You may think that tattoos are as common as having a Blackberry or iPhone in society today, but only in the last couple of decades have our opinions on body art changed. The chances are, if you tell your grandparents that you’re thinking of getting a tattoo, their minds will immediately jump to the adorned skin of rebel bikers, sailors and Hell’s Angel members. Although we may instantly think of celebrity tattoos clad on the likes of Rihanna, Kate Moss and Cheryl Cole, the generation gap has increased and the comprehension of fashion and beauty as we know it has fallen in. A recent interesting figure shows that one fifth of British adults claim to have a tattoo, the majority of which maintain that they hold personal meanings, but we are seeing a significant increase in the numbers of drunken mistakes appearing too.
Tattoo artists today are trying to fight and curb the imitation of celebrity tattoo’s, with many studios refusing to tattoo a design which is not their own and instead creating a personalised piece of art, suitable for an individual, after a detailed consultation. Emily Wood, a tattooist at Black Heart Tattoo Studio in Epsom, explains that ‘we have a lot of girls coming in asking for Cheryl Cole-esque hand tattoos, but we turn them away. They might think that it’s okay now, but there still seems to be prejudice towards those with visible tattoos when considering a normal career. We have a blanket ban on hands, face and neck.' Tattooing has become a craze among celebrities and public alike. Although many opt for a simple tattoo of a butterfly or bow, it's becoming increasingly common to see individuals with full arm and leg sleeves or sporting elaborate chest pieces.
Rick Genest is the underworld icon that has taken the fashion industry by storm. His rise to fame has been sudden and effortless, surfacing in January 2011 when Lady Gaga's stylist chose him to appear in the singer’s music video 'Born This Way'. In great contrast to today, where Genest is walking the catwalks in Paris for Thierry Mugler, he used to live as a 'bum' on the streets of Montreal, where his only jobs were begging and performing as a circus freak in the Showcase of the Mortal Sins. His forte was playing the deadly sin of 'sloth' which included lying on a bed of nails. Genest fulfilled his role in these performances solely to collect enough money for his next tattoo. Genest is the epitome of a tattoo addict, since 2002 he has become obsessed with using his body as a canvas for portraying the decomposition of a corpse. He is completely covered from head to waist, and is getting ready to take his art the whole way down his body too.
This instance of body art takes tattooing to the next level, and although your average person is not covered in tattoos, Genest wouldn't feel out of place at many a British tattoo convention, where people go to admire the art on and by others.
In fact, new statistics inform us that it is estimated that at least 1 in 8 British women have a tattoo and so do a whopping 50% of all Americans over 21.
Famous celebrity tattoos which are often ‘requested’ in studios today include those modelled by Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Billie Piper, Fearne Cotton, Nicole Richie and Peaches Geldof.
Even one of the world’s most coveted designers, Marc Jacobs, has been inked all over by renowned tattoo artist, Scottie C. One of his tattoos is of unconventional cartoon character, Cartman (South Park) and another is a Simpson version of himself. He has two portraits of his pet terriers, ‘Shameless’ embellished upon his chest, ‘Bros Before Hoes’, a sofa and loads of coloured stars, just to name a few.
One big tattoo mistake to look out for is making sure that you spell your tattoo correctly, whatever language it is written in. DON’T trust an online translator or even your tattoo artist. Instead ask someone who you know or who speaks the language you want your tattoo written in. Even some celebrities forget to follow this rule...
If you’re getting a tattoo, make sure you do it for the right reasons!