“I have been tattooing for more than a decade now. What inspired me to become a tattoo artist is the process, and it’s positive impact on the person wearing it.”
I remember my mother worrying about my tattoos. She supported my decision wholeheartedly but made me promise I would never get inked on my neck, shoulders, or arms—anywhere visible. I instantly understood what she meant after seeing people miss out on their dream jobs just because their tattoos were peeking through their polo sleeves. But hey, I considered that tattoos have come a long way since they were seen as taboo.
It wasn’t long ago that tattoos were a no-go. Many people considered (and some still do to this day) tattoos as undesirable and dirty. However, as time passed, the stigma surrounding tattoos has shifted. Today, tattooing has evolved from being a hush-hush thing to a widely accepted art form.
Charles Arteta, a Filipino tattoo artist, has been at the forefront of this transformation, challenging conventions, and shattering stereotypes one tattoo at a time. Soon enough, Charles came to social media, telling stories and sharing tips. Meet the co-founder of Arté Tattoo, a TikTok educreator known for debunking myths, redefining tattooed skin, and turning taboo into art.
Challenges and Criticism
Looking back, the beginning of his career wasn’t easy. When asked about the discrimination that comes with the profession, Charles doesn’t deny the challenges and criticisms he faced. “But those are just background noises I don’t need to hear. I respect their opinions about tattoos and don’t need to prove myself to them. I focus my attention on people who need me and those who believe in my mission,” he says.
Charles Arteta started his career as a tattoo artist in his early twenties. However, his ardor for art, coupled with his innate talent and some serious dedication, skyrocketed him to swift success. Today, Charles’ clientele includes celebrities, content creators, and everyone else looking for a tattoo experience. His contributions to the tattoo community have garnered praise and acclaim, but it’s not always about fame and awards for Charles— it’s about the art and the people he works with.
That said, Charles Arteta takes immense pride in inspiring up-and-coming artists and tattooists, showing them that tattoos go beyond the surface of the skin. For this tattoo artist, they represent who we are—a celebration of the battles we’ve won and a transformation into a better version of ourselves.
In the Philippines, there’s no specific law against tattooed skin in the workplace, thanks to our constitution championing freedom of expression. However, the truth remains that many companies (and people) still frown upon inked individuals. For Charles Arteta, it’s vital to break the stigma surrounding tattoos and recognize their place in Filipino culture. He says, “We should be grateful to our ancestors for passing down this tradition to our generations. Instead of discriminating, we should honor them.”
The tattoo artist remains hopeful, observing the Philippines’ perception of tattoos slowly progress. One factor contributing to this shift is that influential persons, celebrities, and even people in the medical field have tattoos nowadays. At this moment, all he’s asking for is the Philippine government’s attention to the tattoo industry, given the rapid growth and the current lack of regulations and licensing in the Philippines.
The Power of Social Media Platforms
What makes Charles totally stand out from the tattoo community is his drive to create a comprehensive learning experience for those interested in tattooing. Through the artist’s social media accounts, he has garnered over 10.3k followers on TikTok and over 14.4k followers on Instagram, including his page, Tattoo Academy PH with 16k followers on Facebook.
With his wide reach, he has posted numerous educational videos about tattoos, covering a wide range of topics related to tattooing, including tattoo designs, tattoo aftercare, and correcting the misconceptions about tattoos.
So, you’ve filled a folder on Pinterest with mood boards of tattoo inspiration and determined you’re finally ready to get your first tattoo. Not sure what happens next? Before your tattoo session, watch Charles Arteta’s lessons to prepare you for permanently adding art to your skin.