Slip of the Tongue - 201

Published: 25 July, 2011 - Featured in Skin Deep 201, July, 2011

You think it's a good idea at the time: "Let's get a tattoo artist to write a column and give the magazine another dimension for people to chew over." Yeah, let's see how that pans out shall we...

Welcome to the devilishly weird, pink diesel powered rocket ship to other worlds that I call home. I bring to you a dose of sleaze and bling as an antidote to the usual chemically induced fun that you would normally anaesthetise yourself with when faced with the cardboard coloured world that some folk want to ram down your throats. Nobody will be happy that you have read this and as something for your consumption this article will give some people indigestion. The tattoo universe should, as far as I can tell, be a place inhabited by the coolest people on the planet, but these days I'm beginning to question whether this is now true. In my earlier life, a tattoo was way outside of most people's box. Tattoo art is supposed to get up people's noses. It is not supposed to be liked by your Mum...

At the age of 45 and with half of those years spent in the profession of tattooing, I have finally broken off the shackles of general conformity out of the realisation that I don't really need to measure up to the standards of others or even look to see what those standards are. A great part of my new-found freedom comes from the fact that in tattooing I am seen as reasonably successful because in a notoriously difficult career to survive, in I have managed to do so. It is great to be wearing some of the wildest tattooing known to man, whilst knowing that the critics have nothing material to carp about and that if I irritate them then that is their problem. No, I don't regret my tattoos, even though they shock the hell out of people. The respect that I get despite the outlandish tattooing that I wear comes from the fact that I do not seek approval for what I have done and I do not seek permission for what I am planning to do. I have no desire to do anything else except live in the strange alternative netherworld that is tattooing, where I can speak and behave honestly and freely without any deliberate attempt to damage others, and create art that some individuals enjoy whilst mixing with people who seek Agents Of Change (us tattooists) to help them in this direction too. In this, I can find a direction that means that I am not ramming my personal codes down others' throats or placing them as obstacles in anyone's way, unlike those inhibited individuals who would retard your progress out of sheer bitterness.                 

My tattooing is the sort of stuff that will get me arrested and this year I intend going out of my way to do so since I suspect they won't, like every one else, know what the hell to do with me. In the event that I provoke the powers that be into taking me into custody, I suspect that I will be causing them a greater headache than will be of benefit to society. I am looking forward to the next few years where I can lead the sleaziest and wildest punk rock and roll existence. Kind of out of control in a special place where the rules don't apply to me. I intend mixing with some of the craziest people on the planet, wearing mirror shades and joining in with other like-minded people, artists, creators of the bizarre, photographers, musicians and poets to collaborate on the elaborate and generally get in the way of an ordered society that leads a timetable existence tied to monotony.

Tattoo art will free you. There is awesome creative potential wrapped up in my studio for tattoo artistry. The freedom of expression that the highly talented zoo of creatures, my crew, have at their disposal, means that every day, fresh new ideas emerge that become a collective pool to feed off in order to enjoy a lifestyle with our customers that is humourous, upbeat and that nobody that visits us will forget. We are the Agents Of Change that will break down, slowly at first, your limits as we reshape you and allow the real you to escape. You will eventually be free to move forward with your own talents towards a future which guarantees colour and light will be shed into the dreary existence that the rest of the world seem hell bent on putting up with purely because they are afraid to advance their identities for fear of criticism. The creative core of my business, my huge crew, have reached a calmness with their potential and I am pleased to say that we have risen above the usual problems associated with tattoo artistry like drink, drug or
attitude problems.

Don't hold yourself back because as time marches on, the changes around you that seem so frustratingly slow are still allowing for a future where what is not acceptable now is going to become so in the future. By holding back you collude in slowing down the future potential so frustratingly for everybody around you. Have that sleeve, have that backpiece. Like me you will find that it is the greatest fun that can be had. If your job won't allow it then find a different job and mix with positive people (they are out there in abundance and in all fields). If your family won't allow it then it is time that they realised that there is really nothing that they should be so afraid of, and the autonomy that you will be asserting will prove that you have matured, even if they haven't.

This article space was given to me so that I could write interesting stuff about the inner mechanisms in the professional tattoo world and this I will do. But let us get really refreshing and open up a conduit where you, the reader, can indulge with me the idea that everybody has something to share. For this I have created a Batphone, the number for which is listed below, and I invite you to text in your most creative, funny, upbeat, sleazy, creepy anecdotes and stories. The phone will take messages for three weeks from the date of publication only. If you are imaginative enough, your anecdotes will be printed as a part of my future articles; and the best story wins a set of my cast iron spurs as modelled on the high heel shoe of the lovely Hannah here at my studio. We will have a different peculiar prize each month. By the way, abusive texts will only waste the time of the person who sent it as it will be canned. I know that you will have some great stories of how you have successfully created a small oasis of groovy tattoo fun that the rest of the world should know about.

And since these days I am way too busy fitting in a glamorous life of bondage, discipline and assorted S&M (M&M more like! Ed.) scenarios between a world of strange rock and slime, I am afraid that it is unlikely that I will be able to answer queries. On the other hand if you are really mischievous, I may be compelled to. Can't you just tell that I was born with Mars in Aquarius, huh?

I am looking into doing some fun stuff this year which may be way too outlandish, plain silly or totally unworkable. If you have any such schemes in your world then let me know, because if there is one thing I love, it is a great idea. Photographers, musicians, film people, poets, whoever, lets get together for some sleazoid activity. What say you? Text: 07743474567.

Woody's Tattoo Studio

28 High Street, 
High Wycombe, 
Bucks HP11 2AG
01494 464023


Text: Woody


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