Who Did Your Ink? is the Straight’s weekly feature, where we ask badass Vancouverites about the talented artists, indelible stories, and, at times, questionable antics behind their most treasured tattoos.
What’s your name? Uncle Arlo.
Who did your ink? I get tattoos from lots of people—rarely the same person twice. Here is a list that I think is mostly right and kind of in order: Ryan Cardinal, Brian Joubert, Danielle Crowe, Caitlin Ffrench, Keith Durocher Darci Love, Yann-yann, Matt Houston, Mitch Kirilo, Garret Egles, Belly Button, Henry the Black, Sydney & Cleo the Unicorns, Yann Black, Brody Polinsky, Jón þór ísberg, Nomi Chi, Boone Naka, and Chris Valkov, as well as a few friends that where probably too drunk to remember tattooing me. Lu, Scotty, Jodi, Ty, me—I’m looking at you.
Why did you choose these artists to do your tattoo? I choose people to tattoo me for two main reasons: one, I really like their artwork and would want some of it on me; or two, they are very special people to me, and I want them to mark my body as a physical way of making a permanent bond without someone getting pregnant.
Or sometimes, it is just the convenience. Someone just happens to be there with some ink and a needle.
Is there any meaning behind them? I think that most of my tattoos have a deep meaning to me, though most of that meaning could never be translated literally to a stranger. I like having pictures that don't have easy answers for people, and for me, to see. Except for the one that says "NACHO PIZZA"—that is obviously a way of life.
Who’s your favourite local tattoo artist? I don't like to pick favourites in any category, but there are a lot of talented artists in this city. He doesn't tattoo, but the best artist in the city, hands down, is Ed Spence. I love Ed Spence. Ed Spence forever!
What’s next on your ink list? I have to get a bit pickier about where and who I get tattooed by, or else I will run out of space. I have room and desires for a large work on my back, although no real plans yet. My dad told me if I got my face tattooed, he'd slap me.