I am a new tattoo artist. I was quite excited about my career venture because I thought I’d be kicking it old school with a bunch of hardcore dudes in the shop. Besides the sleeved shop girls, most of my clients are young college girls opting for dandelions and feather tattoos.
What is up with this lame trend in the tattoo industry? Has it really changed? I’m sick of seeing unicorns and rainbow hair. Where are all the deathcore tattoos, and show me some skin while you’re at it?
Will the industry always be this sickening “sweet”? Maybe I should throw away my tattoo machine and become a hairdresser. It probably pays more.- Signed, Innocent Tattoos Suck
Dear Innocent Tattoos Suck,
You have entered a changing world.
No, the industry isn’t really different, but the amount of people wearing tattoos has grown considerably. With that includes a higher percentage of women that breaks history. Yes, this means girly tattoos are on the rise. Why? Because women have realized how to define themselves as THEY see fit.
It’s like this: Tattoos have always been popular, and as women began to wear them, they sort of dove in headfirst, go big or go home, to cut thru all that sexist red tape. Now that women are the leading consumers in the industry, they no longer feel the need to “suit” up and impress the men who also rock tattoos.
There will always be women who wear head-to-toe body art; that is the style they have adopted and feel best in. But women as a whole do not need a complete body of ink to “fit in” to a niche club anymore. Why? Because it’s not a club. As society continues to become open-minded, we’ve learned to support each other’s religious views, political opinions, and same-sex relationships, even if they are different than our own.
We’ve also stopped judging and categorizing people based on looks and such. Hallelujah, right?
If you fancied art and went to gallery shows, would you be offended by the “collector” who insinuated you do not belong there because your walls at home are not graced with fine art? Of course, you would be. Maybe you read art magazines and study books and just enjoy the view.
Just because some gals (or men for that matter) opt for sparse or small designs doesn’t make them any less interested in tattoos, or “hardcore,” for that matter. They are perhaps just envisioning a future that lacks a tattoo commitment, or even their budget prohibits the artist they admire most. Some just want a Picasso.
Judge not, lest ye be judged. Instead, be thankful for the cash, and try to add a signature style to your art by working on your skills and technique instead of complaining. Stop being a Debbie Downer. Play with colors and become a true artist. After all, a true artist would never complain about a blank canvas and remember one extra brushstroke can ruin a painting.
You can get inspired by the new wave in the industry by reading the links I have included below. Oh, and be happy you got some chicks in your chair!
Should you decide being a hairdresser may be more lucrative and fulfilling, you can read my Hair Stylist Tattoo Designs and ink yourself some fabulous shears before packing up that machine. Either way, you also work for tips, so keep that negativity to yourself and be grateful for the opportunity to hone your craft.