I am working on getting my very first tattoo and am still learning a lot about tattoos in general.
I have heard the term “scratcher” or “scratchers” used before, but have no idea what they are!
Was hoping someone could clear this term up for me…What is it? 😀
The definition kinda varies but as a generalization Scratchers, or Kitchen Magicians, are people who do not apprentice themselves to licensed tattooists to learn, work out of their own homes, have little or no understanding of blood-borne pathogens and the proper methods of keeping themselves and their clients safe from disease. They are usually much cheaper than going to a ‘real’ artist and you never know if you might walk out of there with Hep-C or something. The quality of their work is lacking since they haven’t had the proper training, and are generally very much disliked by ‘real’ tattooists and fans of the tattoo trade alike. The word Scratcher, as you might imagine, is a very derogatory word.
scratchers are the scum of the earth in the tattoo world. they often use inferior products, machines and pigments bought off of ebay, needles made out of guitar stings, etc… and they try and tattoo people with that crap. the combination of shitty equipment and lack of training makes the outcome of their work both horrid to look at and dangerous because of possible diseases.
if you see or hear of anyone going to an “artists” house for a tattoo and he does it for “really cheap”…. thats usually a scratcher, and you should strongly suggest they go to a REAL artist for the work.
AH! Okay! That makes a lot of sense. lol I have yet to get my first tattoo, and am slowly learning the language of the tattoo world.
glad we could shed some light on the subject for ya 🙂
Granted a lot of people who work out of their homes are shit and potentially dangerous but I was in a licensed shop that was rinsing off needles and using them more than once so you need to research your shop just as thoroughly as you would a scratcher.
I think a lot of ‘scratchers’ have a bad rep that is often unwarrented. A lot of them are perfectly educated on tattoos and safety and hygine etc but just can’t get an apprenticeship for whatever reason. However, some are VERY unsafe and will give you a shit tatoo. The choice is yours at the end of the day.
Actually, I disagree with that. A scratches is ALWAYS someone who is crap. People like Izarrasink for instance, who work out of their home and do not run a shop and are FUCKING AWESOME at what they do, are not and can never be called scratchers. Just…. license-challenged? :p
98% of the “professional” tattoo industry is filled with sub-par artists learning bad habits from other sub-par artists. I personally don’t like the term “scratcher” any more than I like the term “nigger.” It is a negative label that embodies judgement, discrimination, and bigotry, and lumps a group of people into one generalization; usually only to make the judging party seem better than what it is. I have entered many tattoo shops just to turn around and walk right back out after seeing the working conditions, and they call themselves up to “OSHA standards.” What a joke. Sometimes I think my toilet is a more sanitary work surface than a LOT of these “professional” tattoo work stations. I have also seen tattoos that I’ve been immensly impressed with, and when I ask where it was done, they say, “Outta some guy’s house.” And this is an artist that is termed “scratcher” from these sub-par filthy shops that refused him an apprenticeship in the first place (which was probably for the better)!
Point is: Anyone can go online and study the OSHA standards. Common sense goes a long way, and if the heart is in the right place, a true artist is going to put as much care and consciousness into his surroundings and his client as he is his art; whether or not he is in a shop.
basically anyone untrained and usually working in unsterile conditions or environments. Aside from the art and imagery of tattooing which can be very subjective, you must be very careful and ensure that your artist has proper medical knowledge on the proper procedures for dealing with blood borne pathogens. Tattooing is very serious business that should not be taken lightly and not be done by someone that does not tattoo full time for a living day in and day out(after of course being trained through a formal apprenticeship).
This is a Revolution!
This is not a spam or junk post, we are asking for your help and in return you, the industry and the tattoo community itself will benefit greatly.
Scratchers will always be around, however, there has been an increase in the number of victims being scarred, infected, lied to and straight up robbed by individuals posing to be artists. We can all agree that “You get what you pay for”, but the plague of Scratching is damaging not only to our wallet but to the image of the tattoo industry itself. To sit by and watch this plague spread throughout your local community is not only an injustice to your future and current clients but also an injustice to the tattoo artists around you that “Work” hard at the art they create.
Your action is needed and would be greatly appreciated. Since Facebook has been the #1 marketing tool as of late, A Facebook Community page has been created to help expose those in your town that might be directly effecting you or your shop/studio. It is understood that some of you may not want to directly call out a local scratcher in a public forum, however we are asking that you “Like” the page and “Share” the page with as many people in your local community as possible. The community page can be found by searching on Facebook “U can Tatoo to” and its direct link is….. http://www.facebook.com/pages/U-Can-…37351223069704
Obviously we can not be foolish and think that this will completely eliminate the issue of “Scratching” but it would be nice to make it as uncomfortable as possible to those who are damaging something that so many of us care so deeply about.
Thank you for your support!
“There are good tattoos and bad tattoos. Some people don’t give a shit what their tattoo looks like. I always felt that my whole career was going to be judged by each tattoo I did.” – Lyle Tuttle
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