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It's NOT a small world after all!


Deb Yarian
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This year I attended a tattoo convention. It is an annual convention put on by a group that has both tattooists and enthusiasts as it's members.

One night during the convention they have a dinner and you are often seated at a table with people that you don't know.

This one shop from the Midwest owned by a tattooer with a single name - like Cher -had a huge entourage with him and had two large tables put aside to accommodate the group. He and his senior group sat at one table and all his younger, newer tattooists were seated at the other.

As luck would have it , Don and I were also seated at this other table.

This other group wasn't particularly pleased to have us at their table. Imagine being a great aunt and uncle at the kid's table at Thanksgiving.

Now, between us, Don and I had more time tattooing then all the 8-12 other tattooists sitting at both tables- put together.

I say that, not to boast, but illustrating the scene.

I'm pretty social and tried to engage the group in conversation but it was a real strain.

One girl there, said her forte was lettering. I said how much I admire " so and so's" lettering, and everybody at the table said "who?" I explained that "so and so" does

beautiful lettering in the style of " so and so" and they said "who?" I further explained that " so and so" just had an interview in Tattoo Artist Magazine that was really worth reading and they said "what magazine?"

I came away from the evening with the realization that the love of tattoos, tattooing and it's history - was no longer enough to bind a group of people together.

That I might as well be at a table of brick layers or chiropractors.

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I find this happening more and more in the tattoo world, or at least my tattoo world.

I'll speak to one tattoo friend and speak of another tattoo friend and I'm still surprised that everybody I know doesn't know everybody else that I know.

And I'm not saying that this is a bad thing---- just not sure that I like this new thing

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Never been to a convention, but I can see this happening in my own town. I can understand that there are some names that most tattooers and even apprentices will be familiar with. But with as many people are tattooing now (not to sound like I've been in the game for decades), it's not too surprising that things are being skipped over. I've been trying to learn bits of history on my own because it's not common knowledge where I'm working, and I think it's interesting and to a degree necessary. Anyways, I hope the trend doesn't continue. I want to be able to talk to people about tattooing.

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I think this is inevitable as tattooing becomes more and more popular.

I'm going to call it industry dilution.

I would agree. When real estate was booming, there was a huge influx of new "agents" trying to take advantage of the windfall. And when the stock market was doing nothing but rising, everyone was a day trader. I would venture to guess that most of these people are back to reality and I suspect the same thing will happen in the tatto industry after the newest craze dies down some. The only difference is some of the new blood in the tattoo world will walk away with permanent marks of what they have done. Hope they like it.

I think the challenge to any industry is to take the good from any situation, like the current popularity of tattoos, and take good lessons away to make a better, stronger industry. Even after the nubes are gone. But I can certainly understand the frustration from those who have taken the time to do it right.

Personally, I am still working on getting my first tattoo and am trying to learn about the history, the craft and the culture. I am fascinated by they entire thing. I have total respect for the artists and the business. Maybe it isnt required to do this kind of research just to have a tattoo but it is what makes it fun for me and I suspect will make it a better experience for me and possibly for my artist.

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Guys ,first of all you can't compare tattooing to any other profession, particulary anything related to financial gain .These people live tattoos all day every day ,not just doing them but everything to do with them -even the shit stuff they love ,i'm sure .A better comparison is to a professional athlete or the like who lives totally immersed in their thing with monk-like devotion and love .Best put I think by Horiyoshi III "i will live and die devoted to this "

Deb -true love for something is always apparent and will attract likewise long after the new jack "superstars" have been replaced by the next batch.Laugh with your man cause most times its better to be invisible.

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Guys ,first of all you can't compare tattooing to any other profession, particulary anything related to financial gain .These people live tattoos all day every day ,not just doing them but everything to do with them -even the shit stuff they love ,i'm sure .A better comparison is to a professional athlete or the like who lives totally immersed in their thing with monk-like devotion and love .Best put I think by Horiyoshi III "i will live and die devoted to this "

Deb -true love for something is always apparent and will attract likewise long after the new jack "superstars" have been replaced by the next batch.Laugh with your man cause most times its better to be invisible.

Ha! That's what i've done for the past 30 years, mastered the art of invisibility.

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Bridesmaids was filmed alot in my neighborhood. Movie reminded me of "the hangover" for women. Buuuutttt just as funny for guys.

I ask because people here don't know corn about poop. I once worked with this fool. Actually ive worked with a handful but this one I never really cared for. This woman came tO the shop on my day off. Turns out she had a bob Roberts back piece. The fool had no idea who he was. Uggghhh there was a show that night and it just so happened I ran into her there. We strike up a conversation and we realize I worked at the shop with the dork who didn't know who bob Roberts was. She then showed me an amazing back piece AAAAAND her boobs.

Moral of the story.....know your history kids. Knowledge gets you boobs.

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