Friday, March 11, 2011

Triumph of Life.

I've been painting because I got some cheap frames that I wanted to fill.

Collective Bargaining.

I went with my mom to Madison and we marched together for workers rights. She just retired last year from her job as a High School Attendance Officer and School Social Worker, not only that but she was vice president and president of the Kenosha Educators Association which was the union that represented teachers within the Kenosha Unified School District. On top of that my father is also a union carpenter and has been for most of his life. Not to mention before I was a tattooer I was a union news paper press operator. It was really awesome to be a part of standing up for workers in my home state.

Although I haven't worked a presort press in many, many years I grew up working class and the majority of my clientele is working class. So when things are going bad for them, things are going bad for me. I also think it's important to speak out when something wrong is going on (not just post on facebook about it).

It's sad that you can have protests for weeks at a time where 70,000 people will be there on any given day and that isn't considered relevant to politicians in America. If democracy is supposed to be the rule of the people for the people then why are they still trying to take away the workers voice? I could see if there was an equally large protest for the bill but there hasn't been. Aren't these representatives supposed to be looking for the interests of the people they represent? They aren't even trying to hide the fact that they are in the pockets of banks and corporations anymore. It's time for a change.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Dan Higgs and blue collar tattooing.

My friend Bryan hipped me to this youtube video of Dan Higgs and Freddie Corbin from the 90's when they worked at probably the first totally custom shop in the western hemisphere, Realistic Tattoo. Which I guess was one of Ed Hardy's shops. It's cool to see how far custom tattooing has come in such a short time, probably less than 20 years. You go from a brand new concept that kind of threw tattooers and customers for a loop to something that is almost expected of a tattoo shop. A lot of the customers that I come across tend to think that picking something off of the wall is lame or not what tattooing is about, to which I always have to point out that the designs are some of the best and drawn for actual tattooing and really what's better in the end picking out a design of a sheet of flash done by a tattooer or going on google image search and picking a tattoo design?

The coolest remarks that were made in this entire video were made by Dan Higgs on this subject. I agree with his thoughts on how doing some tattoos that might be considered low brow to actually be the essence of what tattooing, especially tattooing in America, is. There's a few conflicting modes of thought that all stem from this argument, some tattooers think that doing a Taz tattoo is beneath them, some tattooers do them because they think it's ironic (perfect for the climate of hipsterism we live in now), and some tattooers have no problem tattooing flash at all, but they only will tattoo flash from a certain time period or in a certain style and they feel that the rest of tattooing's history and developmental stages are unworthy of their attention.

My take on all of this is this, you're a tattooer and being a tattooer is awesome and important, but not as important as doing what the customer wants and doing as good of a job on it as you possibly can. In current tattooing it seems as if there's an attitude of superiority of tattooers over customers and I know that the customers can tell. Continuing on with this attitude is probably going to be one of the things that brings a low point in tattooing faster and it will definitely burn a lot of bridges with the public. It isn't hard to be pleasant and do a good job, if anything it's the bare minimum. It's funny because I think that the beginning of this attitude might have come from the flourishing of "Custom Tattoo Studios" and it's cool to see that there was a sort of opposing voice even at the very beginning.