Stan Horaczek (writer),
Omar Cruz (photographer)
Was the forced drama ruining the show?
All I tried to do in the beginning was have a reason why you’re getting a tattoo, but it snowballed into something ridiculous. Everybody wanted to invent a story about what their tattoo meant. They forgot that some people just love the art. For me, it wasn’t about having a great story or meaning. I really fucking liked dragons. I wanted to get a dragon. I don’t need no fucking story. I love dragons, I love Asian art, and I love black and gray. The whole thing snowballed to where these poor motherfuckers were forcing themselves to come up with stories to get tattoos. Some of them weren’t even fucking true. People would fucking lie just to get on the show. It’s something that I’ll never do again. I don’t want to hear anybody’s sad fucking stories anymore. After the show was over, I didn’t tattoo for a year because it put me in the worst fucking mood and put the worst thoughts in my head. You can only hear so many people talk about running over their daughters or their dead dog. I’m not a therapist.
How do you deal with the criticism you’ve gotten in response to your involvement with Miami Ink?
It’s really funny because haters are haters and they will always be around and there’s really nothing anyone can do about it. The show was going to happen. It was inevitable. And I think one thing that most people agreed on in the tattoo industry—whether they hated us or not—was that it was good for business. We brought tattooing into the mainstream for artists to be able to make fucking money. It showed everybody that tattoo shops weren’t all filled with bikers who butcher people. Tattoo artists are just artists and we wanted to showcase that that’s all we are, rather than being judged every fucking day for being tattooed. It was time to stop it and it was time to show the world that tattoo artists are just trying to make a living.
What’s next now that Miami Ink is over?
[Chris] Nuñez and I had always had a show in mind, so we decided to produce it. It’s called Worldwide Tribe. We’re traveling around the world to show that all tattoo people have something in common, even if they’re not the same race, color, or religion. There’s something that connects us all. We have seen Ethiopian ladies with facial tattoos and Bedouin ladies with their bodies tattooed up to their foreheads. We’re getting whiplash from looking around every two seconds and seeing tattoo culture. The show is God’s gift to us after eating shit through a straw for four years.
Love Hate Tattoos : http://www.lovehatetattoos.com/