It’s funny what some good press can do. It’s also funny how some people go about choosing the artist who will tattoo them. With the rise in popularity of tattoo, people everywhere began to find their place in line to be inked. Unfortunately, for a lot of these people, getting tattooed simply meant finding out which artist tattooed their favourite celebrity and then seeking out that particular artist.
Now, I’m not trying to step on anyone’s toes here, after all, beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. It’s just that the opinions of celebrities always seem to carry an unbelievable – if not very often unjustified – weight to them. As more and more celebrities get tattooed and flash their work to the public, the artists who tattooed them are finding themselves in the spotlight. This can be a good thing for the artist, but it can also be a case of celebrity status for artists who quite frankly, don’t really deserve it.
What I mean by this is that simply because a celebrity decided to go with one particular artist over another doesn’t mean that that artist is god. A perfect example of this is UK tattooist Louis Molloy. Molloy is the man behind David Beckham’s tattoos. As a result of tattooing one of football’s biggest celebrities, Molloy has been in huge demand. He’s booked solid six months in advance and stars in the London Ink TV series, the spin off of the Miami Ink and LA Ink shows. In addition to these things, Molloy is also designing a line of street wear for Marks and Spencer.
The issue? Call me crazy, but Molloy’s work is average at best. I don’t mean average amongst all tattooists, I mean average amongst high profile tattooists. It seems more than a little unjust to me that someone like Molloy rakes in the media and cash and adoration for his work when there are massive amounts of other relatively unknown and hugely talented tattooists out there, quietly going about their work. Naturally I can understand how many if not all of these artists don’t care about being where Louis Molloy is, but it’s slightly irksome that tattooists like Louis Molloy become household names simply because they were fortunate enough to impress a celebrity with their work.
But, when all is said and done, I guess that’s life. My advice to anyone who is considering a tattoo because a specific celebrity got one done is not to do it. Get a tattoo, but find an artist whose work you enjoy. If you’re going to dish out the huge bucks to get tattooed by a high profile artist, take a look at who is out there because all too often the best artists are the ones who aren’t getting the celebrity clients and relentless media attention.