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Posts posted by aaronkicks

  1. When I got into tattooing all my friends were either punk/hardcore/skinhead scene (non racist scene) and a few of my most influential friends got tattooed at this local biker tattoo shop. The artist did awesome tattoos, very new school style so of course I went to him for my first one. I've never been afraid to speak my mind or tell people how I feel or what I feel and that is one of the main reasons why me and the artist hit it off so well. I wasn't afraid to talk shit to him when he'd dish it out first. So after me getting a few tattoos I told him how I was going to art school (originally american academy of art in chicago) and expresed how i wanted to be an art teacher in inner city schools. Needless to say he talked me out of it and asked if I'd pursue a career in tattooing. The rest is history. It's been ups and downs, depression, happiness, loneliness, joy, every emotion possible. Tattooing chose me. I learned the hard way, the extremely hard way. To this day I still have repercussions as to who I worked for, why I worked for him, and what I'm still doing running his shop but overall I don't give a fuck. Tattooing chooses you and not the other way around. I'll never respect someone who paid 5 grand to learn how to tattoo. Fuck that, paying for an apprenticeship is easy, but EARNING one that's a different story.

  2. My town is a town of about 25-30 thousand people just outside of the chicago metropolitan area in Indiana. There are over 5 shops just in my town alone and if you go 10 miles over there is another 7 shops in the next town. Yeah it sucks but if you do good solid tattooing you won't have any issues. Hell, one of the shops that opened two blocks from where I work has a lady working there who is a photographer for Skin and Ink and goes around taking pictures of huge name artists and it still doesn't help their business one bit because my shop has been here for over a decade and quality will always beat quantity. People spread rumors, get into price wars, yet we keep our heads down and stay tattooing and things work. We tattoo every day all day and just added a 4th artist to the shop so as long as you keep on staying positive good things will come your way! The greedy may temporarily be rewarded but it never lasts. Case in point, another shop that opened up two blocks from us in the other direction is closing down and moving locations because they can't seem to make any money.

  3. I like New Orleans, weird awesome dirty deadly historical ethereal New Orleans. Been itching for a tattoo down there the last couple times I went. Where'd you get tattooed? The Craw-Gator-Catfish sounds incredible.

    I got tattooed at Tattoo-a-go-go by Larry Bone! It's owned by Don Davis and everyone there does really nice, clean, tattooing. Electric Ladyland is a great shop as well! I'm moving out that way next summer. Something about Louisiana makes me feel at home. I wish I knew about more shops down there but to the best of my knowledge those are the ones worth checking out.


  4. I started doing something like this each time I travel. I got a sweet Crawfish/Alligator/Catfish hybrid tattooed on me the last time I went down to my future home of New Orleans. I love that city more then anywhere I've been and I'm planning on getting tattooed at about each city I travel to that means something special to me. But rather then one design like you said, I get little tattoos that represent something that really inspired me on the trip. I find most of my inspiration in traveling and seeing the country so I think this idea is amazing!

  5. Why get into tattooing to be different though? Yes it's a subculture in it's own right but it's an overstatement to say that still as a tattooer you're somehow thought of as just a normal everyday person. Be happy you get to have one of the coolest jobs to this day. Why reminisce of the "good times" as it seems in your post when you can still create the same, awesome atmosphere for yourself? Times change, and so do people. If you want to be in a job that never changes or creates new obstacles, personalities, and entities then work in an office and be content that everything will ALWAYS be the same.

  6. One thing to think about, get tattooed because you want the piece. Not just because that person happens to be doing a style that's currently in the spotlight. That is why so many people end up with a huge mix and match of work when they originally started off wanting all one style. They get caught up in the now and who's the big name. Get work because you like it, not because you see it all over blogs, magazines, and the internet. Would you have wanted that same style of work if you had never seen Thomas Hoopers tattoos? I say this because there are other artsts out there who excell in the same sort of work.

  7. Alot of people forget that there are many different types of roses all having unique styles and characteristics to them along with unique color patterns, stems, and blossoms. They all generally look the same and some people tattoo them not knowing it's actually a rose they're tattooing. Some roses don't look anything close to what is generally accepted as a rose or "hybrid tea" as its technically called. Carnations are pretty sweet though. I think any flower would look good as a tattoo if it's done right and standard roses get pretty damn redundant after awhile.

  8. This is something that I've always had a dilemma with. So here is the question, we all started off somewhere and usually not knowing very much about tattoos or what makes a proper tattoo or searched for artists based on a particular style.

    So what was it about someone's portfolio that made you want to get tattooed by them? Was it originality? Was it the efficiency of the work and by that I mean solid clean lines, smooth shading, great healed products, or was it just the "cool" factor of your friends getting tattooed there first and recommending that said artist to you?

    I'm saying this because I'm at a loss for the direction I want my work to go. I'm in a small town with an overabundance of awful tattoo artists who boast "custom" and "amazing" work but it's all shit. Usually I just do butterflies, tribal, and gnarly new skool pieces all day long but my portfolio is filled with only traditional style tattoos and portraits. Most of these being on my closest friends. So with that being said I want to keep the customer and collector in mind for once and not peers. What is it that you would rather see? A wide variety? Or just the style I prefer the most? This question can apply to anyone its just a thought I've been having.

  9. I don't really hate doing any exact tattoo in particular. Like what was also said a few other times, I enjoy tribal and all that solid black stuff and little butterflies. I guess I just like the satisfaction of knowing I can do them better than anyone of the other 5 shops in the small ass town I live in. I got alot of requests for doing that type of stuff when I first started tattooing and I hated it. The more and more I tattoo and progress, I find I like doing that stuff even more now. I can say without a doubt, the type of tattoos and requests I hate the most are the ones that are so thought out to a "t" and have so much "meaning" and personalization to them that I get absolutly no say in the size, placement, any coloring, detail or any bit of information that could make it a well done tattoo. Instead it's just a tattoo fixated on personal meaning that is soooo metaphorical it becomes aesthetically unpleasing. Unfortunately I get a lot of that type of work being a small town with a private college. Intellectual types really piss me off when they use tattoos to show how intellectual they are in choosing a stupid owl with names in the wings, or as stated earlier, trees with names in the branches. Even worse, I hate Salvador Dali tattoos. I hate that the majority of people I have tattooed them on think they're an authority on art once they get the same fucking elephant everyone already has.

  10. I could be wrong. I'm new to this forum. But this is a PUBLIC forum. Lets try and keep alittle of the secrets away from the scratchers eh? Not saying that what was said here is wrong by any means but most forums I post on try to keep this stuff private.

  11. That tattoo is on my cheek. Its a pretty decent size too. Morals and ethics apply in most cases but not all. Most people regret getting alot of tattoos they get. Does it mean we should tell them that and refuse to do it? No. We've all done hundreds of tattoos that in our opinions are idiotic but yet we still do them because its our job and only an opinion. So like I said morals and ethics apply but not in all cases.

  12. I'm actually really proud of the piece I got from a kid out in St. Louis. I won't say his name because I dont know if it would look bad on him or not but he did a great fucking job. This tattoo is 3 years old now too. He was nervous and I could tell the people who he was working the convention with were alittle taken back by it. But alot of it has to do with who you're around and who you hang out with. I'm glad I got it.


  13. My mentor/boss/whatever you wanna call it liked to play a game where he'd call me into a room. He'd be strategically standing behind the open door into that room and as soon as I'd be in the doorway he'd slam it shut on my face. It didn't matter if I had food or breakables in my hands He also taught me invaluable lessons about taking out the trash. I forgot to take it out once and when I came in the next day he took every trash bag in the shop and spread it out right all over the placexcc before it was time to open up. He also said that I had to have every inch of the shop cleaned and disinfected properly before noon (which gave me a half hour) or else I'd be fired.

    The best one though was if I was eating food or a sandwich from takeout or whatever he'd wait till I left the room and if there wasn't a wrapper he'd put paper on top of it and sit on whatever it was I was eating.

  14. During my apprenticeship I had to learn how to pierce. Looking back it was stupid but whatever. I did my job and did it well plus it helped me make some extra cash as I was only 18 and couch surfing. Anyways, I had to pierce this rather large girls belly button. I mean she was big. I'd say around 200lbs and was maybe 5' 6". So I explain to her that it's not a good idea to pierce her navel because it would actually be piercing her stomach (her navel was waaaaay deep in there) but she has me go on with it. Keep in mind she was a very quiet girl and was with her husband. We do the piercing no problem, I ask her if she's feeling okay because she looked alittle pale. I told her to just sit down and hang out. She insisted she was fine and they went to the front of the shop. By the time I got my gloves up and washed my hands I walk up front and see her in the waiting room looking very pale. She's sitting down and I'm like "yo girl, you alright" and she doesn't say nothing but instead starts slouching down in the chair. I realize she passed out. So I'm sitting here trying to hold her up with my knee bracing her from falling out of the chair and keep her head from rolling around and I hear this sound. She starts pissing her pants and her husband just stared at me while I'm asking him to hold her up and he wouldn't. So she pisses and pisses and pisses and its all over the fucking place and all over my shoes. Once she comes to, they tried leaving without fucking paying. She had no idea she pissed her pants and her purse was between her legs during it all and she just grabs it and walks out with pee dripping out of it. It was the worst day of my entire apprenticeship.

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