MI First Election
With the presidential primaries and caucuses at full throttle, some supporters are getting tattoos to show their politics. There are Bernie Sanders tattoos, especially in his home state of Vermont, and Donald Trump tattoos. Some artists are offering to do the inking for free.
But the trend seems not to have taken root in Michigan.
“I have never helped others get a political tattoo, really,” said Jesse Cloutiet.
Cloutiet has been a tattoo artist for 15 years, 10 years for professional, and five years for tattooing himself.
“I think anyone who is that much into politics whatsoever would most likely have a good career, or be a professional. So those type of individuals would not be the sort of person that would get any tattoo.”Cloutiet said that people got a memorial tattoo, sometimes to remember friends or family members who died or their children’s name. These things are lifelong and meaningful to people.
“It is more significant people that are tattooed on their beliefs, faith, or their memories,” said Cloutiet.
Cloutiet thinks that tattoos are about spiritual benefits. People got tattoos to show who they are and what they believe in. It is something on your skin forever, while political opinions come and go.
“I am sure people have got like possibly Abraham Lincoln or John F. Kennedy tattoos before,” said Jay Ellis, a tattoo artist from Local Tattoo & Laser Co.
However, no one got a political tattoo in their shop so far. Ellis mentioned that once there was a person who got an elephant pattern, but it was not political.
There are actually 23 political tattoos inked on people’s body, according to an article on the website EMGN.com, those tattoos include Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
2016 is an election year, so people focus more on the political primary. In this situation,Kevin Tarbell, a senior piercer and manager of Splash of Color Tattoo studio, talked about their tattoo business.
“We are studios, so we do whatever people want. We did not provide any specific tattoo pattern for people,” said Tarbell.
“Nobody got a political tattoo this year, neither in 2012 nor in 2014.”
If you are looking for some political ink in Michigan, head to Flint, where tattoo artist Carrie Metz-Caporusso is doing “Water Hearts for Flint,” a blue0tinted heart that seems to be bleeding a drop of water, as a fund-raiser for people there.