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So I've been having conversations with friends and have noticed a new trend. Smoozing ( or as we like to call it ) sucking dick! I'm referring to all newbies that blow up because they bought their fame by being tattooed by the heros and traveling everywhere to soak it up and be in the scene. Where's the horror stories of sticking out a 12 hour shift tattooing dumb shit on dumb people when your buddies are out getting drunk on a friday night? There's no more blood sweat and tears in tattooing. Its all about who you know and where you are... Not about the hard work and I guarantee you, the badasses nuts your swinging from did ten fold the work you did by the same point in their career...

Which brings me to my second point. Art used to have true "masters" that could paint their fucking asses off but they went extinct because the art fags of the world decided picasos crazy shit and pollacks paint splaters were more significant than Rubens? WTF? I remember reading about Robert Williams saying the same thing how folk art overthrew talent. It was a way for the "common man" to relate and opened the door for every Popsicle stick glueing soccer mom to call them selves artist. Now innovation is worthy of recognition, being the first is being the first and thats to be commended but rehashing is dribble. The same is true in tattooing. And you know exactly what I'm talking about... Clunky old school poorly drawn designs revered as the badess of the bad. good artist having to dumb down their shit to get the gold star? WTF? Wheres the pushing of the envelope, breaking the rules, falling and reinventing...I will say one thing, some are true masters of the hardcore oldschool look and the power can't be challenged. Its amazing, but 3/4 of the other shite isnt making the cut. And were all guilty of praising these fucks!!! Copy cats sitting in the same booth of masters invited into the brotherhood with open arms. Fuck that! I might never achieve the recognition of others to my degree of happiness but I can hold my head high because I'm not a smoozer sucking dick to look cool. Death to false tattooing!

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i think smoozing is rife in any industry in the public eye,i'm personaly very happy with what i produce and how i push myself,second guessing a trend or affiliating with the in crowd isnt an option.I do a limited amount of traditional work and if that means im not current oh well.perhaps one day the wind of change will blow in my direction perhaps not ,its certainly not something ill wait for or expect.at the end of the day if you dont sell out thats all that should matter to you .

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Don't worry about them. Just continue to do your thing and let the "Smoozers" do theirs. If your thing is ranting about "Smoozers" then by all means do so, but if its not than just ignore it because it will drive you crazy. Tattooing is changing and there's no doubting that, so you've just got to go with the flow.

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Btw, I said art fags not fags outright. Polical correctness goes way to far anyway. I understand smoozing in other industries but this is tattooing. We SHOULD be different. think if being a shogun or a navy seal was achieved by sucking up to the boss or sporting the same haircut he has. Or what if the sisteen chapel was painted with crap cuz some douche got the job by smoozing. Just cuz it happens doesn't mean it's right. We should cut it off as soon as it's recognized. Granted, It's hard because there is a certain look that most tattooers try and achieve especially in Japanese tattooing and were all using a similar visual language with tried and true images but we've gone over board! There's too too many fucks doing this job and they've been handed the golden key to the city and for what? Standing on the shoulders of giants. It's not right.

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I think we're all (tattooers, that is) standing on the shoulders of giants. I've often thought about putting that on my business card.

I sort of agree with your point but any 'fame' that's bought or achieved through brown-nosing will be short lived. The guys who stick to concentrating on doing the best work they can, regardless of any fame or notion of celebrity are the ones who have the respect of their peers.

Fame is pretty easy to achieve, like you said, you just show up in the right places, shake everyones hand and make sure you get your photo taken.

Gaining the respect of your peers is another matter entirely. That takes hard work, effort, some intelligence and stamina over years or decades.

I know which one I'd rather have, although I did just spend a hell of a lot of time speaking with some heavy-hitting tattooers this weekend but maybe that's different at a convention. At least I hope so.

I think there's still plenty of blood sweat and tears in tattooing, it's just outweighed by the fame hungry party-tatters, starfuckers and endless bloggers.

I guess the only thing I disagree with and I may be opening a huge can of worms I'd rather not be involved with but, I wouldn't lump Picasso with 20th century shitty conceptual art. Though I have no desire to discuss "what is Art". Pollack made the mental leap that your brush didn't have to touch the canvas. Much like Zulueta and Hardy made the leap that a tattoo design didn't have to be a recognisable object. What happened after that is the problem, not what those guys did.

At the age of 14 Picasso could draw and paint like the old masters, Rubens included. The advent of photography meant that artists were no longer commissioned to create realistic likenesses, so they worked on creating more expressive or abstract art. Personal taste or preference aside, Picasso (and other modern artists, particularly cubists and impressionists) changed the way the rest of us perceive the world, wether we like it or not.

A Sailor Jerry (or Coleman) style pinup works much the same as a Picasso line drawing: there is perfectly the right amount of lines and detail. If you add more, you spoil it but if you take even a single line away, it doesn't make sense. One of the goals of cubism is to reduce the real world into the simplest geometric shapes and sometimes to show more than one dimension or time at once. Traditional tattooing is good at that too, I think.

I'm not a fan of the look of Picasso's more abstract stuff, but I love that he existed and changed the way we could view the world. I think that most contemporary Modern Art, certainly since the 1960's is total shit.

Luckily, Art (with a capital A) becoming conceptual pushed painting back into to fulfilling it's role as a craft, which allowed 'low-brow' or counter-cultural, craft based art (like Crumb, Williams and Greg Irons) to exist. And for that, I'm surely grateful.

But I certainly agree, 100% with the statement that there is no substitute for hard work.

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No.

And I have found tattooists to be generally very sensitive to issues of minorities. I guess it comes with the territory.

Really? That's sarcasm, right? There are plenty of dumb, racist, sexist bigots who tattoo or work around the tattooing 'industry'

But you don't have any tattoos do you? So I guess your experience isn't from inside a variety of actual tattoo shops?

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not sure who the smoozers are or even how you know of these things but you have the opportunity to define your world/your reality. i'm out here in putting in the work and trying to do my best to give every customer the best possible work i can do as well as making their tattoo experience a good one. sure i'd be nice to get any sort of comments from peers or other tattooers but in the end, the people i'm putting tattoos on are the only ones that matter. whatever success i achieve its really for one purpose and that's to provide for my family and give what i can to those that need it whenever i can. whatever element in your life is invading with these negative vibes, remove them and seek out what brings positive energy and you won't give a shit who's sucking cock or who's famous and how they got there.

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Really? That's sarcasm, right? There are plenty of dumb, racist, sexist bigots who tattoo or work around the tattooing 'industry'

But you don't have any tattoos do you? So I guess your experience isn't from inside a variety of actual tattoo shops?

No, it wasn't sarcasm. I have generally found tattooists that I have met, read interviews with, and seen posting on forums to be as open-minded as I would expect. Interesting to find out that this might not be the case. I'm sure it as varied as any industry, but I assumed a level of sensitivity that was borne out by my (limited) experience. I wonder if having a few tattoos will change that perspective. The fact that you bring it up means that the time spent getting tattooed is revealing. Thanks.

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Stewart, I guess I jumped a little off the deep end with picaso. My point wasn't so much directed at him but the countless followers who never thought for themselves and let's face it a third generation pollack would just be a guy dribbling paint. Tattooing at the time ( at least for me ) seems to be following the same trend. And what's worst is these people are being praised. It's like the coverband headlining.

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...It's like the coverband headlining.

Totally.

But in the end, I guess nobody remembers the coverband years later, unless they develop something great based on their imitation.

At the moment it's easy for anybody to publish their own circle-jerk on the internet, with all their cool friends and pseudo fame. It makes anybody look more accomplished than they really are. Luckily internet (and magazine) fame moves quickly. Those guys will be left behind for the next batch of douches to shine.

All the while tattooers will be working hard away from that stuff, sharing amongst their peers. That's where the real gold is.

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dudes picasso <<<< two sses

stewart pretty much kills it except

there is plenty of bad ass art being made right now and tons since the 60s

some of it you might not even know about at this point...maybe no one knows about it

like henry darger etc

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Cows smooze, people schmooze.

Hard work and dedication to the craft always stands out in the end, while people seeking fame are generally recognized for what they are. I think it's okay that the masses are sometimes drawn to the less talented self promoters, not everyone deserves a great tattoo.

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Still waiting to see that "Jondix arm" @dari. I will stalk you through multiple threads..

It's pretty awesome. I was thrilled with it before, but Jondix kept saying "So much work to do." He's amazing. I'd even post pics, maybe after it's all healed.

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dan's pretty right on with his analysis. every tattooer wants to be the traveling cool guy and loves the attention they get from the people blowing him at a convention or "guest spot". i remember when someone coming to do a "guest spot" at a shop meant a good ass tattooer was coming to work. now its whoever is willing to come by to sit and rape the town with 9 round outlines and dogshit ethics to make a buck. when we have had a "guest artist" at my shop, we have a good tattooer doing custom work on people from all around (scott sylvia, rassier, lehi, stell, hori taku, Higgs, whitehead, etc...... those are "guest artists". when i need someone to sit in on a shift, that aint a "guest artist", thats a working tattooer. and the idea of working at a shop whenever the hell you want and traveling whenever you want is mind boggling. i mean i guess its fun to do the same 5 or 6 tattoos in every city you travel to but dong the same shit everyday doesn't make you a great tattooer. how about paying some dues and actually doing what all those good tattooers have done instead of sucking each other off and riding each others dicks. but hey, to each his own. right?

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.....and just cruise facebook for 10 minutes. holy shit people will post and show off tattoos and paintings they've done that aren't as good as my 8 year old's sketches....... i mean its like a comedy act.

But isn't that what the Internet and Facebook are for? Getting and audience when you can't connect with people face to face. There are people that post pics that are NOT good to look at. An over-weight person in a mini-skirt or a toothless smile. So bad tattoos and drawings on the Internet and Facebook are apropos....

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of course, but i think some should have alittle (no, alot) more self respect. but then again, that is my opinion and intended only for myself.

Totally agree with you!!!

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