Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Shut ‘Em Down.

May 13th, 2010 by

Scratchers ruin tattooing, it’s just the plain truth.  I often think about these people who seem to have a total disregard for the dues that need to be paid in order to work your way up into the tattoo industry.  And sure, a lot of really amazing tattoo artists learned by tattooing friends or family, in living rooms and in basements through methods that can be defined as scratching.  But in some weird and perhaps hypocritical way, that’s not scratching to me.  Why?  Because the artists I’m talking about who started off doing homemade tattoos are now responsible and respected artists and business owners.  There’s a huge difference between them and the people who are content simply tattooing out of their basements with their guitar string tattoo machines for the rest of their lives.

Which brings me to my point: a tattoo artist may have learned the basics of tattooing by scratching, but it’s not a recommended way of going at it.  In fact, some established tattoo artists have even talked about having trouble initially getting apprenticeships once they had been scratching for a while because reputations can grow fast and not too many reputable shops are interested in dealing with a well known scratcher.  Which brings me to my initial point all over again: scratchers spoil everyone’s fun by casting a really dark shadow over all the legitimate and good tattoo artists out there.  Furthermore, they tend to be lazy and cut corners, using crap equipment and ignoring standard health procedures.  They’re single handedly responsible for creating an image of tattooing that has no place in this current day and age.

And that’s why I was very happy to see that public health officials in Grand Forks, North Dakota have begun cracking down on illegal tattoo operations.  Unlicensed “tattoo studios” are being sought out and shut down in order to ensure public health and safety and to safeguard the reputations of the city’s four legitimate tattoo shops.  Grand Forks may not be a huge city, but the fact that this sort of care and attention has begun on a smaller level gives me hope that it will continue to gain momentum until it becomes impossible for scratchers to do what they do at any level, big or small.

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