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Creating Masterful Tattoo Art from Start to Finish

Fip Buchanan

with photography by Marc Balanky


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 2013 by Fip Buchanan 
This e-book edition: March 2014 (v.1.0)

About the Author
Fip Buchanan has been a tattoo artist for thirty-two
years, including management and ownership of tattoo
studios from New York to California. Among others, he
was the owner of Avalon Tattoo in San Diego from 1989
to 1997; worked at Ed Hardy’s Tattoo City in San
Francisco from 2005 to 2008; and has written and taught
the class “Large Scale Tattoo Layout and Composition”
at the Alliance of Professional Tattooists Tattoo trade
show and various conventions for the past two years. He
was elected Vice President of the Alliance of
Professional Tattooists in 2011; is a Bloodborne
Pathogens Certified instructor who teaches classes to
tattoo artists worldwide, most recently in Beijing, China
in 2011; and he currently owns Avalon Tattoo II in San
Diego, California, which he established in 1997.
Fip also does illustrations, skateboard designs, T-shirt
designs, acrylic paintings and murals. He is a graduate of
the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and his work has been
exhibited in galleries as well as published in the books
Forever Yes and Southern California Tattoo Road Trip,
and the magazines Tattoo, Skin and Ink, Prick Tattoo
and San Diego’s 944. Fip has specialized in large-scale
Japanese-inspired tattoos for the majority of his career
and is well known for his bold, colorful work.

Introduction
I began tattooing in 1979 and it became my career in the
fall of 1984, right after I graduated from the Art Institute
of Pittsburgh. I have drawn all my life and was inspired
by my mother in that direction at a very early age. I do
remember asking my mother what a tattoo was as a child
and she responded “Don’t ever get one of those, you’ll
get blood poisoning!” Well, I’ve gotten way more than
one of “those” and still don’t have blood poisoning!
Fortunately the health aspects of tattooing have much
improved through the passage of time, and those risks
are way less than they were in days gone by. Now most
health departments require that tattoo artists get
blood-borne pathogen training, along with having strict
guidelines about sterilization and sanitation that every
tattoo shop has to follow.

Tattooing has evolved a great deal since I’ve been
involved with it. There are so many styles and trends that
have come and gone, and some of the better ones have
stayed. The language of tattoo design has expanded
tremendously, which is one of many reasons why
tattooing has become so popular. In the good old days of
tattooing, the imagery was very limited. A lot of those
standard designs, and the style they were tattooed in, is
now referred to as American Traditional. Even when I
first began tattooing in 1979, eagles, skulls, anchors,
cartoon characters, weren’t part of a specific genre. They
were just tattoos. Now there is American Traditional,
Tribal, Black and Gray, Celtic, New School, Realistic,
Biomechanical, Japanese, and who knows what else.

With the expanded design options, more people can
relate to tattooing, and find, or create, a design that
resonates with them. Therefore the demographic of
tattooing has expanded. With unlimited design choices,
the tattoo clientele has also become unlimited. Gone are
the days of pointing at a design on the wall and saying,
“I’ll take that one!” Custom tattooing is now the norm.
Anything and everything can be adapted as tattoo
imagery. But whatever it is, there are certain principles
that always apply. Doing artwork as a tattoo on a human
body is different than working in any other medium.
There is no defined border to your “canvas” per se. And
the surface you’re working on varies inch by inch as far
as contour, and even texture. It’s very important to
consider the placement of the tattoo, the flow of the art
with the body, even the colors and how they’ll look on
the skin you’re working with. How will age affect the
look of the tattoo? How detailed should the design be? Is
the person in the sun often? There’s a lot to consider
when applying art to skin.

In this book, I hope to help you learn to create masterful
tattoo-oriented designs with the knowledge I’ve gained
with thirty plus years of tattooing. I won’t be going into
how to actually apply a tattoo. That is way too involved
a process to cover in any book. To properly learn to
apply tattoos, you would need to seek an apprenticeship
with a qualified tattoo artist who is willing to spend the
time needed to train you. My goal with this book is to
help you to better understand the art of tattoo and how to
apply the principles of tattoo design to creating your own
unique tattoo art, and enjoy doing so. Have fun with
it—I do every day!
10


Table of Contents
Special Offer
Introduction
What You’ll Need

CHAPTER 1
The Consultation
Meeting the Client
Sketching and Placement
Keys to a Good Composition
Adding Interest
Location Matters
Overcoming Common Obstacles

CHAPTER TWO
From Sketch to Tattoo
Planning Your Composition
From Sketch to Tattoo
Adding Interest to the Composition
Black and Gray Tattoos
Unifying Design Elements
Adding to Existing Tattoos
Iconic Images
Asian Style Tattoos

CHAPTER 3
Tattoo Style Art
Transfer Designs
Angel Wings

CHAPTER 4
Artists’ Gallery
Chris Walkin
Craig Driscoll
Jen Lee
Juan Puente
Kahlil Rintye
Shawn Barber
Mary Joy Scott
Robert Atkinson
Shawn Warcot
Fip Buchanan
About the Author
Dedication
Acknowledgments
Copyright


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By Dan Caron

...


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 2005 Tattoos Unlimited 

Introduction
Welcome to the Tattoos Unlimited eBook. Inside you will find hundreds of high quality
fashionable designs ready to be printed and inked. Our goal is to provide you quality
tattoo information and tattoo ideas at a great price. If you decide to get one of these
designs inked, please send a digital picture to contact@tattoosunlimited.com. We’d love
to see it, and may feature it on our website.

ULTRA IMPORTANT: When you are selecting a page to print, be sure that you select the
option to print ONLY the current page! If you simply choose print, you may end up
printing the entire eBook. We recommend viewing at 100% to prevent distortion.

Beginner's Guide to Getting a Tattoo
The main concern when thinking about getting a tattoo should be finding something that
you really like as well as the location on your body. Keep in mind that this will be with you
for the rest of your life, so you must be comfortable with this decision.
Custom tattoos tend to be more expensive and time consuming because they demand the
artist to pay closer attention to the detail and design. In addition, it is a design that they
have never done before. Simple, more common designs are generally less expensive and
take less time.
Another aspect of the design to consider is color or black. Black tattoos are very attractive
because they tend to stand out more on the skin due to more of a contrast. Color tattoos
generally are more expensive but there can be more creativity involved because the
possibilities are endless with color.
The location of the tattoo is key. You must consider some things when thinking of
location. Will others see it easily? Do I want this to be easily seen by others? Do I want it in
more of a private place so only those close to me would view it? Which body parts hurt
more than others?
Generally, places that have thinner skin tend to hurt more. These places include, but are
not limited to, due to differences in all of our bodies, the ankles, head and the lower back.
Less painful places include the upper arm, back of the shoulder and the chest.


Table of Contents
Beginners Guide to Getting a Tattoo . .  . . . . 3
Tattoo Safety Precautions . . .. . . . . . . . . . 4
Choosing a Tattoo Parlor . . . . . . . . . . 5
Tattoo Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
History of Tattoos . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Tribal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Celtic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Decorative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Dragons . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . 76
Assorted Flash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
Angels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Butterflies . . . . .  . . . . . . . . 110
Floral . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
Patriotic . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . 144
Zodiac . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
The Essential Guide to Getting a Kanji Tattoo/ Discount Offer .  . . . 150
Chinese Zodiac . . .. . . . . 154
Chinese Characters . . . . . . . . . . 155


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A Guide to Successful Tattooing-Guide to Sterile Tattooing Techniques

Huck Spaulding

illustrated by Ted Nwdan


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About the Author

Epilogue


Table of Contents


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Making Mehndi Art with Easy-to-Follow Instructions, Patterns, and Projects

Brenda Abdoyan

1. Mehndi (Body painting) 2. Temporary tattoos

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 Copyright©   
 2012 by Brenda Abdoyan and Design Originals,
 www.d-originals.com, 800-457-9112,
 1970 Broad Street, East Petersburg,
 PA 17520. Photography by Brenda Abdoyan, Bajidoo, Inc.

About the Author
Brenda Abdoyan, a San Francisco-based child of the 1960s who considers
everything to be art, is principal artist and designer at Bajidoo, Inc., a jewelry
and design studio. Inspired by things from everyday life, she begins her creations
with realism and then sprinkles them with the spice of life. Recently, she won
top honors for the Designer Press Kit Award at a Craft and Hobby Association show.
She holds a degree in business administration and project management from the
University of Phoenix. After more than 20 years as a senior business analyst in
corporate America, she left it all to pursue her passion. Henna art was the road
that took her home. Her first YouTube video on henna tattoo design led to her
work being included in the March 2009 cable channel series My Art by Ovation
Television. From there, she has expanded her henna canvas to include leather,
wood, and bangles. Follow her at www.bajidoo.com.

Introduction
A prudent question is one-half of wisdom. — Francis Bacon

My henna saga began with a trip to the Middle East in 2000. Unlike the henna
tattoo artist you may find on the beach in summer or in your favorite theme
parks, henna artists in the Middle East apply tattoos behind the blacked-out
windows of a beauty salon. The windows are blacked out to preserve the
modesty of the ladies inside; the henna application is a complete experience.
A friend (the sister of the man who would later become my husband) and I
entered the salon and were led up a dark, steep, narrow stairway. When we
reentered the light at the top of stairs, we were in another world. Aromas
assaulted us—cardamom spice in Arabic coffee (the essential oils used in henna
paste) and burning incense.

The room, which comprised the entire upper floor, had no stations where a
guest would sit in a specific chair for her henna application. Instead, the space
was nearly empty in the center with banks of ornately decorated pillows along
the sides. We simply sat on a mass of these overly soft pillows and the work began.

Since both my hands and feet were being done, four young girls worked
through the designs, one on each hand and each foot. These four girls talked and
giggled amongst themselves, only occasionally putting together a few words in
English to ask me questions about my prior experience with henna tattoos (at
that time, I had none). Something about those moments ignited a spark in me
that continues to burn.

While the use of henna for tattoos is difficult to trace, evidence shows that it
stretches back more than 5,000 years to the days of ancient Egypt when a henna
dye was used to stain the fingers and toes of the pharaohs prior to their
mummification. Henna tattooing has a long history among many Eastern
cultures. The designs tend to fall into four styles based on the region. The
Middle Eastern style in the Arab world features floral designs that do not follow
a distinctive pattern. In North Africa, henna tattoos are geometrical and follow
the shape of the wearer’s hands and feet. In India and Pakistan, the designs cover
more of the body, extending up arms and legs to give the impression of gloves or
more of the body, extending up arms and legs to give the impression of gloves or
stockings. Henna tattoos in Indonesia and southern Asia are often blocks of color
on the tips of the fingers and toes.

Many of the historical styles of henna tattoos remain popular today, but their
use has grown to include Celtic designs, Chinese characters, and American
Indian symbols. Because of the temporary nature of henna tattoos, many people
have begun experimenting with designs that express their individual styles and beliefs.

Culturally,  the most common modern reference to henna tattooing is its use in
the most common modern reference to henna tattooing is its use in
traditional Hindu wedding ceremonies. Intricate designs, known as Mehndi, are
applied to the bride’s hands and feet to symbolize her commitment to her
husband-to-be. Since the henna paste must remain on the skin for a couple of
days, it restricts the movements and tasks of the bride. Its application gives her
time to reflect on her upcoming marriage.

Henna is like many things: What you get out of it is directly proportional to
what you put into it. While I started learning about henna in 2000, I only began
to work with henna paste at the beginning of 2008. Yes, you read that right. The
first henna tattoo I made was on my right foot. I sat on my patio and drew on my foot.

I did a terrible job. I made the paste wrong; it was too thin. I had no
coordination to create the images I had seen in books and online. I was
completely frustrated. Even worse, after all my trouble, my ugly little tattoo
image never even got dark! In no time at all I figured out that knowing the
history and traditions of henna was fulfilling on one level, but tattoos wouldn’t
just spring forth from my hands because I had studied so diligently. To find
fulfillment, I had to do more work in an entirely new direction.

This book is my way of helping you skip some or all of my frustration. I’ve
included an extensive section on making henna paste and applying it (page 12).
You will find information on the basic lines you’ll need to master before
creating beautiful tattoos. Don’t skip this section! The better control you have in
making the basic lines—which are the foundation of all henna tattoos—the
better your finished tattoos will look.
be able to adapt these designs. I’ve also included the templates I use to develop
new designs. Just follow the shape of the hand or foot to create your own unique
henna tattoos.

Finally, the stain left behind from the application of henna paste is not just
ideal for skin, but it also works well on other mediums, including wood and
leather. Henna designs applied to the latter may fade a bit, but they won’t wear
off like the henna tattoos applied to your skin! Check out some of my ideas for
henna on objects on page 98.
If you try henna tattooing and have difficulty, snap a picture and email it to
me at info@bajidoo.com. I will respond as quickly as I am able with some suggestions.

A random event on a short holiday was the spark that quickly caused a
firestorm of creativity deep in my heart. From the first instant that henna entered
my life, it was kismet. I hope this book provides a similar spark of passion in
you. So let’s get started making the paste and creating beautiful henna tattoos.
Regards,
Brenda Abdoyan, Bajidoo, Inc.


Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION

SETTING UP
Making Henna Paste
Applying Henna Paste
Practice

HENNA BODY TATTOOS
Your First Tattoo
Finger Tattoo
Lace Glove

GALLERY
DESIGNS AND TEMPLATES
Hands
Feet
Back
Shoulder
Additional Elements
Templates

HENNA AS ARTWORK
RESOURCES
INDEX


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SETTING UP
The first step in mastering the art of henna tattoos
is to make sure you have the right materials on
hand. The items you’ll need to create your own
henna tattoos are not costly, but you’ll want to
have everything readily available before you get
started. After that, it’s practice, practice, practice!

Clinton R. Sanders with D. Angus Vail

The Art and Culture of Tattooing

REVISED AND EXPANDED EDITION

1. Tattooing-Social aspects. 2. Tattoo artists.

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 ISBN-10
 978-1-59213-887-6
 978-1-59213-888-3
 1-59213-887-X (cloth : alk. paper) 
 1-59213-888-8 (pbk. : alk. paper)
 Copyright©   
 2008 by Temple University 

Preface to the Revised and 
Expanded Edition
In those days, a tattoo was still a souvenir—a keepsake to
mark a journey, the love of your life, a heartbreak, a port
of call. The body was like a photo album; the tattoos themselves
didn’t have to be good photographs. . . . And the old
tattoos were always sentimental: you didn’t mark yourself
for life if you weren’t sentimental (Irving, 2005: 74–75).

Much has changed on the tattooing (and larger body
alteration) landscape since Customizing the Body first
appeared in the late 1980s. Perhaps the most important
change has been the transformation of tattooing from the ostensibly
“deviant” practice I discussed in the first edition to the popular
cultural phenomenon it is today.
There are (at least) three criteria sociologists use to define an
activity, perspective, or appearance as fitting into the category of
“deviant.” First, the phenomenon could be seen as constituting
or causing some sort of social harm. Since much of what might
be considered to be socially harmful rests on the values of the
person or persons doing the defining, what is regarded as “bad”
behavior, “disgusting” or “shocking” appearance, or “inappropriate”
thoughts is largely a matter of taste (though sociologists
tend to overlay their personal tastes with a legitimating patina of
theory). A second way of understanding deviance is to see it
simply as something that is relatively rare. This “statistical” orientation,
of course, has some presumed relationship to the
values/harm model since what is bad by definition is presumed
to be appealing to only a relatively small number of twisted, misguided,
or unfortunate people.

A third, and to my mind the most useful, way of thinking about
social deviance is to see it as behavior, thoughts, or appearances
that are widely regarded as “bad.” Consequently, when those who
engage in the bad behavior, think the bad thoughts, or publically
display their bad appearance come to the attention of some audience
or another, they are subjected to punishment or some other
kind of negative social reaction. This third orientation has the advantage
of making a distinction between breaking rules and being
“deviant” in that deviance is defined as that which is the focus of
social reaction. A person might break rules and not be found out—
he or she is a rule-breaker but not a deviant—or one could not
break rules and still be “falsely accused” of being a violator—he or
she is a deviant but not a rule-breaker. It is especially useful for
understanding the shifting social definition of tattooing and other
forms of permanent body modification in that this “labeling” perspective
(deviance as a socially applied label) incorporates the central
idea that defined deviance changes over time, from culture to
culture, and depends on just who is doing the defining (see Becker,
1963; Goode, 2005: 86-93; Rubington and Weinberg, 2002).
Tattooing and, to a somewhat lesser degree, other modes of
body alteration have been “de-deviantized” since the early 1990s
in light of the last two definitions of deviance. Tattooing has
become more widely practiced (that is, more popular) and has,
therefore, come to be seen as less odd, unusual, rebellious, or
otherwise deviant. In general, those things your friends do are
significantly less likely to be negatively regarded than are those
things strangers do.

Although I see it as wise to take the findings of survey research
with considerable skepticism, polls conducted in the early– to
mid–1990s suggested that somewhere between 3 and 10 percent
of the general population were tattooed (Anderson, 1992; Armstrong
and McConnell, 1994; Armstrong and Pace-Murphy, 1997).
Recently, a study conducted by Anne Laumann, a dermatologist
at Northwestern University, revealed that 24 percent of American
adults between the ages of 18 and 50 are tattooed and one in
seven had a body piercing somewhere other than the earlobe
(nearly one-third of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29
said they were pierced) (Laumann and Derick, 2006).
The movement of tattooing into the realm of popular culture
displays certain features of the contemporary culture industry
and reveals how fad-like phenomena emerge. Culture producers,
beset by the problem of “commercial uncertainty” (that is, what
popular cultural products will or will not be successful [see
Sanders, 1990]), are constantly on the lookout for new materials
with potential commercial appeal. Typically, the producers keep
an eye on the interests, activities, and appearance of those outside
the boundaries of social power. The tastes and entertainment
and material interests of minorities, teenagers, disaffected urban
residents, and other “outsiders” are filched by the culture industry,
cleaned up and homogenized, avidly promoted as the latest
thing, and sold to the larger consumer market. In short, the major
source of innovation in popular culture is in the materials and
activities of the relatively poor and powerless; innovation flows up
the stream of power.

This process has impelled the movement of tattooing into popular
culture. Beginning with the “tattoo renaissance” of the 1960s
(discussed in Chapter 1), musicians, movie actors, and other entertainment
figures admired and followed by young people started acquiring
and displaying tattoos. Similarly, sports figures—typically
from minority and/or impoverished backgrounds—were tattooed.
Despite the fact that most of the tattoos displayed by entertainers
and (especially) athletes look as if they were done by eight-yearolds
with magic markers, the fact that admired public figures were
tattooed gave tattooing a certain popular cultural cachet.
While exposure by key figures in the mediated popular culture
is an important factor in the rise and dissemination of cultural
interests and products, cultural innovation and the consumption
of particular materials also derive from people’s immediate social
networks and contacts. As we see in Chapter 2, an important
factor in people’s decisions to get tattooed is that their friends or
family members sport tattoos. Understandably then, as more
people are tattooed, more people have contact with those who are
tattooed, and more people see it as reasonable or desirable to
acquire a tattoo. Cultural popularity is a form of contagion.
As tattooing has inserted itself into mainstream popular culture
in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, it has been
thematically assimilated into a variety of media materials. At this
writing, television viewers have access to such tattoo-themed
shows as “Miami Ink” on TLC, “Inked” on A&E, and “Tattoo Stories”
on FUSE. Popular memoirs such as Emily Jenkins’s Tongue
First (1998) and serious novels like John Irving’s Until I Find You
(2005) and Sarah Hall’s Electric Michelangelo (2005), a finalist for
2004’s Man Booker Prize, feature tattooing and tattooists. Mass
market booksellers like Borders and Barnes & Noble have a variix
ety of tattoo-oriented titles such as International Tattoo Art, Skin
& Ink, and Tattoo Magazine on their magazine racks. Clearly, tattooing
has moved out of the dark underground of the 1950s into
the spotlight of mainstream commercial culture.

Given the “mainstreaming” of tattooing, the declining power of
the tattoo to generate what I call (after Quentin Bell) “conspicuous
outrage” becomes an interesting issue. When the traffic cop
who stops you for speeding or the youth minister in your church
sports a tattoo, the mark clearly has lost a considerable amount
of stigma potential. The issue then becomes “How can those who
fit into or aspire to the common social category of ‘rebel’ visibly
demonstrate their divergent identities?” The question “What is
next on the horizon of rebellious body alteration?” is commonly
tossed at me by the journalists who still call me when they have
been assigned filler stories for the leisure section of their papers.
When I choose to catch the question, I usually make note of the
rising popularity of full-body tattooing and multiple piercings and
less frequently encountered, and usually startling, alterations
such as extensive facial tattooing and surgical implants of horns,
feline-like wire whiskers, and bladders that can be inflated or deflated
for appearance-altering effect.

In addition to being incorporated into the lucrative world of popular
culture, in the latter part of the twentieth century tattooing
also became more firmly situated in the world of “serious” art.
The general issue of what products constitute “art” and what factors
increase or decrease the likelihood that an activity is deemed
“artistic” and an actor is defined as an “artist,” was the primary
focus of Chapter 5 in the first edition of Customizing the Body and
is an issue we touch upon again in the 2008 Epilogue. Continuing
the trend detailed previously, tattooing has remained a focus
of attention as academics have continued to produce “serious”
analyses, museums and galleries have continued to mount shows
of tattoo works, and specialty publishers have continued to produce
pricey coffee-table books containing photos and discussions
of tattoo works. Tattooing has even been incorporated into a particular
“school” of art. Those like Herbert Gans (1999) who espouse
an egalitarian view of art that rejects the hierarchical
distinction between “high” (serious, real, traditional) art and “low”
(popular, mass, “brutal”) art commonly see avant garde art as
resting on the border between the simple world of commercial
popular culture and the complex aesthetic world of high art where
materials are created by specialists (“artists”), evaluated by experts
(“critics”), and consumed by monied “collectors.” Since the
early 1990s, this border space between popular culture and traditional
art has been taken over by the expansive category of “lowbrow”
art (whose representatives derogatorily refer to traditional
fine art as “art-school art”). Grounded on the underground art of
the 1960s, and in reaction to the arid, theory-heavy installations
that dominated conventional artistic work in the 1980s and
1990s, lowbrow art (sometimes labeled “outlaw art” or “l’art
de toilette” by adherents) is composed of such diverse types of
products as graffiti art, car art, underground comix, limitedproduction
toys and statuary, customized clothing, “art brut,”
record-album art, black-velvet paintings, pulp art, poster art,
prison art, tiki art, anime and manga, pulp art, and tattooing. Inspired
by the dadaists and surrealists of the 1920s and 1930s,
advocates and practitioners of lowbrow art reject the constraints
imposed by critics, mainstream gallery owners, and other central
players in the conventional art world and create an art that is selfconsciously
representational, dismisses the baggage of art theory,
and revels in the aesthetic tastes displayed in urban, street-level
culture. Clearly, tattooing has found a home in an established, if
somewhat unruly, segment of the larger art world.

Despite its rising popularity and tentative incursion into the
world of (at least marginally) legitimate art, it is still reasonable, I
would maintain, to regard tattooing (and other forms of permanent
body alteration) through the conceptual lens provided by the
sociology of deviance. Quite a bit of ink has been spilled recently
over the issue of whether “deviance” continues to be a viable and
useful analytic category (see, for example, Goode, 2002, 2003;
Hendershott, 2002; Sumner, 1994). I have no desire to enter this
debate other than to say that I find many of the arguments offered
by those who celebrate the “death” of deviance to be unconvincing
at best. Creating rules is an elemental feature of social life
and, consequently, violating rules and reacting to those violations
are of equal importance. Studying misbehavior has been, and
continues to be, central to the sociological enterprise. Given its
focus on the tattoo as a boundary-setting mark, a sign of subcultural
membership, and a potentially stigmatizing identity enhancement
and tattooing as a disvalued, officially regulated or
prohibited, and secretive occupational practice, Customizing the
Body was, and is, a study in the sociology of deviance.


Table of Contents
Preface to the Revised and Expanded Edition vii
Preface to the First Edition xxi

1 Introduction: Body Alteration, Artistic Production,
and the Social World of Tattooing 1
2 Becoming and Being a Tattooed Person 36
3 The Tattooist: Tattooing as a Career and an Occupation 62
4 The Tattoo Relationship: Risk and Social Control in the Studio 117
5 Conclusion: Tattooing and the Social Definition of Art 149
Epilogue 2008: Body Modification Then and Now
CLINTON R. SANDERS with D. ANGUS VAIL 164
Methodological Appendix 189

Selected Tattoo Artist Websites 203
Notes 205
References 221
Index 239
Photographs follow page 108


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[T]he tattoo culture on display at Daughter Alice made
Jack ashamed of his mother’s “art.” . . . The old maritime
tattoos, the sentiments of sailors collecting souvenirs on
their bodies, had been replaced by tasteless displays of
hostility and violence and evil . . . skulls spurting blood,
flames licking the corners of the skeletons’ eye sockets. . . .
Jack took Claudia aside and said to her: “Generally
speaking, attractive people don’t get tattooed.” But this
wasn’t strictly true. . . . (Irving, 2005: 339–340).
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