Here’s What a Legendary Tattoo Artist Have To Say about Today’s Ink Culture

“Now it’s a trend and a fad, and trends and fads end.” That is the brave and bold statement of tattoo legend Lyle Tuttle referring to today’s ink culture.

Tuttle has been in the ink industry for a very, very long time. He had the glorious pleasure of tattooing many famous artists during his era and scored a Rolling Stone cover in 1970. So yes, this old man is probably the best old man in the world.

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The well-known tattoo historian recalled how he inked hundreds of bracelet tattoos on women after singer-songwriter Janis Joplin passed away. Back in that time, memoriam tattoos were taken on a serious level, not the “oh let’s get that design because everybody’s getting it.”

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Today though, we’re having way too much of those “I just got 18” inks with Cyrus and Bieber driving the generation. No wonder why tattoo removalists are also growing at an estimated 10-15% each year.

What does ink art mean to you? What do your tattoo(s) represent and signify? For Lyle Tuttle, “tattooing used to be a compulsion. In my era, I just had to have a tattoo. It just seemed like a step in growing up,” and with his philosophy on the ink culture, indeed, he grew up well.

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