AriTattoos

My intro post - another tatt artist

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Hello,

My name is Ari and Ive been tattooing on and off for the last 4 years.

I only have about 400-500 tattoos under my belt so I have plenty to learn as far as tattooing goes.

I have been in the graphic design and sign industry from age 18-34 and have a Bachelors Degree from the Art Institute of Ft Lauderdale, so I have been a professional artist my entire adult life.

I did not get a traditional apprenticeship. My neighbor tattooed me and once I saw how "easy" it was ( I paint, sculpt, do portraits with pencil, carve wood, airbrush etc. so tattooing is just different tools and media to install on, imho) I knew I had to learn. Unfortunately he ended up in prison shortly after a couple dozen tatts, and I found myself without guidance. I searched for an apprenticeship in a shop and found people either didnt want an apprentice, or they want over $2k to teach you.

Living in South Florida presents a challenge to my career. There are so many tattoo shops and freelance artists out there, that the amount you can charge for a tattoo is sadly a joke.

I have worked at 3 different shops, but find I make more money as a graphic designer.

Yes, there are a bunch of great shops in south florida, but it isnt easy to get a job at the top shops unless your portfolio is mind blowing.

Without naming names, at least half of the tattoo shops here to me are pure garbage.

I prefer to do artwork, but in south florida, alot of people want Names or text tattoos... alot.

Im not flaks, boog, or big sleep so I use Tattoo-style fonts when doing lettering jobs.

None of the shops I worked at even had photoshop.

Let that sink in for a moment....

I ended up doing lettering from the same 4 script fonts from microsoft word!!!!!!

1 of the places i worked at was in a flea market and was never visited once by any type of health inspector. I dont even know if carol city has one, because Miami-Dade county is pretty disgusting place... no offense if you are from here like I am.

The guy would have us painting and doing construction work for him during downtime, well we found out he was saving all the work for himself to do late nights, and telling the artists who worked for him there was no work.

Anyways I have been doing tatts for extra cash by word of mouth and not sure how to proceed.

I am starting a family and do not want to work till 5 am or hang out with junkies, yet i Love tattooing exponentially.

I know there are shops out there that work normal hours and don't have partying as their main priority, because I go in them to get tattooed.... however these are the top shops, and although I personally feel above average ( for Miami I am definately ), I don't think I am on the level of these budding superstars. I plan to tatt my friends and neighbors and build my portfolio until destiny reveals itself.

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LOL (i actually did laugh out loud... well medium loud) very funny but you know its ridiculous to not have photoshop.

Obviously nobody NEEDs photoshop to tattoo, but its such a powerful tool, there is no way to create variations in design and color with the speed photoshop can provide. Especially with compositions, you can scan in your design and experiment with the different elements and make several versions of the same piece of tattoo request in moments that would take hours to do by hand.

Somehow good time charlie's managed to be in business before Photoshop existed, i acknowledge that.

I can scan in a sketch and print it at an exact size, rather than dick around with enlarging the % on a copy or thermofax machine. Its funny watching people struggle using the enlarge on a copy machine and trying to get their art at the perfect size.

I find photoshop is almost mandatory, recently i did a traditional clipper ship tattoo and was debating back and forth on the background treatment. I showed my client 3 different backgrounds with the main content of the tattoo on a different layer, she instantly knew which 1 she liked best.

Also, I have been a graphic designer my entire life so scanning all my pencil sketches into photoshop and taking it from there has always been a successful process for me, so why change now? =)

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Hello,

My name is Ari and Ive been tattooing on and off for the last 4 years.

I only have about 400-500 tattoos under my belt so I have plenty to learn as far as tattooing goes.

I have been in the graphic design and sign industry from age 18-34 and have a Bachelors Degree from the Art Institute of Ft Lauderdale, so I have been a professional artist my entire adult life.

I did not get a traditional apprenticeship. My neighbor tattooed me and once I saw how "easy" it was ( I paint, sculpt, do portraits with pencil, carve wood, airbrush etc. so tattooing is just different tools and media to install on, imho) I knew I had to learn. Unfortunately he ended up in prison shortly after a couple dozen tatts, and I found myself without guidance. I searched for an apprenticeship in a shop and found people either didnt want an apprentice, or they want over $2k to teach you.

Living in South Florida presents a challenge to my career. There are so many tattoo shops and freelance artists out there, that the amount you can charge for a tattoo is sadly a joke.

I have worked at 3 different shops, but find I make more money as a graphic designer.

Yes, there are a bunch of great shops in south florida, but it isnt easy to get a job at the top shops unless your portfolio is mind blowing.

Without naming names, at least half of the tattoo shops here to me are pure garbage.

I prefer to do artwork, but in south florida, alot of people want Names or text tattoos... alot.

Im not flaks, boog, or big sleep so I use Tattoo-style fonts when doing lettering jobs.

None of the shops I worked at even had photoshop.

Let that sink in for a moment....

I ended up doing lettering from the same 4 script fonts from microsoft word!!!!!!

1 of the places i worked at was in a flea market and was never visited once by any type of health inspector. I dont even know if carol city has one, because Miami-Dade county is pretty disgusting place... no offense if you are from here like I am.

The guy would have us painting and doing construction work for him during downtime, well we found out he was saving all the work for himself to do late nights, and telling the artists who worked for him there was no work.

Anyways I have been doing tatts for extra cash by word of mouth and not sure how to proceed.

I am starting a family and do not want to work till 5 am or hang out with junkies, yet i Love tattooing exponentially.

I know there are shops out there that work normal hours and don't have partying as their main priority, because I go in them to get tattooed.... however these are the top shops, and although I personally feel above average ( for Miami I am definately ), I don't think I am on the level of these budding superstars. I plan to tatt my friends and neighbors and build my portfolio until destiny reveals itself.

mmm,ok,aside from the "photoshop" thing,these statements here worry me a little,

maybe it's just me,but perhaps you need to go through a real apprenticeship,learn a bit more,and take it nice and slow.

no offense intended btw

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@AriTattoos, I think I'm right in assuming that the tattoos in your gallery are by you rather than on you, since there are clearly some different people there.

That said--and I'm not a tattooer, just someone who likes looking at and wearing them--there are some shaky bits there that you might want to look to. Maybe better off with a real apprenticeship.

Certainly best not to just tattoo whoever will have one in the meantime. Even you said that you were doing well enough in graphic design. We don't all need to tattoo. Enough just to be really into them and get good ones.

Like @SacramentoDan wrote, no offense intended.

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so why change now? =)

Wow! That's the attitude that every great tattooer had when they started.

I've never worked in a tattoo shop with Photoshop. I've never showed a customer digital mock-ups or proofs.

I can show a customer a sketch and have them in the chair before I could even open the file in Photoshop. That's not 'cos I'm old and slow (I was a graphic designer for a decade before I was a tattooer)

I use a copy machine % +/- every day. but sometimes it's much quicker, ant the end result fits better if I draw it on the skin with pens or markers.

Nobody was born great at lettering but you can bet your paint-bucket tool that they didn't get good by tracing fonts or typefaces.

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Some harsh mofo's out there. I know it sucks that everybody and they baby-momma thinks they are a tattoo artist but don't take it out on me =)

I searched for an apprenticeship but did not have good luck. I am not going to let that stop me, so I took as ethical of a path I could.

Also, I clearly see the "easy" comment can be offensive but I found alot of good tatt artists do art in multiple forms of media like I do. If you are a painter and decide to airbrush, you just need to learn how to use the tool. Artists will create art no matter what tool they use. I didn't mean to say tattooing is easy, but watching some dude tatt me made me realize I can handle it.

My story is funny to me, obviously, or I wouldnt emphasize how ridiculous those other situations were, I dont like to tattoo "Money Over Bitches" on people if you havent figured that out. I am in the intro thread so I am doing an Intro. Sometimes your path can be interesting like a Legend like Dan Dringenberg for example.

Designing commercial art pays the bills but it won't let me fullfill my creative needs. So plz don't hate on me because I am just jealous that some of you are able to do both. I am never going to stop tattooing because its just too damn fun!

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@AriTattoos Watch a few of the LST interviews, read through the threads here and pay particular attention when artists start talking about the negative aspects of the tattoo industry today. You might notice that your posts include a few of those things.

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First off, I want to welcome you to LST and I hope that you find yourself a happy contributing member of the community. This place has become home to many for some really great reasons.

Secondly, I'm sorry that I'm going to end up being THAT asshole, as I don't mean to offend you but maybe provide some clarity into your situation. Everything that I'm about to say is going to be hard to hear, but when we take this sort of advice gracefully, we always grow. I think that your attitude about tattooing is horribly entitled. Nothing about tattooing is easy. Not drawing tattooable designs or script, not the clients, not your boss, not how your machines work, not getting into a good shop, nothing. Being good at these things takes years of really hard work!!! Now I'm willing to bet that your neighbor tattooed you out of his garage, so I'd imagine that it does look pretty easy to make a garage turd(I assume garage because you said neighbor, not neighbor who tattoos).

I am also an artist who works with a wide variety of media, and the first thing that hit home for me when I did my first tattoo was "holy shit, this completely different from anything I have ever attempted in my life and it is HARD." I have noticed that the hard work ethic aspect of tattooing gets lost on a lot of people who have not served an apprenticeship. I also live in an area that is hypersaturated with great tattoo shops, and let me tell you something. *F*T*W* Tattoo - Oakland - CA doesn't even own a computer. George Campise of War Horse Tattoo is an accomplished illustrator and graphic designer who drafts everything he does by hand including t-shirt designs and skateboard decks. Of course using illustrator and Photoshop saves time, but it also cuts corners and ultimately limits your skillset as an artist.

Nobody is going to hold your hand through this, if you want it, you have to truly want it and put in the proportionate work on your own.

Again, I say this to help you out, and I do mean it gently. I would start by studying traditional tattooing and immerse your mind in traditional tattoo designs and history. I wholly believe that if anyone is to be a half decent tattooer, they need to be able to lay down a solid traditional tattoo. The design theory and application principles of traditional work apply to every other style of tattooing across the board. And also what @BrianH said, watch the interviews, do some reading, and commit yourself to learning about what it is that you do.

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Some harsh mofo's out there. I know it sucks that everybody and they baby-momma thinks they are a tattoo artist but don't take it out on me =)

I searched for an apprenticeship but did not have good luck. I am not going to let that stop me, so I took as ethical of a path I could.

Also, I clearly see the "easy" comment can be offensive but I found alot of good tatt artists do art in multiple forms of media like I do. If you are a painter and decide to airbrush, you just need to learn how to use the tool. Artists will create art no matter what tool they use. I didn't mean to say tattooing is easy, but watching some dude tatt me made me realize I can handle it.

My story is funny to me, obviously, or I wouldnt emphasize how ridiculous those other situations were, I dont like to tattoo "Money Over Bitches" on people if you havent figured that out. I am in the intro thread so I am doing an Intro. Sometimes your path can be interesting like a Legend like Dan Dringenberg for example.

Designing commercial art pays the bills but it won't let me fullfill my creative needs. So plz don't hate on me because I am just jealous that some of you are able to do both. I am never going to stop tattooing because its just too damn fun!

Had a really angry post wrote up...decided it wasn't needed.

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It's really hard not to say anything on these intro threads when a new tattoo artist joins, and is basically a scratcher like the op, or like others on here, when they have been tattooing for a while but they still suck ass and then go around advising others or posting when their work is at scratcher level.

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