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FEMALE TATTOO ARTIST: GRANDMASTER WHANG-OD

Tattoo Hunter Dr. Lars Krutak visits the remote Philippine Cordillera Mountains to learn about Kalinga tattooing culture from the last tribal tattoo tattooist Whang-Od. It’s an inspiring video which shows you the power of tattoo culture, while providing a glimpse into the one of the oldest – and most legendary – tribal female tattoo artists in the world.

 

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Miguel is a WWII veteran who earned most of his tattoos combating Japanese forces. He is worried that future generations of Kalinga youth will perhaps forget what the tattooing culture of his people represents once he’s gone. “First the missionaries came, then the school teachers and then people in the towns began discriminating against those men and women who wore tattoos. Now we have no more tattooists and our custom of tattooing will disappear when my generation dies.” Batok cover his back and chest and the khaman or head-axe design adorns his side. Kalinga warriors also wore tally marks behind their ears or beneath their armpits that for some men represented the number of enemy engagements.

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THE NOT SO TEMPORARY TATTOO.

What would you do if someone walked into your tattoo parlor wanting  you to apply temporary tattoos? Would you turn them away? Or Make their day? In the case of Jason Ward, the owner of Muscle & Ink Tattoo (in Hamilton, NZ), he not only helped make one ladies day, he’s helped make her life.

It was about three months ago when a NZ woman named Suzie, who has Down syndrome, walked into his shop. She walked in and said, “Put this on me” so I did, said shop owner Mr. Ward. At the time he didn’t think much of it and figured that once it fell off she’d never come back but that was months ago and since then she’s pretty much shown up ever Friday.

It was during one of her visits, that his good friend Rochelle Douglas decided to snap a picture and post it on her Facebook and since then it went viral. It landed 180,000 likes shortly there after and has been published in newspapers like the Sydney Morning Herald and sites such as  Confessions of a Tattoo Artist, and other UK online entertainment hubs such as  The Lad Bible, which heralded Wald as a “Top Lad.”

 

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 The original photo taken by Rochelle Douglas
 

So what was Suzie’s reaction to her newly found fame? She says, “It’s actually quite touching”, as she was caught wandering back into the tattoo parlor with a pack of stick-on tattoos, a huge grin and well-decorated arms. As for Ward, he didn’t think he was doing anything special up until that photo went viral and subsequently hit with tons of friend requests on FB.

Even better is the fact that when he applies the temporary tattoos as if it were a real tattoo. Jason will walk her back to a station, where he puts on the gloves while he waits for Suzie to pick the tattoo she’d like applied. Once she chooses the piece, he preps her arm and then applies it as if she were no different from any other customer.

Rightfully so, Suzie describes Ward as “beautiful”, and we tip our hats to Jason for his beautiful acts of kindness while also thanking photographer Rochelle, for not only taking the time to shoot and post the picture, but for seeing the true beauty in the moment.  In an interview with the Sydney Herald, it says that Rochelle is hoping the attention generated by her photo will remind people not to be so judgmental about tattoos, disabilities or otherwise.

Header photo by Bruce Mercer  |  Story by SDT contributor Sara

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM SKIN DESIGN.

As we enter the holiday seasons, one of the most important and sentimental holidays for me is Thanksgiving. Just a few days away, it’s the one holiday that revolves around food, family and friends. It’s also a stress free occasion to cherish with those you truly appreciate – unless you’re the one cooking – and it’s also a time where you express sentiment to those who hold you down. In addition, it’s a holiday where we express gratitude; compassion and support to those you call family and with that said, I’d like to thank my Skin Design family. Through the thick and thin they’ve stuck by my side to create what we have today and for that I’m thankful and forever indebted. In addition, I would also like to take  the time to thank all those who believed in me for the past two decades. Without clients believing in my work (and even the naysayers who doubted – and motivated me), I would not be where I am today.

In addition, I have to thank the founding forefathers of the game as well as artists both past, present and future. As a family of artisans we’ve all helped create an industry that we enjoy today and together we can keep this industry as one that was built, maintained and regulated by us.  I say this because we’re at a critical moment in growth and its up to us to make sure that we hold tattooing up to the highest standards possible.

That said, I’m proud to release a newly revamped website which gives back to this amazing community. The new Skin Design Tattoo site still contains all the basic essentials but the one part that I’m most proud of is our decision to run content, which will be updated daily. From artist interviews, news and industry products, the team at Skin Design will be chronicling our industry from a global vantage and in the end our ultimate goal is to create a hub which will capture, educate and entertain the truly evolutionary spirit of tattoos.

Updates on the site will begin to launch next week so check back with us and enjoy this holiday with your loved ones!

With Respect,

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