STORIES

You Need to Read This Before Getting a Tat

By David Jenison on April 14, 2017

Blunt-filled ashtrays and twisted red tricycles are among the many gorgeous pieces created by Sergio Garcia, but the artist is especially famous for crafting arms engaged in joint rolling, lean pouring or some other action. Many of these arms feature masterfully drawn tattoos. Everyone—and we mean “everyone” in the literal sense—knows someone who got a lame tattoo, and these individuals could have used some sage advice from a visual genius like Garcia. Before getting that barb wire arm band, read what Garcia has to say about body art:

My brother has a sleeve tattoo for the Day of the Dead. It's supposed to be all our family members—this is our dad, this is grandpa, this is my dog that passed—and he's real excited about it. I thought it was cool, but then my other brother got a tattoo just like it from the same tattoo artist. Then my other brother said, “We need to get yours,” and I was like, "What do you mean? I never signed up for this.” You just voluntarily got one for the "hell yeahs." We didn't make this pact that we were going to get a brother tattoo. That style—they like it—but to me it seems dated. 

The main thing is, people change and tattoo [styles] change, so you really need to get the tattoo from a legit artist you know. That’s a lot different than, “I went to this guy up the street, he works at this place, I just met him and told him what I wanted, and he kinda made this.” That's pretty generic. 

A lot of times people get to know the artists and their work. You know what the artist’s good at, you have an idea of what you're going to get, and it's still similar to the style they do. That is a lot better than, “Oh yeah, I just got a Betty Boop from this person,” you know what I'm saying? People should look more at the artists themselves almost like you’re collecting their art work. This is an artist, this is what they do, and you're a fan of their work more than you just want a tattoo. Even if it is supposed to represent something, like it's supposed to represent a rose, find somebody who’s really good at roses. Maybe fly out to a tattoo convention and make an experience out of it as opposed to going to some guy up the street.

A lot of people are probably going to read this and say, "Man, I feel like crap now."

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