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So much has happened, so much to say

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Dringenberg and Co.

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Last month was super busy. First we had Ink and Iron tattoo convention at the Queen Mary in Long Beach. I barely made it to the convention at all. I was going to go on Saturday but I'd heard it was hot and crowded. I guess as I am getting older and working more in the office side of things here at Dringenberg & Co., I feel less like hanging around not working at conventions. Besides with my new school and work schedule I have to try and make time to rest. Even though I have taken time off from school to work this summer I am still finding it hard to find extra time. After Ink and Iron was our one year wedding anniversary. While we have been together for what seems like forever, we only got married one year ago. This year we celebrated our anniversary at the Tattoo Masters Invitational at Hollywood Park. It was really fun. Although there was not that many people coming thru the door, it was a tattoo convention for tattoo artists. I feel like everybody there was able to get a small piece from someone and really take the time to visit with each other. the night before the convention started was a roast. It was my first tattoo industry roast. The Roasters were Bob Roberts, Joe Vegas, Jack Rudy, Freddy Corbin, Philadelphia Eddie, Paul Jeffries and Permanent Mark. The Roasted was the legendary Hanky Panky Schiffmacher. I though all of the guys told some great stories and there were more laughs than awkward silences. So to me the evening was a success. It was really nice to see Freddy and Lisa Corbin. Freddy married Dan and I last year and I always enjoy when I get to the wives. It was additionally cool because I got to meet Henk's lovely wife Louisa. I had never met Henk so getting to meet both of them was awesome. Long ago when Dan was away and I lived in Italy, I had taken a trip to Amsterdam with some friends. I dragged them to the red light district to go to Henk's tattoo museum. So meeting the Schiffmacher's and being invited to the new tattoo museum opening was for me very rewarding. It's like things are stating to come full circle. It feels good to work hard at something and be able to experience the fruits of your labor.

Which brings me to what is happening now. If you are in the tattoo industry and you are on Facebook then you probably know what I am talking about. There hasn't been one day in the past week where there hasn't been a posting on Facebook to boycott or sign a petition to boycott some new tattoo t.v. show. I will not give ANY credibility by naming it, but you all know what I am talking about. Here's the thing. Why should we help them with free advertising. All the posts and google searches only fuel the fire that is already burning. If you are a true artist then such nonsense shouldn't affect your trade. My father is a world renowned musician. Don't you think there are music schools and internet videos already in existence that could potentially take business away from him? Let me tell you, there are. And good for them. But what does that have to do with him? NOTHING... For him, he wakes up every day and goes to work. Whether he has a gig or not. He is up practicing his instruments at a minimum 8 hours a day. He has been playing since he was 4, and professionally since he was 14. His craft supported a family of 5 children and none of us ever went with out. So I ask, why is everybody so worried about this new t.v. show? If you are a true craftsman/woman of the tattoo industry and you work every day perfecting your craft, this show will have no impact on your life. They say it takes 10,000 hours to make a master. So just work on that and let the chips fall where they may. Do great work and your life will be blessed. I realize this business is a business and there is a certain amount of the game you have to play. While I may not agree with all of the politics they exist and we have to coexist whether we want to or not. But please, please,please......stop giving credibility where no credibility is due and just get to work. Work on your 10,000 hours and be rewarded by your achievements.

To read my full blog with photos check out www.theillustrateddaughter.com

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I respect your opinion but you know what they say about opinions. Mine is that I will speak out over a scam that someone could be a tattoo artist in two weeks and a program that claims such or lends credibility to the concept. People make stands for their beliefs all the time, that is why we don't see Italians playing the roles of native americans anymore and I would like to see the same in the industry of tattooing. Giving the general population the idea that what we do is so simple that a caveman can do it is no more cool with me than going back to the days when I couldn't get a loan for used pickup truck for what I did for a living.

Sure thing that this tattoo school will crank out tattooers or people roll playing as such because they are set up around me already and making me money on the cover ups and fix it work but I would rather see more people treated better and becoming living examples of our craft than living with people who figure a tattoo that ain't half bad is truly half good and good enough to be excepted as a tattoo. To acknowledge this activity and lending credibility to it is two separate things and I will never except green day as punk rock no matter if it's placed in that area of the music store. I feel that the community speaking out in numbers against something they feel is fraudulent is very valid and lends more to the respect of the craft than the program will. The tattoo community speaking out is lending fuel to our credibility and not that of a two week grad, so I disagree.

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Don't agree with the silent treatment, and it's good to know that we are one of the top sites in search engine optimization when it comes down to the show. I think if anything letting people who know nothing about tattooing that this is wrong creates everyone to be on the same page with the industry in knowing that this wrong, and the only thing Facebook and tweeting is doing is making it well more known to not support it. Maybe their advertising or marketing in the businesses has a mole and exploiting it to cause a controversy or maybe it's just a way of seeing a reaction. Who knows, but the important thing is that an organization that IS for tattooers and founded by tattooers get together and create a non profit company and sponsored by legitimate tattoo companies and sponsors from the industry; to backlash against corporate junkies to prevent future exploiting to cause more ruckus. Just like the beer industry, they had to get together and form an alliance to keep the corporate companies away from dominating the market. Yeah it sounds kind of far fetched, but that's just my opinion.

Now back to being a true craftsman, I agree highly with what you said. Quality over quantity, hopefully people who walk into shop meet some true craftsman or someone who can point them in the right direction of getting the best tattoo on their skin. I believe this guy has the right mindset about TV and also his thoughts on this:

"Reality shows do sometimes pervert some things, but not to extinction. I'm sure this show won't destroy the entire profession of tattooing which has been traditionally taught through apprenticeship, just like Jon and Kate Plus Eight, or 50 Kids and Counting or whatever didn't destroy multiple parenting world wide.

There will be traditionalists in the field who will still tattoo and apprentice as always, and there will be newbies who come from something like this, a tattoo "school". I don't think the mere existence of a show like this pulls the profession into the gutter anymore than Little People Big World has pulled the world of little people into the gutter, or American Idol has tarnished the singing world beyond repair.

People will get into their crafts however they get into them. Those who have talent and are willing to work at it will succeed, and others will not make it. It's the same as any other skilled trade. Even if the school is only two weeks, I've taken workshop classes before. It doesn't make you an expert in any subject, as I'm sure these students realize. Like every trade, it will take practice and hard work to fine tune their skills. Just because there is a show on TV doesn't mean that bad tattooists will run rampant in the streets of all major metropolises.

Shops won't hire shitty artists, and people won't give their patronage to bad tattooists... and those who do, are too stupid to really be considered fair judges anyway, and probably would have gotten one at home with a needle and string soaked in ink--which, I might add, is the introduction point to tattooing that a lot of my tattoo artists friends used. They were shitty at first, but once they worked and practiced, they became wonderful. Their humble--and stupid--beginnings didn't doom their lucrative careers.

Television is a douche-baggy business who will exploit any hot topic to make money. The hot topic of the day happens to be body art, so they'll cash in by showing people what they want to see. I don't think it illegitimizes body art's foray into the mainstream, which is happening, like it or not.

If you don't like the premise, don't watch the show and don't patronize tattoo shops with "schooled" tattooists. There will be plenty of traditionalists out there to choose from, I promise. The tattoo n00bs won't drive them all out of business... probably the opposite, but that's for the individual's skill and dedication to decide, not in what way they began."

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Totally happy to see the conversation continuing on. I am happy we all have opinions. I also think that we should band together and create something positive out of this negative. Any thoughts on what that looks like would be awesome. I don't think we should let the television industry set the standards for our industry. And I think to do something like that, would speak so much louder than any petition or boycott against something that none of us think should exist.

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I agree, I feel if your work is good. You will always have a place. The things that somewhat bug me are the people that talk old school this and that. Tattooing and the art of tattooing did not start here in america. But it seems that the only view people take are the ones from the people here. Like this, in america we call it a tattoo machine. Guess what they call it in Europe? a gun "oh the evilness" So who is right, who is wrong. Seems every tattooer that comes up in my city has been tattooing 15 years. But ...I have lived here all my life. I don't remember any of them but 1 shop that still exist. And they all talk like they have been around forever. The truth is I know better. Same way a good artist should approach this TV show. You know better. No reason to cry about it.

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Are people bummed because it's a tattoo school, or because it's on tv? I got a copy of the Milton Zeis school of tattooing manual, and I'm still trying to figure half that shit out.

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