Why are tattoos still such a popular form of art?

matt houston

“The days of scruffy walk-in tattoo parlours are numbered,” says Gastown Tattoo Parlour’s Matt Houston. “They’ve largely been replaced by custom studios with specialised artists.”

Myke Chambers would tattoo his fellow prisoners using a makeshift machine fitted with hand-wrapped coils and hand-sharpened needles. It was powered by his clock radio. Having left home at 15 – on the run after an armed robbery – he lived hand-to-mouth hopping freight trains around the US with his little brother Stevie.

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