Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Tattooing is not easy.

April 30th, 2009 by

Will these people never learn?

Look. We all know that times are tough on everyone these days, but when will these scratchers get it through their heads that tattooing is a highly skilled art, not an easy way to make a buck?

The latest bid for the “Another Asshole out to Destroy Tattooing” award is a 45 year old woman from Hudson, NH. Ronalda Brunner-Cummings has recently been arraigned in the Nashua District Court for allegedly tattooing a 15 year old boy in her illegal apartment tattoo set up. Police allege that she has tattooed at least four teenagers there. God only knows what else she gave to them. “Happy sweet sixteen, Junior. You have hepatitis C.”

The truly disgusting thing is, if you checkout any of the tattoo forums online, she isn’t the only jerk out there doing this and it’s growing by leaps and bounds. Of all the things that threaten the hard won status of our beloved art, this is probably the greatest.

Almost every scratcher gives the same old tired excuses. “There’s nobody who is willing to teach me.” “I really love tattooing, but the nearest shop is 60 miles away and I can’t afford to drive that far.” “I bought a book/video with my tattoo kit and it showed me all I need to know.” “People have been tattooing for thousands of years. It’s not rocket science.” Ect….ect…ad nausea.

Let’s look at this for a second. One if there is no one who is willing to apprentice you, there is probably a damn good reason. Sometimes a artist will turn you down just to see if you have what it takes to tattoo. In a real studio there are tons of things you have to learn besides just being able to draw. Sterilization, cross contamination, keeping the tattoo area as clinic like in it’s environment as any health care practitioner’s place of business. What? You think all that shit gets done by itself?

Could also be that your as delusional as an American Idol hopeful. God knows how many of those tone deaf suckers have left the audition swearing that they can sing. Yeah, right. Most of them should call themselves Cleopatra, Queen of Denial.

If your not willing to do anything it takes to get an apprenticeship, then I would say it’s a safe bet that you don’t have what it takes to work in a proper tattoo studio. It’s also a damn good bet you don’t love tattooing, either. All of us who gained the proper training sweated blood to make it. We laid out the cash, traveled as far as we had to, and put up with more crap than you could possibly take. Why? Because we do love the art and were willing to pay the price to prove it.

That book/video is going to give you just enough information to get your ass in trouble, or someone else hurt. What is so ridiculous about that excuse is by the same argument I could read the driver’s test book and drive a car. Didn’t happen. I had to take driver’s education to get the feel for all the things the book couldn’t give. It’s the same with tattooing. There are hundreds of nuances that can not be taught in a book/video. They are the things that can only be learned by someone who already knows what they are doing showing you how.

Yes, tattooing has been around for thousands of years, but for the most part was done in small tribal groups where they didn’t have to worry about the blood born pathogens that plague us today. Hell, AIDS didn’t even exist fifty years ago, much less thousands of years. If a you think its just as safe now, then how do you explain the enormous increase in Hep C and other blood born disease in areas where scratchers are allowed to run wild?

Do you know how to properly set up an autoclave? Do you know how often to test it? Do you know how to test it? How do you set up a sterile tattoo station? What do you do to break the blood barrier for proper sterilization? What is the optimal speed for a liner, or a shader? What do you do if the client passes out? How should the floor of your station be properly cleaned? How far should the needle penetrate the skin? How do you set the needle for proper penetration? How do you get the color to hold in the skin without grinding it into hamburger? What is “brush shading” and how is it done properly? How do you apply a sterile stencil? How do you handle a obviously drunk client?

Tattooing is NOT an easy job! It is a highly skilled art form that takes dedication, care, and tons of personal feeling. If you really want to be a tattoo artist, then you should be prepared to show you are willing to earn it. As a scratcher, you are just part of the problem and deserve any punishment you’ll get. Including the law suit that should be brought against your uncaring ass.

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.