Skin Deep 141

Whilst I was attending the Arctic Tattoo convention I had the pleasure of sharing my breakfast table each morning with none other than Lyle Tuttle. Lyle pretty much single-handedly moved tattooing from the shadowy back streets into the public eye in America and made tattooing more acceptable to the masses. We chatted about all sorts of tattoo related issues and one of the topics that we hit on was how much tattooing has come on from Lyle’s early days. He said that he was so impressed with the sheer quality of the workmanship that is being produced nowadays. We also touched on the amount of tattoo artists that are currently working in the world today and Lyle was quite honest when he said that he thought that if he was just starting out in the word of tattooing, he didn’t think that he would stand a chance against the guys working now. After having a conversation with a couple of ‘Young bloods’ in the industry who hadn’t even heard of the Lyle Tuttle’s’, the Don Ed Hardy’s or the Ron Ackers’ of this world that really got me thinking. This filled me with dread that the pioneers of this wonderful art were starting to be forgotten about by some of the new generation of tattooists. Not all, some tattooists have an encyclopaedic knowledge of this subject and are well worth having a chat with. Luckily Lyle is a fit as a fiddle and still manages to get to more tattoo conventions than I do each year and I hope that I’m as sprightly as he is when and if I get to his age. 

In Great Britain we have an incredible history when it comes to tattooing spanning back many, many years and there are still some big tattoo family names working with their current progeny, having come up through the generations.

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t loose sight of where tattooing came from and don’t ridicule tattoos that were done a long time ago as they were cutting edge at the time. Make it your mission to delve deep into tattooings’ rich and colourful history, it’s fascinating and is a part of our heritage. 

After all, where do you think the ‘Old School’ Style of tattooing came from? 


I hope you enjoy this month’s offering of Skin Deep magazine with a free copy of the calendar. Skin Deep wishes every reader a very happy and colourful Christmas and New Year.


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