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Tattoos and Televison

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Dringenberg and Co.

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Last night was the premier of NY Ink. I am so happy for our friends on the show. Our friends have been on all the TLC shows, Miami, LA and now NY. I always hear so many tattooers say that by being on these shows, people are selling out. Really? Selling out? Wouldn't they if they had the chance to be on TV jump at the chance? I'm sure 8 out of 10, if not 10 out of 10 would if they could. I watched it. I had to see what the new shop looked like. I had to support my LA friends and give them a little west coast love. I can't say for sure that I will watch it on a regular basis. Having lived thru most of my 20's in a tattoo shop working as the shop girl, when I watch TV I like to escape my own reality and dream about someone else's. Never the less it's a cool show with wonderful artists and some of our dearest friends.

After I watched NY Ink and studying for finals and cooking dinner. It was time for some good old fashioned scripted television. I was watching a show on NBC. It was and hour long 'dramedy' about four couples I think. I say I think because it was kind of all over the place. I couldn't even tell if it took place in New York, LA or San Francisco. Truthfully, I wasn't really watching it. I was practicing my guitar and had it on in the background. Anyway, I have a point. I promise. There was one couple, who the husbands character was a tattoo artist. The wife had black hair and a raspy voice. They both wore leather cuffs on their wrists. I guess if I had been the costume designer I probably would have dressed them the same way, but since I wasn't, and I am actually married to a tattoo artist, I thought it was pretty typical. Typical costume and casting. The man kept bringing up that he was a tattoo artist. Going so far as to point to the one tattoo he had on his arm (put there by the make up department), and even drawing a tattoo design to give to a girl he sat next to on the plane. As I watched this I sat and wondered. Is it so main stream now to be a tattoo artist that television is writing 'tattoo artist' as a character? For me I'm married to one so naturally many of my friends are tattoo artists and their wives, but is this true for people outside the tattoo industry? Or is it that now there are just so many tattooers in general. Has tattooing become as main stream as lawyer, doctor, barista? Cut to the commercial break. It was a commercial that said turkeys don't make good tattoo artists, they make good turkey burgers. Seriously? They even had the turkey doing a tattoo on a girl in a tattoo shop. What will they think of next?

As I sit here and write this I wonder. Is the old school of tattooing so old now that future generations of tattooers will only have the era of tattoos on television to base their careers on? What will the tattoo industry be like then? Will people's kids grow up will they want to buy tattoo equipment because they are bored and need a new hobby? I can't say.

But I can say this. If tattoos are so main stream now, than you can stop touching my tattoos when I'm in line at the grocery store, the mall, the post office, the bar, at a concert or anywhere else I may be.

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I watched the first show last week,and was disappointed.I guess i thought this show was somehow going to be different than the other's.It seems like there's going to be A lot of drama,and bad acting.It's a shame TLC doesn't realize the majority of people watching these show's wan't less drama,and more good tattoos being showcased.I think your percentage of 8 out of 10 tattooers who would wan't to be on these show's is off.If it was more focused on documenting good tattooing than making it into a soap opera,then i would agree with you.Then again,i don't know how much these artists are getting paid...Maybe that would up the percentage of artists willing to participate.To the question are tattoos to mainstream.I was in SD last week on Garnett Ave,and there was like 7 tattoo shops in like a 1 mile radius.I also took a ride to Julian,CA which is a an hour east of SD in the mountains,and is like a block long,and there was a tattoo shop there.

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Im thinking its not just TV programs bringing the tattoo industry to the spot light but the internet plays a large part too,

Flicking from facebook to twitter and looking threw random stuff, people will come across tattooing and due to the high standard of some tattoos ,people will want to try there luck .BUT ...BIG BUT its not luck its 24 -7 intense sometimes fucking impossible studying to try and do the most basic of tattoos with some talent or dignity .

If anything is to blame its faceless people selling starter kits. But even then people would make there own.

I had a few tattoos done back in the 80s back when it was cool to have zips on your denim jean pockets lol.

I used to get tattoo mags and graff mags and just stare in amazement but never had a clue how you would become a artist in ether genre. I would just throw them under the bed with all the other mags and get my pencil out and try and do some sweet art!!! (ligers and funny shaped female chicks with over sized boobage holding swords )...sweet...

If i was young now i would see the art in amazement get my laptop look up tattooing go to ebay and within 24 hours have one of my mates screaming in pain as i try my hardest to get a fucking liner to work at 18v lol with a throw of about 2 feet in length.in a size 1214RL in a 5RL tip.

The really fucked up thing is there is some downright untalented people with tattoo kits walking in to council offices and walking out with health registration licenses.

Im no way from back in the day and totally understand the previous wave of tattooists point but im sure tattooists from many waves before the last have had the same concerns about these long haired dudes tattooing.

But many of the newcomers back then respected the line of teaching and stayed true to the rules and i guess as long as the people with the information now ,drip feed it to the hard working talented few .Hopefully it will keep its charm and finesse.

as for the TV shows i bet most of us have watched loads of them and given the chance most would do it . They are aimed at maximum viewing potential to the world wide public ,not maximum respect to the tattoo industry. The tattooists doing the programs are not to blame its the man and all his cash suckling ferrets who give a fuck about tattoos as much as they do for chopper builders and ax men lol

.........fockers out ...........

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i honestly dont think i could do one of these shows even if i wanted to. if it was just them filming me for hours on end and then editing what i said to make me look like an asshole that'd be one thing, but being forced to act out the scenarios the producers come up with is where id freeze up. i lived in LA for seven years if i wanted to be an actor i wouldnt have started tattooing.

and by now anyone who chooses to be on those shows knows what theyre in for. we all know that its just a big stupid soap opera and the edit it to make the tattooers look ridiculous, so whats left? the money. theyre doing it for the money, and that is selling out

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hmmmm just watched the first episode of ny ink it is very staged lol . did remind me of orange county choppers with all the drama.

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