World’s oldest tattoo artist changing the culture

Doc Price, 86

Meet our campaigners who want to change ageist stereotypes: The world’s oldest tattoo artist

Doc’s age hasn’t stopped his love for tattooing. At age 86, he is the world’s oldest tattooist in the western world. On the topic of age, Doc says it is nothing more than “a figment of the imagination that you grow to believe” and he is choosing not to.

His first tattoo was the word ‘Mother’ at age 13 which you can just about make out 73 years on. Drawing is something that always came naturally to him after he struggled with other subjects at school, so he taught himself how to tattoo. He started off in Wales working on the docks, inking working-class men and sailors. He is well travelled, and has tattooed people all across the globe in his 7 decades, including Australia, Canada and Japan.

On the topic of ageing, he believes that people often give up too early at the idea of it. Whilst people think that their abilities start to disappear, Doc’s view on him tattooing people is one that ‘doesn't seem to want to disappear.’ And when asked why he has continued inking people into his later years, Doc explained it is the physicality of doing something that he likes and enjoys.

At 86, Doc is definitely the oldest in Europe and reckons he has covered around 28 acres of skin. He currently runs a tattoo parlour alongside his son in Plymouth, where he is deeply invested in tattoo culture, making new designs daily.

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