September 23, 2013

The Tattoo Collector Movement


The Tattoo Collector Movement

The Tattoo Collector Movement

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a rising number of tattoo collectors come to prominence and personally, I’m glad to see it. While there have always been collectors, this new generation has become a strong presence in the tattoo world. You see them at all the conventions, posing for pictures with artists and fans. They’re all over social media. They can have thousands of fans following their feeds. Their Instagram following can rival that of the tattooer they visit.
These collectors show a dedication to the tattoo world that I haven’t seen before. It’s almost become an international club. They support and encourage each other. They’ll become good friends over social media before they ever meet in person. At conventions, they check out who is getting what and compare stories. Some will spend an entire convention weekend getting tattooed by multiple artists.
At this point, a serious collector can even make or break a tattooer’s reputation. A negative experience can be broadcast through social media and have an immediate effect on the artist. Fortunately, collectors are typically very positive and will promote the artist and their work with enthusiasm. Their followers trust the opinion of the collector and why wouldn’t they? These tattoo collectors have earned the trust and respect of not just tattoo enthusiasts but tattoo artists themselves.
There are those with such great collections of work that I have actually found myself intimidated to tattoo them. They’re wearing tattoos from artists I consider to be the best in the world. It is flattering to be asked to add to their collection and gives me a sense of pride to be included.
This isn’t to say there haven’t been tattoo collectors for a long time. One of my favorite tattoo collectors is Chris Long, Mayor of Tattooville. I think he took this to a new level years ago. Once his body suit was done, he just started reworking everything until he essentially had three body suits done. He chose great artists for the task.
He was unlike a lot of other early tattoo fans who often got all their work from one artist. He was one of the first true collectors in the sense that we’re seeing now. Today, it’s a global experience. How do they do it? How do these people (with jobs unrelated to the world of tattoos) manage to fly all over the world for the sole purpose of getting tattooed? The cost of airfare and hotels, the hourly rates and scope of work they get, it must add up to astronomical amounts. Apart from everything else, the money they’re willing to spend for the love of tattoos and tattoo artists is humbling. To spend a small fortune and to dedicate their bodies to tattoos is an ultimate show of dedication.
These tattoo collectors have had such a positive effect on the tattoo world that I feel I have to thank them. They keep the general public excited while educating them at the same time. They deserve our respect and support. Follow them on Instagram, on Facebook, on Twitter. Give them a shout out and watch their work grow. They’re worth it. And for the new comers, learn from these collectors and choose wisely. You only have one body.

Follow @Tattoocollectors on Instagram.
Also Thanks to Chris Longo and Yall Quiñones for the photos. You can also follow Yall on IG. @yallzee

Jeremiah Barba
Jbarba.net

@jeremiahbarba

chris longo Tattoo collector

Chris Longo(The Mayor of Tattooville)
Tattoo collector

Yallzee Quiñonas
Yallzee Quiñones

Tattoo work by Bob Tyrrell,Stefano Alcantara and Juan Salgado

Tattoo work by Bob Tyrrell,Stefano Alcantara and Juan Salgado

Yall and fellow tattoo collector at the London Tattoo Convention.

Yall and fellow tattoo collector at the London Tattoo Convention.