From television I’ve learned that tattoo artists are bitchy, whiny, backstabbing rockstars who will purchase an SUV in cash just to throw other tattooers under it for the chance to win the coveted title of Best Ink Master Tattoo Titan. This of course earns them industry wide respect, fame and fortune. Television has also taught me that the residents of Springfield haven’t aged a day in 20 years, that J.R. was never shot (it was all a DREAM) and that people actually find Ryan Seacrest interesting.
In short- TV lies to us. About everything. If the local weatherman (Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz here in Philadelphia) tells me that it’s snowing, I generally poke my head out the door just to make sure. And obviously we know that the tattooists on Ink Master don’t represent the majority of the ladies and gents who make a living tattooing every day, going into work without drama or ego to put on rad tattoos on appreciative clientele before heading out at close with the same passion for tattooing they started the day with- but what about the people who aren’t us? There are people who have tattoos and there are tattoo people. If you’re reading OV you’re probably a tattoo person; we’re niche enough that we’re not really read by the Instagram likers who are looking for the next famous artist to swoon after until someone cooler comes along. But for people with just a few tattoos (or none at all) who think of tattoo artists as temperamental reality tv stars who wear spikes on their sunglasses and constantly ruin Traditional tattoos….
There’s VICE’S game changing TATTOO AGE series, Marcus Kuhn’s globe trotting GYPSY GENTLEMAN and with hope- more projects from independent filmmakers who love tattoo culture and want to see it documented in a more positive light. Like Ivar Myhrvold. When he shared his first short with me- Kreativitet & Tradisjoner (Creativity & Traditions)- he told me not to sugarcoat things in my review. It was his first real project and with first projects there’s always that fear of not finding an audience who appreciates it. I’m really glad he took the shot. The short features Oslo’s Morten Transeth from Old Blue Arms Tattoo sharing his story- how he came to tattooing, why he tattoos the way he does and why he feels fortunate to be under the pressure of constant creativity.
If this is Ivar’s first project I can’t see where he goes next.
For those of us who don’t speak Norwegian- Ivar has provided a subtitle option. Just click CC button on the video.