Essay on Tattoos

This essay has a total of 1763 words and 12 pages.


tattoos





The tattoo industry is an often type cast field, in many instances it is thought of as

a delinquent activity carried out in remote and filthy cesspools of social deviancy by large

hairy burly men who cant get a "real" job due to past felonious activity. I hope to shoot

this popular misconception full of holes. One will find through experience only that this

is truly not the case, these are legitimate places of business, ran n accordance to all health

ordinances by law abiding citizens.

I have targeted a tattoo studio on Bessemer avenue, by the creative name of

"Inkslingers." As a matter of fact I received three of five tattoos here by Kevin Spainhour

who is also the subject of my interview. Judging by the parking lot, you would never

suspect this place as being a successful propriety. The lot is ragged and broken with no

more than half a dozen parking spaces, of those three are occupied by employees. As you

approach the bright yellow sandstone building you cant help but admire the airbrushed

artwork for a moment. The entrance is surrounded by tonguerings earrings dice and other

assorted items.

As you walk in the front door you find yourself standing in front of a glass

jewelers case. This is the counter where you pay for your overpriced tattoos, jewelry or

other items. The man behind the counter was a very friendly black man about six feet tall

with a pierced eyebrow. He greets each visitor with a welcoming "hello." There is a

partisian to the right that sections off the tattoo artist's offices. This is where they go to

prepare the stencils for each tattoo. Past this room is a lounge with two bright red

couches and a glass coffee table with between them. On top of the coffee table sits two

tall stacks of tattoo magazines. All four walls of this room are covered from the floor to

the ceiling with flash. Flash are the pictures and designs that the studio provides for

customers to choose from. Each section of flash is about the size o a piece of notebook

paper and can have anywhere from one to forty different pictures on them. The studios

are usually rather protective of these as each page costs anywhere from two to seven

dollars. Of course customers do not have to chose their tattoo from the flash, they can

bring in their own pictures from the internet, television, magazines, even your very own

artwork or drawings. Their repetuar consisted of hundreds of different things tribal

desighns, flowers, surreal objects and scenery, skulls, an assortment of animals, and any

number of other things. It was quite impressive. From this room the piercing room

branches off. Inside there is a reclining dentist's chair, a counter, and cabinets. It's full of

medical grade equipment, sanitizing solutions, and Dixie cups. It is really not that much

difference in appearance to an ordinary examining room that would be found at any

reputable doctor's office, with the exemption of the pictures of past piercings pinned to

the walls. The last main room has a large pool table and a coke machine. There are four

doors in this room one leading to the bathroom, and the others leading to small tattoo

roooms. The rooms are decorated by their designated tattooist. Kevin's room was

covered from top to bottom in very interesting pictures. On top of the shelves sit

macabre action figures of Spawn, Kiss and Ozzy. It is slightly cluttered with all the

various trinkets, but it is interesting. It was in this room that I gave the interview. Kevin

Spainhour has been giving tattoos for over seven years. He began as a tattoo enthusiast.

He received several from a man named "Bull" at a shop called "Dynamic Design." He

ended up spending so much time there, even when not getting tattoos that Bull took him

in as an apprentice. Kevin reminds me that this was just his experience. Eventhough he

fell into it many people plan and prepare for it by attending a school of the arts. After six

months of apprenticeship he began to tattoo professionally but that was not the end of his

education in the field, he is still learning even today. He stays current on new techniques

and styles, he takes a little bit away from each tattoo he does. One might not associate

continuing education with the tattoo education. Kevin enjoys his job each and every day.

He of course has to do the occasional tweety-bird tattoo which is more of a chore than

anything else for him, but for the most part he is very enthusiastic about each piece he

does. According to him one of the most important skills he had to acquire is the ability to

stay slow and steady. It is a natural tendency to want to rush or hurry but a good tattoo is

done very methodically. They have to remain constantly aware of where the needle has

been, where it is, and where it is heading. When Kevin works it is very different from

traditional art, it seems more of an exacting procedure than anything else. If he was not

meticulous in his work the customer will end up with an unsatisfactory piece that they are

permanently stuck with. All tattoo artists have their very own personal influences;

Kevin's are rather diverse. His include M.C. Escher, H.R. Geiger, Moreau, Norman

Rockwell, japanamation films, and DC and Mcfarland comics. He seems to be attracted

to the unusual. Kevin is unsure yet if he wants to make this his career, he began seven

years ago not planning to spend most of a decade in the business. Like most tattoo artists

Continues for 6 more pages >>




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