The New York Times and the New York Daily News, among others, have covered the rise of tattoos and the new school tattoo culture and have explored the reasons behind all the excitement. In some respects the culture is reminiscent of the ’90s, but today, the tattoos seem far more interesting and personal. The tattoo industry has a booming market, as illustrated by the rise of several tattoo parlors, such as The Wild Thing Tattoo Company, Black Dragon Tattoo, and the Tattooist Experience. In this segment, I’ll show you some of the tattoos that I’m currently working on and then introduce you to some of the artists who are currently doing their own unique art forms of tattooing.
What is tattooing the new school, why are you doing this?
In the beginning there were just school students. Some of them got lucky, some of them got good tattoos, and some of them got bad tattoos. Then in the late 90s, the tattoo parlors started popping up, but most of the tattoo artists were just regular teachers. They were really good at how to get good tattoos, how to tattoo well, but not so good at how to actually tattoo in the classroom.
There was not really a concept of new school tattooing until I met my mentor, Mark C. (aka Nastasius) when I was finishing up my studies. His name was Mark and he was a very creative, smart guy with good business sense. I was a few years away from college and he was teaching me how to get good tattoos and teach me how to work with tattoo artists.
Then, in 1998, something wonderful happened. Mark started using an app on his phone called Dribble (which comes from a hip-hop term “dumbphone”). He taught me Dribble and I started learning how to tattoo.
About 6 years ago, I started tattooing professionally. I can tell you personally that it definitely took me by surprise. I didn’t know what I was going to learn. There were no tattooers in my area who were teaching tattooing that day. I was actually amazed at how many people started learning through Mark and the Dribble app. In the beginning, I was really intimidated and embarrassed when I first started working with young artists.
Why do you like so many different techniques and styles of tattooing?
I can honestly say that there are so many different tattoo techniques that I like so much. There are so
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