Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

More Mutsuo

January 28th, 2015 by

Okay, I realised that with these recents videos I’ve been on something of an Asian tattoo vibe.  I figure why mess with that?  Here are the remaining two parts to that Mutsuo interview.

Take A Trip to Japan

January 28th, 2015 by

Check it out kid: it’s Mutsuo from Osaka, Japan.

Hong Kong Tattoo Legend

January 26th, 2015 by

Best of the Month Vol. 2

December 31st, 2014 by

Best of the Month Vol 1

December 31st, 2014 by

Here we go folks, the last best of the month collection for 2014!  Hope you enjoy.


Can Tattoo Be Taught At School?

December 30th, 2014 by

There is passion in tattoo.  Indeed, tattoo has arguably some of the most passionate levels of devotion to be found in any art form or craft out there.  People who get tattooed differ – some just get tattooed out of a spur of the moment thing without thinking anything over.  The regret usually surfaces several years later.  A lot of those who get tattooed however, plan it out and seek out great tattooists because of the reputations these artists have.  A lot of people will travel thousands of miles or kilometres to get that perfect tattoo and that dedication itself is a true form of passion.  Then you have the tattooists themselves who spend years – lifetimes, even – honing their skills and learning about the craft that they so dearly love.  The passions encompassed within tattoo are not easy to shake off or dismiss and I wouldn’t recommend even trying it.  When people tangle with tattoo without first really knowing what they’re getting into, there can be problems.

And by problems, I mean enraging the very people who understand and strive to keep tattoo the mentored craft that it is.  This past month in Ottawa, Canada, Algonquin College learned the hard way not to mess with what you likely don’t understand.  The college was offering up a new programme to prospective students, specifically a tattoo artistry programme that would equip students to enter the tattoo industry upon graduation.  The programme would be an alternative to the time honoured tradition of internships that tattoo has always based itself upon.  According to David Fairbanks, a representative for the Algonquin hospitality and tourism department, the programme follows the “existing three to five year apprenticeship model.”


If you find it hard to believe that a college course could even remotely replicate the tutelage gained from a genuine apprenticeship, then you’re not the only one.  Numerous tattoo artists from the area banded to together against what they feel is little more than a cynical cash  grab by the college and created an online petition against the programme.

‘Alyssa Iswolsky, who manages the Dalhousie Street studio and helped with petition, told Metro tattooing has historically been handed down from artist to apprentice and is not something that should be taught in a classroom.

“The idea of turning it into a cash grab for Algonquin College is a little bit insulting and a little bit worrisome,” said Iswolsky Monday. “(Graduates) might not find their way into a shop after paying this money.”

Just before giving a customer her first tattoo Monday, tattoo artist Alicia Alderson said that with more than three years’ experience as an apprentice in the industry, she still has a lot to learn.

“Apprenticeship has always been the way people have been taught to tattoo. If you had more people being taught something without proper guidance, then there’s going to be more people doing the practice potentially not safely or just misguided,” she said. “Having a course for whatever length of time that they’re choosing to do probably wouldn’t cover everything you need to know.”’

Personally, I think that with tattoo’s constantly growing popularity, people forget to think that what they are experiencing whenever they get a tattoo is a craft that has been passed down and learned and that it doesn’t just come out of box with a certified how to booklet.  The more common and popular something becomes, the less valued it is often destined to become.  This is why I support the petition and why I hope that Algonquin College does not go through with the programme after all.  Some things just need to be left alone.  Left alone to the people who know how to do it and those who are willing to take an alternate path in life to learn.  College is fine for perfecting pursuits that can be defined and quantified through books and lectures.  But not all routes lead to college and tattoo is one of them.  It takes a special kind of person to become a tattoo artist and if you want to do it, then you need to do it just like all the others that have come before you.

A Small Task, A Big Heart

December 28th, 2014 by

Despite the rise in popularity of tattoos and the glamorisation of tattoo artists, there is still a certain degree of negativity that accompanies the art form.  I can even speak from experience as someone who writes about tattoo, that when I talk to people about my work they don’t really understand what there possibly could be to say about it.  Tattoo for most people is nothing more than putting ink on skin, right?  Wrong.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the years that I’ve spent writing about this topic, it’s that tattoo is such a multi-dimensional art form.  There is the art itself, which varies greatly from artist to artist, the community that the craft builds and strengthens and the artists themselves as individuals who regularly exceed expectations of what tattooists should be.

Here at Tattoo Blog, I’ve given numerous examples over the years of tattoo artists with heart, who perform selfless acts that touch the lives of one or more people at a time.  I want to make it known that if you’ve ever disputed the generosity or humanity that can exist in the tattoo community, all you need to do is go through the blog posts on this site and it won’t be long before you see something that changes your mind.  Of course, I’m not foolish enough to paint all tattooists with the same brush and try to say that everyone is the same, but I know a good thing when I see one and I know that tattoo retains a strong and tight knit community atmosphere.


So it is with this somewhat heavy introduction (sorry about that – once you get me started…) that I would like to present yet another kind hearted tattooist.  Jason Ward lives and works in New Zealand and tattoos at a studio called Muscle and Ink.  For the past three months, he has had a recurring customer in Suzie, a woman with Down syndrome who brings in temporary tattoos for Ward to apply.

‘The first time she came in, she walked up to the desk, put her things on the desk, and said ‘put these on my arm.’


Ward doesn’t mind doing it and he obviously does not charge her for the effort.  He adds that if Suzie were a member of his own family and had been turned away from another tattoo studio he would be angry.  So now every Friday like clockwork, Suzie turns up to get her tattoos put on.  The temporary tattoos are usually Maori designs.

Nice guy, huh?  Like Ward says, Why would you say no?

Chad Koeplinger Interview

December 27th, 2014 by

Hey there, hope everyone is doing okay as we head into the new year.  I thought that it might be nice to get an interview up here with a rad tattooist, so here it is: a nice lengthy chat with Chad Koeplinger, interviewed by the great Scott Sylvia. Yeah.

Wiz Khalifa’s Tattoos

December 23rd, 2014 by

Rapper Wiz Khalifa talks about his tattoos and their meaning.

What Makes Tattoos Permanent?

December 23rd, 2014 by

Here you go kids, science and tattoo history all rolled into one.

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