This topic contains 9 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  Vory 5 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #15708
     Vory 
    Member

    I recently stumbled across this forum and was pleasantly surprised by the lack of hate. I’ve seen a few things like this but I’ve never actually posted before.

    I guess a little background is in order. I’ll try to be as brief as possible and I will have to leave out names of artists and shops I’ve worked at. I’m sure many of you have had some pretty negative experiences too.

    I’ve wanted to tattoo since a first heard punk rock at age 12. I remember drawing the Dead Kennedy’s logo on my friend’s shoulder with a uni-ball pen. I didn’t get serious until I was tattooed-day after I turned 18.

    If you’re trying to get an apprenticeship, your first step would be to get tattooed. Tattooers tend to put their claws away once the cash comes out.

    It’s hard to say when my apprenticeship officially started. I worked for free for over 3 years. For the first two years I was a full time student in college and working 5 nights a week in the kitchen of a pizza place. Days off did not exist. As my grades slipped I found myself having to choose school or tattooing. I was accepted into 5 Universities straight out of highschool but chose to stay back at community college so I could pursue an apprenticeship.

    Long story short, I opened my eyes one day and saw through the veil of bullshit. I was told that I would have to pay a minimum of 10% of my income to my teacher for the rest of my life. In 3 years I had never so much as held a running machine. I was promised I would learn to makes needles, pigments and shown the secrets of coil machines. Instead, I found myself trapped with a man who saw me as nothing more than a plan to get out of debt. Of course, I agreed.

    Eventually, things just went bad. There wasn’t a day that went by that I wasn’t yelled at. I was told how much shop owner and the artists there hated me and thought I was really bad my job. I came to find that my teacher was a raging alcoholic, dying from stomach ulcers and lied on a pathological level.

    I quit one night. The next day I went to talk to the shop owner and found out everything my teacher said was bullshit.
    A few days later I received a text from my old teacher saying that if I ever tattooed that he’d find me and break my hands.

    So then I was fucked. No apprenticeship, no job, no school. I was about to be 22 and my plan had fallen to pieces. I spent the next few months really depressed. I’m not sure when it happened but I decided to go it on my own. I had spent years believing that scratchers are the worst thing in tattooing. Now I have a seriously different view.

    All that said. I’ve spent my savings and tapped all my resources finding out where to get the best shit. I’m sure there’s a sub forum here that deals with that kind of stuff so I’ll make sure to post there, so people know.

    I was going to attach a drawing I did of a skull, couldn’t get it to work. My apprenticeship mainly focused on art and drawing. If anyone is interested my instagram is @voryink it’s private but give me a follow and I’ll approve. I feel my little story above covers why it has to be that way. And no pressure to keep following, I’d never take something personally over the internet.

    I look forward to a future with this forum. Thank you for being so welcoming. I feel the tattooing community on a whole could use a little more of this.

  • #26499
     Lennart82 
    Participant

    Welcome to the forum Vory.

    This place is full of knowledge and good people. (Sometimes a bad egg comes around, but you cant live without meeting them)

    Your story and your background, isent a one of a kind episode. A lot of people have a similar story.

    And about the hate of people who dont have an apprenticeship. Well thats just BS to say it the best way. Okey it would be awesome to have a mentor to help an guide you. So not entirely BS. ;)
    BUT, the yelling at people who dosent have a mentor is BS. Since it all comes down to Who that mentor is. If its a mentor, or a boss (huge difference)
    A boss cares about the money, and dosent care about you or teaching you anything. If he/she does, it couldnt even be considered sound advice.
    If the mentor is crap, you will not learn. So the whole thing about; Find a mentor… Naaaahhh thats not always the right way. Lets says this mentor never had a mentor? Or the mentors mentor never had a mentor?
    Would people say; Ahhh you have a mentor, now we can respect you. (But this mentor learned everything by himself.)

    My former mentor had a mentor. But this mentor was self thought. And I see to day, that my mentor was all wrong.

    So theres pros and cons for both.

    If you have a mentor, you will what this mentor knows (if this mentor is in fact a good mentor) But you will only learn what works for HIM/HER. Your mind will be narrow, as your mentors words is the law.

    If you dont have mentor, you have to work hard, and I mean give it all, not just your best. You have to search High and Low for information, you find correct. You get to pick things here and therem to find what works.

    Hahaha there I go rambling again. sorry about that ;)
    Welcome to the family :D

  • #26494
     Vory 
    Member

    I definitely hear what you’re saying.
    It seems the path to tattooing is riddled with pitfalls. A lot of people have a rough time. My friend opened a private studio (just her tattooing there) and almost immeadiately was hit with an arson threat. She managed to calm everything down, but still… very scary.
    Hopefully, as I advance I can share some of the stuff I’ve learned. Especially about bugpin needles and color vs. black and grey.

    I wish the best of luck to everyone here.

  • #26495
     Infamous 
    Participant

    Welcome to the forum!

    I’d say this place is a good source of self-taught artists that actually know what they’re talking about!

    As far as the “scratcher” word goes, I tend to replace it with the word Ronin in cases like yours.

    The difference being a scratcher is a mentorless “artist” (for lack of a better word) who has no real desire to learn anything from anywhere before diving right in and really messing people up because of it.

    A Ronin, is a mentorless artist, who does everything in his/her power to learn and strives to learn something new everyday, and only touches real skin once they are confident enough in their abilities to stay clean and lay quality ink

  • #26496
     Vory 
    Member

    @infamous wrote:

    Welcome to the forum!

    I’d say this place is a good source of self-taught artists that actually know what they’re talking about!

    As far as the “scratcher” word goes, I tend to replace it with the word Ronin in cases like yours.

    The difference being a scratcher is a mentorless “artist” (for lack of a better word) who has no real desire to learn anything from anywhere before diving right in and really messing people up because of it.

    A Ronin, is a mentorless artist, who does everything in his/her power to learn and strives to learn something new everyday, and only touches real skin once they are confident enough in their abilities to stay clean and lay quality ink

    Fuck yeah. I really like that. Ronin it is.
    I’ll definitely be using that in future. All my first tattoos were on myself. I figured that if I was going to mess anyone’s skin up, it should be my own. I’m sacrificing both my legs so that by the time I touch another person, I’ll be the best I can be.

    I’m sure you all know, tattooing yourself sucks!

  • #26497
     Infamous 
    Participant

    That’s probably the best way to go about it!

    I don’t know how far along you are, but don’t forget you can also practice on Honeydews, Pig Skin, Practice Skin, Grape fruit, Pumpkins, and oranges.

    Honeydew Melons are what I recommend the most, unless you know a butcher who is willing to spare some skins.

  • #26498
     Vory 
    Member

    I did a lot of oranges in the beginning. Graduated to a few practice skins, but didn’t really like it.
    I found my own skin much easier. I had the blessing of working in two phenomenal shops. I ended up picking up a lot more techniques than was probably intended.

    Most of what I know was taught to me by tattooers who weren’t my official teacher. Things like the benefits correctly using vaseline can give to your linework. Stretching, and feeling the right speed to tattoo in relation to your voltage.

    I’m at the point now where I’m doing simple fixer-uppers and really basic pieces. I’ve got a couple guys that I’m planning bigger work for, but they know that they’ll have to wait for awhile. Just because you can draw, doesn’t mean you can tattoo. I think it’s going to be awhile before my technical knowledge catches up to where my drawing level is.

    Another thing I’m doing right now is giving my first few clients not only free work, but free work for life. So even if they don’t want to get another tattoo, they can come back to me in 10 years and get a backpiece for free. I’m not sure how long I’ll do this for. Right now, only 3 people have it. I won’t be able to do it much longer as I have to shell out a fair amount of money just setting up for a session. I spared no expense when buy disposables and other sanitation items. I more or less have a rolling shop now….but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

  • #26492
     Lennart82 
    Participant

    Yeah I’ve been using the word Ronin too ;)

    Just that simple word, gives it more meaning, and you have to honour that word to become a Ronin ;)

  • #26493
     Infamous 
    Participant

    Free work for life seems like a little much lol, I guess eventually they’ll run out of skin.

    I gave away a few free pieces myself, but eventually if they want more they’re going to have to pay for it.

    I still occasionally shell out a free piece when business is slow. Also if any family members ever want me to do something for them I’ll always take care of them too.

  • #26500
     Vory 
    Member

    yeah, free work for life seems like a bit much. Right now though, I just need to do a bunch of tattoos. I’m finally starting to be happy with my drawing skill (1000 sphere drawings later). After putting all my savings into everything I could possibly need, I find myself desperate for work. Hopefully things pan out and I’ll be able to start charging after the new year.

  • #26501
     robroy289 
    Participant

    @lennart82 wrote:

    Yeah I’ve been using the word Ronin too ;)

    Just that simple word, gives it more meaning, and you have to honour that word to become a Ronin ;)

    RIGHT ON BRO!! Welcome to the forum..

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