Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

What Does It Take?

December 12th, 2009 by

December 2nd, 2009 at 1:52 am
I’d like to know how you got into tattooing if you didnt start at home with your own kit? Did you waltz in to a tattoo parlour and show them some pictures you drew? I want to know how it happened. Im not a ’scratcher’, yet, and ofcourse Id love to avoid being labelled as one but I think everyone starts somewhere and there is no other logical place to start. An email explaining this would be great.
From a budding artist

In case any of you don’t read back, or read the comments, I received the above from Sam on my article “Tattooing is Not Easy”. It’s true, especially in today’s world. Now I have heard just about every pro-scratcher argument there is, (most of which I ignore because they usually show nothing more than ignorance, or a complete lack of regard for the one person who means more than anyone in tattooing…THE CLIENT.), none of them hold much more water than a bucket that someone took a shotgun to.

The plain fact is, anyone who is too goddamned lazy to do things the right way is too goddamned lazy to be a good tattoo artist. And you are a fool to trust them with your health End of argument.

That being said, there is a way to become a legitimate tattoo artist, and sorry, but hell no it isn’t easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is. The one thing that will matter more than anything is…”How bad do you want it?” That’s it kiddies…the real secret to becoming a tattoo artist. Do you want it bad enough to do anything to get it? (And I do not mean taking the shortcut of scratcher, Chuckles.)

Do you want it bad enough to work a shit job while you save up the money to get an apprenticeship?  I did.

Even with the introduction to a tattoo artist, I still had to pay him to teach me, and buy my own equipment. It wasn’t a free ride.

Do you want it bad enough to work at the studio for free, while you hold down said shit job? I did.

For well over a year I held down a shit job that I hated, and cleaned the studio, cleaned the station, sterilized and cleaned the equipment, maintained the equipment, cleaned up the puke from drunk clients, colored the flash, etc…ect. FOR FREE! Because I wanted to be a tattoo artist.

Do you love tattooing enough to do whatever it takes to learn the right way? I did, but then again, I wanted to be a tattoo artist more than I wanted to do anything else.

That is the difference between a tattoo artist, and a scratcher. A scratcher makes excuses as to why they can not become a legitimate tattoo artist. A tattoo artist does what it takes to become a tattoo artist.

Now you tell me, who has the right to be a tattoo artist. Someone who loves tattoos and art enough to make sure they are doing it right? Someone who has the balls to get the training they need to do tattoos safely and expertly? Or someone who is so goddamned lazy they will settle for a short cut? Someone who cares so little about the sacred art of tattooing they will just save up enough money to get the equipment and start fucking people up?

Why didn’t they put that money into the effort of getting properly trained? Because they couldn’t wait, they couldn’t be bothered with pounding the pavement to find an apprenticeship, or, now days, a tattoo school. They wanted to start making the big bucks right away…In other words the only thing they really cared about was themselves…NOT TATTOOING.

That’s it in a nutshell, Gang. All you really have to do is love tattooing enough to not let anything stand in the way of getting the proper training. If you don’t love tattooing that much, you have no business trying to become a tattoo artist.

It ain’t easy, but it can be done…if you have the heart.

BTW: If anyone wants to know the rest of how I did it, check out my reply to Sam. And Sam, Bud, The ball is in your court now. Do you love Tattooing enough, or are you just looking for a fast buck? Only you know the answer to that question, and the answer will be what makes you a tattoo artist, or not.

Good luck to you, M’man…I have faith in ya. 😉

Leave a Comment

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