Skin Deep 206

Jeez. What happened to the year? Where did it go? One minute I’ve got Craigy Lee on the other side of the world, the next minute he’s back on my doorstep. Looking back on a year – which is after all, just a convenient marking of time and little more – it’s interesting to chew over our expectation of certain things, live through them and then realise that time and life itself, never really works out how you thought it would…

A friend of mine who is a movie critic (probably sounds more interesting than it is in all honesty) showed me a blog post he had written this time last year about the movies he was most looking forward to in 2011. Looking the list over, of the ten movies on it I would say that three of them where still worth talking about after the event: Tintin, Super 8 and War Horse. All of these had one thing in common – Steven Spielberg. The other seven, let’s just say that despite their initial hype, history won’t be treating them kindly. If indeed history will be treating them at all.

Funny thing, hype. People use it foolishly to build up expectation of something that might not really be reality in the end result. Spielberg doesn’t have to answer to anybody these days – unlike his friend George Lucas who must answer to everybody, but that’s another story – one that maybe Josh Bodwell can answer for me – see page 82.

It’s been quite a year though. I tried to do a count-up last week of how much had been raised for charity by tattoo artists in 2011, but had to give up due to the sheer amounts of money involved. It’s well over a million though, easily. So for all the whining and gunfire about celebrities and scratchers that the mainstream media like to fire at us as a community, I would say that’s a pretty good start in anybody’s book.

Not only that, but the more we expose tattooing as a unique art form, the more fantastic it seems to get. The word on the street from those making a name for themselves right now is to keep pushing. Accept no limitations from any quarter and keep pushing – that includes yourself as well as others around you. A few years ago, the art being created today would have been pretty unheard of – and so it will be in the few years to come. Are you going to be part of that excellence and cutting edge?

The one thing I have learned from myself as well as those occupying that space at the cutting edge, is that you can’t constantly look to and drain tattoo itself for inspiration. It has to come from other places. We should be mining the past for all it’s worth because art goes back thousands of years and not just living memory. Bring it on.

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