Anonymous asked: Hi, I love your work! I was wondering if your response for an aspiring tattooist be different if they were actively working to learn about tattooing and the history of tattooing and spent their free time drawing/painting and were trying to build a portfolio and find an apprenticeship rather than just "looking to get into tattooing."
Hey thanks for the compliments on my stuff Anon! My response to a person aspiring to tattoo MIGHT be slightly different if they were actively working on learning the many aspects of the craft, the history of tattooing and already know that tattooing is something they REALLY want to do. It’s all on a case by case basis really. It’s different for everyone in regards to what their actual experience is with tattoos/tattooing, how much they want it, and what they’re willing to do to get there.
I recently read an article by Dawn Marie Cooke about reasons why the tattoo community doesn’t respect tattoo reality tv shows, and even though we’re not talking about television what she says I definitely agree with. In one of the opening paragraphs she says “there are those of us who love tattooing for its rich history and the purity of the art form and then there are those of us who only care about what tattooing can get them. Some of us are in it purely for the art sake others are here for an ego boost.”
I can only speak for myself and my own experiences. I don’t know you, I don’t know the person who asked the previous “Ask”, nor do I know the actual seriousness of the situation so it’s hard to tell on the internet whether anyone is actually serious about the craft or serious about what tattooing can get you. So ask yourself, why do YOU want to tattoo?
Everything I said previously in the last “Ask” post still rings true - the tattoo community is over saturated and that’s why old timers/tattooers who have been involved in tattooing for 10+ years and younger tattooers who have an undying love and respect for the craft and the tradition want to keep it close. You have to work hard to earn the respect of your older peers in order to learn the secrets of the trade.
My experience learning to tattoo is completely different than those of my peers. It definitely wasn’t easy. No one gave me shit and I wasn’t handed anything. I never cried or complained about why no one would help me. I never had the opportunity to have an apprenticeship. But, I still worked long hours, I worked hard, worked 3 or 4 different jobs at the same time, had no money, dealt with a lot of shit, barely slept and still barely sleep. My mentors made me work hard for the knowledge and the skills that I have now and that I continue to work hard for. I truly respect them for that and only hope to make them proud of what I’ve achieved in the short time I have been tattooing. I have more of an appreciation for the things that I do have because of it, as well as the people I’ve met and learned from, and for everything that I do and have that tattooing has given me.
I mean really, why does it even matter what I say? I’m not anybody. I’m just a person who does tattoos and I love what I do. Tattooing has done so much for my life and I can only hope to be able to give back to tattooing what it has given me.