‘Finding My Tribe’ documentary examines tattoo subculture, acceptance in Utah

ST. GEORGE — For Taylor Doose, growing up in Salt Lake City as an only child in a family who were not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meant constantly questioning where he fit in. Without the built-in belonging that comes from having siblings and not having the ties that come from membership in the dominant religious group, Doose found himself growing up without a tribe.

Promotional material for documentary film "Finding My Tribe," location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Docutah International Documentary Film Festival, St. George News
Promotional material for documentary film “Finding My Tribe,” location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Docutah International Documentary Film Festival, St. George News

Now Doose is telling his story through his documentary film, “Finding My Tribe,” which will screen Wednesday and Friday at the Electric Theater as part of the Docutah International Documentary Film Festival. There will also be a living art tattoo reception held Tuesday at the Roene B. DiFiore Center for the Arts.

Doose’s story is personal. Yet it is familiar at the same time to many who have felt they don’t fit in, especially in Utah. It is a story about finding both belonging and individuality, all told through the subculture of tattoos and the people who get them.

A synopsis of “Finding My Tribe” states:

Salt Lake City is a beautiful, clean, friendly place to grow up and raise a family, unless you happen to be different in any way. … In ‘Finding My Tribe’ the filmmakers take a microscope to society’s views and how they have evolved with the growing acceptance of tattoo culture and the people that wear them.

The synopsis goes on further to question whether tattoos make one part of a group or more of an individual.

Born for this

Though Doose struggled to know where he fit in growing up, he was always certain of what he wanted to be, he said.

“Pretty much from birth I have always wanted to be a filmmaker,” Doose said. “I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t obsessed with movies and storytelling.”

At the age of 16, Doose had the opportunity to work on a film set. He described himself as the annoying kid who wouldn’t stop asking people questions about filmmaking.

When he was 18, Doose said, he came to Southern Utah to attend Dixie State University’s film program.

“At the time it was the best film program in the state,” Doose said.

But shortly after entering school, the film program dissolved, Doose said, so he returned to Salt Lake City to find work.

Doose said his heart always knew he wanted to make movies, so after working for many years, he decided to return to school.

“Something inside of me said, ‘You are never going to be happy unless you are making films, so maybe you should go back to school and pursue your dream,'” Doose said.

Tattoo culture and tribalism

Doose’s father, the executive director of the Roene B. DiFiore Center for the Arts, described his son as a large man with no available space left on his body for another tattoo.

But it wasn’t always that way for Doose, who said he used to hate tattoos.

Then tragedy struck. Doose was in a horrific accident. Among other things, he had ruptured his spleen, he said, and was only an hour from bleeding to death.

Doose said it was a life-defining moment for him, one that he didn’t ever want to lose its power. So he marked his experience and his new outlook on life with two tattoos: a red star on his right calf and a blue star on his left calf; one for the person he was before the accident and one for everything that would come after.

I was becoming a different person,” Doose said. “Like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon from a bad situation.”

And like a butterfly’s colorful wings, Doose continued to color his body canvas with the art and stories of life.

“It was through tattoos and the subculture of life that I could really find people I could relate to,” Doose said, “and the idea of tribalism that I had been missing for so much of my life.”

“Finding My Tribe” will screen at the Docutah International Documentary Film Festival Wednesday at 8 p.m. and Friday at noon in the Electric Theater, 68 E. Tabernacle in St. George.

Living Art Tattoo Reception

A special living art tattoo reception will be held Tuesday at the Roene B. DiFiore Center for the Arts, 307 N. Main St. in St. George from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The reception will feature tattoo artists from several area tattoo studios showcasing their work and talking about their art.

The reception is free to attend.

Event details

  • What:
    • Special living art tattoo reception
    • ‘Finding My Tribe’ screenings
  • When:
    • Reception: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
    • Screenings: Wednesday, 8 p.m., and Friday, noon
  • Where:
    • Reception: Roene B. DiFiore Center, 307 N. Main St., St. George
    • Screenings: The Electric Theater, 68 E. Tabernacle, St. George
  • Cost:
    • Reception: Free
    • Screenings: $10 single movie pass
  • Additional information: All-event passes, all-day passes and single movie tickets to Docutah are available online or at the Cox Auditorium Box Office located on the Dixie State University campus at 375 S. 700 East, St. George. Single movie tickets will also be available during the festival at the Eccles Box Office, 225 S. 700 East, St. George. All-event passes are advance purchase and will only be available until Tuesday.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.


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  • Bob September 5, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    what i’ve noticed about the folks who get many tattoos is they usually have a history of poor decision making in their lives. They also tend to be not real bright overall. Always exceptions of course, but my experience is that tattoo fanatics are usually pretty dumb or have a criminal history, or a combination of both. It’s almost like being marked with a brand that tells the world you’re an idiot or a degenerate

    • ladybugavenger September 5, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Did you get that tramp stamp removed? Hahahaha JK Bob. ?

      • .... September 6, 2016 at 6:16 am

        WAY TO GO LADYBUG ! wooooooohoooooooooo lmao ! 5 ☆☆☆☆☆ on that one

    • Arcana September 5, 2016 at 11:57 pm

      You’re going to miss out on a lot of wonderful people in this life with that attitude. And honestly, it sounds like you deserve it.

      • Bob September 6, 2016 at 12:20 pm

        I’m speaking from personal experience. I’ve known and worked with many many folks with tatts. There’s those who got tatts in there teens or 20s, those who might have got military tatts. Most of them seem to grow out of this “tattoos are cool” mentality at some point in their 20s. The locations and size of the tatts tell me a lot about their decision making skills in life–those with neck or facial tatts almost always, from what i’ve seen, have a history of poor decision making. There are also certain personality types–many tattoo fanatics i’ve known are instant gratification types that don’t plan much into their future.

        As to darkgoddess with all her PhD’s and Master’s Degrees and doctorates–like i said, always exceptions

    • darkgoddess September 6, 2016 at 5:46 am

      Not very intelligent, huh? Then explain how I managed to get a Master’s Degree in addition to the other four college degrees I have? Explain how professionals like lawyers and doctors with tattoos are also idiots or degenerates. I guess it takes one to know one.

      • .... September 6, 2016 at 8:33 am

        Way to go dumbob ! St George news gave you the opportunity to come here and show us all just how stupid any ignorant you really are

  • .... September 5, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Lmao. what a load of garbage. but then that’s just the typical Bob shooting off his mouth. it must be tough being you. I guess your parents must of really abused you. do yourself a favor and call Dr Phil ! then go to the animal shelter and get a friend

  • .... September 5, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    LOL this is funny what load of drivel from a guy that claims the government owns big pharma HA HA HA HA ..what happened Bob. did you run out of anti Mormon comments ? so now you’re going to berate people with tattoos LOL ! you’re quite the keyboard warrior Bob. maybe I will be able to stop laughing in a few days

  • .... September 5, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    If your a person with a tattoo don’t mind Bob. he has a problem with the whole world and everything in it !

  • .... September 6, 2016 at 8:38 am

    darkgoddess they don’t come anymore ignorant and stupid than Bob does congrats on your Masters ! you have my respect

    • Bob September 6, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      ahahahah, never seen u so upset, Dump. Might wanna talk to the doc about increasing the meds

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