Skin Deep 190

A couple of months ago, I found a complete box set of all five movies in the original Planet of the Apes sequence. It wasn’t exactly a top priority purchase, but how could I say no when it was only £1? (Charity shop special – I don’t loiter in them very often but this was a good find). I eventually got around to watching them at a rate of about one a week and this happened to coincide with taking over the recently vacated Editor’s position here at Skin Deep.

Bear with me – it’s sort of relevant...

Inevitably, with any switch of scenery at a magazine, changes will take place. Hopefully for the better – as they say at Burger King, “if you like what we do, tell your friends, if you don’t, tell us.” I think it comes from Burger King anyway. It’s a better thing to say than “would you like fries with that?” Over at Big Tattoo Planet, we’ve been keeping track of all the suggestions made regarding the magazine and there are some good, solid ideas in there. As much as I would like to, these changes won’t take place all at once – and if you haven’t voiced your opinion yet, maybe you should.

For me and those who work alongside me, our job is simply to catalogue all of this issue by issue and present it as best we can. Intelligently, entertainingly and make it look damn good – the same as any job whether your surname is Beckham or you work for the electricity board.

Over the next few issues, we’ll be introducing some new feature ideas, looking deeper still into the heart of tattooing, inviting comments and opinions from both readers and artists alike. We’ll also be scouring the globe in search of artists who are taking the art into the future, draining the heads of artists working every corner of the UK and Europe - it would be nice to say ‘the world’, but that’s a little ambitious. At least for this year.

Personally speaking, each issue I’ll be pushing hard to get more art into these pages, more artists involved and evoke a true world view of where we are and where we’re going. Possible? Yeah of course it is – I’m sure you’ll let me know if I veer off course. You guys are like that.

So, back to the Planet of the Apes thing. It’s a good movie. Far superior to the remake. While the remake may be slick and the Apes really do look like Apes, that’s all it was – slick. It didn’t have a heart, didn’t have a soul and the critics of world let everybody know about it. Conversely, the original had Apes that sort of looked like Apes, but it had a lot of heart and even more soul. Those guys were out to tell a story and they weren’t about to let anything get in their way. From the success of that movie, they got more and more funding to make more of the same – the more money they had, the more they poured into the sets and effects and the story kind of got left behind – right about the mid-point of the second film, which is generally where most people agree that the concept died a death. What’s that got to do with the art of tattooing?

Well, I was more trying to illustrate a point about heart and soul than anything. Each and every time you let that needle into your skin, you’re telling a story about where you are in your life. You might not think you are, but that ink is pretty damn permanent. Some people save up forever, think and think and then think some more about it. Others dip into the bank, get it on and are done and dusted in a few hours. That’s an individual’s choice, but what would be great – and is something I really hope to get over in coming issues – would be to make sure you get your own heart and soul in there. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for tribal in Torquay or getting on a plane to get yourself sorted out thousands of miles away. Be true to yourself – think about the person you are, who you’re entrusting to do this for you and the message you’re about to send out to the world. It’s important.

Today, you may not think it is, but tomorrow it will be. Get a little bit of pride in your art.

Bloody hell, I’m getting old.


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