cltattooing Posted January 27, 2015 Share Posted January 27, 2015 This topic came up in the shop the other day, I'd like to get some perspectives from tattooed folks who live in other areas of the country and the world. It was Friday, I had just gotten to work and it was just me, Carlos, and Sean that day. Our 14th anniversary party was the following day and the shop had just painted 10 sheets of over 120 original designs for people to come in and pick from at the party. Between expressing our excitement about getting to tattoo fun designs all the next day, and mentioning how glad we were that it was so busy this January after a slow December, we got to wondering! How does a shop full of flash affect the flow of business? FTW is located at the very tip of North Oakland, just a couple of blocks south of the Berkeley border on Telegraph Avenue, which runs all the way down to Downtown Oakland. We are just across the bay from San Francisco, and in Alameda County alone there are over 200 shops. 200 tattoo shops! Is it a coincidence that the 3 busiest shops in Oakland, one of which is ours, is a street shop with flash, paintings, and classic tattoo iconography covering every inch of space? The bay area is undeniably changing. If you are looking for a place to live in the bay area, asking rent changes on a monthly basis and it's definitely not going down. With the sudden and dramatic influx of money to the area, it seems as though tattoo shops are gentrifying as well, becoming more like salons and art galleries, and less like street shops. With that being said, there is still a very large population of lower-income working class people who I would easily say are still the majority of folks here. Anyone who has worked in a street shop is familiar with what the "money makers" are as far as designs go. Usually, you will make a lot more money in a day if you tattoo several smaller designs over the course of the day versus the regular hourly for one or two longer pieces. Largely speaking, unless you are a known name in tattooing and booked steady, walk-ins pay your bills. So as tattooers do, we catch up with our friends in other shops from time to time, often inquiring about work and whatnot and it seems like most people are working by appointment these days. This was our theory: Are gallery shops losing walk-ins on account of image? Do the blue collar people of Oakland go into a tattoo gallery and feel intimidated by fine art on the walls and think that nobody working there wants to do their tribal armband or kids' names for them? Are street shops more relate-able and comfortable for people who aren't necessarily looking to get a sleeve done? I'm not saying that either way is right or wrong or even that my thoughts on this dynamic is totally correct. A lot of business comes from the internet for most tattooers here and now more than ever is it easier to be tattooing the subject matter and style that you're interested in doing, for that I am very grateful. Is this something that you have experienced or noticed? Looking forward to hearing other perspectives. smalltownVA, Graeme, CultExciter and 7 others 10 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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