9545 Reseda Blvd. unit 2, Northridge, CA (818) 700-2818
Archive Page: First 4 5 6 7 8 9 Last
New Thread

Threads:

Archive Page: First 4 5 6 7 8 9 Last
Thread Page: 1 2 3 Last Page

Should you tattoo scratchers?

I don't know if anyone else has thought about this or not since I've been working in a solo shop since the issue has come up. I work in an area with a LOT of scratchers and shops with unreputable artists. Many scratchers have come in asking for apprenticeships and, being as polite as I can, I tell them absolutely not, but sometimes they come in asking for tattoos. The one time I did tattoo a scratcher I didn't find out until after I tattooed him that he tattooed out of the house. I felt kind of bad since watching me tattoo could give them ideas of how to tattoo and therefore motivation to tattoo more. I understand that's how a lot of great artists got their start but it seems that the scratchers in my area have no concern for getting better and they're using such bad equipment and bad techniques that they absolutely wrecking people's skin. Some artists got their start tattooing out of the house but that was a long time ago and things have changed to the point where getting a good apprenticeship proves to be the most efficient and safe method for improving. Even though it is, in my opinion, the job of the client to check portfolios so see the quality they are about to receive, I wonder if sometimes people getting tattoos from these individuals might look at the good tattoos the scratchers have and assume they are capable of the same quality. I feel that a certain amount of effort must be put into collaborating with a good artist to get good quality tattoos and scratchers who have no respect for their clientele just haven't earned the right to have great tattoos. I was just wondering if anyone out there refuses service to scratchers. I can definitely see both sides of the argument.


Replies:

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

Yeah.. like...why on earth would you educate someone how to do things safely...?
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

I'm not talking about educating them. If I thought they would get better and cleaner I wouldn't have a problem but no matter how much they see someone work they're not going to get the point of how to tattoo hygienically or with better equipment.
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

Ive actually caught scratchers showing pictures of other's art/tattoos its rediculous. Ive worked hard to get where ive gotten. I say let them wear the mark of their own work. If they want tattoos let them tattoo themselves. We must protect the sanctity of the industry.
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

I believe if they respect you enough to make an appointment, pay full price and get tattooed by you that is a sign that they genuinely care to grow. At least a spark of it. It's also a great opportunity to talk to them and even let them see SOME of the care that goes into keeping things sanitary: things wrapped, gloves, not touching random things. They'll probably go home and change their set up and technique to mimic yours. Baby steps.

I'm a fairly new tattoo artist but I've worked on some "scratchers" before. Once I find out I invite them to ask questions and take it upon myself to kinda do a walk through as I work. I always tell them I'm not teacher but I'm only repeating and trying to do the things I was told. A couple of guys go get apprenticeships after. I even had one of them send me a couple customers because after our talk he felt he couple properly execute the tattoos

I'm with you on the customer seeing good tattoos on them and maybe assuming that they're good artist. Probably misleading but there are amazing artists with shitty tattoos and some with no visible tattoos so idk how much all that actually come into play.

I you can help somebody who deserves or truly needs help in any area of life why not. Especially if it costs you nothing.
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

what Ismael said!

Reputation is everything for the individual tattooist, and if they fuck up their own rep it's not your problem.

There will always be those who need to find out the hard way why not to get inked by a scratcher but at least let them choose for themselves.

We're tattooists, not tattoo police officers.
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

with so many 'gun-kits' out there in ppls kitchens how can you even know who is a scratcher any more? i couldn't even give an accurate percentage of how many clients come in with at least one homemade tattoo but it is surely over 70%. so which ones are the kitchen wizards? i think my reaction depends on a person's attitude. someone comes in, snapping pics of my flash, trying to read my equipment readouts,brand names, techniques, etc. then they run home, buy a 'kit', a 'pro gun' off e-bay, a hurricane power supply and steal some real artists art/flash designs, buy 100 bux worth of chinese needles and tubes and now their kitchen is their 'shop'. worst part, as stated above, is that they have no problem pointing to their own shitty work; saying it came from a local pro shop, and then at the pro's work and claiming it as their own.
the more someone rubbernecks on my gear and techniques; the less inclined i am to go the extra mile on their tattoo.
ask me about sterilization; im likely to send you home with a list of tips and advice.. and a nice tattoo. rubberneck on my readouts & techniques or sneak pics of my art and i will not help you but out the door.
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

what do we tell people every day who ask about tattooing.

1. go get some nice tattoos from a good artist
2. stop tattooing from your home
3. draw draw draw

kinda tough when you douche on them for doing step 1.
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

I agree with frosticus, thats one of the first things I'll tell people is to get a bbp and get some tattoos from a professional. If someone is legitimately interested in tattooing past the point of "this is cool i can tat my friends lolz" then I'll explain why I do certain things I do when setting up and keeping things sterile in hopes that despite their less than professional environments they'll learn a thing or two about doing it the proper way and even seek an apprenticeship. We can all bitch about how bad things are or at least try to give a little something back in hopes of people learning the right way and getting better. I in no way advocate scratchers or people trying to start tattooing with a cheapo chinese kit from ebay, but its going to happen regardless of whether I can attempt to teach them how to be a little safer or not.
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

^^^^^
well said...
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

My answer to this question is "yes." Why not? If they are going to shell out money to get tattooed by you just like any other human being so be it. You as a tattoo artist would need to draw the line on how much information you give them depending on your thoughts about tattooing a scratcher. I've been there, it could get annoying with questions but you can just answer them very short, or very complex to confuse them, haha. Maybe they will see they are doing it all wrong and get into a proper shop, you can guide them in the right course. I believe a client is a client and we shouldn't discriminate on that. I could go on with this subject but that was my short answer... My thoughts on it anyway.
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

what Ismael said!

Reputation is everything for the individual tattooist, and if they fuck up their own rep it's not your problem.

There will always be those who need to find out the hard way why not to get inked by a scratcher but at least let them choose for themselves.

We're tattooists, not tattoo police officers.
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

oops sorry about the double post.

What do you mean by "get a bbp"? bbp stands for "blood bourne pathogen" right?

Are you saying you need to get hepatitis...? o.O :P
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

of course you need to get hepatitis. how did you think all of us scabby, tattooed, biker bums got so cool?

BBP is shorthand for the Bloodborne Pathogen Certification Course. its level 1 info right there. its why you clean this way with this product. it shows you how you dispose of this and that. basic rules to lower the health risk of just handling the equipment we handle on a daily basis.

early habits are sometimes the hardest to break. get with the program and learn how to handle yourself early on in your career. even if its just a few clients a month, being clean is a bonus for everyone.
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

Ive tattooed a couple. I dont mind, another picture, more money for me and i can talk to them about not contaminating thing while they tattoo. i only tattooed a couple but all of them were cocky and telling me i need to do this or that and they know what im doing and when they came back it was healed horribly because wheb i told them how to take care of it they were like yaya i know. But when they are stubborn and not taking care of their tattoos i feel like they will tell people that they tattoo about how it was my fault it healed badly and convince people theres not reason to come to a shop. I touched it up for him for a fee and told him to take care of it how i say and next time i saw him,it looked fine
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

.



Yes..... I would not have any issues with tattooing this type of clientele, or any other for that matter. It's in my nature and personality to help people as often as I can. In this case, it's just a matter of reading the person and finding out their true intentions. if they want to get a 10 min tattoo and ask you a hundred questions then that says a lot for their integrity. however if a person is respectful to you and you can see it in their eyes, that they really want to learn, and are willing to get some work done by you. then I would have no problem starting an artist client relationship to help guide them in the right direction. its easy to pick apart those that have no respect for the industry or the clients they tattoo.

If it were me getting tattooed by mike or any other artist I admire, I would be upfront with them and ask in advance if I could pick their brain during my session, however, I would not pick some mediocre tattoo and ask questions that could not relate to the work I was getting done. If I ever find the time to get work done by Mike, I would focus on specific pieces, being it animal realism, black and grey portrait, color portrait, ect, and most of my questions would be related to the work in progress...one thing for sure though, if you have a scratcher looking to learn, and they leave you a substantial tip as a thank you for your guidance,even if you did not share too much information. then you can be pretty sure that they really wish to progress with their career and hopefully get in a better position than they already are...I have been in situations where I've had the opportunity to watch many artist I admire tattoo someone, and I have politely offered to pay them just so I can watch... so far I have not had one artist take any money from me, and I have had the honor to have them let me sit in on the work they were doing... having these amazing artist let you sit in with them really shows that they are humble enough to let others learn from them, and it speaks volumes to show how much you respect them and the industry.... however, if you want to ask questions this is not the time to do it. wait until you have the opportunity to have a one on one session, and ask in advance if you can pick their brain. as long as it doesn't interfere with their work, most artist are more than willing to help.... Even a scratcher can earn respect, once they learn enough about the business and its history. Personally I would not shut them out just because they have started on their own. I would use your best judgement on each individual "scratcher" you tattoo and treat them accordingly, but I would not discriminate against them based solely on the fact that they carry the title, "scratcher"..... Just sayin, :)


Take care,


Stephen Stacey
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

^^^

The day i turned 18 was the day i got my first professional tattoo, before that it was all done through scratcher means dude took a shitty scratcher tat and turned it into a sick ass half sleeve. and If it wasn't for a respectable professional tattoo artist being genuinely nice and giving me the time of day to explain the difference between a professionally apprenticed artist and a scratcher, i wouldn't have spent three years drawing my ass off, studying every book and magazine i could get my hands on, and eventually getting the apprenticeship i'm in now.
He didn't explain any equipment, tools, sources, references, didn't drop names or manufacturers. Just told me how he got his apprenticeship, and what he had to do, and how he felt about the whole culture, both professional and non professional sides.
I don't think it's our responsibility to show anyone ANYTHING about theory or supplies. Apprentices and eventually Professional tattoo artists work hard as fuck to get to where their at, countless hours of studying and trials. So i dont think anyone deserves to have this knowledge simply handed to them. But it's most certainly our responsibility to guide everyone, not just scratchers, to become knowledgeable about the culture, so they can decide by themselves whether or not they want to dedicate themselves to it as an apprentice, a collector, or just want a tattoo and thats it.
Someone helped me learn to respect this industry and to work hard through it, and i will do the same for anyone who walks through the doors.
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

Tell that crap to the people who busted their ass making needles cleaning tubes scrubbing the floors and work stations bought shop equipment and dropped thousands to learn just to get ripped off by the owner of the shop when he shuts down and takes off it happens a lot and nobody says shit about it .I got ripped off plus another guy at the pro shop,he paid 5 grand and 2 days later we went to an empty shop.know I do my own work and if a kid asks what to do or what steps to take I tell them how to get started properly and I answer questions if I'm tattooing the person it's better that way so they don't hurt someone or worse !
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

yep, and where i live there is no such thing as a pro-shop. A few magazines and some web surfing and you son realize 95% of the shops here are loaded with scratchers some how thinking they are pro's because they got a permit and a shop to work in. I've fixed their work. Been told to shell out 7k for an apprenticeship, etc. Unlike most tattoo artists and piercers, I've spent 8 years in healthcare, nursing, infectious disease nursing, worked the prison system nursing, and then a surgical assistant. Been exposed and handled every bbp there is, even the questionable super flus.
I respect every tattoo artist until they bring up "sterile" and "bbp" although many go above and beyond the OR standards, and I applaud that, most have no Idea of the bullshit they are talking.
Further more, multiples of thousands can be a community college degree, and there is nothing you can offer a kid off the street in an apprenticeship that is a credited and accepted seal of completion, or "satisfactory hour completed" that is real, and will really hold weight. It can only sway an opinion in a job interview at best, and hopefully a good opinion.
On the other hand there is Nurses, Doctors, Cops, tattooers etc, that suck at thier job, and do not see any reason to improve. They got a big head, and they are a big fish in a small pond, as long as the paychecks come in, they don;t change.
So maybe I'm in the middle, between bad tattooers, bad so cal pro's and plenty of scratchers.
You're lucky they came and paid for a tattoo, and they may give you a bad vide because they may infact be a bad person, with unsafe practices and lies to their client.
That's a judgemnt call you have to make on your own morale standing.
The last Doctor visit you were lied to, and cheated, I promise you. So...
Judge people by their actions and their PROGRESS.
not their titles.
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

I LOVE putting a bad ass piece on a scratcher. Especially if it is right next to some self-mutilation art that he put on himself. I love the thought of someone going to his house for a tattoo, seeing all of his terrible tattoos (that he is no doubt vocal about his pride in) and then seeing what I put on him and knowing that there is no way this piece was his. And maybe, juuust maybe that makes them think twice about what they are about to get and what they COULD be getting. And, hey, if what they really really want is a scratcher ass punk rock tattoo, then more power to them - because that's not someone who was going to come give me their paycheck anyhow (at least not until they get married and wifey says to cover it!)

As far as 'training' goes: The only advice I give them is to stop tattooing at home because it's illegal, irresponsible, and will gain them bad habits that a future apprenticeship won't be able to correct. I will not let them ask me any questions about tattooing. But I DO ABSOLUTELY pull out all the stops as far as prepping and barriering everything... changing my gloves umpteen times... using an eyelet to make sure the needles are perfect... paperwork is properly filled out.... all of this usually sends their heads into a spin.
top of page

RE:Should you tattoo scratchers?

That's exactly the attitude that gives us folks who paid their does a bad name.Why not show them how not to tear up someone's skin or just drop a few hint's ?I can't stand the attitude that because a person can't find a mentor means they don't deserve some respect shit they are people who are messing up but they are people hell I got ripped off by a trained flash man and had to fight my way out of scratcherville so again if I can help prevent the spread of disease or bring on a new tube cleaner I will,but I will turn illegal shops over quicker then you can blink to me they're the ones we should be trying to shut down .
top of page
Thread Page: 1 2 3 Last Page