Skin Deep 260

Skin Deep 260
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Thirty years ago, many of the aspects of tattooing we now take for granted, didn’t exist. You can probably name them all at your leisure—disposables, water colour styles, hand tattoos as the norm or almost the norm anyway. For some of us (not me of course, I’m a lot younger than I look), thirty years ago is recent memory—or at least recent enough to have a stab at.

What does that make it? If my math is acceptable, that would make it 1986.

But wait a second! If the past is so damn good, why is it no longer here?

Instead, let’s press the other button on the remote and look ahead to 2046. Actually, that scares the crap out of me. At the rate of progress in everything right now, let’s throw a far more lenient ten years into the arena. I can handle 2026 and so can you.

If you’re a lazy slob, maybe you’ll still be working the same desk job you are right now—it happens, so let that be a warning to not take your eye off the ball. However, in those ten years, I wonder what will happen when it comes to ‘the art’. Will it become more, or less, of a craft? Will it go back underground or push out ever further into the mainstream? Will tech take over more than we ever dreamed? And the biggest question on my lips... will people still be getting Jack Sparrow tattooed?

I could take a good stab that laser removal will be a thing of the past, having been replaced with some serious creams. I also think tech will feature heavily—and I hope it loses badly. The day an artist isn’t physically putting ink in your skin is the day the image on your skin ceases to be a tattoo and becomes a 'process' which is not the same thing at all. That would be like leaving a computer to write a song or a book for you. Soulless is what it will be—but I suspect it will become a ‘thing’ all the same because some plant-based humans will think it’s ‘cool’,

As for the myriad of styles available—where will we be going on that front?

I don’t have an answer for that question. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine we can ever go anywhere else—until tomorrow when that tattoo ends up in my inbox or I see it at a show. In ten years, there will also be kids who are twelve right now who will slay your ass into the ground. Twelve!

But there will also be artists who were once ass kickers who couldn’t keep up. Some will and some won’t. That’s the way life rolls.

If you’re feeling brave enough to project your world forwards thirty years, knock yourself out and see where it gets you. If Johnny Depp features heavily in your predictions and announces he’s up for Pirates of the Caribbean 14: Jack’s back from the Dead, start running for the hills.

We will have finally broken the planet.