SINGAPORE - He may specialise in inking them on, but Mr Samuel Yar knows too well the stigma and stereotypes attached to tattoos.
The connotations surrounding them are often negative, admits the 35-year-old, who has used his own skin as canvas for honing his art.
"I still unwittingly scare old women when I wait for the lift at my neighbourhood. They don't dare to step in with me. Sometimes they take the stairs or I hear them calling someone on the phone," he says wryly.
Mr Yar recounts the time the police stopped him when he was helping an elderly woman cross the road, thinking that he was going to rob her.
It's par for the course, but he feels it isn't fair.
"Just because we sport tattoos doesn't make us bad people," he protests.
He said it was disappointing to read the news this week about a man who was mistakenly beaten up. The attacker thought the man was a loan shark runner after seeing the tattoos on his leg.
In another story last week, it was reported that prisoners in Changi are opting for free tattoo removals.