Saturday, May 28, 2011

disturbing trends.

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. 


  1. well put my man... its sad but people "settle" too often. I work in the city and surrounding areas and drive all day, I see shops everywhere and thats not a good thing. your average idiot is just that, an idiot. they want to be "covered" or "all tatted up" and dont care if a shop is good or not. if its all about money (which for most of these shops i see, it is) than they went about it wrong. your right tho, the classifieds? really? the last thing dc needs is another shop, a shit shop at that. you know as well as i do, Jinx Proof will always be around and those other shops will die quickly. It just sucks they even get the chance...

  2. I just moved to Atlanta, specifically the gentrified, super- hipster area known as East Atlanta Village. Within walking distance to my home, there are two shops. Within two miles, there are well over a dozen shops. Every Tom, Dick, Harry, Jane, and whomever has a tattoo (probably more than 1) in the neighborhood. As yet, I haven't seen a single person with any good art, let alone anything that would make we want to go to their artist or shop.
    I think the worst part down here are the "tattoo specials" days. For instance, on Friday the 13th you can go to the local shop and for $13 plus lucky $7 tip, select one of 13 designs drawn up for that day. The artists are tattooing from 11 am until 12 am. Because it's such a "steal" the line is out the door all day. Basically, the artists are tattooing the same 13 designs for 13 hours straight. A) Do you think those tattoos even look good after the 5th hour of monotony for the artist? B) Do you as a customer really want a tattoo so badly that you're willing to get a design the size of a quarter that half of your neighborhood has?
    My husband and I both get our work done with Tony at Jinx. We both get compliments on it on the regular; many folks ask where it was done. With pride I respond Jinx Proof in DC. Either way, I'm saving my dough up for my next trip up to DC to go to Jinx. I'd rather have fewer, original, well done tats than a sleeve of crappy, cheap collected flash so I can look more "scene" (PBR tallboy not included).