Talking Shit

Miami According to Brooklyn: Tattoo Conventions are for Jackasses

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With the tattoo convention coming up this weekend in Miami, I want to talk about how these conventions are full of jackasses. I used to work for Eulogy Recordings, one of sponsors of it, and Madball is playing on Saturday - that's the only reason I'd go. And there are those people there who are really interested in the tattoo convention and going to see an amazing artist and getting actual work done. But then there are those jackasses there who have these sweet tribal arm bands, and they're like, Yo man, check out my sweet tribal arm band, isn't it sick?

If you're going to be interested in tattoos, do some research. About 70 percent of my body is covered in tattoos, but the reason I did it is because it wasn't cool. Then you have these jackass kids these days where their first tattoos are neck tattoos. Are you kidding me? You gotta crawl before you walk, son. You gotta earn that shit. You get a neck tattoo and think you look cool, but all you look like is a fucking jackass.

Then you walk in these tattoo conventions and you see these jackasses in Ed Hardy shirts. And you know what, Ed Hardy, in his time, was an amazing tattoo artist, but now he's become, like, cashed in. And his style is more like a Sailor Jerry style, anyways. These sailor-style designs have now become popular through that clothing line, which is fucking horrible. Because it's all somebody trying to be cool, and that's not the meaning behind all of this.

Last year, I went to the same tattoo convention, but it was in Ft. Lauderdale. I walk in and I see this guy and his girlfriend wearing these see-through shirts with fake tattoo sleeves. I'm looking at them and I'm like, You look like a fucking jackass! And then I see these guys who are like 38, 45, 50, and all of a sudden they start getting sleeves because it's cool. Are you fucking kidding me? There's nothing wrong with getting a sleeve at that age, but it's like, now all of a sudden you decided to get tattooed because it's the new fad?

Well guess what, a lot of these kids who get their necks and hands and knuckles done at a young age, later they're gonna be like, Man, I fucked up. Then there's gonna be another cool fad, and they're gonna be stuck with their tattoos because they're fucking jackasses.

The reason why it's okay for me to do it is because I put in my time. I had sleeves way before, and a full chest piece, and one of my legs is totally completed. I did all that before I even thought about getting my hand or neck or widow's peak done (I have an anchor there). You have to put in your time before you even consider getting some shit like that. But these kids just want it to be seen and to be cool. My first tattoo was on my upper arm where I could hide it with a short-sleeve shirt!

And as far as the tattoo artists who agree to do these tattoos, I think it's extremely disrespectful to their art, and disrespectful to their client because they're not taking them into consideration. I know tons of artists where if a kid comes in and says, Oh, I want something on my neck, they refuse to do it because they're not tattooed enough, which is extremely respectful of the client. Those are the artists that I want to be tattooed by, the ones who actually give a shit. They're not just out there for a bucl, they're actually out there for their art.

As for the artists I would get tatooed by, Dennis Pase did a good percentage of my work; he's now based out of Louisville, Kentucky at Acme Ink. Anybody at Aces High in West Palm Beach is extremely nice and talented. At Ochoplacas, John Vale and Jose are extremely talented and nice. Also Rockabilly Tattoo in Ft. Lauderdale, and Colorfast, also in Ft. Lauderdale - BJ, Vince, Scott, Gurdey, I would let any one of them tattoo me. Also, True Love Tattoo in Margate - Adam Facenda, who did my entire right leg, just opened up a shop. He's an extremely talented artist, good guy, and he's doing it for all the right reasons.

Five Albums I'm Listening to This Week: 1) Hall & Oates, Best Of, 2) As Friends Rust, One or Something, 3) Lifelong Tragedy, Runaways, 4) the Smiths, Singles, 5) Cave In, Jupiter.

Quote of the Week: "My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the mornin gand I go to bed at night. I occupy mself as best I can." - Cary Grant

I took my dog to work this week. His name is Tiger and I love him very much.

-- by Brooklyn, as told to Arielle Castillo

(Photo by Justin Namon.)

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Arielle Castillo
Contact: Arielle Castillo