I hate to throw around the word professional.
I mean, what is a professional tattoo artist? Is it some one with dedication? Someone who understands art? Someone who can pound whiskey and tattoo a few hundred sailors in a night?
Or is a professional one who does not slag off competition. One who treats even the dumb with respect and kindness, but yet has a line that you don't want to cross?
Or is the professional tattoo artist one simply there to collect money, the art be damned? A scammer, full of BS?
Well I think the whole idea of shit talking is utter non-sence, and I'm not scared to say it. Sure there are quire a few old timers who liked to sling mud, but in this day and age you can't say, "Oh, there are too many artists."
You can back it up with all the excuses you can think of, but when it comes right down it, it's bunk. The population of the US (not to mention the world) has grown, and if any one can read past a needle grouping code and do the damned math, it isn't much different numbers wise, it's just inflation. Tattoos used to be from a quarter and up pretty much. Put in the mid 70s and beyond inflation and now you got big money coming in for you.
Look, I like to pretend too. I like to think of myself as a big bad Bowery tattooer, rough and tumble, and ready for a fight I'm sure to win. Were those times tough? Damned right. Were those times good for people? Ask anyone robbed or beat up, or slashed with a razor. They'll tell you it was damned rough shit, no doubt about it.
Frankly, I'm damned tired of it. "No business being in this business?"
What was it Sailor Jerry said, "When you think you're the best, you're already on the way out."
Ever think your egos might be getting the best of you? It's counter productive pride as I see it. If Tatts Thomas had not brought the young Norman Keith Collins aboard, we'd be missing so much in the art.
If Roy Boy didn't let Paul Booth work his table, just where in the fuck would that "dark art" be now except for the inside of Booths sketch books? I recently saw a very old Booth tattoo, before he worked on his own. You know what it looked like? Flat, that's what, and in color.
I'm not going to get all tough guy here, but really, it's 'mersh art that sells. If you have the guts to learn more, try hard and put up with a ton of shit, any knuckle dragger can be great. It don't take great minds, it takes guts.
See? Guts. I have the balls to wear my ink, work, and I don't take a whole lot of hokum from guys and gals who sadly took a whole lotta shit to get where they are now.
I was recently called a scratcher. And was told to "kill myself".
I laughed. If they get angry, not only have you scared them, but you have them talking about you and maybe even on the run. I'm sure the part time artist who said it was pissed. I'm taking his money and whats more, I learned the right way, from a master artist. If I'm so "bad" why do I still have clients?
You could say that people don't know art. And nine times outta ten that's true. But really, I'm the guy for my place and time, much like The Dude. I fit right in there.
So to anyone who might read this that doesn't tattoo, don't let the braggarts fool you. Bragging is a sign of insecurity.
To those who do tattoo, shut your mouths. More to come from a guy like me, be cause I'm not a Forty Miller. I refuse to stop, bad mouthing and all.
And with that, I wish you a fine morning. Sorry I'm a grump. My back hurts from TATTOOING all day yesterday.
(Let the insults come, but make 'em good. 0 to 100% grading scale, with no curve. Cheers!)