Tattoos in the News Before Noon
11:08 AM
coffee tattoo
Ok, this isn't my usual monolithic tattoo news review as I've been on the convention circuit for the past two weeks, but I wanted to share some things I found when I opened my eyes and Inbox this morn.

First, before I even reached for my first cup, The NY Times greeted me with the image above (by Ashley Gilbertson) of the coffee knux tattoo in its article on the best cafes in NYC. And it reminded me of an old fave on of such career killers wrapped around a cup of coffee. And then it made me long once more to tattoo my hands. And then I remembered that one day I may need to be employable once more. And then I also remembered that the Times article had nothing to do with tattoos, so I drank some coffee and moved on.

Then, my Inbox dinged with a real tattoo story: Daily Candy's front page profile today on the fabulous Amanda Wachob. And while the word "tats" and phrase "upgrade your tramp stamp" made coffee shoot out my nostrils in frustration, it is nice to see a great artist get some sweet props from the masses. We featured Amanda here last October and noted her experimental tattoo projects that got us hyped (sans caffeine). Here's a sample of Amanda's work below.

amanda wachob tattoo.jpgAnd finally, just before I was about to click publish on this post, I got a Facebook reminder that, tomorrow, Amelia Klem Osterud will discuss her book The Tattooed Lady: A History at Word bookstore in Brooklyn from 7:30-9PM. We featured the book here in November and I've devoured my copy since. As an added bonus, tattoo artists Bad News Becca and Emma of Porcupine Tattoo will be discussing their work.

So, that's the run down of tattoo goodness I found all before noon. A good omen for the day. [The mega-round up will be up soon. I hope.]


I just ordered Amelia's book- can't wait to get it!

Interesting post on the knuckles. I am dying to go hands and knuckles, but I'm holding back for the same reasons as you. Someone else pointed out to me that old school traditionalists only went to the hands and knuckles when they ran out of room. So maybe that will hold me back!

I wish society wouldn't give a sh*t and we could be as tattood as we would like!

The idea of public tattoos (hands, faces, etc) as job killers is incredibly overblown. Almost every single person that I know of with such tattoos is employed in positions that vary from unskilled to requiring post graduate schooling. The few rare exceptions are the people who have things like 'fuck you' prominently displayed and/or are incarcerated. Design matters - and those with anti-social designs would likely fail the interview anyway so it isn't necessarily the ink keeping them from getting work.

Unless you are incredibly incompetent you shouldn't worry too much about being unemployed as a result of knuckle tattoos. In fact, the more competent you are, the safer you should feel getting public tattoos

From personal experience, I have to disagree, Erik.

I have a tattoo on one knuckle -- a henna-like design -- that has given me more trouble over the years than all my big work.

I got it as a fuck you to the legal world, and soon after, ended up having to go back to law because, well, I was not really competent in much else. In corporate environments, outward nonconformity -- what are deemed "distractions" -- are frowned upon and even penalized.

And they can indeed be distractions. I've taught lawyers in a classroom and watched them follow my hand tattoo around when giving a presentation, mesmerized and not fully engaged in what I was saying so I had to cover it up. And on many other occasions I've had to do so.

Beyond work, the knuckle tattoo has caused me grief at social functions, particularly in my Greek community.

Whether your knuckles say Fuck You or not, many perceive them as doing so. [And sometimes that is the motivation behind them (as was in my case).]

No, it won't kill a career necessarily but it has definitely made my life more difficult. I don't regret it because being visibly tattooed in this way has seriously enriched my life, but it definitely has made it harder.

Disagree as you please but you are putting up one personal experience against the evidence of many around the world.

I am talking about many people who are at a minimum gainfully employed with knuckle and/or facial tattoos - many of which having enviable jobs. Certainly individual cases will vary but the majority of stories out there supports the idea that having such tattoos is far secondary to merit and willingness to work. I'm not saying you can have your dream job and your tattoo easily but you very likely can still get work.

As a heavily modified engineer/machinist friend of mine once said - 'if we are all so unemployable then why do we all have jobs and own homes'

And as I am fond of joking onstage, almost everyone who begs me for change has no visible tattoos thus people without tattoos are bums

As always my dear- a pleasure to read..thanks for sharing with us..



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