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tomjackjackson introToday we have a guest from England. Tom Jack Jackson is a musician, model, artist and wanderer. For four years, Tom was the bassist of alternative band DIAMOND DAYS, but in February 2017 the band has announced the end of their work. Today you can follow Tom on Facebook and Instagram to see his work as a model. I was really impressed of his tattoos and was lucky when I got the possibility to speak about them.

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: When did you get your first tattoo and what was it? Did it take much time until you decided to get it done?
Tom: I got my first tattoo at 15, I was playing my first music festival and had wanted tattoos from a young age. I got drunk and got two, in hindsight it was a terrible idea but I still have a soft spot for my first ones.

RoD: How many tattoos do you have? Could you please tell us their story?
Tom: I’m not too sure exactly how many I have now, most of them connect together now and I often forget about some of them. As with a lot of people my tattoos all have a personal connection to me or events within my past that have made me who I am.

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RoD: Have you already got all the tattoos that you wanted or will you get some new ones in the future?
Tom: Oh god no, I have so many tattoos that I have planned for the future and a lot of blank space for them.

RoD: Have all your tattoos been done by one tattoo artist or by different ones? How do you choose the tattoo artist? In addition, who draws your sketches?
Tom: I’ve been to many different artists, with smaller less intricate designs the choice is one of convenience. However, with larger pieces I will have come across an artist and followed their work for a while.

RoD: Getting tattooed hurts, how do you cope with the pain during the sessions?
Tom: Lots of swearing honestly. Short breaks help, long ones don’t, I believe it’s a rite of passage so just grin and bear it.

RoD: Do you regret getting tattooed sometimes?
Tom: I have some tattoos that need redoing or covering but I never regret them, they meant something to me at some point.

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RoD: What is your taboo in terms of tattoos? What kind of tattoo would you never get done and don’t like to see on other people?
Tom: Tribal. That blocky, completely black, stereotypical tattoo. I don’t really know what else needs saying on the subject.

RoD: Some people say that the drive to acquire body art is addictive while others say it fails to meet the true definition of an addiction, simply calling it a passion. Is it really impossible to stop?
Tom: I wouldn’t say that it’s impossible, I feel that if you enjoy body art then it’s pretty obvious that you’re going to get more.

RoD: Currently tattoos are a new trend; many people do not care about the meaning, they just want to have something coloured on the skin, to be in trend. Those people often just go into a tattoo salon and ask which drafts they have. Tattoo artists are not artists any more, they produce consumer goods. Not all of them, of course. How do you feel about this situation?
Tom: Expression is still expression. Realistically it wasn’t that long ago that people that were tattooed were seen as lowlifes. Personally, I see no problem with people simply wanting to add a little colour to themselves. As someone with tattoos that are always visible it has been nice to see tattoos become more and more accepted.

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RoD: I would like to talk about the social aspect of tattoos, too. Previously, many people believed that if you have a tattoo, you will be never be successful and will not find a “good” job. Have this state of mind and people’s perceptions changed or are these prejudices still alive?
Tom: Oh, these prejudices are still alive but they are slowly dying out. Most tattoos can be covered up if you need to, think long and hard before getting any hand, face or neck ones however, you’re making a commitment to not work a ‘normal’ job with these kinds of tattoo.

RoD: Which advice would you give to people who are going to get their first tattoo? How to choose a tattoo artist? Colour or black and white? Any practical advice?
Tom: Don’t go somewhere cheap, you’ll get something cheap. Plan it out, wait for a few months and see if you still want it. Personally, I love both colour and black and white tattoos, I can’t really advise on that, I have colourful tattoos which can sometimes clash with outfits. Placement is important, think a few tattoos ahead, are you just getting one or will you possibly be getting more in the future?

Project by Daria Tessa and Daniela Vorndran, Interview by Daria Tessa
Pictures from https://www.instagram.com/Tomjackjackson/