Sunshine Coast tatts the way we like it, a-ha
GONE are the days only the roughest and toughest got tattoos - now just about everyone has one.
The traditional skull and dagger tatts have been swapped for beautiful (and expensive) works of art that wearers sport proudly.
Bokarina's Damien Wickham has not only travelled the world to tattoo, he's also had people come from far and wide to have him ink their skin.
Despite only tattooing for seven years, Mr Wickham has fast become a master of photo realism tattooing, a method which demands the artist reproduce a picture as accurately as possible.
"I got into the industry after my father retired; he gave me his equipment. I didn't start until I was 32," he said.
While he may be relatively new to the industry, Mr Wickham's in high demand with fans waiting months to get his work on their body.
But while he's rather good at dishing out the ink, he can't really stand to get it himself.
"I'm the biggest sook out there, it hurts too much... I can dish it but I can't take it," he admitted.
However he warned tattoo fans that photo realism wasn't something all tattoo artists were automatically good at, one of the reasons there were a lot of bad tattoos out there.
"There's a lot of con artists in the industry," he said.
"A lot of artists should stick to their limitations; it takes a lot of time to master photo realism."
While he's constantly surrounded by tattooed people, Mr Wickham's wife doesn't have a single tattoo on her and he admitted he didn't have many either.
"We come from different sides of the railway," he said.
When it came to giving other people their new tattoo, he said he took a responsible approach.
"I don't like tattooing anyone under the age of 20. If someone comes in at a young age and wants to commit to something that's mature, I'm happy to tattoo them. If it's not I'll try and talk them out of it."
While tattoos have become more commonplace in the workplace, Mr Wickham didn't want to be responsible for something that could potentially ruin job prospects.
"I would hate to think I've been a part of anything that would limit someone or allow them to be discriminated against in the future," he said.
Even though he's tattooed hundreds of people, he said he was never 100% happy with his work and always strived to do better.
"I can always do better. I like to always make sure my next tattoo is the best I could be," he said.
"You want it to look good in 15 years time. Tattoos have integrity and they need to be held for a lifetime."
Damien Wickham's shop Ink Attack is located at Thunderbird Dr, Bokarina.
SHOW US YOUR TATTS!
We asked the Daily's Facebook fans to share their tattoo stories with us. Here's what some of you said:
1. Brianna Anderson: I got this piece on the one year anniversary of my Dad's death. The stem of the poppy says 'Lest We Forget'. He was in the army, SAS and police force when he was well. He passed away after having dementia for 12 years.
2. Jamin Rea: There is no story behind this 9 tentacled octopus. I regret nothing.
3. Lachlan John Downes: This is a memorial piece for my daughter we lost in September last year. Means the world to me and my wife.
4. Daniel Munro: Got this Sunny Coast tatt on my butt for free to win the big pineapple festivals competition... and I won.
5. Adam Robert Reynolds: My story started about nine years ago when me and my wife were trying for our second child. After many attempts we found out my wife Anna was expecting. The name we had chosen was Sam either for a boy or girl. We went for our normal scans and everything was awesome, until 13 weeks when we found out there was no more Sam. Crushed we both where after a while we started trying again, which seemed like a life time Anna was pregnant. Nine months later (my son) Mason arrived a healthy baby boy. As I was getting Mason's name done the tattoo artist started with the letter N then O As he continued with the letters S A M I was crying at this stage realising it spelt NO SAM backwards. So Sam is still with us forever.
6. John Hanchard: It is my wife Samantha's. She got it a few weeks ago for our upcoming trip to Gallipoli for the ANZAC ceremony
7. Nath Mackay Portrait of my late father
8. Marie Joan: My grandma's writing from a birthday card. It's the last card I got from both my grandparents for my 21st birthday. I love this tattoo so much as it's like they are with me everyday.
9. Joshua Karlish First tattoo so far. Saw the design and fell in love, am planning on a matching female on the other forearm.
10. Jimmy Haffenden-Carr I got my wife on me. Married over 10 years with five kids. I wanted a pinup girl so why not the one who is the mother to my children and the keeper of my heart?
12. Dusty Gordon Got this done after finishing chemo treatment for cancer last year, just to remind myself how tough I am for getting through chemo and surviving cancer.
13. Jake Woods Portrait of my Grandparents - 50 years together, true love does still exist.
14. Patti Knight I fell in love with this picture as it reminded me of my daughters, so I got it tattooed
15. Miranda King I picked the colours Trista did the rest. My favourite tattoo.
16. Brioni McDonald I've always looked at people with visible tattoos and thought, gee they are gutsy. I always believed I never had the self confidence to pull something like that off. When I turned 24 I thought to myself. I am me. So I got the tattoo.
17. Ben Kawz Moon: In memory of my brother Sam.
18. Kodie Lucas I got this as soon as I was 18. My grandfather and I were very close. He would call me his cheeky monkey. He was diagnosed with alzheimer's and dementia. I went to America for three weeks with my high school and three days after I left he passed away. I missed his funeral. I missed saying goodbye. So I had to do something big for him and to always remember him by. He loved playing golf.