Cong’s newest face tattoo pays homage to the late slain rapper Nipsey Hussle. Photo: Peter Brand
“I knew I always wanted to get my face tattooed. But I honestly ran out of space, and the face was the only spot I had left,” he said. “As a tattooist, you gradually work your way up to the face tattoo.”
Cong believes there are a couple of different reasons for the spike in facial tattoo popularity.
“Hip-hop culture is definitely a driving factor,” he said. “TV shows like Ink Master are also influencing the younger generation to make that choice to get a face tattoo.”
Cong admitted he’s a little cautionary towards giving face tattoos.
“But if someone wants to mess up their life or not in the long run, I am not their dad,” he said.
Cong says most people gradually work there way up to face tattoos and they are not typically their first tattoo. Photo: Peter Brand
Oviatt got his face tattooed when he was 18 years old. Working at nightclubs and as a drywaller allowed him to wear whatever style of tattoo he pleased. However, as he grew older and changed career paths into nursing and eventually psychology, he began down the painful path towards removing his face tattoos.
“When I was younger, I didn’t care what people thought of my face tattoos,” he said. “But I never anticipated how my perspective on socializing with the general public would change over time.”
Oviatt says when it comes to face tattoos, it all depends on the design and how it fits the face aesthetically.
“Men and women wear them differently,” he said.
Oviatt believes women are driving the trend towards face, neck and hand tattoos.
“There is definitely a tattoo model culture trend that has been happening lately, for sure,” he said.
“With men and face tattoos it is different — it’s almost like the guy has been through some s— or just got out of prison,” he added.
Both artists agreed that when it comes to clients asking for face tattoos, they need to have a serious conversation before they commit to a lifelong piece on their face.
As for Cong, he refuses to tattoo anyone under the age of 18, even if they are accompanied by their parents.