Charles.M

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Charles.M last won the day on October 14 2016

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About Charles.M

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    Tattoo Collector

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  1. Charles.M

    Hello

    I am looking forward to sharing some firsthand accounts of goings-ons in the tattoo shop life from back in the day, with names dates and all the rest of it, but I need to make sure some other things are sorted here first, so that I am not wasting my time. I have nothing prestigious in the cue let me tell you, but remembering the changes with hindsight is interesting. I really want to be current and not rest on laurels, my art progresses in leaps and bounds because of study and I really want to show that.
  2. your unfounded and erroneous accusations prove my point. I ask you? have you ever me met in person? Is direct observation the reason for your claims? the reason you are saying what you are, is because your belief is based upon the smear campaign that was waged on me, not because of my actions. you now and others are perpetuating this unearned cloud on my reputation which I am trying to break free of. Being a good tattooer who respects others and works hard to be a great artist, seems to not count for anything, since you read something on the internet or were informed by someone who's source was the same, do you see my point? No tattooer was ever ripped off by me and this forum was not either, to say so is untrue. this is my first account on this forum, so dragging post from other users on this site or off the internet somewhere and throwing them at me is a waste of time. What you may believe and the truth are no always the same thing, please allow for a correction. this is not about me and you, this is about people's professional reputations being ruined online, by smear campaigns, which seem to work, the thing is they work on anybody, I am just another victim. I have the courage to come out and call it what it is and bring this awareness to others so that we all can grow the tattoo scene in the right direction. I am allowing that you were misinformed, why not make a correction and allow me to be judged by my actual deeds? Isn't that fair?
  3. t I wrote this with a heavy heart, and rewrote his many times trying to be short, but, it is complicated and a difficult subject to just throw at people without some introduction. If you think it is tough to read, try living it. I am here because the internet came into my professional life, in the real world, and maybe I can find resolve or allies in this here, I have the courage to try. Maybe, sharing my story I can help others...
  4. When I started in the Tattoo Scene, it was before the internet was really a thing in tattooing, we did not have a photocopier, I was the photocopier. I was told, make this 25% smaller, so I did, by hand. We did not have a stencil machine, I was the stencil machine. Handmade everything, needles, stencils, enlarging, etc... I remember Scott Silvia mentioned in an interview that the reason he set up the LST Forum was because a tattoo magazine did an interview with him and completely misquoted him, which created a lot of controversy (and more readers of the magazine) at his expense. Despite the claims in the magazine not being true, to this day people still think he said those things and have a hate on for him, regardless of it not being true and despite his denial of it. The LST was set up so people could be heard in their own words without the media filter. I have had the same experience, people have had a hate on for me, not because of what I have actually said or done, but for what people have said about me online, then brought that into the real world, do you see the difference. In the age of the internet, Electronic reputation has become something that is a part of things whether we want to be or not. Before, having a good local reputation and a yellow page entry on the business section of the telephone directory was all that was necessary. To make a years long story short, My history coles notes version of almost 20 years in this Tattoo thing. I started back in 1997 as name #1, starting an apprenticeship at a tattoo shop, I used that name until 2005 ish, when I decided to study painting and realism. I found that my old clientele would not let go of olschool, tribal and asian tattoos that I was doing a lot of, so a name change and clientele shuffle seemed necessary to be able to pursue Painterly and realism Tattoos which is what I wanted to do at the time. Many other Tattooers did it, why not me. I wrapped up projects and transitioned into name #2. For years I worked almost for free, to try and figure out how to apply painterly tattoos and realism Tattoos to the skin, at that time, colour realism and such was not around yet. No one around me was doing it at the time, and the term painterly and realism did not exist as far as I knew in Tattooing and was non existent in Tattoo magazines. I worked for years under name #2. As a side note, life happened, politics got involved and I had to leave because of political harassment which had nothing to do with tattooing. I started working again at a new place with professional name #3, and a group of us hired an internet consultant company to help set up, blogs, websites, twitter, and more things with great gusto. From the past, I was threatened that if I did not take everything off the internet, I would regret it and suffer great harm . Having a backbone and integrity , I refused. the Trolls, were unleashed upon me, those who love to divide this from that and get everyone fighting over nothing. The situation became so bad, my family, friends, coworkers, clients, were all experiencing nonstop harassment, by way of social media, email and the telephone. The trolls set up multiple, and I mean dozens of accounts in name #3 as doppelganger accounts, and apparently were harassing people under that name and others. I myself was receiving a barrage of harassment under accounts with what looked like my professional name #3 and others. One night in particular, in just one night, 20 places on the internet, were populated with various false accounts of wrongdoing by someone with Professional name #3, with several twists to the false story. And on and on it went. False claim after false claim, on and on it went. I have no idea the amount of chaos and turmoil which was caused by the internet trolls, but it went on for a year and more, they set up websites, special facebook hate pages, on and on it went. People were threatened and given ultimatums, to disassociate with me or be harassed further, or they would ramp up to every conceivable way to rat someone out to the government, and be under every possible scrutiny and more. I will not go into detail, to avoid copy cats, but basically The harassment generally started off with outrageous claims that were unbelievable to most, and often were stripped by site owners, then the post became more sophisticated, with alluding to things indirectly. They worked really hard to make simple straight forward normal tattoo practice seem, odd and nefarious, like taking a deposit before designing a large custom tattoo, or that having a private studio was somehow suspicious. I used pseudonyms to protect my family from just this type of harassment, and to maintain a certain level of privacy, which is actually historically common in Tattooing. Somehow if I used a pseudonym it was evil and suspicious, a private studio was scary and sketchy, and to take a deposit before spending hours in design for a complete custom tattoo project was outrageous, greedy and must be avoided at all cost, who knows what would happen next. They painted and twisted common every day tattoo things into the worst thing ever if I did it. Total double standard. I eventually found out from a security tech friend that three groups were involved, one was a group of hobby to the point of professional trolls, who did this almost to everybody they could, and I was just the latest victim, group 2 was just a bunch of copy cat followers and kids seemingly trying to look cool for their tattooers and older friends and there was a mystery 3rd group that was way out there, probably associated with my political history, colin tel pro type stuff. There was a point where everyone I knew was becoming a victim to this harassment and it seemed unfair to everyone else and just no longer feasible to continue on with Professional name #3, so I folded it along with all the web content. To this day, people still cannot seem to get it, that the internet entity Troll harassment groups and me are two completely separate things. I do not know how to correct such a situation, it is beyond my control and what is amazing is that people will not just ask me directly, they just whispers behind my back, snicker and spread the word. What is wrong with these people. Do they not realize the harm it is causing. Anyway for a while, I started working at a street shop that was a walk in only for while, and then took some more time off. I just recently started working again, after completing several tattoo Artist reference books, and setting up a site to help other tattooers get their own art out there, raise funds for charity and wanted to further help start something different, hence where I am working now, for the time being. I joined this forum under my current working name, this time I think I will ride it into the grave, but who knows. What is in a name anyway. I am the real deal, anyone on this forum is welcome to come see me, challenge me with an art project and post the results to be judged by everybody, here. I am honest open and true. My work will prove itself, regardless of the name I use. I have worked really hard to get where I am, and deserve the chance to prove myself in a fair environment and be judge by what I can actually do, not by what other people would make up about me on the internet . Here I am. I am trying to get better every day and make every tattoo better than the last. Fair is fair, isn't it. I thought time would make the situation better, but when I go to tattoo conventions, I can meet new people and have great conversation and make good connections. People's real world experience with me is one where they can see I am genuine, honest, humble and eager to learn and develop artistically . I come back later and the same people I talked to will not look me in the eye anymore, they cannot talk anymore and suddenly have other things to do. Without this information drop in between, my interactions would continue on, same as before, until someone, drops some sort of smear bomb in there, and it is all over for me. this is not just conventions, but just regular meetings with tattooers. Everything is fine and whammo. this black cloud on my reputation is one that I did not earn nor deserve, it was created by a group of trolls on the internet. Anyone could have this experience, especially other tattooers could experience the same thing at any time, where a good reputation online is important. I do not know what to do about it, I cannot prove my innocence, one cannot prove a negative and, as time goes on this is still an issue. When I talk to people I am waiting for the switch to be thrown. I cannot just ask people, hey did you hear about the terrible things said about me, let's talk about it in case you did not. If you are a tattooer reading this, then think twice before repeating some rumor, you heard or read on the internet, because the next time around you might be the subject and would you not like other to just keep their mouths shut and not repeat that stuff. When a tattooer reads an anonymous post on the internet then repeats it, that lend credibility to the completely false, claim, after all you must believe it, why else would you repeat it. Without the internet my reputation would be based upon the years of happy clients with great tattoo projects, but with the internet and trolls, this is a different game. I cannot be the only one who has suffered internet harassment and I will not be the last, so considering all the above and the internet being around for a while, what do you think is the way to deal with internet reputation. I think opening a dialogue on this subject is a step in the right direction.
  5. Charles.M

    Hello

    Thank you for the question. The quick answer is no, I no longer have an online portfolio anymore. The reason for that is complex, but one of the reasons is simple. When a Tattooer puts up a collection of tattoos they have done, say red balloons as an example, If one put up 10 red balloon Tattoo pics, people want to see more, so you put 20, people want to see more, more and more, it is like feeding a hungry ghost, no matter how much you put up, it is never enough. Also, secondly, there is the self repeating cycle, using the balloons analogy, if one puts up 20 pictures of red balloon tattoos, that attracts people on the internet that are into that type of thing and soon the Tattooer is only booked up to do red balloons, the work becomes derivative and one becomes the red balloon guy. Thirdly, feeling the obligation to feed the internet with the latest and greatest becomes a bit of an obsession for a Professional Tattooer and people think something is wrong with you if your not constantly uploading content. A decade of Tattoo work is available on site, where I am working if someone wants to see my work in person, before actually getting a Tattooed. I will upload new stuff on the forum as it comes in, I would like to showcase my current work, rather than revisit my back catalog.
  6. A count limit is counter productive to writing on a Forum, this is not twitter and who is Victor?
  7. I know I am not a LST veteran, but this seems the appropriate place to respond after reading this thread. The search feature is not perfect on this site (none are), I have tried it and recommend it regardless because it is a good step for someone getting familiar with this forum and newbies trying to avoid the Department of Redundancy Department... post fails. It is time-consuming for someone new, to become a LST Forum Historian or avoid repeating something talked about in one of 13,409 organically moving along posts, which spiders out into multi-topics, regardless of the thread start. So miss-steps are expected, I am sure I have done a few. Talking about the old days with nostalgia is wonderful, but we are here today and have the benefit of the old posts to refer to. This forum is wonderfully here in the now. I have haunted this site for years, but was uninterested in participating because of the apparent cliquish nature the forum used to have, as well as the infighting, name calling and expected banhammer if you did not tow the party line of the in crowd, which I may have been wrong in my perceptions, but it was the reason I personally stayed clear. Please know that I mean no disrespect when I say this, I may have been wrong in my perception completely. I believe that this Forum is evolving organically into its new thing and we all have a part to play. So as a newbie to this forum (and not new to Tattoos), and keeping my response in context to this thread, I ask that the veterans maybe, refer people to specific and I mean specific (line and verse, not just over there somewhere), instances of older post which answer questions from some other authoritative voices, paraphrase, or take what you know and the opportunity to give a fresh perspective on the topic, forged from experience and maturity, both on this forum and in the Tattoo Scene. What you posted 2 years ago may not be what you would post today, when asked the same question. I really value all the information here and spend hours reading, when I can, to gain insight and laughs, but, if you are a veteran with memory of where the gold is on here, that can be brought out of the depths of 13,409 posts, then why not take the opportunity to be the guide when you feel like it and dust off the goods, if you can find it yourselves. Also Grammarly has a free program which checks your grammar, and spelling, before you post, so there will be less editing, after the fact (control Z does not work when the program is running so watch out, FYI). Just drop your text in the website before you post and your content will likely read better, or install it in your browser. I am using it cause I am a visual artist, not a writer, so I am trying to have what I am spending time writing, get across the way I intended. Does not always work, but worth the effort. I would like to thank all the ones who have stuck to this forum for years, you deserve a hats-off for sticking it through and you now have the opportunity to steer this thing is a positive direction. Let your memory and experience be a resource, which will likely be unappreciated by newbies, but a few will turn into veterans some day with the right environment and your input. Maybe fresh eyes, can glean some insight or take us to places we never thought of going yet. Anywho...Go LST Forum!
  8. Welcome! Search bar top right might have some of your answers, otherwise, ask..away.
  9. "why don't you go in the shop and ask the receptionists advice?" from Transplant .... is great advice, because the receptionist will know who does or does not do the type of job you are enquiring about. They are the traffic director for that environment and can answer your basic general questions, before you get to the next level, ie, in front of a Tattoo Artist. Tattooers, often hammer away at a particular style or subject for a while before moving onto something else, so the receptionist will know who is your best tool for the job in question. Explain what you want to do, (write it down first to collect your thoughts and get clear on your goals), bring reference photos printed from the internet, this will help you communicate your goals succinctly and clearly. A picture says a thousand words and this is especially true for Tattooing and Tattoo art, the more pictures you can point to the better. Tattoo language is a difficult thing to learn, there is no dictionary on the subject, talking about visual arts can be difficult in the best of times, let alone dealing with the multitude of General Tattoo Genres, styles and Tattooers personal styles, subject matter etc..., it can be confusing for even veteran Tattoo People. Remember what may feel like a genuine stupid question only feels stupid because you are sincere and vulnerable, asking for help. It is actually stupid to not ask questions, and pretend you know the answers or act in ignorance. The veterans of this forum, are happy to help the newbies, because...who knows....but they do. We are all a part of this wonderfull Tattoo thing, the more the marrier.
  10. Thank you for all the replies thus far... As a matter of respect I will treat this question as genuine, and take this opportunity to respond, this is my first time wise opportunity. I think it is a good practice to provide well thought out responses, so everyone can benefit from our input. I am trying harder to provide quality content, which will attract others and grow the forum, by example where possible. Most people, in North America have three budget priorities, regardless of their income or job (1) rent (2) food (3) party stuff. The reason I write "they can afford them" is because in my own experience, when I partied, I spent a lot of time and energy in the party scene, then.... when I quit Smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, quit drinking alcohol and quite taking recreational drugs, I found two things on my hands.....Time and money. Time I would have spent partying was now available for other pursuits and money earmarked for partying was now available for other things. I was sober quite a while before finding a group of people who called themselves Straight Edge, (this was before internet, was a thing for me). What I thought was wonderful, was that these people were not only sober, now, but where committed to being sober into the foreseeable future, which allowed them to pursue more meaningful endeavors. Tattooing is part of the culture because it is as permanent as their commitment to themselves. You have to be genuine before you would likely tattoo a huge Straight Edge tattoo onto your body. Tying into the tattoo relevance of this post, and your question, the last bar tab I pad off was $6000.00, so instead of spending money partying, I spent it investing into tattoos for me. I was able to fly to Tattoo conventions with pockets of cash and level up my collection pretty quick. Three days three tattoos, on and on. Met lots of great people at these conventions as a collector, it was really worth it for me. Being Straight Edge gave me a focus and opened my time and money to get a good tattoo collection, also when you look at straight edge bands and shows they are fully of suited up people, because they can afford to get tattooed and a lot of them. Despite all the partying I did before I committed to the edge, my edge is real and I have no hesitation to say I am Straight Edge, I have the track record to show my sincerity. I do not think the past matters too much, you cannot change it anyway, what is available is the future and what you can do for yourself. Make positive choices, one after the other and life gets better al round. My next Tattoo is going to be an Edge related design! What worked for me may not work for others, but if you want more tattoos, change your budget goals, you do not have to go straight edge, but you can follow the example....a half measure is still going in the right direction. Does this answer the question?