A tattoo artist who has been asked to stop selling products that have a “dude” in them is the latest to be caught up in the tattoo industry’s obsession with tattoos.
Photographer Tania Smith said she had received a number of inquiries from women about how to create realistic, lifelike tattoos, but she said that she was never going to stop using her designs.
“We’re trying to do the best for ourselves and our clients,” she said.
“I’m just a tattoo artist.
I’m not going to get caught up doing what people want.”
Tania Smith, left, and her mother Lizzie, right, who run the tattoo parlour, are among the artists in the UK and Europe that have been caught up by the tattoo trade.
She is not alone.
The demand for tattoos has exploded in recent years.
The number of people seeking to get them has doubled in the past two years, with many wanting a “realistic” look that could be worn on the body.
Some people claim to have had the ink removed by a tattooist who told them it would be too expensive and too difficult to remove.
“I’ve seen people having their skin completely covered with ink, and they’ve never been asked how it got there,” Ms Smith said.
Her mother Lizzy Smith said that the tattoo artists’ obsession with the “dudes” was making her sick.
“The fact that people are buying a tattoo for the ‘dude’ in it is appalling,” she told the BBC.
Toni Clements, a tattoo expert from London, said the market was a “fantasy”, and that the “tattoos are so much more than just a body part”.
“People have no idea what they’re doing with their body.
The idea that they could be doing something that would look good on somebody is really wrong,” she explained.
A recent study from the Tattoo Institute found that the average tattoo cost about £4,000 and that a tattoo could cost as much as £2,000.
It said that women in England and Wales were spending £2.2 billion on tattoos each year, with the average cost going up to £7,000, and that young women were spending more than $1,000 each on tattoos.
“Tattooing is not only about a personalised look, it is about the community and a personal connection with a body that you share,” Ms Clements said.
Ms Smith, who said she was not “selling” her designs, said that her clients were often quite surprised when she would show them a new tattoo design.
“They think I’m trying to rip off them, because it’s not like I’m ripping them off,” she added.
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Tattoos and cosmetics, and the use of skin and hair, have become hugely popular in recent decades, with more than 200,000 new tattoos issued each year.
More than 3 million people in the US alone have been tattooed in 2016, with most of them choosing to do so under the influence of prescription drugs such as oxycontin, fentanyl and hydrocodone.