The 1970s in tattoo is defined by the influx of people with fine art training taking up tattooing as an occupation. It is also the beginning of the spread of tattoo iconography into multiple styles and influence. Say what you want about Don Ed Hardy, he studied the craft of tattooing under well-rooted traditionalists and combined with his fine-art training, brought tattooing into the realm of fine art and eventually, the mainstream. This is when the imagery and artistry of tattooing starts to open up and diversify: Japanese influence initiated by Sailor Jerry Collins evolves into more flowing shapes, softer lines, letting go of the stronghold of the style now known as “Old School” or more academically, “International Folk Style” (anchors and eagles).

In 1972 Vyvyn Lazonga opens shop in Seattle as one of only a handful of women tattoo artists in the US. On the East Coast, fine artists like Ruth Marten push the medium into the art and music world. This month’s poster is inspired by the New York/UK art/punk scene and an homage to both Marten and Lazonga. Our model’s tattoo is inspired by Lazonga’s own tattoos, which incorporate Japanese influences and the soft, more feminine, water colour-style peonies.


Model: Shylo Sawatsky

Makeup: Jen Green

Photography: Dan Bushnell

Art Direction/Graphic Design: Dan Bushnell, Sarah Gallagher

Lettering: Sarah Gallagher


Further Reading

Gilbert, Steve (2000). Tattoo History: a Sourcebook. USA: Juneau Books.

Mifflin, Margot (2013). Bodies of Subversion: a secret history of women and tattoo. Brooklyn: powerHouse.

Ruth Marten: http://www.culture24.org.uk/art/art415110

Vyvyn Lazonga: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vyvyn_Lazonga, website: http://www.madamelazongastattoo.com/

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