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?