One thing a master tattoo artist like Dmitry Troshin knows, is that tattoos have a rich and diverse history, dating back thousands of years, with evidence of tattooed mummies from around the world, and tools possibly used for tattooing dating back tens of thousands of years. Throughout the centuries, tattoos have been used for various purposes, from marking travels to reclaiming strength and resilience. Today, there are a variety of methods available to get the perfect tattoo.
In 1991, two German hikers discovered Otzi the Iceman, a 5,000 year old preserved body. Otzi the Iceman, the oldest human discovered to date, had more than 57 tattoos. Otzi’s tattoos are believed to have been created using fine needles and charcoal ink, and were likely used for therapeutic purposes rather than for decorative reasons.
Tattoos were also historically used as a form of punishment for criminals in Japan for 1000 years from the 700s to the 1700s.
Russian culture has had a tradition of tattoos since the 900s, with early reports of extensive tattooing from Europeans.
Tattoos were popularized by English captain James Cook’s 1769 voyage to Tahiti, where he encountered heavily tattooed people which sparked a craze in Victorian English high society.
In the 1800s, Martin Hildebrandt opened up the first historical tattoo parlor on American soil, nested within the bustling metropolis of New York City, but soon after New York outlawed them. An interminable span of time elapsed before tattoos were granted legal status once more, with 1997 marking the year of liberation.
In the past, tattoos were often seen as unprofessional, and those with visible tattoos were stigmatized and even discriminated against in the workplace. However, times have changed, and tattoos are now more widely accepted in professional settings.
Now, getting inked up has become a popular form of self-expression, with more and more people opting to get a tattoo(s). According to a recent survey, over 50% of Americans under 40 have tattoos. From small, meaningful designs to large and intricate pieces, tattoos can represent a variety of things to different people.
While pop-culture and progressive shifts have caused tattoos to become more popular, the choice of what you get done is as important as who does it.
Tattoos that suck: (source: Inked magazine)
Who the f**ck did this?
Who is this even supposed to be?
The comically bad tatts’ shared by Inked magazine are arguably strange choices to permanently put on your body; the fact is, the artist who did those tattoos, and the tattoos themselves have one thing in common: they both f***ing suck!
Tattooing is a form of art, the canvas, a living body. While ink-on-skin may have been condemned in the past, today it is a lauded form of self expression, and arguably one of the highest forms of artistry. While subjectivity is enmeshed with most artforms, tattooing is a practice that requires precision and attention to detail. A hobby for some, a dedicated craft for the true and dedicated professional
The Tattoo Tango: Merging Flesh & Ink
One of the most common complaints about bad tattoo artists is that at best they don’t bring to life their original idea or at worst completely botch the tattoo.
One redditor shared a shocking story about young lady who’s first tattoo didn’t go so well:
“She was 18 and it was her first tattoo…. Her name was Whitney. She turns around and it turns out to be spelled wrong. The tattoo was missing the N. The artist accidentally tattooed Whitey instead of Whitney all over a black girl’s lower back.”
Yikes, a simple name tattoo insultingly botched due to lack of attention to detail. Terrific tattoos take time, and for the person getting a tattoo it can be painful, and for the artist applying it meticulous and… boring.
Why The Details Matter
One seasoned master tattoo artist and educator is currently on a mission to make other fellow ink-craftsmans better and brighter through education. His name is Dmitry Troshin, a master tattoo artist with 10 years of experience.
Troshin believes that both method and mindset are essential to tattooing well.
“I think one of the biggest issues in the tattoo industry is that new artists are mostly worried about hype, likes on social media and money. Everybody wants to be famous. Tattooers forget, that their main job is to make great tattoos that last many years and make people who wear them happy” Says Dmitry
Hailing from Moscow Russia, Dmitry Troshin uses his decade+ of experience to not only provide his clients with long lasting and expertly crafted tattoos, he also to educates other aspiring artists through his seminars and online classes.
Troshin also explains a huge mistake that new artists make is doing tattoos that only look good while they’re fresh, but then fade, lose contrast or start to look different.
“So many cool tattoos you see on Instagram don’t really look as good in real life. They’re made to look cool in photos while fresh (so they get likes) and those artists don’t care what happens after a year or two. This is one of the things I teach – how to make beautiful tattoos that live forever.”
A musician – Tattoo by Dmitry Troshin
If you asked people whether or not tattoos are permanent, most would probably say yes, and those who are looking to get a tattoo (especially one with a deep meaning) would probably want it to last a very long time.
This is why Dmitry is passionate about teaching and doing exceptional work.
When it comes to proper methodology, Troshin says there are specific things to take into consideration when working on someone:
“Consider size, muscle volume, fat layer, skin condition, and other individual features when planning a tattoo project…”
Each person is different, which is why Dmitry teaches his students to pay careful attention to individual features when determining the best placement for the design. In his workshops and online cources, Dmitry also gives out tips on how to use tech (like photoshop and other apps) to increase their skills and flesh out ideas. He even makes and sells high-resolution images of human’s body to help tattoo artists design their tattoos and present their ideas to clients in the easiest possible way to understand.
“Using stock images of a model with a black background can help to visualize an idea on a selected body part for tattooing”
“Mister Troshin” also has a live workshop, where he does live demonstrations and has his students practice on faux-bodies.
“On the first day of the workshop, we discuss concepts and I do a live tattoo tutorial, and on the second day, everyone practices on silicone skin by doing the same piece as I do in front of them. This way I can see exactly what each person need to change or improve in their technique to step up their game” explains Troshin
During his workshop Troshin allows his students to get creative while also providing a full set of tools for them to use.
“Giving the students exactly the same equipment as I use daily helps students apply what they learned without any limitations related to using cheap tools.”
While Dmitry Troshin continues to educate students through his lessons, or live workshop, he is also working on other artistic projects outside of traditional tattooing.
One recent project includes a 12-inch tall LeBron James silicone collectible figure tattooed by Troshin.
“The whole process took over 6 months including 57 hours of tattooing. Yes, 57 hours for a 12-inch tall figure, I’ve never worked on such a challenging object…“
Tattoos are traditional, historical, and iconic. If you plan on getting something that’s permanent, what is more important than what you choose to get, is WHO you choose to get it from.
If you’d like to up your tattoo game and learn from one of the best, be sure to check out Dmitry Troshin to keep up-to-date with his current projects and educational resources. His instagram is @mistertroshin, and his website is www.troshin.com. If you’re interested in learning from Troshin visit https://troshin.com/education
LA Tabloid – Arts