Black Book. A Guide for Students of Body Modification. By: Richard LeMay [email protected] I have decided to distribute this publication free of cost. Your Brain on Food How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings Gary L. Wenk, PhD Departments of Psychology and Neur. The Black Book of Tattooing (The Body ModificationBlack Book A Guide for Students of Body) Download PDF. Downloading Share.
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The Tattoo Artists Black Book
A real apprenticeship takes about two years, give or take a few months. These guys work hard. Usually, you will work for six months just taking notes and learning sterilization procedures before you ever get to touch a machine.
Then one magical day arrives and you get to play with the machine, by taking it apart and cleaning it every day for another six months. Basically, for the first year you will answer phones, study, clean and mop floors, study, Clean windows and counters, study, sterilize equipment, and study some more.
You always hear about tattoo artists treating there apprentices like shit. Making them mop the floor with a toothbrush and do many vile jobs.
The art of tattooing is one of patience and respect.
You have to learn patience and earn respect before you can do anything. Really the idea is similar to the military. We strip away everything you think you know and teach you the right way. It is a hard and long process that must be done in order for you to be a real artist. The worst part of the whole process is not only do you not get a pay check, but most shops charge you for the education. Apprenticeships can be upwards of ten thousand or more.
Me personally, I don't charge but I don't pay either. The way I see it is the student earns their way by doing all the cleaning and the shit work they have to do to learn anyway. I get labor, and they get an education. The only difficult part of finding a free apprenticeship like this is that some hack shops will take you in and use you for free labor.
Either they won't teach you much and wait for you to get mad and quit, or they will fire you before they think you are going to start asking for money. So as hard as it is to get an apprenticeship, please don't go to the worst shop in town just because they are the first ones to say yes. If it's a crappy tattoo shop then you'll just learn how to do crappy tattoos. Once you complete your apprenticeship you will be one of two things, a tattoo artist or a tattooist. There is a big difference.
A tattooist is a person that has had a formal education in the area of tattooing, but is very limited in what they can do. This is the stage where you will be caught up with the idea that doing tattoos is the same as being a rock star. Many tattooists will never pass this step.
Always know your limitations. Only do what you know you can do and nothing more. If you try a portrait and fail you will loose all reputation you may have, and this is a word of mouth business. A tattooist is a tattoo technician. Some one that knows, understands, and practices proper technique in the area of tattooing, but can only do what a client brings in. There is nothing wrong with being a tattooist. It's a strong level of professionalism. But you have to know your limitations.
Stick with what you can do, turn down what you can't.
A Tattoo Artist is some one who has had the technical training in the area of tattooing, and can do everything a tattooist can do. Although the tattoo artist can take an idea, or a basic thought, twist it, look at it in a three dimensional view, and make it a piece of living art.
In this stage you think you are a professional, the real deal. Think of it this way. A tattooist would be a person who can draw cartoons and not color over the lines. Where a tattoo artist paints the "Mona Lisa" and never had any lines to begin with.
To be a tattoo artist you must realize that your art is not on paper. It is not, nor will it ever be flat. You have to make it curve and bend to fit your client. It has to fit there body just as much as it fits there personality. To be a Tattoo artist you can not just do small pieces. You have to work hard and learn and practice. You have to earn the trust of your patrons so you can stretch your legs artistically. As an artist you will have more ideas then you can pronounce, but you must not push your ideas on your patrons.
Only suggest them and let your patron decide. If you take an idea and push it on your client then in the end they will end up getting work they don't really want. Every custom piece you should presented as two or three ideas, all from completely different points of view and different styles.
Your goal needs to be not to tell them what to get, but to present them with enough ideas that they can be just as much a part of the process as you. Most people when they want a piece of art not flash standard tattoo designs they have no vision of what they want. They come to you for the vision. They come to you so you can make it real. Sometimes it's hard to remember they are not an artist like you.
Suggest, not decide for them. The fact is that the difference of a tattooist and a tattoo artist is a state of mind and creativity. You have to crawl before you can walk, and you can not rush into this change. It occurs with time. This is where you need to stop concerning yourself with studying flash and learning what real art is about.
I strongly suggest taking up traditional painting. Study Rembrandt, DaVinci, and Monet. They are the backbone to real art. The Next type I would like to talk about is the pretend Tattoo artist. What I call "Candy Artists". We live in a day and age where everything under the sun that can sell in a commercial is put on TV. Now days we see Tattoo "shows" on television. This, I think, and most real Artist will agree, is making fun of an industry we have worked hard to get our foot into.
These shows do nothing but teach the wrong way to do everything. They are a learning tool of what not to do. These shows are based on ratings and nothing else.
Don't think that what you see on TV is in anyway what a real shop is like. Thanks to these shows every kid in America is making his or her own home-made machine and screwing up his or her friends.
Now everyone thinks they are a tattoo artist. If you see a TV show with people shooting each other do you shoot your friends? Then why tattoo on them? These shows are hurting tattooed America more than they could ever help. The only thing good they are doing is showing more people tattoos that might not otherwise see them, thus removing some of the stigma surrounding tattooing.
What are the negative effects? Everyone wants to give any one a tattoo; instead they just pass out free hepatitis. People come into real tattoo shops for the first time expecting to find what they see on TV and feel overwhelmed when they need to be relaxed and think about what they are getting. These Shows tell the public incorrect tattoo aftercare, which will cause them to ruin their hard earned tattoos.
Adults are letting their twelve and thirteen year old kids get tattoos that they will later regret because they saw it on TV.
Tattooing is the last true traditional, untouched, and un- corporate form of art that the world has left and it is being destroyed. The Tattoo artist is a dying breed now. People want to tattoo so they can get on TV.
Tattoo artists will not be rich. We do it for the art, if you want to do it for the money then go home, because the real artists are laughing at you. Something no one seems to understand is that these shows are scripted, just like old reruns of "Matlock".
A certain artist went on one of these shows to be a guest artist and they tapped him saying hello six times. It is a show. This is not "MacGyver". He cannot make a CD player out of a pocket knife, a piece of wire, a coconut, and a toothpick.
Just like someone holding a tattoo machine on TV is not an artist. If you actually go to them to get tattooed then you should know a few things.
I personally have a friend that got a tattoo by them. At any other shop in the world the highest price for a four letter word with no color and letters one inch by one inch tall should be ranging from fifty to seventy-five dollars. My friend paid two-hundred and fifty dollars. Now you tell me where there priorities lay.
I actually use these shows as a teaching tool. Every time one comes on, my apprentices have to watch it and make a list of all the things they do wrong. Not just the small stuff, but the things that my local health department would shut me down for. Here are a few of many.
This means that they just put blood on the ink supply that everyone uses.
If that person had a disease then everyone that will have a tattoo from that bottle will have the same disease, and bottles last a long time. Another one is they never remember to clean the clip cord, the wire that gives power to the machine. This means that again they are spreading disease. They also ware black latex gloves because they look cool. Black gloves means you can't see blood, or holes in the gloves.
They don't know if they are giving them selves a disease. The last I will mention of many, many more, Is speed stick deodorant. They use speed stick deodorant to apply there carbon pattern to there clients skin. This means that any disease that a person might have is absorbed into this stick and applied with the pattern on the next client. With the stroke of a single deodorant stick you can give someone six or more different diseases at a time!
Not only are they spreading disease, but there doing so in mass quantities. This is the land of television. Your watching some one get a tattoo by moneygrubbers and there getting away with things no one else is doing, but your also watching them give disease to all these people that could very well pass it on to there children.
Just say no to fake, joke, money-grubbing "tattooers", that wouldn't even give you the time of day for two hundred dollars. After all the glimmer and the spot light of being a tattoo artist fades and you age into your profession you will be on your way to becoming the most sought after type of artist, a Tattoo Master.
If a true tattoo artist can paint the "Mona Lisa", then the master can paint the "Last Supper" blind, and on the head of a nail. Eventually the idea of being a tattoo artist will become dull, and the rock star point of view will make you laugh at the thought that you use to see it this way.
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Doing tattoos, being a professional artist will make you a popular person sure. After time the life a "Tattoo Guy" will grow old, the bars will get boring and all the friends you've made are just asking for free work. Then you will see the only thing that matters when you go home at night is your own feeling of pride and accomplishment.
To be a true master is almost a state of Zen, a feeling of nirvana, perfect.
The Tattoo Artists Black Book
When we first think about tattoos we want to be the one everyone talks to at the party. We want to stand out in the crowd, and we want everyone to know our name. The only way to achieve such "greatness" is to change your entire life to surround your art.
To truly be good at what you want to do is dedication and sacrifice. There are a few rules that if you can not do then you need to turn around and find a new career. No drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol will make your hands shake. You take more to get them to stop shaking; you don't take them you shake worse. You have to be clear minded. It's a reminder of what keeps you steady.
Sometimes animal tattoos are about taking on its traits. Yet he was also determined to beat them at their own game. Jerry's dragon tattoos, clearly Asian in nature, embody these conflicting attitudes. He loved its beauty and exoticism and that it was as far away as he could get from a world he increasingly viewed as a screwed-up place, devoid of honor and conviction.
From his legendary hula girl to more scenic pieces, his Hawaii tattoos reflected his sense of the islands as a kind of paradise on earth. One where buddies can save your life and one decision can determine your fate.
This intensity breeds an appetite for ink, for tattoos that commemorate a fallen comrade, that link a man to his platoon, flight crew, or ship Unlike panthers, which are usually depicted in mid-action, snakes are typically shown coiled and ready to strike, representing a don't-tread-on-me sensibility, thus warding off evil, misfortune and potential brawls. Sailor Jerry's favorite snake to ink was a King Cobra.
Sailor Jerry's panther tattoos are particularly ferocious and masculine — drawn with red, often bloody claws, open jaws and occasionally in the company of a naked woman who, for some reason, Jerry always made a redhead.
Sailor Jerry's Lucky 13 motif is probably the most famous set of tattoo designs that flip a bad luck symbol on its head. The series showcases Jerry's iconic design sense along with his sense of humor. For Sailor Jerry, as a patriot who was acutely aware of and vocal about the shortcomings of his country, the Eagle was a symbol of his idealized America. A country that stands with the courage of its convictions and backs down for no one. Jerry's eagle tattoos are fierce and iconic, often depicted in association with the flag.
Pin-up Girl Tattoos Pin-up girls represent the ideal and extremes of femininity — from maidenly perfection to vixen-ish temptation. The woman inked on a sailor's arm would be the only feminine form he would see for months. Applying his bold, refined style to the pin-up, Sailor Jerry created what could be argued as the world's most iconic pin-up tattoos. Ship Tattoos For a sailor, ships are both practical and metaphorical.
It's where you go for work — but also for meaning and adventure.In tattooing this spot will be wider than any where else. Lets Do It Suggest, not decide for them. They help to achieve a smoother shade, while I prefer the sewing type for lining. Do custom work once. Other times, they read "Mom" or featured the name of a special girl.
This frame has a standard screw operated chuck. If you can't reach an area then stop, move your hand, and continue.