Up till the early ’90s, the process of getting a tattoo was somewhat like ordering fast food: one could only choose from templated designs that were numbered. “In those days, there was no customisation involved. Tattoo artists got their designs from flash sheets sold by [then-popular tattoo artists] David Bolt, Paul Booth and Edward Lee,” says Samuel. Naturally, this meant that many people had the same designs.
Popular designs: Barbed wire, Celtic knotwork, tribal dragons, Red Indian chiefs, butterflies and dolphins
“Celebrities had a lot of influence over what sort of tattoo designs people got. Many people got Celtic knotwork stuff because of Pamela Anderson, and those who got a tribal dragon were inspired by the one on Billy Bob Thornton.” - Samuel