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The Evolution of Tattoos: As Told By Two Generations Of Tattoo Artists

The industry has changed quite a bit.

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Sometimes it’s easy to forget that tattoos have been around for literally hundreds, if not thousands of years, but they’ve evolved a lot, especially in recent decades thanks to platforms like Instagram.

As part of a new series called ‘Back In My Day’, Vice posted an episode titled ‘Tattooists’ to their Youtube channel earlier this week. The video sees 27 year old Fidjit and 85 year old Doc Price, both tattooists, discuss how the art of tattooing has changed over the years.

They each begin by discussing what inspired them to become tattoo artists, and Doc Prince describes how back in his day there were no such things as tattooist apprenticeships. He simply had to learn through huge amounts of practice. Kind of scary when you think about it, imagine all the not so great tattoos people would have been running around with?

They go on to talk about how the price of tattoos has changed since Doc Prince was young. Nowadays tattoos are obviously really expensive and successful artists can make a good amount of money, whereas Doc says in his younger days, you could only just make a living from working as a tattooist.

Probably the biggest change in the tattoo industry is the way in which people find out about artists. In his day Doc describes how as a tattoo artists you attracted customers through word of mouth, and through people seeing your work on other people, thus it was only those who really had skill that were successful. Where things have changed now, Fidjit says, is that artists don’t need to have a huge amount of skill, but instead a great Instagram with a big following, in order to be successful.

You can watch the full video here:

To be honest, I can understand why Fidjit finds it annoying that being a successful tattoo artists nowadays must be frustrating, especially for those who have really honed their craft and skill over a long period of time.

Speaking of tattoos, check out this video of Louis Theroux rating tattoos of himself.

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