Season 11 of Ink Master (Photo credit: Paramount Network)
A tattoo artist isn’t a master of the art if they can't or won't tattoo people of color
Nearly four years ago, Splinter—previously Fusion—covered an episode of the televised tattoo competition Ink Master. The crux of the show is that tattoo artists compete to offer the best tattoo, and, as Splinter notes, the artists avoid tattooing darker skin as much as they can because they think it’s a more “difficult” canvas. According to Splinter, on the second season, one contestant said, “I don’t want the dark canvases. They take away half your skill set. My stuff is dark and creepy and I don’t want to go that dark on dark skin. This is not the canvas for me.” Despite the episode being from 2012, this is an issue that very much still stands in the world of tattooing. Whether they’re choosing to manipulate images of darker skinned clients, or avoiding them altogether, tattoo artists continue to act like it’s impossible to tattoo darker skin, and yet are still considered masters of the art. Now, years later, this attitude remains prevalent.
Read Tattoo Artists Are Still Pushing out People of Color on Bitchmedia.