“Have you ever written on the stereotype/cliches of being a tattoo artist?”
I have not. Until now. Ask and ye shall receive! Eventually.
I’m not really sure what stereotypes people have in mind when it comes to a tattoo artist. On top of that, sometimes it’s difficult to separate the stereotypes about people with tattoos from people who do tattoos. Although… the later mostly includes the former since most people who do tattoos have tattoos. Mostly.
The phrase “stereotypes have some truth to them” does has some truth to it but not in the way people think. That truth is not about the stereotyped but the stereotyper. Stereotypes remain alive by confirmation bias: we notice a few examples that fit the stereotype then overlook the ton of examples that do not. I don’t know if it’s human nature to do that, but we (the collective) do it.
Having visible tattoos definitely changes the way humans look at you. There are times I catch someone staring at me. Not staring in a way that they’re observing my artwork. But staring at me as a person. Making judgments about me. It doesn’t bother me now like it used to. Most of the time. But there are still times I want to just yell out, “I’m not dangerous!”
When I came into the tattooing world, first as a client and later as a tattooist, I wasn’t sure what to expect from tattoo artists. I had my own stereotypes of what I would encounter and (sadly) a lot of those were true, at least in the area I live in: misogynistic, homophobic, racist, gang-related, miscreants, hellions. Some of those adjectives are linked either with the conjunctions “and” or “or”.
My guess would be that most people think tattoo artists are a lot of the above. And some people would say partiers. Or drug addicts. And I have known a few who fit both of those descriptions. But I also knew a lot of I.T. people who were the same back in the day when I was a computer guy.
But there’s a lot of us who are just… “normal”. Granted, normal is relative. Unless you’re my relatives, then you’re far from normal.
While some of us find visible ink possibly both sexy and enhancing depending on the individual and the artwork, not everyone approves. I guess my question to you would be: what do you do or think when you see someone with tattoos? And why do you think that?
Until next time...