By Jennifer Valkyrie
I found a blog written by Jason Lambert a couple a weeks ago to be very interesting on why tattooers hate to tattoo. It certainly is an agreeable article and makes sense, but what I immediately thought to myself was the flip-side. Why do tattooers LOVE to tattoo...
I think this has been missing from the tattoo hating scene for a while. All the artists I know are quick to talk shit on the tattoo bandwagon and how there is an over abundance of people wanting to learn how to tattoo, etc... The trade has always been known to come down on wannabe tattooers and have shunned the newbies.
I totally get it. Tattooing was a guarded trade for many, many years. And now from TV shows and mainstream propaganda, tattooing has become a free-for-all.
Well, I want to highlight the upside to tattooing. The positives... I think all the tattooers need to admit to themselves and to their peers out loud that this IS a fuckin’ cool job. It is a dream job! You get to listen to metal all day, cuss if you want, wear what you want and be creative all day! You get to play with colors and draw stuff. You get to challenge yourself by the demands of people...
Tattooing is such a handmade- (you-are-a-human-craft) where you have to care for one another, thus forming bonds with other people, which is a good thing! And a fortunate thing! Who wants to sit in front of a computer screen all day? Or wield a shovel? We get to wield a cool buzzing tattoo machine! What other art field is as diverse as this?
Customers are all over the board with art from different cultures, whether it is Americana or Japanese or Eastern… Just from the trends for tattoos, I know some meanings for kanji, astrology and other symbols from around the world!
Artists can get bored easily at times and need that stimulation and tattooing is such a vast art form, from designs to layout composition on the body. How could you ever get bored with this job? I think it is normal to get tired and burnt out from time to time for sure, but if you HATE it, don’t do it. I don’t blame people for wanting to learn and getting involved with tattooing.
I was one of those people years ago. And if you are tattooing currently you were one of those people at some point too. This job can be whatever you want it to be. You make it what it is for yourself. If you think your work is lacking or you don’t have any clientele, that is all you. You do something about it and make it better for yourself.
It’s the way you look at it. Is the glass half full or half empty kinda thing… I am super stoked to tattoo and be a part of this culture and my glass is spilling over as we speak! I think a lot of other tattooers feel this way too, but I think we all should just take a moment to recognize that we are bestowed with a gift here, being involved with tattooing.
I think it is good to hate it sometimes because that says you are passionate about tattooing, but like all relationships if you find yourself fighting more than not, a break up may be necessary. Tattooing deserves that love and if you give it all you have it will reflect back to you positively and your work will show it!
(Jennifer can be found at Valkyrie Tattoo in Penngrove, CA.)
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