The Mind of Wayne Galbraith

Wayne Galbraith

Wayne Galbraith @ Tora Tattoo, Waterloo, Ontario

Wayne is one of my tattoo artists, and an all around great guy. He was one of the first people I approached about answering the tattoo philosophy questionnaire, in fact it was last time I was on the table at Tora, and he was more than happy to complete it and pass it around to other artists he knew. Here are the answers to most of my questions, I’m sure Wayne will give me the rest when he has some time (and I will update at that time).

Wayne’s Tattoo Philosophy

1) Tattoo Ethics: Yes, I do not tattoo people’s faces, anything Tattoo Ethics with racial connotations or anything that will negatively impact a client’s life, future or job prospects. I do not believe that every tattoo artist is ethical, some tattoo I’ve seen online and from other studios I speculate the quick pay off of applying the tattoo could be more important to some artists then longevity of the tattoo or the wellbeing of the client. I can’t speak for everyone as to how you’d develop ethics but it was instilled in me as an apprentice passed down from the old schoolers that I looked up to and learned the art from.

2) Tattoo Aesthetics: In my opinion a bad tattoo is one that is:
a) Poorly placed and doesn’t flow with the body shape.
b) Irresponsibly applied.
c) Irresponsibly applied in the health and safety sense, example in
someone home, dirty needles.
d) Sloppy drawing and sloppy execution.
e) Chewed up!!
f) Over worked blown out lines

3) Tattoo Hermeneutics: Being on the body tattoos are a lot more visible to the general public, throughout daily encounters a wide variety of people can view your tattoos and each one might take a slightly different meaning from it. Also peoples view on tattoo/tattooing might serve to distract from the wearers meaning.

4) Tattoo Individuality: I can’t say that there is any one tattoo that has left a big impression on my life. For the most part I think that the tattoos are for the wearer and hopefully change their life or leave an impression on them. For me the one tattoo that changed my life was the first one I received, that one tattoo began an obsession with tattoo/tattoo art and really defined who I have become.

Thanx, Wayne.

Anyone else got some answers? Send em’ on!


Enquiry into the mind of an Artist

After having a few philosophical conversations with my own artists, I decided to prepare a questionnaire to probe further into the mind of a tattoo artist. I will post the questions here, and if any artist out there wants to send me their answers, I will gladly post them here (with a name and a picture).

Tattoo Artist Q & A

(1)Tattoo Ethics: Is there something you absolutely would not tattoo on someone? Explain. Do you think every tattoo artist holds an ethics? How does one come to hold an ethics about tattoos?

(2)Tattoo Aesthetics: Are tattoos beautiful in the sense of a great piece of art (i.e. a Rembrandt painting)? Are tattoos ‘art’ in the commonly used sense or do they stretch the boundaries of what art is/should be? Explain. What makes a good tattoo ‘good’ or a bad tattoo ‘bad’, in your opinion? Is there an objective ranking for tattoos or is it all in the eye of the beholder?

(3)Tattoo Hermeneutics: Because tattoos are applied to skin/to the body, does that affect how they communicate meaning to ourselves and to others? Explain.

(4)Tattoo Individuality: What one tattoo have you done during your career that has left the biggest impression on your life and/or work? Explain. What is a tattoo you would love to do in the future? Explain why. What is your favorite tattoo on your own body, and why is it your favorite?

(5)Tattoo Identity: What does it mean to have a tattoo style? Is it a self-label or is it one assigned to you? Does such a label benefit or hurt you as an artist?

Answer, include your details (most importantly your name, maybe your shop and city/country), & email to: They will be posted shortly after.

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