No Shortcuts in Evolution
Hello all you tattoo lovers out there! Today I just wanted to have a little check in with ya all to give an update of my status as an artist and apprentice. Evolution is key and progression is imperative. I’m nearing in on my one-year mark and have learned so much. I have realized that, as with most all the paths that I have chosen in life, it usually takes about one year to really set a learned behavior into an automatic routine. I am starting to feel more confident about the job requirements at the studio and have grown so much as an artist.
I’m sure most of you tattoo artist out there already know this, but it takes more than just being a good artist to really become a great tattoo artist. Aside from learning how to manage a tattoo machine, you need to figure out what kind of art work is tattooable. My back ground is in fine art, not exactly the easiest transition into tattoo artistry to say the least. But, I feel like I am slowly learning what works and what will go terribly wrong. After hours and hours of practice drawing on paper and then working with my machine, I am finally starting to be able to create a design, make it into a stencil, then lay down an acceptable work on a piece of practice skin. Truth be told, my speed could use a little work. Scott Glazier would attest to that. But, all good things come with time.
Along with all the complexities of learning how to design, I have also become stronger physically as well. The inevitable truth is that, to really be a strong tattoo artist, you need to have a very strong hand. It’s just like going to the gym. The more you can practice with the machine, the stronger your hand will become and the more agile you will be at handling your tattoo machine. My right-hand aches, gets tired, and is almost always swollen these days. I usually joke that I am destined to have only one buff right hand. But I can look back at my beginning tattoos and see how my lines are just naturally straighter and far less shaky.
As things naturally become easier I find that I can trust myself more and am much more self-assured as I forge ahead. Something that’s also kinda cool, I can now tell by the sound of the machine if something is a little off. I love learning and I love recognizing improvement within myself. It’s interesting how you never really see the evolution until after the full embodiment of the change. You can’t take a shortcut when hoping to evolve. That being said, I know I still have so much more to learn. Over the next couple months, I will be starting to tattoo my first few beginning clients. Jane Cho says it the best, “thank you for the trust.” I thank these people for having trust in me and wanting to voluntarily be a part of this beginning stage. I will keep you all updated as these first tattoos come to fruition. Wish me luck!
“Every now and then a man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.-