I think tattoos are really cool – I’ve got a half sleeve of them on my left arm and I still think about getting more even though I’m heading into my mid-30s married with 2 children.  The thrill of going under the needle still gives me a rush – the permanence of the art on the skin still transfixes me too.

While tattoos have become mainstream, the artists who do the tattooing still seem like they get left behind and pigeon holed. There’s a few superstars out there like Guy Aitchison, Paul Booth and some others but most rank and file tattoo artists are seen only as that tattoo artists.  The truth of the matter is – most tattoo artists are phenomenal drawers, painters or even designers.

I have been going to one tattoo artist for the past decade – his name is Rich Vader and he’s great. He’s very laid back and easy going but he’s very serious about his craft and he can draw anything – freehand.  I should post some of his sketches sometime…I only wish I could draw like that…smh.

I get that tattoos are not for everyone – to each his own. The next time you see or talk to a tattoo artist you should ask to see their sketchbook (not their tattoo flash, but their sketchbook).  You’ll be amazed at what you see, and you should be.  Think about this for a moment – you need a lot of confidence and skill to draw a permanent design on someone’s skin…just let that sink in.

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