Skin Deep 131

Being a foreigner living in Wales (Englishman), I have taken it upon myself to keep abreast with all things Welsh. Be it the local politics or the fact that the Government in London are trying to ruin some of the most beautiful parts of the British Isles with hundreds of wind turbines that are hopelessly inefficient but are great vote winners. Having lived here for close to ten years now, I feel that Wales is one of the most unspoilt and friendly places anyone could have the pleasure of living in. (Shh, don’t tell everyone, they’ll all want to live here).

So with my thirst for all things Welsh I have been keeping an extra eye on this country’s tattooists and their studios. And for no reason other than I had a little time on my hands, I decided to add up all the studios that we have here. To say I was shocked is a bit of an understatement. I thought ‘Yeah, there’ll be about ten or so studios’. We’ve all heard of the famous ones like Dave Fleet’s Abracadabra or John Treharne’s Skin Creation and Nick Green’s Artistic Tattoos. These guys have been producing some outstanding work for a very long time and show no signs of stopping - Thankfully.

So I started to list all the studios that I could find. By the time I got to thirty-five, yes, thirty-five, I gave up. Where have they all come from? I’m sure there weren’t that many when I took over the helm of Skin Deep two years ago?

Sitting back and looking at the long list before me I started to wonder if this relatively small country could accommodate the sudden upsurge of tattooists and is this increase in numbers a good or bad thing? Does it make for a wider choice in artists or has this increase watered down the quality of work coming out of Wales? I certainly don’t think so. I have seen some superb tattoo work from many of these Celtic studios, ranging from simple Tribal designs to some absolutely stunning portraiture and realism work that could hold its own against anything else tattooed in the world.

So has it become easier to set-up as a tattooist? Have the local heath authorities become less strict? Or has the misconception about tattoos being only for the criminal underclasses or sailors finally become a thing of the past? I’ll let you decide…


Back Issues