Name: Clayton (Aka Yetti)
Profession: Graphic designer/writer/Contributing Editor at Obscure Chaos Zine
Photos by: Me
Interview created by:
Lady Kat Chaos
How old were you when you got your first tattoos?
I was 13 I think 14 at the oldest. I did it myself sitting in my bathroom. Hell yeah for stick and poke!!
How many tattoos do you have?
Oh Christ.. I don’t have any idea. Loads.
Which tattoo is your first and which one was your latest?
My first few got covered up when I started working on my sleeves. They were all stick and poke things; terrible stuff but as a young teen they were bad ass! My latest is.. I believe the Claddagh design on my calf. My wife and I wanted matching pieces and since both of us are at least partially of Celtic descent we decided on the Claddagh. The center of hers is different than mine; it’s got a bear paw in it and mine has a fylfot.
How long did it take you to build up your collection?
Off and on for about 14 years I guess.
A lot of fans tattoo lyrics or favorite band logos, have you ever done that or plan on ever doing it?
I actually have a few band-inspired tattoos. I have the universal 666 that Deicide used on top of my head under a partial sigil of Baphomet; I’ve got the jack o’ lantern from AFI’s “All Hallow’s EP” on my back; and I have a rose with a banner on my foot and in the banner it says “Omerta”. The rose symbolizes secrecy and “omerta” translates to silence it was inspired by Lamb Of God. The jack o’ lantern is my favorite though, my big sister has a matching one.
How often do you create your own design or have you ever gave a tattoo artist free range?
It’s about 50/50 most of my sleeves are free-hand work. Even when I do come with a design I just have the bare minimum and let the artist interpret it however they see fit.
Do you have a piece or a few pieces that have the most meaning to you? Why that specific piece(s) is your favorite?
I’ve mentioned a couple already but there are some more that hold strong meaning for me. I have my mother’s name and my mother-in-law’s name in banners around a big rose on my left bicep. I always said it was for the woman who gave me life and the one who saved my life. It got a lot more special to me when we lost my mother in law a year or two ago. There’s also a memorial piece for my little brother. The one that is most personal though, is a small script tattoo on my collar bone. It says “Never Forget” but I had the artist put it on backward so that it would read correctly in the mirror. I got it (and a bunch of others) while I was locked up.
Which one of your tattoos was the most painful and where is it?
Hands down, the one in the outer conch of my right ear; it’s a spider web. That was the longest 5 minutes of my fucking life.
Which one of your tattoos took the longest to complete?
I have a full color lotus on my stomach. That took like 5-6 hours to do.
Do you have a spot on your body that you would never tattoo?
I don’t think I’ll do my face; not out of not wanting to do it but because I made promises.
Did you pay for all the work you've had done? What was the the most expensive tattoo you've paid for?
No, a ton of my stuff was free. The most expensive was a cover-up and stuff on my shin. It’s a big bear paw with coup feathers. I think it came out to be a couple hundred bucks.
Which tattoo style do you like best?
I really like Oriental style stuff and Tā moko work.
Which artist(s) did your tattoos?
Holy shit man, how much time ya got? I mean I could tell you pretty much piece by piece who did what but you wouldn’t see most of them in a shop; most of them are still behind bars and slinging. Then there’s my big sister, Laura. She’s done all of my more recent stuff.
Which tattoo artist do you admire?
Man.. It’s hard to say really. Today there are so many killer artists crawling out of the woodwork. Like look at all those dudes from Sweden, they’re all monsters at what they do.
Which tattoo artist would you like to get ink by that you've never went to before?
I’ve never thought “Oh I want to go and get work from this dude” just because of a name. I don’t know.. I would like to get some mod work done by Samppa von Cyborg though.
Do you regret getting any of your tattoos, now hate, want to replace, or have covered up, and why?
So. Many. Cover-ups. So many. Seriously, I started early so I inevitably made a bunch of dumb fucking tattoo decisions and now I’m paying for them (literally).
Have tattoos affected your life? If so, in what way?
Oh sure. You don’t get a big chunk of yourself inked and it not affect you in some way. It has changed the way I look at the world and, admittedly, the way the world looks at me.
Have you ever been discrimination in the workplace and outside the workplace because you have tattoos?
Shit yeah I have! Are you kidding?! I was told years ago by a manager at a fast food place not to even apply because they don’t hire folks with tattoos and they would just toss my app. Fuck Arby’s by the way. Fuck em! Also, imagine how I get looked at when I take my little man to the park or something. I can’t tell if the soccer moms are disgusted or lusting, but hey whatever right?
Have you been approached or featured by any tattoo magazines?
What advice would you give to someone who was going to get their first tattoo?
Fuckin DO IT! and then wait a while and DO IT AGAIN!
What do you look for when you enter a tattoo parlor? Have you ever walked out of one and for what reasons?
I’ve never really been in a parlor for very long. I think the longest time I spent in one was when I got my septum pierced.
Do you have any new tattoos planned or underway?
Right now I am planning a memorial piece for a friend of mine that passed back in April and a “Game of Thrones” inspired piece..something revolving around the phrase “Not today”.