Stay Gold with Sagent Staygold

Today we spoke with Sagent Staygold, newest member to submit tattoo art to our design contest. To see and vote on Sagent’s two beautiful designs, log in and go to the Rate Designs page. While you’re there, be sure to check out all the other designs up for voting. Remember, you choose what we print, so flex your power!

Backdoor Tattoo
1316 Del Paso Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95815-3610
(916) 927-2136

Sagent Staygold

MI: Tell us where you got your name, Staygold.

Sagent: It means, you know, stay gold—don’t forget your dreams. When you see the sun rise and you get that feeling of being new even though you’ve seen it before…it should always feel new. It’s from the movie The Outsiders. Some people get “stay gold” tattooed on their knuckles.

MI: Do you feel like you’re an outsider too?

Sagent: Sure. I’m from Hamburg, Germany, and I’ve moved around a lot, Philadelphia, some other cities. Every time I go to Hamburg, I’m an outsider. I was always the outsider. I’ve had to start new wherever I went so…

MI: So you wore it proudly, being an outsider? And it was like a message to yourself, to stay gold, whenever you had to start over again in a new city?

Sagent: Pretty much, yeah.

MI: Where did you start tattooing?

Sagent: I’ve been tattooing since 1997. I started in Ohio, then I moved to Philadelphia in ’99, then I moved to Cincinnati and I stayed there for a couple years. In 2003, I moved to Germany which lasted for a couple months. I’m so Americanized that I couldn’t stay there any longer.

MI: In Hamburg?

Sagent: Yeah. I couldn’t stay in my own hometown because every one called me the American tattooer.
A lot of people were like, what are you doing here when you have a green card? So I moved back. America is a lot easier than Germany. Too bureaucratic.

MI: You have an interesting career arc. When did you move to California?

Sagent: 2005. I moved to LA.

MI: What was tattooing in Germany like? And how would you compare it to tattooing in California?

Sagent: My stuff is more traditional than anything else, and in Germany, they were a little bit behind the times. They wanted more tribal. And the feedback I got from a lot of shop owners was that no one wants that old stuff anymore. And then I move back and a year later and I ‘m looking at tattoo magazines and everyone wants traditional now. I was before my time.

MI: Is Sailor Jerry one of your influences?

Sagent: I guess he’s known as the godfather of traditional. But there’s also Christian Warhlich, Joe Lieber, Harverd Hoffman…I’m actually going more back to the ‘20s and ‘30s when they were tattooing. Sailor Jerry based his work on their stuff.

MI: Traditional is pretty widespread these days. What’s your signature?

Sagent: My roses. When you see a piece and there’s a rose, you know it’s mine because of the roses I draw.

Sagent's signature rose

MI: What’s special about your roses?

Sagent: I started drawing them and I came up with a pattern. I draw them inside out. I do a bee shape and I go from there. And then I add more stuff or I leave stuff out. Fold the leaves over with the yellow. It’s a traditional looking rose but it’s not a Sailor Jerry rose.

MI: Sailor Jerry roses are simpler.

Sagent: Right, if it was green, it would look like a lettuce head. My rose is pretty stylized.

MI: Both pretty and stylized! And the 2 designs you submitted to the design contest both feature your signature roses. Best of luck and thanks for your time.

Viva Vida by Sagent

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