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Tattoo Artists that become Pricks

Not to start this forum back up with negativity but it's out of curiosity and maybe bringing attention to it, it could one day help people in the way they think about things.

Since the recent post about being a slight asshole tattoo artist that came to his senses and is not one anymore. I decided this could be a good post. There are guys and girls that have been tattooing a lot longer than me, some are cool as hell and some are pricks with bad attitudes. The old-timers, I could fully understand why they could be bitter. But I'm more concerned with the new generations of artists. I feel I've been around long enough that I could speak up now about certain things. Throughout the years I've been screwed over by artists that all I did was help them, thats it! Probably to much help. I'm sure i'm not the only one that has experienced this but I have also heard a lot of stories and witnessed a lot of things. For some reason and I don't fully understand it yet, maybe someone could shed some light. Why does this happen? How could we fix it?

Tattoo artists that get in and start an apprenticeship or join a new shop and is hyped to learn and grow and are super thankful. Then they get better, then better, then all of a sudden something switches in their head and I'm sure it's ego. At the end of the day they are just tattoo artists making a good living, they might have some fans. Then magically they forgot where they came from. Who showed them the ropes and forgets about the person that paved the way for them. Im sorry I think there are to many fake people out there. I've witnessed it, it's been proven to me and it makes me sick. It's like they use people until they don't need that help and then they want to run around like they are a God and they learned and got good and got put in great positions by themselves. Maybe this is a vent for me. haha. But I just want to say to ANY up and comer tattoo artist, DO NOT forget where you came from or who really helped you! It's really that simple, oh, and keep that ego in check, we already have enough big headed tattoo artists in this industry. Don't get me wrong I have met some great people throughout the years and their are some artists that are my best friends now, but sadly I've come in more personal contact of backstabbers than best friends, met a lot of nice acquaintances too.

Has this happened to anyone else, or experienced an egotistical tattoo artist? Why do you think that is, because they have some people that like their work. Its not like we are saving peoples lives in the ER.

Whats the deal? Any words of wisdom for someone that is learning?


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RE:Tattoo Artists that become Pricks

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Hey man,


The tattoo industry has evolved and changed so much throughout the last 20 years, and it seems to double in transparency every year. It's not so much that these new artist are changing into bad people, but the reality is that once they get involved in it, Their expectations of what they think its suppose to be like, is not the reality of what they see on tv, or what they hear from other local artist that exaggerate how "awesome it is" because they don't want to admit their struggles and show weakness for their level of success in the craft. media and tv has had a profound effect on the up and coming artist these days and they fall into the fantasy idea of what it takes to make it in this business. the one factor that most artist over look is that what else is there to know if I am a great artist? In the beginning, they are so stoked to see their dreams come to a reality that they are filled with ambition, and ready to take on the world. it's the same as we see on the tv show, "american idol". every person that makes it through to hollywood on the first audition truly believes that they are going to win the whole show, by hollywood week, 1/2 are sent home,and they are completely devastated. it's not so much that they don't have talent, it's just that hollywood is a far as their talent will take them.
So for the tattoo industry. artist start out of the gate strong, but slowly they begin to get hit with the "normal" obstacles that they face when they begin their journey. you will get all kinds of different people out their that have a different view on what they "need to do", some will lose it when someone of a lesser talent, or a "non artist" criticizes their work. or they get a customer that request a tattoo out of their ability, and get upset that the customers won't settle for their suggestion. some can't take criticism from more talented artist. some fall into the shop bashing just to try and prove their worth. some don't see the real work it was going to take when they redesign the same tattoo 3 or 4 times before the customer is happy with it, and will get offended because they did not like their first one. so the reality is nothing is like what they've seen or heard from tv or other artist. the truth of the matter is, you can be an excellent artist, painter,sketch artist, etc, and completely suck at tattooing because you brain simply can get a grasp of the medium of skin as a canvas.

So with all that, let me help ease your "concerns". The truth is that you need to be concerned only for yourself. What other people think of you or anyone else is non of your business. ( sounds kinda rude to say ), but it's really true. if someone tell someone else that they don't like my tattoos, it's none of my business. if someone want to trash talk to others about me, that too is not my business or am I concerned about it. The real secret homie. Is that you need to treat others in such a way, that if someone spoke badly of you, no one would believe them. Everything you do in life, you have to expect the unexpected, that way if it happens, you will not be too disappointed, rather, you will be prepared for it. Expect the fact that people will want to take advantage of other. some may do it because they are just not a nice person and enjoy the damage it causes, some may do it because they don't want to show the shame of not being able to do it right, some have a need that they can't afford, other have enjoy the idea of getting away with things.some do it because they are insecure about themselves and this is how they deal with it.. it's just a mountain of personalities that should not affect how you as a person should treat this industry, and how you feel about how others in how they should treat the industry, is just your opinion and beliefs, pushing that onto others is not your job, instead you need to reenforce your values for yourself, and that will make you happy. being mad at how others treat the industry, and being angry at people taking advantage of others is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. make sense? It's not your job to save people, instead, try to be a positive influence to others. let your values be infectious to others. The joy that it will bring you will outweigh the concern you have for others.
Remember, everything you do for others will not always bring things back to you 100%. so if you want to help someone and expect something back, you are helping them for the wrong reason. If you truly want to feel the real joy of helping. Then try to help those that can't give you anything in return, this way you know what you are about to do, and those that can't give you anything in return will appreciate it more than those who may benefit enough to "pay you back" or "share where they got their help from". If you expect nothing in return, your intent is true and sincere. Just the simple act of kindness is enough to fill that void. Just a few day ago, I payed for a customers bill behind me while i was going through a coffee drive through. their bill was $42.00 and not the usual $2.00 but rather than change my mind, I decided that wondering what the look would be on that persons face was totally worth the "over budget" I expected to pay. and I had a smile on my face for about 2 days afterwards. I had to chill on doing that for a little while to make up for this thing I like to do from time to time. But for me, I decide how much joy I want in my life, and I never worry about what others can do for me, or why others don't share the same "values" that I do.
Just be yourself man. Don't sweat the small stuff. stay humble. love what you do. and those that matter will always be in your circle.


Take care,


Stephen Stacey
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RE:Tattoo Artists that become Pricks

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Also just to clarify, those that know me on here know that I usually give long winded responses. My message is not directed at "Mike". although it may look like that with my "your concerns" quote....when I'm responding to a question I usually focus so much on the response to the "issue", that what I'm trying to get across can look out of context or rude. but I'm really trying to generalize in such a way that everyone who reads it, will understand my feelings in what i'm trying to say so that I can help them with how to deal with certain situation both on a personal level as well as a professional level... Thankfully you know me Mike, so I know you won't take it out of context.lol. ;)
It is however directed at everyone who has had similar things that have happened to them in their life. I too have been taken advantage of many time. but for some reason. I was able to overcome the confusion as to why it has happened to me. and focus on why I was doing it for them in the first place.
I think I have so much respect for this industry. And It only brings me more joy to share with others the things and support Mike has given me. To change the story to make myself look like a self made superstar just makes me look like. well.... an asshole. lol...
Just a couple weeks ago, my facebook page was filled with so many messages from people that missed the forum here, so I figured I would try and start my own just to see if I can help some of them. and to quote a section of my very first post on my forum I will never forget the real person that got me to where I am today, I maybe a self taught artist. but I would be nothing more than just some dude who just picked up a machine.... but part of my first forum message was

"Mike DeVries forum was The best forum out there, and It was unfortunate that he had to shut it down. Maybe this could be the start of a new chapter. I would like to give my ultimate thanks to Mike DeVries for everything he has done for me. I would not be where I am today without his awesome support. I'm honored to be amongst his list of friends and I can only hope that I can give a fraction of the help to you guys, that Mike has given to countless others.... "

The only thing I have ever wanted in this industry was to be a respected artist. When people take away that respect from those that get you there, and claim it for themselves, they are in it for the wrong reasons. I look forward to telling my children my story when they get older.. I just can see how interesting my story could ever be if I never included Mike DeVries as the main character.. Just sayin..

Cheers Mike, Thanks for everything.



Stephen Stacey
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RE:Tattoo Artists that become Pricks

Thanks for taking the time to write all that, that definitely makes sense, and its one of those things you do need a little reminder every now and then because sometimes you get sidetracked in this crazy world.
The one part about the coffee reminded me of a breakfast place my wife and I went to a couple months back and this older guy that was sitting right behind me had people coming up to him and thanking him, we realized he was buying breakfast for quite a few people in the restaurant and we thought that was so cool. Pay it forward! We were going to pay for his breakfast but he beat us to the punch and without knowing it he bought ours. We just need more people like that in the world these days.
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RE:Tattoo Artists that become Pricks

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Amen Brother!


S
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