Sunday, October 2, 2011

Jason from Capricorn Body Art

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Tattoo artist Jason stands as a body of art among his inked designs at his Nunawading studio. His body is 95 per cent covered in tattoos from his feet to scalp with just his knees and one thigh a clear canvas. Tattoos have become the latest fashion accessory on Melbourne streets whether it is marking an anniversary, a sentimental proverb or football premiership. Jason said the city had become one of the most heavily tattooed places in the world. “There are more tattoo shops per capita in Melbourne than anywhere else, it’s just flooded with tattoo shops,” he said. Over the past 20 years Jason has shared in those memories at his Capricorn Body Art studio where he has become a minor celebrity. Jason even met his partner, Jane, after she wandered through his doors to get a tattoo of a dragon done nine years ago. They are now part-owners of the studio and she has since added to her tat collection. Jason said tattooing sparked his interest from a young age, having grown up in a household of oil painters. He received his first tattoo at 14 of a bulldog on his leg to acknowledge his English heritage and the Western Bulldogs Football Club. “I remember being a kid and just being fascinated by them but by the time I was 17 I was pretty much covered,” he said. Jason said he could not count how many tattoos he now had engraved on his body. “I tattoo myself if I can reach the area,” he said. “A lot of people get used to the pain and you learn to switch off from it. “When people get tattoos it’s more a postcard of that era of their life. “It’s a life-changing moment for them.” Jason said he was surprised to find the number of women and men asking for tattoos had become even with the arms and legs the most common spots to be inked. The professional engraver said he regularly came across people wanting their tattoos fixed after dealing with shady artists. Jason said more unhygienic shops and home parlours had propped up as the art form became mainstream. “There is nothing to stop someone who wants to become a tattoo artist from doing it out of their own garage,” he said. “There is no legislation to stop someone from opening a shop. People have to make sure that it’s a registered tattoo studio and should do some background history.”

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