Pink Fire Pointer April 2012

No! Oh God, No!

If you are an fellow artist then you will know exactly what I'm talking about here. You might even find it humorous. If you are a client of mine you might have heard me talk about this subject. And if you are planning on getting a new tattoo pay attention.

So let me set the scenario for you, we are diligently working away when someone enters the studio. They would like to talk to an artist about getting a tattoo. If it is a female she wants flowers with some swirly things. If the new client to be is a male he might want tribal. In both cases the have a reference picture, more and more often its on their phone (please stop with the cell phone pics). Very rarely its on printed paper.

Every time I'm hoping to see something new, something yet undiscovered. Yet its always the same...

Here are the images...

The big pink & yellow lilies that end in swirls on ribs.

 The really bad lily, stars and swirls...

The classic black and grey roses with swirls, on ribs.

The Hibiscus, with names on hips.

And the super photoshopped douche tribal that doesn't match.

If I have to see these images again I might have to pluck my eyes out! Please allow me to explain, when you Google something, the images that appear first are the most popular. Thus your "original" idea if found on the first page of images probably isn't too original. I know me and other artists have joked about it. All we have to say are things like "flowers on ribs", and we automatically know what images we are thinking of. 

I get it, you were looking for a design and saw something that struck your fancy. But take it a step further, look up some actual real flowers. Try searching without the word tattoo. Find some flowers you actually like. Allow us to turn those into a beautiful side piece for you. But please for the sake of all things holy, stop bringing us these images! Lol, that is all.

A Call To Arms!!!!

As a tattoo artist of less then 10 years, I can't claim to have seen it all in this business. Call it an industry and watch the hackles raise on many of the people who also tattoo for a living be it old schoolers or newbies. What I have witnessed was the birth of Miami Ink, and there was speculation as to how this would affect  us tattooers. Some people automatically hated it, some embraced it as it brought tattooing into peoples homes and living rooms and made tattoos more mainstream thus creating a flow of cash the had slowed since the 80's. Riding on Miami Inks coat tails more and more TV shows sprung up, Hart and Huntington, LA Ink, etc. Now we have tattoo TV programs that are more like game shows like Survivor. And how has this affected us? Sure more and more people walk through the doors seemingly more educated throwing around words like photo realistic! But for every new client we see we are also seeing more and more work done by the home tattooist. Yes, the scratchers numbers are increasing. No, this isn't going to turn into a rant about scratchers. If you still want to go to some illegal tattooist in a basement or dirty bedroom and pay $20-$60 for some fucked up piece of shit that you'll come in looking to get "cleaned up" and then looked shocked when I quote you 5 times what you paid for it, that's your choice. I'm here bitching today because I've learned that now these dip shits can purchase their equipment from large corporate stores like Sears and Dick Blick!

Tattoo artist round the globe rose up when they found out about TLC's Tattoo School TV show. Angry that a cable channel would put out crap that doesn't show what some of us work and strive for each and every day. Tattoo artists trained properly with a real apprenticeship, full of blood, sweat, and tears. It's bad enough that most tattoo equipment dealers don't care if you work for a real studio or not. But, since the ones who do sell to just anyone, they sell sub quality equipment I haven't really cared too much. I've focused trying to educate the masses on why they shouldn't go to these hackers. But now with SEARS and DICK BLICK selling equipment I think we need to take some sort of stand.

I see things going down one of two ways, we (tattoo artists) can call for some sort of regulations that forbid anyone from selling tattoo equipment to anyone not working in a shop. Not that each state handles things the same when it comes to the qualifications of someone who works in a studio. And its not that I would like to see our already corrupt government stick it's nose into our business. Or, we could go back to the old school ways of doing things, breaking peoples hands so they can't tattoo. I'm not opposed to the old school simple way of thinking. I kinda like keeping things simple and I don't think I need the government to tell me whats right or wrong. So what say you? Are you gonna join a Facebook group to boycott these chains and their sales of tattoo equipment thinking you are doing something like stopping Joseph Kony by re-posting someones status or "liking" it. Let's do something about this. I'm open to ideas....

Well, well, well, I will have to recant somewhat, it seems Blick has decided not to sell tattoo supplies after all...The Traditional Way.