By Alissa MacDougall
After seven years of tattooing experience, Matt Owen has seen a slight move towards social acceptance of tattoos. Owen, an artist at Utility, says, “I think a lot more people have gotten tattoos, but at the same time there’s still a little bit of stigma attached to having tattoos that are very visible.”
Visible tattoos are often seen as negative, especially to prospective employers.
“Anytime I will tattoo someone on their hands, faces, or necks I make sure that they are conscious that this could ruin your life; this could ruin your employment for the rest of your life,” says Owen.
Despite this, the cultural and community aspect of tattoos has been long-standing in Halifax . The Maritime Tattoo Festival has been hosted in the city annually for the past six years, with the seventh annual festival scheduled to occur in May.
There are more than a dozen tattoo shops in the area, with a handful of them well-established in the downtown core.
Across North America, there’s also been a shift towards acceptance of tattoos in the media. Shows such as Ink Master and LA Ink that chronicle the lives of tattoo artists have gained popularity with mainstream audiences.
Owen speaks on social consensus of tattoos
Tattoo artist Matt Owen speaks about social consensus on tattoos.
Owen says tattoos in North America are a fad that have been around for the past 50-100 years, but they’ve existed in other cultures for centuries.
“There’s always going to be tattoos and there’s always been tattoos,” says Owen.