100 Years of Tattoos Book
I was pleased to be invited to contribute a selection of my tattoo art to a British book project surveying a century of tattoo designs. It is intended as a historical study spanning the period of time from 1914 to the present. I began to tattoo in 1984, making me a dinosaur old-timer among today's tattoo community. The editors chose to feature a sheet of aquatic flash I drew at the very beginning of my career (on the right below) alongside a selection of more recent custom work (on the left). The text about me that appears in the book is transcribed below.
“For Californian artist Pat Fish, tattoos weren’t so much a way to express femininity as a means of exploring identity. Fish was orphaned as a child and claims, ‘I had no ethnic identity, and I yearned for a connection to bloodline and history.’
When Fish discovered she had Scottish heritage, she reached back to a forgotten era of European tattooing and drew on the elaborate braiding and knot-work found in Celtic designs and on Pictish standing stones. Fish’s complex Celtic designs became hugely popular in the 1990s, when neo-tribal work was also reaching a mainstream audience, and her innovative ink inspired tattooists on both sides of the Atlantic to experiment with imagery based on Britain’s ancient pagan traditions.”