turbosatan;32005 wrote:

    And this is also after i suggested an alternative forum where he would be able to ask questions about doing tattoo’s??

    You think i could get the name of that forum? I tattoo but never did an apprenticeship so i still need help on stuff


    sure its the forum run by the member outlaw



    Hi all,

    I just registered and this is my first post.. figured i should start with a bang in a controversial convestation. My fav by default ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ll start with a little background
    I have worked in and around tattoo shops off and on in the past.. I have researched on by own.. a ton of info right down to medical and anatomy ect about tattoos and piercing. Learned a lot along the way.. granted that was a few years ago ( Life got in the the way and i dropped it for a while) So i am finding myself re researching all the stuff i used to know and trying to learn the new stuff out there..
    I currently own a business doing temporary body art .. airbrush tats, face painting and henna. (keeps me in my body art, with out the chances of permanent damage)

    With that said.. back in the day and now even it seems that the tattoo community continues to have this holier than thou attitude towards people that are trying to learn a craft that they are interested in..

    I hear terms thrown around like scratcher and such, read more then get confused about what it means vs how people use the terms..

    For instance my definition of a scratcher would be the whole “walkman motor and guitar string needle”thing for the extremes.. and like someone said.. someone buying a kit from ebay and starting to tattoo people with it..

    Here is the catch though for me..i don’t think thati needs to be “your only a valid tattoos artist if you had to beg. plead and harass local artist for an apprentiship.. And waste 2-3-4 years of pounding the pavement trying to get (again from some of the holier than thou ones) to help you.

    Yes i agree that there a bunch of people that try to get into it for various different reasons and ways and as such ultimately fail.. Here is the catch tho. The more that the good artists, shun people trying to get valid info and opinions,, the more “scratchers,, and potentially dangerous ones” are going to arise and end up hurting people.. Some that are just idiots and are going to do it regardless of what advised they are given.. But some that could be really good, but get lost and frusterated at the lack of any assistance within the community. If they have no local shops or only 1 and they dont apprentice . Some people don’t have the means to do it “the right way” which again.. as long as your are careful and educated, i don’t think there is a single right way to do it..

    I myself am likely going to buy a kit.. maybe from ebay maybe not (*ducks from the backlash a comin)
    But in saying that… i would never use it on actual people. i jsut want to get the feel for it and practise a bit to see if i will be confortable expanding to permanant tattoos rather than just temp ones..

    I read that people need to do thier own research.. well thats why they are joining these forums.. this is part of thier research..The knowledge of professionals is priceless when trying to learn.. for instance,, i know a shops needs an ultra sonic for cleaning, Until last year i did not know there are different kinds. I bought one to clean my airbrushes and seems its a piece of crap.. its still dirty and full of paint..So how does one figure out what specs one of these things should be to properly clean tattoo equipment, unless someone that knows is willing to point them in the right direction..

    Had i not tested it on my airbrush stuff, i may not have known its not good enough for tat equipment and used it for that as well in the future.. which would have been bad..

    Not saying that i grabbing a bunch of random stuff and opening a shop any time soon.. but just givin examples of how.. in some instances, no helping, could end up hurting.

    Just my 2 cents ๐Ÿ™‚


    the forum rules are that there is no unlicensed tattoo discussions allowed, there is the option that people can join up at outlawtattoo where it is permitted ๐Ÿ˜‰


    Hi Sinaz and welcome to the forum.

    (Before I start I am not an artist or staff member I am just an enthuiast)

    I read the whole thread with interest and figured why not put forth my tuppence worth. ๐Ÿ˜€
    You raised many interesting points and valid questions.

    The main issue is that this forum does not allow unlicensed tattoo discussion. What I find odd is why ppl have difficulty with that.

    For example – Say I own a webiste on fine art paintings. I specifically state I do not want any discussion of Monet or his work. I would bet money that ppl would raise the question why and/or try and discuss Monet. This is despite the fact if you Google Monet there will be dozens of pages, forums, groups dedicated to him.

    It is the same with tattooing techniques – Outlaw has forum for it and there are at least 6 I could name which have info. Then there is the youtube videos etc.

    Finding the information is simply not hard with the internet.

    Whilst I agree that not every tattoo artist needs to be apprenticed to be an artist – they do need to learn the ropes of hygiene, BBP’s, sterilisation and contaminated sharps handling as well as being able to actually draw.

    Many simply think picking up a machine/gun and some ink is enough. The issue of the ‘scratcher’ tag has moved on with the times. With the availability of easily obtained equipment it is more down to the lack of the above that earns the name ‘scratcher’ over the homemade wire and motor of 20 years back.

    ‘Holier than thou’ – yes some artists may have this but that is like any group of ppl you have good and bad.

    The way to look at it is like this – I spent 5 years and 18 exams to become a senior fraud investigator. I have covered several areas of law, psychology, interviewing ad nauseaum.

    If some newcomer came along slapped a badge on and said hey I am a fraud investigator with no qualifications I would frankly laugh in their face.

    Many tattoo artists feel the same way – you work hard to get somewhere (apprenticed or self taught) and follow everything to the rule you may want to put a newcomer through their paces.

    I fuck up = loss of money.

    Tattooist fucks up = serious health problems for customer or death.

    You are correct people need to do their own research.

    That said ppl need to be able to identify the correct sources for their research and evaluate what is worth what.

    I have spent around 700 hours researching tattooing as a hobby – nobody put it all on a plate and said there you go. It was something you do by gaining mutial repsect and confidence of your peers.

    Since knowledge is power – you have to be careful it is going to the right person and will be used safely and correctly. (In any subject)

    If somebody is serious on a topic they will not let a little hard work set them back as there is a wealth of information in forums books medical articles – simple fact is many cannot be arsed to look.

    I love your passion but just giving the flip side of the argument.

    Take Care


    i do still plan to provide some guidelines re health issues etc which people can use as a basis.

    I certainly dont want to just say sod off to people who then go on to try and tattoo someone and hurt the customer etc.

    what i want to achieve is a professional site which encourages people to do things in a professional manner. i agree that not every tattooist will have to have an apprenticeship to become a master and many of todays tattooists are self taught.

    but you can understand that there is no real cvlear cut way to iron out who is who.

    the only choice we really had is to say either all discussions go or none when iot came to tattooing. we dont have the time to manage all discussions on a oen by one basis.

    I will be adding as much detail re good practices on how to use autoclaves ultrasounds etc over the coming months but we do need to stand by our policy to discourage people from trying to tattoo without appropriate training and health certification. currently stoppiong discussions is the only way.

    And as sherav has said above there are so many available resources out there regarding how to tattoo i am sure you wont go wanting.


    Okay, I’ve read the whole thread. I’m new to this forum, only posted once before in the introduce yerself spot. Don’t care to join in the debate. Where do I fax the stupid license, so I can post in this other place, wherever it is?




    Okay…blast it…can’t help myself. There’s always two sides to any story. From the shop side, anyone who does not work out of a shop is a scratcher…period. From the home tattooist side, anyone who is an accomplished artist and who works sterile and responsibly desreves to be acknlowledged as an artist. From the shop side, we worked long and hard and made many sacrifices to get the recognition we have and now everyone with half an ounce of talent buys a gun and claims what we bled sweat and tears for, and from the house tattooists side, the end result is where the proof is. Many so-called scratchers put out better art than you find in a shop, so that’s final.

    Add to that the complication that in…say…Texas you can’t legally tattoo without a health license and that can’t be given to a residential building, but in say…Michigan you can legally tattoo out of your basement (Texas doesn’t even have basements), and add the further complication that in other countries you don’t have to have a license at all and all the water seems to get muddied up pretty bad.

    So what exactly does it come down to? Its all good for the artist in the studio to down the one outside of it, but who really defines what a “scratcher” is?

    Remember, there is always someone better than you, and if his skill level surpasses yours, he gets the right to decide if you are a scratcher or not. Be careful how you judge lest you be judged by the same standards.


    All good points there, my definition of a scratcher is the following

    1. Someone who cant tattoo for shit
    2. Someone who knows nothing about sterilization, cc bbp’s etc.
    3. Someone who doesnt give a shit who he or she tattoos, eg: age of person, place on body

    and the list could go on…….
    We dont need licenses here in NZ yet different towns have different bylaws, in my particular town, there’s no rules whatsoever, which is very bad indeed and ive rung the local council to complain, they dont give a shit, i asked them to come and check our studio out, and could we have a certificate of our hygiene standards like say food outlets….the answer was NO, so i said ” So you dont give a flying fuck if i dont sterilize anything and use the same needles and infect the town with god knows what?” the answer was well “Hmmmm” we’ve based our studio on one of the cities bylaws, so we have strict hygiene and safety standards. I’m a tattooist, but no license, i own a shop, but no license.


    Look, who’s a scratcher and who ain’t is pretty damn simple.

    Does your art work suck?

    Do you give people arm herpes due to you being an idiot and not following proper sterilization techniques?

    If you answered yes to either (or if either’s true and you’re just a damn dirty English liar) then you’re a scratcher.

    The thing is, while there are some truly god awful shops out there filled with scratchers posing as skilled artists, 99% of those who work out of their basements are scratchers. Izzy and Outlaw are good at what they do–good for them. It doesn’t change the fact that if I went out into Cincinnati’s Over the Rhine area and let some ghetto rat give me ink that the blacks would be bluish, the lines crooked, and have a better than even chance of getting arm herpes or a blood borne disease.

    The difference between Izzy/Outlaw and a scratcher is the same difference between a scratcher and someone who’s been apprenticed: they shed their blood, sweat, and tears in order to get good at what they do, to become artists.

    Scratchers just pick their guns up off ebay and go to work.

    I think what annoys me most about scratchers is how online they give so many fucking excuses. I don’t have time to apprentice! It’s hard to get someone to apprentice me! I don’t have time to research, I have a family to support!

    Then you don’t have time to be a tattoo artist mother fucker.

    As for being hard to get apprenticed, that’s grade A bullshit. Everyone here knows I’m something of an asshole on the forum. In real life, though, I’m worse. If it wasn’t for the fact I’m a very large man, I’d most likely get my ass handed to me on a regular basis. Yet I know several artists who have offered to apprentice me, attitude problem and all, due to the fact that I want to learn, constantly ask them questions, and have a genuine passion for tattooing. The only reason I am not apprenticed yet is because I decided to go to art school first because I honestly believe that it’s beneficial to any artist to have classical training to give him or her a foundation to build their own art upon.

    What people really mean when they say it’s hard to get apprenticed is that it’s too hard to hit the pavement, meet people, and build the kind of relationships you require to get the things you want, including apprenticeship. No, it’s much easier to buy a gun off ebay, call yourself an artist, and start hacking away at some poor slob too stupid to realize you’re doing an arm piece for them for $30 because you have no fucking idea what you’re doing, and then get self-righteous on the web when someone calls you on it.

    Tattoos, both giving and getting, is a passion, a life style, a part of who you are. It’s why we get pissed when some blonde brainless bimbo gets a dime sized star on her foot. It’s a fashion accessory to her, a meaningless show of how “bad” she is to her sorority sisters. She doesn’t understand what it means to those of us who are serious, who realize our ink in some fashion helps define who we are.

    Scratchers are the ultimate form of this. They so disrespect what tattooing is and what it means that they only see how so many people perceive tattoo artists as rock stars and want to skip right to that without paying their dues first.

    And the fact that they give people hepatitis sucks too.

    Love. Peace. Metallica.


    Hey Knighthawk

    You holding it all in again?


    As for the dirty English liars – that is just pillow talk and you should never believe what we whisper in your ear.

    Seriously though I agree with what you are saying – there is no excuse not to learn how to do a job properly especially if it involves BBP’s.

    You love something you master it – if it takes 5-10 years to do that so what.

    When I started my research i figured that this would be a piece of piss to do how hard can it be? Well 200 hours in I was like ok maybe I was a bit arrogant – 700 hours in I was like ok I knew shit all about the subject and owe some respect to those artists that do master their craft.

    Glad to see the pox hasn’t quite rotted you through just yet Knighty ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Take Care


    Bah, a pox on your pox Lord Hull. You know ole Big Knickers’ crabs has the herpes, and the herpes ‘as the AIDS. Her various pox, plagues, and maladies are such that theys be too busy fighting the other to give her any trouble.

    But speaking of such, ole Big Knickers learned long ago not to trust you English. Only stick the tip in indeed.

    Love. Peace. Metallica.


    Jeez where you been KH? I’ve missed your foul mouth lol

    KnightHawk;42465 wrote:
    It’s why we get pissed when some blonde brainless bimbo gets a dime sized star on her foot. It’s a fashion accessory to her, a meaningless show of how “bad” she is to her sorority sisters. She doesn’t understand what it means to those of us who are serious, who realize our ink in some fashion helps define who we are.

    Fuckin A’, too true!

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