The Zhoosh! Brighton Blog
1960’s Gay men, criminals, sailors and carnival folk; no that’s not the guest list to a Brighton gay bar, but those most likely to have a tattoo from that era. These days it seems the word and the Prime Minister’s wife now sport a tattoo of some description.
While trolling around Preston Park during Brighton’s fantastic Pride, it became evident that the LGBT community, continue to embrace skin ink art and then some; me included.
When I moved to Brighton, my mates, Dave, Rob and I all agreed we would get a sun, tattoo. I duly went off and got one while my mates never did; but I didn’t care, I was hooked.
Now, the first thing people ask about tattoos is, does it hurt? Put it this way, you have a single needle punching your skin, nineteen to the dozen, or a bunch of needles when the tattooist is filling the piece in with colour, so that is going to cause some pain. Some areas are more painful than others, tattoos on the bone or where there are lots of nerve endings (stomach, inner thigh) is going to be more painful than say your upper arm where there is more flesh.
The second question people ask is, aren’t you afraid your tattoo is going to look odd when you get old. The simple answer is your skin is going to look a bit odd when your older; in my opinion a tattoo helps remind you of your past key events.
After my sun, tattoo I balanced it off with a crescent moon. Some weeks later I decided on whim to get a Buddha tattoo. This is the third lesson about getting a tattoo. Never rush into getting a tattoo. I didn’t check the guy’s other work, I just picked a design and assumed he would do a good job; he didn’t!
Time passed and a new tattoo shop opened on North Road, called Angelic Hell. The one room premises was ruled by a fierce Hells Angel tattooist, called Natasha who gave me my Devil’s head on my back. I loved her work, but she hit the road and so I shopped around. This is the fourth lesson; ask mates who have had a tattoo, where they went and what the person was like, what kind of designs do they love doing; after all it makes sense that if your thing is Celtic Crosses, you’d want someone who adores tattooing that style of design. Also, visit tattoo parlours for yourselves, and have a chat with them, tell them the sort of thing you would like and ask to see their work. The most important thing is that you like their style of work and you get on with them. Just as important is to ask about their hygiene practice. A professional tattooist will be proud to show you his Health Department registered Certificates and awards, along with their sterilisation and needle/equipment disposal system; if they don’t, go somewhere else.
I eventually found a guy called Wurz, from Tattooing at Gunpoint on Victoria Terrace, Hove. Wurz I found out loved skulls and roses, we were a perfect customer/tattooist match. Together we have recreated our own version of Dante’s inferno, tapping into my love of symmetric design, playing with opposites, light and dark, water and fire, death and life, (skull & heart chakra below)
At present I’m saving up to have my sleeve finished, I love my Vision-On (1970’s kids programme) style tattoo that reads, Carpe Diem (it really does mean, “Grab the Frisbee”).
I have been seeing Wurz off and on for the last couple of decades and gradually filling up the spaces on my skin. Be warned, tattooing can become very addictive.