February 24, 2012

The Latest Tattoo Statistics

Photo by Edgar Hoill aka OSOKILL

Any time I read the word "tattoo poll" -- or even worse "tat stats" -- I shake my curly red head and wonder how a passion for art can be quantified and put into nice info boxes for media consumption. But damn the media loves those statistics. They cite the same old tattoo polls from 2003 and 2008 by Harris Interactive in news pieces on the "tattoo trend." But now they no longer have to.

Today, Harris released their latest tattoo poll, which surveyed 2,016 American adults online between January 16 and 23, 2012. Here are some of the highlights from that survey (most are direct quotes):

* One in five U.S. adults has at least one tattoo (21%), which is up from 16% & 14% surveyed in 2003 and 2008, respectively.

* Those living on the West Coast have more tattoos (26%) than those on the East Coast (21%), the Midwest (21%) and the South (18%).

* Adults aged 30-39 are most likely to have a tattoo (38%) compared to both those younger (30% of those 25-29 and 22% of those 18-24) and older (27% of those 40-49, 11% of those 50-64 and just 5% of those 65 and older).

*Women are slightly more likely than men, for the first time since this question was first asked, to have a tattoo (now 23% versus 19%).

And here's where it gets sexy:

*Among those with a tattoo, most have never regretted getting a tattoo (86%) and three in ten say it makes them feel more sexy (30%). [Woohoo!] One-quarter say having a tattoo makes them feel rebellious (25%), 21% say both it makes them feel attractive or strong, 16% say it makes them feel spiritual and fewer say it makes them feel more healthy (9%), intelligent (8%) or athletic (5%).

And here's where it gets nasty:

While so many of us feel beautiful and sexy in our tattoos, it seems that many polled don't share this feeling. At least two in five say that people with tattoos are less attractive (45%) or sexy (39%). Not that we care really, but there are some numbers worth mentioning, particularly because certain stereotypes that still exist could potentially affect things like employment or admission to the country club.

* One-quarter say that people with tattoos are less intelligent (27%), healthy (25%) or spiritual (25%).

* Half of those without a tattoo say people with tattoos are more rebellious (50%).

I'm so rebellious, I'm writing this post pantsless.

See all the stats and charts here. There's also a PDF download of the survey.

I would have loved it if they asked poll takers whether the Ink shows, celebrities, merch and other elements of tattoos in pop culture affected their choices. Also curious about how people describe their collections; for example, whether they consider themselves "heavily" tattooed.

Feel free to post your thoughts on the survey in the Needles & Sins Facebook group. 

Mark Wahlberg Has Tattoos Removed

Mark Wahlberg, sometimes known as Marky mark can be seen on the front of many magazines and papers today, as he sets out to remove some of the tattoos he has etched onto his body.  In a recent interview, Mark told reporters about the extreme pain and discomfort he has gone through in order to remove some of his undesirable additions to his body.  Below is a transcript that Mark gave to a reporter recently about the ongoing process of his tattoos being removed.

In a recent interview, Mark stated that, “When you get a tattoo it’s one sitting and you sit there and have a few beers until it’s done, but I’ve been to the tattoo removal sessions 30 times already.  It’s like having hot bacon grease flicked on you over and over again.  It’s not fun.”

Family Man? Or Just Worried about his Looks at Old Age…

When asked why he was having the tattoos removed, Mark replied that he believed he now saw himself as a respectable and well looked up to character, and didn’t want his four children to view him as a “tattooed lunatic” as he described.  Interestingly enough, Mark actually took his eldest two children along to watch the tattoo removal process to act as a deterrent to stop them from getting any tattoos done when they’re older.

“I don’t want my kids getting tattoos.  I’ve taken my two older kids to the procedure so they see how painful it is and what I have to go through”, was the official statement from Mark, alongside with remarks about how he didn’t want his children getting into the entertainment industry, (apparently they could be more successful studying art and literature at fine art school than following in the footsteps of their multi millionaire father?!)

Either way however, it’s clear that Mark sends out a strong message about getting tattoos removed, and he clearly feel passionate about encouraging others not to get them done to themselves.  Perhaps Marky Mark could have benefited by being told about the painfulness of removing tattoos before he decided to get Sylvester the cat and Tweety the bird tattooed on his ankle.

Perhaps he feels cool having children’s cartoon characters tattooed on his ankle?  Perhaps if I get a cigarette tattooed on my forehead the youngsters in my town will look up to me…

With three or four known tattoos, and another half dozen to a dozen suspected ones, Mark looks to be continuing his tattoo removal treatment for some time to come.  Let’s just hope that he has the common sense to stay away from getting any more done on his body.

Mark follows the likes of other celebs who have decided that they can’t handle the extra added weight of ink on their skin.  Jessica Alba, Megan Fox and Angelina Jolie are other examples of well known actors who have spent thousands of their easily earned cash on cleansing themselves of their artwork.

February 22, 2012

Amar’e Stoudemire Honours His Late Brother with Teardrop Tattoo

New York Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire has returned to the team’s lineup after missing four games due to the sad death of his older brother Hazell in a car accident at the beginning of February.  Stoudemire was very close to his brother as he is with the rest of his family and at the time his coach said that it was “a trying time” and that his “thoughts and prayers were with the family”.  In honour of his brother, star forward Amar’e Stoudemire has had a teardrop design inked just under his right eye.

The Message Behind the Tattoo

The teardrop tattoo was inked locally prior to the Knicks game in Toronto.  Although the Knicks have had a run of successes in recent weeks, Stoudemire wanted to let people know that although he is back in form he has not forgotten his brother.  After the game in Toronto Stoudemire took to his Twitter page to say “That game was for you bra, forever crying inside”.  He also spoke about his loss to the New York Post saying that the tattoo is a sign that although his life will go on, he is still crying inside.

The Brotherly Relationship

Stoudemire also told the New York Post that it was his brother who introduced him to the sport of basketball.  His brother was a standout basketball star whilst at High School in their home state of Florida but his career did not progress due to him getting into trouble with the law at a young age. Following a string of prison sentences Hazell crashed his speeding car into a tractor trailer and died instantly.  Stoudemire had hoped to visit his home state for better reasons (the All-Stars are playing in Orlando) and although we are not sure whether he will make the team he told the New York Post “he is part of my success so I’m always crying inside”.  With a brother who was a mentor, a father figure and such a large part of his life, his emotions at this time are completely understandable.

Honouring Family Members with Body Art

Amar’e Stoudemire is not the only basketball star to have chosen to honour family members with a tattoo.  Toronto Raptors player Leandro Barbosa has a tattoo of his mother’s name  that honours his mother inked on his lower left rib whilst another Toronto Raprots star DeMar DeRozan has a tribute to his grandmother on his right forearm.  Josh Harrellson of the New York Knicks also has a tribute tattoo to a loved one – he has a large cross that covers his back in honour of his late grandfather.

The trend of honouring family members with tattoos doesn’t seem to be one that will end any time soon, and why should it?  Family is at the forefront of many basketball stars’ minds with many family members being linked to the success and encouragement that has led to many of these men becoming stars.

February 4, 2012

Tattoo Zen with Jason Lambert

There are many wonderful blogs written by tattooists that not only exhibit the latest works but share their thoughts on the works and the industry in general. Some even offer their own philosophies, offering a glimpse into the artists' personalities.  One blog that has the complete package is Tattoo Zen by Jason Lambert of Black Cat Tattoos in Pittsburgh, PA.

Jason's latest post, "10 bits of advice for beginning tattooers," is particularly a great read and one that can be enjoyed by those who are not learning to tattoo as many of the lessons can be applied beyond the industry -- and are even applicable to our personal lives.

I also dig reading Jason's online portfolio to get the stories behind some of the tattoos, like the Momataro Japanese folk tale shown below.

Beyond the stories, Jason's portfolio is interesting (especially the before and after shots), strong and diverse. Check it.

jason lambert tattoo 3.jpgjason lambert tattoo 2.jpg

Sullen Contest Winner

Last week, we posted another Sullen contest to win a special edition tee designed by Boog for the Sullen Art Collective's upcoming Spring 2012 line. All y'all needed to do was either Tweet at us or post in our Needles & Sins Syndicate Group on Facebook with your shirt size. Really, these contests are getting too easy. 

I put all the names into Randomized.com & the internet gods picked ... Joey Romano. Congrats, Joey! Sullen will be sending your shirt once it drops.

But we still have a special deal for all of you. You'll get a discount on any Sullen purchase by putting in this code at checkout: NEEDLESANDSINS. The promotion runs until Feb. 29th

Tons more contests to come!

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