Had a disaster at my shop. FUCK! Wednesday afternoon the rain came down hard, and I mean HARD. I'm in the end space of the shopping strip. The gutters overflowed and flooded the roof. Well, apparently there are holes in the roof. The roof leaked, and it didn't take long for the insulation and ceiling tiles to soak through and start falling. Once the ceiling tiles were gone, there was nothing to slow the flow of water, so it was basically raining inside my shop. Thankfully it was all along the wall opposite our work rooms, so all of our personal stuff was undamaged. I did lose some computer equipment (computer, scanner, printer, etc) and pretty much all of my supplies that can get ruined by water. The Landlord's insurance company sent out a Water Damage Restoration company that did some initial cleanup and left a bunch of giant fans and dehumidifiers running in my shop. They haven't been back since Wednesday night, and all that shit is still running in the shop, keeping me from getting in there and trying to get things back to a workable condition. I spoke to them yesterday, and they said that in order to really dry things out that stuff has to have a few days to work. The insurance company is sending an adjuster out on Monday. FUCKING MONDAY! I need to get my damn shop open so I can make some money. The bills aren't gonna stop coming in. Now they're talking about the possibility of having to rip out the damn walls to remove the insulation which is probably soaked. If they do that, it'll probably be at least another whole week before we can re-open. If that happens, I'm pretty much fucked. With the way things have been over the last few years between the shit shops trying to run us out of business with cheap tattoos and tattoo specials, and the shitty economy, I don't have much of a cushion anymore. A week or 2 of no money coming in could spell the end of Good Clean Fun. I wouldn't be quite as pissed off if this situation was a result of something stupid I did, but I didn't have a damn thing to do with it. I blame God for the rain, Obama for the shitty economy, the people that built the building for the shitty roof, and to some extent the landlords for not fixing the roof years ago. Four or 5 years ago, we had a similar situation, just nowhere near as bad. At the time, the landlords had more gutters installed, hoping that would solve the problem. I guess I really can't blame them- they had someone come out and look at the roof and were told that more gutters was what they needed. They should have had the roof re-done or patched or something at the time though. The fucked up thing is that it's a relatively new building- I moved in about a year after it was built, so it's about 10 or 11 years old. I've been pretty good so far- no yelling or screaming, no freaking out, but I don't know how much longer that's gonna last. This really sucks, and it doesn't just suck for me, my guys aren't making any money either and I'm pretty sure that they have bills to pay too. Of course now, while we all sit with our thumbs up our asses waiting for the insurance people to come out on Monday, if it rains again, there is nothing to even slow the rain from coming in- I got no damn ceiling!
Friday, July 15, 2011
So, I didn't watch 'Tattoo School', big surprise, huh? I spoke to a friend of mine who did watch it, and he said that he couldn't even come up with the words to describe how disgusted he was with the tattoo community. That's right, not the show, but the tattoo community, and ya know what, he's right. I still believe that this show is one of the worst things- actually, THE WORST THING, to have on TV as far as the tattoo industry is concerned, and I'm pretty sure that I have made my opinion of tattoo TV shows in general pretty clear in my previous blog entries, but the truth is, we let this happen. Tattooers are pissed off now because of this show, but how many of them were pissed off 8 or 10 years ago when this business started going to the dogs? I know I was. I know that the people that truly care about tattooing were. But there are an awful lot of people that don't care about anything as long as they're getting paid. And, therein lies the problem. If we really wanna take back the tattoo industry, it's not TLC that we need to go after ,and I know with all the furor about 'Tattoo School' on Facebook lately, that's who ya wanna be mad at. But, let me tell ya who you should really be mad at. You should be mad at the guy down the road doing $20 names, you should be mad at the jackass tattooing drunks and underage kids, you should be mad at the douchebag running 'tap-out' specials, but most of all, you should be mad at the scumbags selling supplies to these degenerates. My friend that I mentioned earlier, that watched the show, told me some of the names of supplies that were visible at the 'tattoo school'. No, I'm not gonna list 'em, I didn't watch the show, and I don't wanna condemn anyone on somebody else's word (although the somebody else I'm talking about is a pretty fuckin' reliable source). It's also stuff that many suppliers sell, so in all honesty, the actual producer of said items may not have been the direct seller of the items (no, I'm not sticking up for anyone here). I do plan on doing my own research, and not supporting suppliers/products that were shown on the show. I also plan on doing some research and listing any and all suppliers that I find to be selling supplies to people without verification that they work in legitimate shops, and I will stop dealing with those particular suppliers. Will you do the same? Some will, most won't. Why not? Because it will affect your wallets. The suppliers that sell to all the shitbags are also the ones whose supplies are the cheapest. Are you willing to pay more for your supplies in order to try to reclaim the tattoo industry? Are you willing to take a cut in pay to not support unscrupulous suppliers? Or, will you continue to deal with them because they sell razors at the best price, or because they move more of your sketchbooks or machines than anyone else? I personally am going to make a concerted effort to find EVERY supplier that I can that is willing to sell to someone that is not in a legitimate studio and list their names here (and anywhere else I can think of). It won't be hard, it'll just take some time. I have a good friend who knows about a supplier that screwed me over and basically stole artwork from me that sells his sketch books through them. When I asked him why he deals with them knowing what he knows, he said, "They sell A LOT of my books". That's gotta end. If we wanna take this back, and I mean REALLY TAKE IT BACK, then that shit HAS GOT TO END. It may cost you more money to run your business, your sketchbook sales may decrease, you may sell less machines, you may sell less ink, but If you really wanna make a change, then you're also gonna have to make a sacrifice.
Here's something else...stop being so fuckin' nice. Remember when tattooers hated each other? I do. If the guy down the road does shit tattoos, talk as much shit about him as you can. There's no reason to be nice- Fuck 'Em. If the dumbass in the next town over from you is running specials, let everyone know that good tattoos aren't cheap and cheap tattoos aren't good. If ya can run him out of business by talking shit, then talk all the shit you can. The days of breaking hands and burning down shops are in the past (although, I'm not telling you NOT to do that). I'm 44 years old, and in my book that's too old to got to jail- never been, don't even wanna visit. But, I'll tell ya this- if I could get away with breaking hands and burning down shops, I'd be at Quik Trip right now filling up a gas can.
So, sure, boycot the TV shows, but you also need to boycot the scumbag suppliers, and the companies that sell through the scumbag suppliers, and the shitbag down the road that buys from the scumbag suppliers. Can ya do that? Can ya prove that you have some real integrity, or are ya more concerned with how much money you can put in your wallet?
Posted by DaveGCF at 1:29 AM
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Got home from work tonight and decided to start on a pinstriping job I picked up a couple of days ago, so I made myself a glass of absinthe. Decided on the 'Walton Waters' from Delaware Phoenix in NY. This is one that's grown on me quite a bit. I've discussed absinthe in the past here, and have made it clear that my favorite European absinthe I've found is pretty much anything made by Jade. Delaware Phoenix's Walton Waters is a really tasty absinthe with a nice combination of Wormwood and Anise, and not much of that floral flavor that I really don't care for. Absinthe and pinstriping seem to go well together- as long as I don't have to pull any long straight lines. Here's a few pics of what I got done tonight.
Still gotta pull some lines of red down the length of the fender from where the red lines end at the front of the fender, but remember, I was drinking, so I held off on that part. Gotta pull lines of both red and white down the length of the rear fender also.
I'm still waiting for him to drop the gas tank off to me, which is gonna have a combination of lettering and striping. He wants it to say 'Harley Fuckin' Davidson'. Yeah, I know...
For any pinheads out there who are interested, This was all done with a Kafka #1 Scroll brush, which is what I do the majority of my striping with. If I have to pull long, straight lines, I pretty much always go for my trusty Mack 00 series 10 brush.
Posted by DaveGCF at 1:06 AM
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
No, I didn't watch 'Tattoo School' tonight. I have only watched a tattoo TV show 3 times in my life. I watched Miami Ink once, and only because a very good friend of mine was a guest on it, and I watched LA ink twice- partly because I wanted to see how many times Kat Von Douchebag would cross-contaminate stuff, and partly because I knew someone on the show. If ya read my blog entry from a few days ago, you know full well exactly how I feel about tattooing on TV. On a positive note, the tattoo community is united in anger and hatred for TLC and their idiotic show(s). I personally have never seen so many tattooers come together over a common topic. There are a number of pages on Facebook dedicated to this latest atrocity of TLC's, some with over 30,000 members. (I will post links to all of them at the end of this blog entry). Of course, with so many members on some of these pages, the greedy fuckin' scumbag opportunists have started to come out of the woodwork. There have been posts on some of these pages from other people that run so called tattoo schools. Of course they say that they're different, they're better, they're doing it the right way. A tattoo school whether on TV or not is still a fucking tattoo school- it's an abomination. There have also been the dummys showing up that have internet based tattoo shows, that of course claim that their shit is good for the industry. Again, a tattoo show is a tattoo show, be it on TV or the fucking internet. You can't tell me that a single one of these motherfuckers isn't hoping for some damn cable network to see their shitty internet show and offer them a deal. Fuck you scumbag!
One of the things that I have seen that I find most encouraging is that there are a number of tattooers calling for things that I have thought the industry has needed for a long time. A ban of not only Tattoo School, but all the shitty TV shows. Sure, they're not gonna take the shows off until they stop making money airing them, but maybe the advertisers on those shows will listen, or just maybe, the people on those shows will see that they are part of the problem and be shamed into leaving the show (although I suppose once you're a rockstar TV tattooer, you're not really a tattooer anymore). For tattooers to stop taking on apprentices. There are enough goddamn tattooers already- in fact there are too fuckin' many. Enough with the shops that sell apprenticeships and the shops where every damn tattooer working there has an apprentice. Ya know what that is? Lazy fuckin' tattooers that don't wanna clean up their own mess or that think they're too good to clean up after themselves. Listen up fucko, you made the mess, clean it the fuck up. Don't make more tattooers just because you don't wanna scrub your own damn tubes or clean your fuckin' station. A ban of tattoo schools- that one might be easier than the TV shows. Tattooers can gather peacefully outside a local tattoo school and suggest that they close down. I found a local Atlanta douchebag on line today that was advertising a tattoo school. This dopey bastard doesn't even work in a shop- he tattoos out of his house, does tattoo parties, and tattoos at hip-hop clubs. Where's his school gonna be? In his fucking kitchen? The best part- this asshole just put this shit up- his website is new, his FB page is new, he must have seen the stuff about the tattoo school TV bullshit and thought he could make some money off that. Fucker! For tattooers to stop buying from unscrupulous suppliers. That's not gonna happen either. I honestly believe that at this point the shitbag tattooers outnumber the ones that care about the industry by a large margin. The scumbags will keep supporting whatever supplier will sell them their Chinese made crap at the lowest price. Essentially, what the tattooers that care are talking about is taking back our industry from the greedy motherfuckers that have hijacked it. I think it's way too late. I would like to do it. I would like to see it done. But in all honesty, I believe that the time to have done it was years ago. I think it's too late, it's gone too far, we should have done something a lot earlier. But I will say YES, let's take this thing back- this thing is ours. Or, let's at least give it a try. I'm definitely interested in seeing where this goes from here.
So what was I doing while TLC was showing their shitty show to the ignorant masses? I was getting another ridiculous tattoo. The TV shows have convinced people that tattoos have to have some deep meaning- some fucking stupid story attached to them. They don't. For me, they just have to make me laugh at this point, which is why I mostly only get really stupid tattoos these days. The one I got tonight does have a story behind it, and, that's right, I'm gonna tell it to ya. A couple of years ago, a gangsta came into my shop and started talking to me about the tattoo he wanted, it went like this:
First he showed me the large praying hands tattoo (aka clapping hands) on his upper arm.
Gangsta: "I wanna get like a face next ta these so it look like he be prayin'"
Me: "That's not gonna work man"
Gangsta: "No, no, I mean so it look like he be praying, you know like a face"
Me: "That's not gonna work man. Those hands are big- they fill up most of the space, you don't have room to put a face there."
Gangsta: "No man, I got room. I wants it like he prayin' and I want him wearing a ski mask"
(I guess he's supposed to be praying that the home invasion goes well)
Me: "You're not listening to me. You don't have room there for what you want. You're gonna have these big hands and a little tiny face- it's not gonna look right"
Gangsta: "Aw man, you killin' my dreams"
Me: "No, I'm not killing your dreams, I'm just telling you that the tattoo you are talking about isn't gonna look right. We can figure something else out to add to your praying hands, just not that"
Gangsta: "No man, No. You be killin' my dreams"
So, ever since then, the joke around the shop is that I'm the 'Dream Killa", and what says Dream Killa like a severed unicorn head smoking a rainbow pipe? I had Nick at my shop do this, he's been at GCF since February and fits in really well on the whole 'completely retarded' level.
This is Abby (short for Absinthe). She doesn't look like much yet, but if ya look close you can see her inner beauty. I have big plans for her. She's a new project to work on, and she's gonna be pretty fuckin' sweet. I picked her up last week, found her on Craigslist and couldn't pass her up. The tanks, wheels, and front end are gonna go- I bought her for the engine, transmission and frame.
Here's the Links to all the anti-TLC/Tattoo School pages I mentioned:
***OK, so here's one of those 'Oh Fuck' kinda things. I was just made aware that TLC's shitty 'Tattoo School' airs tomorrow night. I thought it was on last night when I wrote this blog entry. Doesn't really make any difference, I'm not gonna fucking watch it then either*** -Dave (7/13/11)
Posted by DaveGCF at 1:56 AM
Friday, July 8, 2011
As if I didn't have enough issues with all the shitty tattoo TV shows that TLC likes to shove down our throats, now they're gonna air a show called 'Tattoo School'. OK, I know of the existence of various so called tattoo schools, and all the shit shops that run apprentice mills just to line their pockets with no regard for what it is doing to the tattoo industry, but this shit really pisses me off. And, looking at my FaceBook page, it has apparently pissed off a lot of other people. I don't know that I've ever seen the tattoo community as a whole quite so irritated by anything before. Lemme tell ya how I see things, specifically the negative influence of tattoo TV on the industry. In the early part of the new century, tattooing saw a rise in popularity primarily due to the fact that more celebrities and sports figures started visibly sporting tattoos- generally pretty shitty tattoos (don't ask me why the people with the money to get the best tattoos get absolute fucking garbage, I'm still trying to figure that one out myself). Next thing ya know, we started seeing tattoo imagery in ads, on clothing, and just about every-fucking-where else. The media geniuses see this and fast forward to 2005, were treated to 2 different TV shows- 'Inked' and 'Miami Ink'. Now tattooers are on TV. All of a sudden, they're fucking rockstars (and who doesn't want to be a rockstar). These shows don't show what it's actually like to work day in day out in a tattoo studio- they show people doing some tattoos here and there, but also show them doing things like going to Vegas, riding 4-wheelers, buying cars, and opening trendy bars. THAT AIN'T FUCKIN' TATTOOING! That's a fantasy created by the media to sell to the ignorant masses. They're billed as reality shows, why bother to show anything close to reality? Reality doesn't sell, fantasy and flashing lights, that's what sells. A very good friend of mine was a guest on one of those shows and told me that on his first day of shooting, they had him walk through the front door of the shop 9 times before they got the shot just right. NINE FUCKING TIMES! How's that for reality? Well, the ignorant masses bought it. Next thing ya know, everyone wants to be a fucking tattooer so they can be cool and buy fancy cars too. Once upon a time, there were only a handful of tattoo supply companies, and the majority of them were reputable and would only sell to people that could prove that they worked in a legitimate tattoo studio. With more and more people wanting to become tattooers (remember- so they can be cool), even the respectable suppliers started to sell to the home tattooers. OK, it's business- they saw the scumbag suppliers making money hand over fist selling to these fucks and figured they should get some of that money too. More and more suppliers started popping up, and selling to hacks that were scarring people up and had no training in the prevention of spreading blood borne pathogens. More tattooers? The greedy media fucks see tattooing continuing to get bigger and what do they do? They decide that they need more fucking TV shows about tattooing, so we're given LA Ink and some stupid show about a guy tattooing on a fucking bus. More TV shows = more rockstar tattooers = more idiots wanting to be rockstar tattooers = more shitty suppliers (are you starting to see how this goes?). It just keeps going, and now it's to the point that for a number of years now, the tattoo industry has been totally and completely over-saturated with tattooers (although I hesitate to refer to most of them as 'tattooers'). Now, TLC is going to treat us to 'Tattoo School' (and, no, I didn't forgot about NY Ink that they gave us just a few weeks ago- Fuck Me). Tattoo School is of course filmed at a fucking tattoo school, namely the Tattoo Learning Center in Albany NY, where you can learn to tattoo in just 2 weeks. The instructor is Lisa Fasulo, who claims to be an 'award winning artist', except nobody's ever fucking heard of her (at least nobody that I know, and I know a good number of folks). Lemme tell ya something- there are so many conventions these days that they're handing out awards like they're fucking lollipops. Now, I'm pretty sure that at some point while surfing the net, I came across her tattoo school in the past, and sure, I was probably pissed when I saw it, but it wasn't on fucking TV! Once this shit airs, we're gonna see tattoo schools opening all over the place. Just like the tattoo supply business blew up, the tattoo school business is gonna blow up. Why? Because some dick-hole saw it on TV and decided that He/She wants some of that 'tattoo teachin' money'. More Schools = More Shitty Tattooers = More...(I've already told ya how that one goes). The people at TLC are greedy scumbag fucks who will continue to rape the tattoo industry until they can't squeeze another fucking penny out of it, then throw it away like a shit covered rag. Lisa Fasulo and anyone else that owns and operates a tattoo school or an apprentice mill is a greedy fuckin' scumbag that doesn't deserve to be part of an industry with as rich a tradition as tattooing. These are people that if I heard that they got run over by a bus, I would throw a party. I honestly hope that tattooing becomes totally fuckin' un-cool, then I can get back to tattooing for a living and loving what I do. FUCK YOU TLC. FUCK YOU LISA FASULO.
If you would like to read more of my ranting on a similar topic, you can read my post from July of last year: YOU PEOPLE RUINED TATTOOING
Posted by DaveGCF at 4:52 PM