Tattoos have a storied history in our cultural imagination. Once the domain of bikers and sailors, the artform has had a renaissance in the 21st century. Everyone from famous actors to politicians have tattoos - even some tattoo artists themselves have been elevated to celebrity status.
Local artist Garrett Bisbee was recently among them. As one of the youngest contestants on the 10th Season of Ink Master, he was competing against seasoned professionals and well-known tattooers for the title.
"Tattooing is not like any other art form," he says. "It’s got a lot of rules, it’s got a lot of traditions that have been passed down for a couple generations now, and if you break those rules, you lose a lot of respect."
Bisbee was eliminated on the second episode of the series, and he’s back in Milwaukee, working at Riverwest Tattoo Company. He joined Lake Effect’s Joy Powers to talk about some of the finer points of tattoo artistry and what inspired him to take up the craft: