Posted by Scott from IP: 220.127.116.11 on 04/26/06 Victoria
Ive been called trailer trash, skid and whatever else you can think of just because of my tatt. My tattoo isnt even bad all it says is lateralus on my right arm. Why is this so bad? All i want is more respect out of people and for them to relise that tattooing is an art form not a diffrent brand of people. can you guys reassure me there is still some great people in the world that wont fire my ass just for having a tattoo.
Posted by Cactus Al from IP: 18.104.22.168 on 04/26/06
Scott, I think we've disagreed about some stuff in the past, but let me tell ya man. From one inked bro to another, there's nothing wrong with being tattooed. But, you have to realize that there are a lot of people in the world who are afraid of that which is different from themselves. Many times fear manifests itself as anger, or mistrust, all of which you may be experiencing a bit of. Couple of things you need to remember. One, there are many more people that are going to accept you with a tat these days because it's becoming more acceptable. Two. There will always be people who attack what they don't understand. If you can smile, be confident in yourself and turn your anger into pity for them, you are way ahead of the game. They are boring, safe, and monochromatic. Not only on their skin, but in their lives as well. You are not. You represent a threat to their vanilla plan. You scare them.
So there's two things you can do. (I'm sure you are a great guy, but try this experiment for a week. It's wierd.)
First you can live like "This is my tattoo... FUCK YOU!!!!!" and the response is usually one of fear and misunderstanding. Or you can try this. Be positive, have impeccable manners, be pleasant, understanding and just generally a cool person. THEN the tattoo is not a symbol of your rebellion, it becomes a symbol of your confidence. Guys get intrigued by it. Chicks get intrigued by your confidence. Little old ladies think you are absolutely the shit because you're this big tough guy who will hold the door open for them. It's kind of addictive. Give it a shot. See what you think. I'm sure you'll notice a turnaround. And if you are already like that anyway, just have confidence in yourself bro in knowing that you'll never be one of the herd. You'll always be an original.
Posted by TAz from IP: 22.214.171.124 on 04/27/06 mental institution
Hey Scott my new friend!....Listen to what Al said...he makes a lot of sense...Try the very polite and friendly way...It will not work all the time but you will be amazed at how often you make a new friend this way! And ya never have enough friends do ya?
You are VERY impressive for a 16 year old dude...I am so happy you joined us on this forum. We need more like you...TAz
Ditto was cactus (and everyone) said. Tattoos have helped make me a very positive person.
As far as swaying public opinion, Im lucky that my subject choices for tattoos have been (for the most part) bright colorful birds done by spectacular artists. The ones that arent birds are also great colorful tattoos. Now, as deep rooted as many peoples prejudices are, its really hard to deny true pieces of art, my tattoos inspire smiles. Even parents who cant keep their kids away from me can crack a smirk. (And Im sure fo all the kids the tattoos make an impression on, a bunch will be getting them when they get older... heh).
I can honestly say that my quality positive tattoos have gotten me farther in life than if I were a just "blank canvas". Instead of being that smarty pants trying to get the job, I was the smarty pants with the kick ass tattoos like none they have ever seen before. I freelanced in the computer world a lot in my early twenties and I bet my tattoos were the tip that helped me land 10-20% of my jobs over the other smart geeks.
While we may see most tattoos as art (and, well, I certainly dont), true pieces of artwork on quality people (ie, those of us who turn to the good side of the coin, not the FU side) are what will change peoples opinions about the tattoo world.
Posted by cmarie from IP: 126.96.36.199 on 04/28/06
First, I wanted to say that I am sorry to hear about your friend or loved one that you lost. You did a very nice thing in honor of that person. I agree with Cactus Al a thousand percent! There is always going to be someone out there who doesn’t agree with something that you decide to do, whether it is tattoo related or something else. Some people are so close minded or they’re threatened by anything that is different from them or their beliefs, just remember that it's their problem, not yours.
You have come to the right place for support and understanding when you are feeling as you have lately. Good luck to you, and take the advice of guys like Taz, Gabe and Al. They are all very smart and always eager to help everyone here.
Posted by TAz from IP: 188.8.131.52 on 04/28/06 mental institution
I am gonna add a little to what Gabe said...I came from the darkside...I grew up in South Central LA/ Compton before MTV glamorized and commercialized it...the REAL ghetto...My step father was a Hells Angel ( was the head body guard for Sonny Barger head of the HA)and he was one mean, dangerous bastard....but not to me...this was a white man living in the middle of a black ghetto and he was respected..because of him WE were respected...we walked without fear in gang central...the real gangs not the glamorized bull shit "gangstas"of rap videos...and he was my first glimpse into the world of tattooing being tattooed solely by Bert Grimm...he was my hero...but for all the wrong reasons...his was a dark world of violence and for many years I made that my world, and my tattoos reflected that negativity.My stepfather, my hero found that he had terminal cancer and lived with it until he could no longer take the pain and rode his harley off the highest cliff he could find.It was the darkest day of my life.
10 years ago something happened ( we won't go into that here) to me that made me turn away from what Gabe calls the "darkside" In the ensuing years I have found so much more pleasure and peace in the positive side of life rather than that dark and violent world in which I previously walked and tattooed.
Oh I still love the dark genre of tattooing and I do it well I think, but I would rather do things that accentuate the positives of life.Don't misunderstand me...people like Paul Booth are so fuggin awesome...but if you ever met him and talked to him you would know that this demon af a man that creates so many dark images is on the inside a damned angel ( god he is gonne hate me for sayin this) I'm just sayin don't get caught up in the hype.
I was recently diagnosed with a terminal illness...best estimates are that I could have on the outside two years to enjoy this wonderful world of skin art.I am not telling you people this for sympathy...I require none thanks anyway, I tell this just so you can have some perspective on TAz and how I look at things because the knowledge that my time is limited has indeed changed my outlook even more than the death of my stepfather and my experience 10 years ago.
There is no real moral to my post ,hope ya didn't expect one...I think my only message here is to those who look down on our tribe...the "colored people"...Life is too short to hate, to judge for any reason, instead be at peace with your inked and punctured brothers and sisters and take time to enjoy the living artwork...we are walking talking feeling museums ...just think about it!
Posted by Cactus Al from IP: 184.108.40.206 on 04/28/06
Taz, You grew up in Compton? Holy shit. Wow. Well, I have a whole new respect for you. Already did respect you, but now I kinda get you too. I'll add on to what you said a little... first of all, that was about the most zen thing I've heard yet on this forum. That's one hell of a good post, and I agree with, and admire you 100%.
Along those lines, when I was a gangly, fucked up pre-teenager with a stepfather who's face I would have loved to fucking punch in, I used to live down the street from a house full of harley bikers... scary motherfuckers... big, mean, and you really didn't want to walk past their house. I could usually avoid it, and really tried. They were scary. Lots of tats. Lots of full sleeves. So one day, I'm stuck. I gotta get home, can't go the other way, gotta go by the place all by myself. I'm scared, try to hurry, get about halfway past them, and I hear it. Fuck. "Hey Kid"... So I freeze and I know I'm doomed. This gigantic dude walks up to me bends down and gets like right in my face and says "You ever need a hand man, and I think you know what I mean, you come get me." Shakes my hand, sends me on my way.
It's sad the way people judge other people on looks. That day was my wake-up call, and I've never judged anyone on looks ever again, no matter what. Tattoos don't mean a thing. It's what kind of person you are, tattoos or no that influences the people around us. If we are good people, maybe we get to be that big tattooed motherfucker that changes somebody's life for the better...
Posted by Cactus Al from IP: 220.127.116.11 on 04/28/06
In fact, I'm feeling kinda wierd tonight, so I'm gonna throw down and share something really deep with all your beloved asses my friends! The patron saint of my particualr style of Southern Chinese Kung Fu is called Kuan Yin. She's not only the symbol of our power, she's the embodiment of compassion. Here is a prayer from Kuan Yin that teaches us how to deal with exactly the type of thing we are talking about here. If you can plug into it... it explains a lot, tattoos or no....
Kuan Yin's Prayer for the Abuser
To those who withhold refuge, I cradle you in safety at the core of my Being. To those that cause a child to cry out, I grant you the freedom to express your own choked agony. To those that inflict terror, I remind you that you shine with the purity of a thousand suns. To those who would confine, suppress, or deny, I offer the limitless expanse of the sky. To those who need to cut, slash, or burn, I remind you of the invincibility of Spring. To those who cling and grasp, I promise more abundance than you could ever hold onto. To those who vent their rage on small children, I return to you your deepest innocence. To those who must frighten into submission, I hold you in the bosom of your original mother. To those who cause agony to others, I give the gift of free flowing tears. To those that deny another's right to be, I remind you that the angels sang in celebration of you on the day of your birth. To those who see only division and separateness, I remind you that a part is born only by bisecting a whole. For those who have forgotten the tender mercy of a mother's embrace, I send a gentle breeze to caress your brow. To those who still feel somehow incomplete, I offer the perfect sanctity of this very moment.
Kinda makes you think twice about having a chip on your shoulder, huh? Peace and Blessings Y'all....
Posted by TAz from IP: 18.104.22.168 on 04/28/06 mental institution
To my step father Larry Bowker... I know yer up there watchin Maddog..I have felt ya lookin down ,sometimes laughin and sometimes cryin and sometimes just pissed off at me...bu I know ya been there best friend.
Pretty soon I am gonna be there with ya and now I'm old enough we can have a drink or two together and shoot the shit. You gave me so many things the most important of which was the ability to " third eye" people , as you called it..that is not lookin at the outside but diggin in to the meat and seein the angel inside..I didn't understand that til about ten tears ago but I do now.
I know that as big and mean and scary as you were...you are definately wearin yer wings now.
So enough mushy shit Dad..I'll be there soon!...Yer son TAz PS...I got a little somethin for ya...its called a TAzblaster...Hoo BOY!!!
Posted by Lord Mortis from IP: 22.214.171.124 on 04/29/06 hell
I think enough has been said on why people who are inked up are looked down on, I agree its an old stereotype, mostlikely brought on by bikers form the late 60's and early 70's funny thing though nearly 40 years later and those old hatreds still exist. the one thing I wanted to add is that while the general public may be a bit stand-offish, the only real difference between tattooed people and non-tattooed people is that tattooed people dont care if you have tattoos or not. its all about the art. Support the art.
Posted by J-Werk from IP: 126.96.36.199 on 05/04/06 Veggie-Hut
I know that this post is a few days post, but good God it has been one of the best I have read so far... In the past year I have heard some, to me, humorous remarks made by people about my tattoos. At a job interview the lady conducting the interview made the comment, "You don't seem like the type of person who would have tattoos..." More recently at my current job (a state hospital, ha) no one knew that I had tattoos because it was still cold out and we all were still wearing long sleeves. One day the weather was just nice enough that I rolled my sleeves up and out came the, "You have tattoos?!" My favorite to this day from a "fellow employee" is, "You don't look like a guy who would have tattoos...I picture you more on a bike selling Mormon Bibles...."
I don't come from a "darkside". I was raised in your cookie cutter "June and Ward", right from wrong world. Does that make me better?...HELL NO. Please understand that they are very compassionate and accepting people, but they are VERY old fashioned. My Mom and Dad, whom I love and respect very much, were the first people to say, "What is that crap on your arms?!" But I think that now that they realize that the ink hasn't changed their son into a hell raising, piss-fire, son-of-a-bitch, they see things a lot differently.
And to add solidity to Cactus's point with the Harley Story. I would have never in a million years thought that the man that would save my own life would have been a short, bald, grumpy, mean as nails, sum-of-ma-bitch, or so the story went, named TAz. I was going through some really "dark times" in my life. I had been so low that I had stared down the Missouri from the edge of a bridge, held the barrel of a 9mm to me head, had MULITIPLE narcotic perscriptions empty themselves out into my hands at once several times. But one man saw potential in a talent that I had all but thrown away and gave me a new direction in my life. I will be forever greatful to him, I personally don't think that I will ever be able to repay him for what he has done for me. Only being able to come into the shop full-time two days a week I feel like I let him down. I wish i could be a better apprentice to a greater man. But don't ever mistake one thing...I am God damn proud to call TAz my friend.
Totally! I consider myself to be a genuinley nice person with a good heart. My tattoos are an expression of me and what i stand for. It happens to me way too much at work when a person will avoid me because of my apperance. At least once a week i will have a customer totally bypass me and go to the next coworker for assistance even though they are busy and i am free. Most people at my work are kool about my tattoos and accept me for who i am. However there is one lady from another department who went apeshit when she saw i had a gecko on my arm. she started lecturing me about how i destroyed my skin and how could i do that to my body, blah blah. My attitude towards this is to stay positive and remember that i am not doing this for them i am doing it for me. accept me for who i am or leave me alone. When it comes to the customers who bypass me i say F**k em, i'll help people worth my time who are not a bunch of red necks or closed minded 40 something soccer moms. On the plus side there is a lot of people who are approving or supportive of tattoos. I remember one time i was remerchandising a display and some dude came up to me and told me how kool my tatty was! Anywayz i say chilax about the prudes who rant on you or give u dirty looks i know i am better then that and would never cut somebody up because of their lifestyle or apperance. lettme know what u think cya