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Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:14 pm
by Malik
lobsterman wrote: I must go and do a backpiece on a 3 year old with a garden rake in a public toilet now
ok, gotta admit that was kinda chuckle-worthy.

I understand the limitations of a wife and family to support. But if you really love tattoos and the 'Industry' itself, then you recognize your limitations and don't try to join the industry. It's like in the old days if you wanted to learn blues guitar you traveled the chitlins circuit and you sat down with 'the masters' and talked music, lived music, and learned music. But if you're stuck at home because you have a family to take care of, then guess what? You're not gonna learn the blues guitar and you've got to find something else to do with your time.

If you're not gonna strive to be the best and get the best education, then why strive at all? Spend all that time and energy invested in something that you 'can' do.

There's always ways. Hell alot of Asian countries will pay about $50,000. a year to an English speaker to go live in thier country for a year and teach English. And this is without being an accredited teacher. I'm sure for $50,000. a year you could afford to send your wife money to cover the bills, still live overseas for a year and teach, and in the evenings try to find a really good Master Tattooist who's willing to teach you.

There's always ways, but they're usually not shortcuts.

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:55 pm
by Aivanne
haaaaaaaaa damnit i can't help but post something.....

i love the term "tattoo industry ". what the fuck is the tattoo industry ? i would love to know. I work in a shop ( not as a tattooer ) and write a lot about tattoos and got published one or twice. Am I part of the tattoo industry ? Is the guy down the road that just opened a shop where they have 5 tattoo stations and a million bongs for sale, part of the industry ?

BadWolf, I appreciate your devotion to the ancient art of tattooing, but I think you represent a tiny tiny part of that " industry". God knows I wish every artist would have such high standards of cleanliness, especially after seeing so much fucked up work throughout my life. And i m only 25.

Times are changing. Information is spreading. I am not saying in any ways that you can teach yourself how to tattoo, but I think old schoolers get butt hurt because they realize that any smart dude ( yes i just said smart ) that takes classes in sterilization and blood patho and all the blabla and have enough money, can set up an environment as clean as 80% ( yes, every tattoo shop is not "tattoo safe", trust me. A neon sign does not guarantee anything)of the shops out there.

what's the difference between a surgeon and BadWolf ? Well they both know about how to set up a safe working environment. Give BadWolf a scalpel and shit will happen. give the surgeon a tattoo machine and shit will happen. But you know what ? I'll take my chance with the surgeon.

Once again, i am not encouraging scratching, i am just making remarks.

Concerning apprenticeships, we need to cut the bullshit here. Most tattoo artists are fucking LAZY ! yes LAZY ! How many times I ve seen artists refusing to do a piece for some fucking dumb reason. They could have drawn it right there on the spot or whatever, but just because the piece wasnt interesting enough, NO.

Most people, especially people that dont have tattoos are nervous to get in a tattoo shop. And i ll tell you why, because most of the artists are assholes. " another dumbass that want a Kanji" or " another koi fish " or whatever they like to bitch about. Well pal, you should have thought about it before becoming a tattoo artist.

And on top of that, they always bitch about money. Always broke, always hard to make the rent. Well, then quit your bitching and do that gay ass Kanji.

So if they deal with customers like that, i don't even wanna know how they deal with a 19 yr old kid that asks for an apprenticeship.

Get an apprenticeship, that's all we hear. But maybe if the "industry" was not making it this hard to get an apprenticeship, there would be less scratchers.

I know and I completely understand that there are absolutely no reason why established artists should give away all they learned during their carreer.

The "tattoo industry" is changing, wether you like it or not.

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:06 pm
by Malik
the reason getting an apprenticeship, and apprenticeship in general is so hard is that it weeds out the loser who think they have, "mad drawing skillz" and want to make a fast buck, from the guy who loves tattoos and the industry so much that they're willing to do whatever it takes to learn this stuff the right way.

also there're different kinds of shops.

Street shops
Production shops
Custom shops
and then there're shops run by actual artists. People who paint, sculpt, draw and do tons of other 'art' things besides tattoos. Those people are going to be artists, and they're going to act like artists, meaning they're going to want to be interested and excited enough about the piece that they know they'll give the customer 150% and that customer will get a truly kickass piece of art.

if someone wants, "just some dumb kanji" then they can go to a street shop or production shop, stand in line with thier ticket number like it was McDonalds, and that "bitchin piece of flash" thats on the wall put into thier skin really quickly. Most street shops are fast, you're in and you're out. Alot of times the machines are run harder and faster and they don't really care about it being a piece of art. They care about giving a fast, safe, tattoo. Probably one they've done 1000 times before and don't even really think about it anymore.

The Industry is just that. An Industry. People that work, live, breath tattoos 24/7. Hanging out in a shop and writing some papers on tattoos doesn't mean you're in the industry. It means you're a writer writing about the tattoo industry.

Hell I'm an artist and my best friend is a great tattoo artist and I hang out with him and draw in his shop all the time. But I'm not in the industry. When he started teaching me more about machines and the 'technical' aspect of tattooing, I took a step back and told him I just wanted to keep working on my art and drawings. I don't want to learn that stuff until I think I'm ready and my artwork and line values are top notch and tattooable.

So many people want to be a part of the industry and get into tattooing, but there's no love for it. They just want it.

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:13 pm
by lobsterman
I agree with you and i did not expect anyone to divulge any secrets just a look at my work and comment.

All i have heard back is "do you know what an HLD is" and a torrent of abuse.
I dont want secrets or even the knowledge of how to be a ninja warrior!

I answered a question on my ideas of "clean" "safe" and was taken from behind, As i said if badwolf had HIS work available for scrutiny perhaps I could forget his hundreds of rants and murder accusations!

I DO intend to find a "master" but it will be in the future.
and by limitations i meant the TYPE of work i will do not the quality!

My work will and is updated in my profile and as i have mentioned feel free to attack but dont pretend you know me and im a 15 yr old in my room with a chinese machine and a box of magnums!


Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:13 pm
by BadWolf
But the majority of the negative things you have listed about "the industry" have to do with the fact that no one is going about it properly.
You are correct that a very motivated, and very intelligent person who is a giant cut above the rest can be self taught and make an actual contribution. But I think most people GROSSLY overestimate how many people fall into that catagory. As you said....80% of the studios out there are horrible...but that is due to the fact everyone is jumping in with no training.
So, it becomes quite clear to anyone with any perceptive skills is that THE BEST THING TO DO, is to not encourage anyone...or help them. That way, the 2% who are actually intelligent enough will still eventually find a path, and the 98% that aren't will not have access to information that makes them feel they have enough knowledge to open yet another of those 80% of the studios out there.

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:19 pm
by Aivanne
i agree with you on many points. tattoos are my passion. i ve studied them, researched them, got many many of them. but i suck at drawing from the top of my head so i know i will NEVER be a tattoo artist. i have other artistic abilities but i dont wanna be responsible for screwing up people for life.

Some people are luckier than me and have tremendous fine arts abilities. Artists usually live a different lifestyle. They usually have a day job because their artistic work dont pay the bills. Then they see the guy on he street corner charging 100$ an hour. No shit they wanna become a tattoo artist. they are just saddly mistaking on what it takes to become one.

i disagree with you on the point that you dont have to be a tattoo artist to be considered part of the industry. my dream is to have my own tattoo oriented magazine, to promote the best art, the best artists and simply spread the beauty of tattooing.

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:21 pm
by Malik
plus you have to be careful teaching yourself if you do truly intend to 'one day learn from a master' because most teachers aren't going to want to unteach you all the bad habits you've picked up. They want you to be fresh and moldable.

I've been in the same boat for years. I wanted to teach myself. I took CPR and other health classes. I'm a good artist always looking to improve my art. But at the end of the day I just couldn't do it. I love tattoos too much and care too much about people to go about learning it in a way that I know is the wrong way. Plus I always felt that if I did one day find a teacher, that they'd want a fresh canvas/student to create another great tattoo artist. And I intend to be that fresh canvas.

I did eventually finally find a teacher. Only problem is we became such good friends and I always concentrated on my art so much and not the tattoo/technical end of things, that now he's basically become my art teacher and I think I'll have to learn the technical stuff somewhere else. He can't give me a 'proper apprenticeship' now because we're friends. Once you cross that student/teacher line it's hard to go back.

So now I'm building my portfolio with newer better designs and when it's ready I'm going be out there looking for someone that will teach me the proper and safe technical side of things.

it's definetely hard, and there's days that are more discouraging then others. But in the end, if you really love tattoos and the industry itself, you keep pushing forward.

hell the only reason I know about the whole 'overseas teaching' thing is because I thought of doing that myself. Plus I'd love to meet Hiroyoshi III, lol.

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:27 pm
by BadWolf
I agree with you and i did not expect anyone to divulge any secrets just a look at my work and comment.
OK, then. That's what I'll do.
The tattoos you posted are not good. They may be better than your competition, but they are technically messes. Blurry, overworked blobs running together in places they shouldn't be. Even the bad photography isn't enough to hide it.
BUT (and here is why you shoulda listened) the drawing is pretty nice....which means that before you made those messes, you may have had a shot.
Now, the problem is, you not only have to sell a respectable artist the idea that he should apprentice you based on your artwork, but you ALSO have to convince him that he should do so dispite the fact you have already tainted your reputation.
But what do I know? I'm sure a sharp guy like yourself has the answers to all those questions.

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:35 pm
by lobsterman
Thank you,
I have hoisted onboard what you have said and value that feedback!!

I have because I have only done 9 tattoos had the fortune to contact all my sitters this evening to ask them about their design and the actual experince of the sitting (3 have never had work done before)

I Did this because These 9 people put their faith in me to create designs that they would have for the rest of their existance. I mentioned the fact that I had spoken to an "expert" online who called the work "blurry" " overdone" etc and they were very much to the contrary,
The general feedback i received was extremely positive and every one of them expressed happiness at having a (personal) piece by me and some
would like more work in the future.
You will notice I used the word personal (ie they each have their own way of thinking) as I beleive Tattooing should be.
Obviously hygene is the most important factor (we have been down that road ) but after all this best of the best, holding the industry up with one hand bollocks, there are individuals who want and have art on them not because Damien said so or Bad wolf said it was OK ,it was for them!

Your comments did make me think and question myself (strongly) but those 9 tattoos have not injured my sitters or my reputation.

I am pleased you were positive with my drawing (I will post more in future) and as always i will work hard at that. but also I still maintain that I just may be (maybe) one of the 2% you mentioned before .

I hide nothing and I look forward to your feedback (negative but hopefully honest!) and if one thing has occured over our little chat it is that every tattoo I do will be the best I can (for my sitter first) then to be so good it piss's you off.

I Also would be very keen to see your work.

Kind regards,

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:03 pm
by BadWolf

I am sorry, but anyone who can look at this and not see it is a mess, is totally blind. Look at how the black is bleeding and running one section into another (which was too close to begin with).
As I said in another post, fooling people is the easy part. And those 9 fools have now fooled you into thinking you had some talent. This is because you are relying on comparing your garbage to someone else's garbage. And although your garbage may look a bit more appealing than theirs, it is still garbage.
The first drawing you posted is alright...the ones you posted since suck, to be quite honest. My apprentice posted a drawing that blows those away by light years, and she is intelligent enough to know that she should not be tattooing. I am quite certain she could find some fool who would allow her to...and no matter how bad it looked, some fools would love it. But in her case, we won't need to worry about that.
Sorry...that's honesty.
It isn't even necessarily the poor artwork, so much as the obvious lack of understanding of proper technique that is so blatant in the pictures you have posted. And those are things an apprenticeship could have prevented. So regardless of what these people who have no understanding of tattooing think, those who understand the difference between good and poor technique will be sure to see flaws in this work.

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:27 pm
by Koreywithak23
hey guys. I dont want to sound like another pain in the ass kid who wants to be a tattoo artist. But im 16 and i would do anything to have a appretinceship right now or in the future. I havent tried to get a appretinceship yet because i am working on a portfolio. And i know im going to get turned down a lot because im 16 and for other reasons also. And i would never pick up a tattoo set without knowing what im doing. Thats dumb. anyways i just wanted to know if someone could talk to me about appretinceships and how much artwork i should have in my portfolio. Im in studio art at my school and yeah i can draw but i dont like judging myself. But anyway here is my gallery.

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:18 pm
by CxCx
man, you've got a long way to go with your art.

Take a few more art courses. Work on things like quality of line, light source, depth, texture, color blending, ect.

Any course concerning the basics of drawing or the basics in 2D design will help you immensely

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:32 pm
by Koreywithak23
ok, you dont think anything is good? i mean im only a sophmore in high school. Do you really think i should go back to basic? i already took that class. Ballz that hurt. :( oh well im not gonna stop trying :)

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:53 pm
by Butterfly9319
Koreywithak23 wrote:ok, you dont think anything is good? i mean im only a sophmore in high school. Do you really think i should go back to basic? i already took that class. Ballz that hurt. :( oh well im not gonna stop trying :)

Take this from someone with NO artistic talent, at least not in the paper/ ink/media. Your work is alright, but like Nerevarina said, you need a lot more work. But again, you are only 16, and you came to a forum of artists, they are gonna bag on your work if it isnt up to par. Keep trying, take some more art classes, but at this moment, no way I'd let you near me with a crayola washable marker, let alone a tatttoo machine :).

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:06 pm
by J-Rod57
Ok, when your an artist at a tattoo parlor, people are gonna come to you for your talent of Drawing or art in general. Most clients will want to wath you draw something in front of them to prove your worth. If you cant draw all that well they will will move on to the next artist or even the next shop, leaving your employer with a bad name in the clients eyes. Here is a sketch of a dragon I had to do for a client, who wanted a back piece. In the end he didnt like the price I set for it. Now I am stuck with a 4 hour sketch, a 6 hour color, and no customer for the piece. But shit happens. Keep drawing to improve your drawing, you have a good mind set, just work on the scale anddesigns a little more.