No, the tattoo gets thicker and thicker on the forearm and on the back, and you’re talking about a lot of extra fat on it. So they have this process called a “TuneUp,” which is where they pull out the tattoo and wash it and change the temperature of the air in the shower. But that takes a long time. And if the tattoo is already thick and sticky, they won’t have the time to do that.
What about if you lose the use of your arm, and you’re willing to lose an arm for your art?
I think what they should do is try something different, which is the way they do some of the tattoo artists in Germany. In other countries, they don’t have tattoos anymore. Some still have them, but there’s not any more tattoo artists. And that’s amazing. Because the people who really know what they do think that is the best method. And it’s just this, they’re taking a lot of time off to do this, so it’s been pretty much impossible for the artists, and also they have to do this for a long time, and sometimes that’s the only time they get paid.
Are you saying that if you have lost the use of your arm you can still take a tattoo to another region?
If you need it removed, yes. Some people, they can just take it anywhere — there’s no restrictions. But my question is… why would I put all of my money into this in the first place? It’s not making me rich… it’s not really helping me. What would someone have the right with the money to do that?
In a way this tattoo industry seems quite modern, as people can change the location for cheaper. But would it ever change? What’s the difference?
In the early nineties, there was no money in tattoos. And that was the worst of all. There were no companies. It was mostly small local businesses. So in the beginning, people didn’t know what the problem was, and they didn’t realize that these tattoos are actually really important because they make money: they make your life feel important, they make the other customers feel important, they make the other customers pay attention to you and care about you. And that’s a good thing: that’s how capitalism works! So what does it do in the end? The answer, at least as I see it? Well, a lot of people will say there’s not any money in