Hello all, I guess it's time to make an introduction of myself.
I'm a very long time lurker in this forum (registered in May 2011, facebook-connected under my real name :) )
However for privacy reasons I wish not to use my real name, so I re-registered. I hope that's cool with you guys!
I'm a girl from Jakarta. I'm an apprentice a month into the learning. I hope that I can find fellow peers here to relate with, because where I live, it's hard to find like-minded people.
The industry in Indonesia is experiencing a rapid growth right now, thanks to TLC, but the industry itself is relatively young and unregulated, and there are too many who got into it just for the money without the proper training. Granted, we're a third world country, but there's so much potential, (being a nation with such awesome cultural heritage) but so many of it is going to waste due to unprofessionalism.
It's an interesting condition we have here. Have any of you ever been in Bali? There's a small shop every 20 meters or so.
Apprenticeships are a rare opportunity. Why? I can tell you that for every 1 apprentice out there, there's another 100 who bought a $50 kit and start tattooing from home, or crafted their own "gun" from you know what stuff. Most artists here, even ones from the established shops, began from scratching. It's the DIY mentality, among many others, that's the problem. Tattoo supplies are cheap, clients willing to get tatted for cheap are plenty, some shops don't have strict standards for sterilization... there's no official OHS regulations whatsoever... (the ones in Bali are better, because most clients are overseas tourists), but I've kept myself safe because I'm very very picky.
It's a price war all the time. I haven't mentioned about plagiarism and bargaining problems. Client is always king. Most artists here thinks it's fine to copy artwork off the internet as is. And (only in Indonesia) we don't charge by the hour - we charge according to the size of your artwork (it doesn't matter what design!) because people love to bargain.
In short... I hate the industry here! I love tattooing with all my heart! ...and I'm here to learn all I can, because I know some things I just can't learn from my mentors here. I hope I didn't bore you with my intro, or paint a too negative picture of my beautiful country. Despite all the things I've told you - It is a beautiful country, with a rich traditional tattooing heritage.
PS: I'm into traditional American, neo traditional and all things dotwork. This should be right up you people's alleys :)