I love this stuff. I've stopped doing it for the money. I've stopped doing it for strangers. I've stopped treating Polynesian art like a bartering tool that I can throw to any idiot with a roll of cash. For the pieces I have done I feel very good about. However the more I meet new people the more my fear of this style is confirmed. It's turning into a purchasable commodity. It's falling out of the hands of the artists and into the clutches of glassy eyed mainstream. And to that I do not wish to contribute. The uncertainty of whether or not the wearer deserves to walk around with a style I have such heavy attachment to is more than I'm willing gamble. Race is not the bother. Culture is adaptive in every way, including art, and I'm not so shallow to believe birthright is the only avenue to appreciating art. I'm bothered when I give someone a tattoo in the style that I have have admired my entire life only to later find out that the same person that shook my hand after hours in my chair is a degenerate. I've come to know people through tattooing. I've come to discover quite a bit about the landscape of people in the world. I've tattooed rapists and thieves and it still stings. I'm no longer willing to hand this art style to any stranger.
I'll only be offering Polynesian to people I know or care about. I've gotten to know very many people through tattooing islander styles but I don't wish to sell it anymore. This will be something just for my family, close friends and myself.
This post was not meant to disparage the piece or person in this photo. The only relevance to this tattoo is the Polynesian style. In what judgement I can make Vicente is a completely respectable person that I’m glad to have tattooed.