As I saw this picture circulating on Facebook, I began to think how things have changed.
Since I first began tattooing and getting tattooed in the early ‘90’s.
Here are my top 3 changes: 1.Technology
In 1993 the mind sets were different and technology was just starting to be present in our lives. Pay phones were everywhere the rare cell phone then required a large bag to be slung a crossed a shoulder. No one had a camera in their pocket. There where no social networking site like Facebook, and no online forums. Information is shared faster now than ever.
Thanks to some of the greats of our industry such as Aaron Cain, Dan Dringenburg, Guy Aitchison, Seth Ciferri and Grime… (The list could go on and on), we now have gained greater insights in to the geometry and workings of our machines and the processes we use to apply tattoos. And thanks to the technology, many of these ideas have been shared industry wide.
2. Craft becomes Art
In the ‘90s we collected flash drawings to reproduce as tattoos. Now we collect it as Art and inspiration. Tattooers across the board draw more, and paint more. I think no one in the ‘90s knew tattooing could reach the level of refinement that is found today. It was being said at that time, tattooing during the late 80s had experienced a renaissance, a rebirth but that is nothing like what we are seeing today. More is expected of todays artist than in the past.
3. Tattoo Popularity
Today tattooing is on TV, in movies, on models and celebrities. We see tattoo images painted on children’s bicycles and clothing. With this new found popularity being visible tattooed is no longer an automatic negative to employers. In the past we coined the phrase “job stoppers” in reference to hand tattoos. No more! Today’s America expects to see a tattooed waitress, city worker, or fireman.
Today an 18 year old is more apt to be working on getting full sleeve tattoos by their 20th birthday. In ‘93 they might have thought about smaller tattoos for longer. The younger generation doesn’t remember a time when there favorite musician or movie star wasn’t tattooed.
Oh, how things have changed.