it may be hard to tell sometimes, but i go to the trouble of writing a lot of this stuff because i love tattooing. and i know that because of a lot of the bullshit that is going on, legitimate tattoo artist and customers are suffering the consequences.
today i heard british ink in washington dc had placed an ad in the classifieds section of a tattoo message board. they plan on opening two shops in the city. what the fuck!?!? the classifieds? you have got to be kidding me! i have never once heard of a reputable shop that has had to resort to placing an ad to hire an artist. if you are good and you own a solid shop, you know people and they know of you. and then chances are somebody competent will want to come work for you. maybe i just answered my own question, if you are good and you own a solid shop, THEN somebody competent will WANT to come work for you.
however, i will say, you are not the only joke... i mean shop in the city that is clueless. there are a few in the city that own multiple shops within the dc area. and surprisingly enough, you are not the only shop that decided to open a second shop without a staff in place. and what i have to say next applies to all of those shops and owners. if you think it isn't about you, think again, it probably is. if you care about tattooing as you portray yourself to, listen up and maybe i can teach you something. first of all, your tattoos... well they just aren't very good and there is not much i can do about that. next, do you think the people that work at your shop appreciate more competition created by none other than...YOU? are the people in your shop so incredibly busy and well off that they just couldn't possibly take on another client? and lastly, if you care about the customer, how do you feel like you can keep quality control at its finest? you are already placing ads cause you don't know enough talented artist. is that how you intend on making sure every customer gets what they want? there are thousands of tattoo artists, of which a very small percentage are any good. increase the number of tattooers in the city, increase the number of bad tattoos that people in your city are getting. or keep running the business into the ground. i will still be here to point and laugh when you're gone.
this problem is the same in every major city. if you are a shitty shop owner that doesn't care about the artists at your shop or your customers, DIE. and if you are a tattoo artist that has to resort to looking in the classifieds, then you should probably quit. chances are, you are probably still young. maybe you still have your fixed gear bike? so go ahead, dust off the fixed gear, stay out of the shower for a few days and trade in your tattoo machines for some hip fluorescent clothing and don't forget your scarf.
and to the customers enabling these shops and artist, your not innocent in this. look and compare portfolios. if you are seeing the same thing i do, these shops and artist would not exist. don't settle out of convenience.