The name of my blog is pretty misleading. “Trying To Be a Tattoo Artist and Other Stories” ? It should just be called “Other Stories”, being that I hardly ever write about trying to get a tattoo apprenticeship. It’s really hard to have adventures trying to get an apprenticeship when I can’t even apply for any until I have enough money saved to survive on full time work without pay. Often it feels like I’ll never get there, what with the convolution of the industry, suddenly every hipster and their dog is a tattoo artist or apprentice, and there are hundreds of people in each city wanting to break into the industry. Then you get industry peeps like Kian Forreal writing articles about how tattooing needs to be protected from outsiders, and how annoying it is that people want to get apprenticeships and how everyone that isn’t already a tattoo artist is a big fucking try-hard joke. Does it not seem feasible that there might be still people out there that want it so badly, for their passion is so great that they can’t imagine doing anything different with their lives?
The problem is that with the mainstream popularity of tattoos, (don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing for it creates more seats in studios and therefore more openings for apprentices) many respected tattoo artists are extremely wary of dreamers/newcomers, and can sometimes assume we are all idiots that just want to be a tattoo artist to be cool, or for reasons linked to reality shows, or because they think they will make big bank. Fuck man, I would still tattoo even if I only made $8 an hour.
So I’m lamenting my feelings of futility and desperation as I realise I am just another one of the hundreds of people out there that want an apprenticeship. I believe I have the ability artistically and creatively. I believe I have the right attitude and willingness to put everything into this, and that attitude can often go much further than a portfolio when it comes to getting your foot in the door. I believe I need to continue drawing all the time and focus on a portfolio heavy with drawings. I believe I have the maturity, adaptability and life experience to become a really focused tattoo artist that can have excellent bonds with fellow artists, teachers, and clients.
I also believe that there are plenty of people out there just like me, who can draw better, who look better and who have a million BFFs in the industry that can open those doors for them. I’ve never been “outstanding” at anything. I’ve never been associated with a skill or activity that defines me to people. I’ve never been “the Musical one”, “the Sporty one”, “the Attractive one”, “the Artist”, “the Genius”, “the Whatever”. I’ve just never had a thing– and it eats away at me, not being able to shake that niggly feeling that I’ll never be quite good enough to be taken seriously.
I realise this sounds like a big self-pity party, so I apologise for that – it feels good to get my frustrations out though. I am now going to discuss things that I should feel guilty about, but just plain don’t.
1. Not caring about what’s going to happen to the environment after I die. This is a big one, and I’m sure many people will think I’m a horrible person, but the way I see it, we kind of deserve it. This is a shitty capitalist world that has overpopulated itself and convoluted itself with unnecessary crap, and been ungrateful for everything along the way. I don’t intend on breeding because we don’t need any more people, and I’m sure that this is why I don’t care – because after I’m gone, I won’t have any descendants, so it’s not as if I need to worry about their futures.
2. Loving the following albums: Offspring’s Americana, Green Day’s American Idiot. These bands did not sell out until AFTER these albums imho. Do with that what you will, cos I ain’t guilty.
3. Not wanting to go on a holiday with a big group of friends. I take holidays to RELAX and GET AWAY from people, not stress myself out by wasting my peaceful time trying to fit a bunch of crap into a schedule to appease everyone else. Fuck that noise.
4. Having some bad tattoos that need covering. I’ll get around to it soon, thank you very much!
5. Staying at home more weekends than most people my age – why do people feel it so necessary to always have “plans” for the weekend? Again this is me being a self-satisfied loner, but I do kind of hate when people look at me with a mixture of confusion and pity when I don’t have exciting weekend plans or stories to share.
8. Not having any “assets” … I’m nearly 27 and I have absolutely nothing to my name apart from a maxed out credit card and a student loan for a degree I haven’t used. I used to feel quite guilty about this, particularly becuase my older brother has his shit sorted like a boss (2 houses, a great job, a stunning wife and a pool room, thank yoiye)…. but now I’m just like “ah take it or leave it”. I’m quite sure by now that my lifestyle is never going to be a conventional one. Marriage, kids and an office job future is just not on my radar. I’m not even sure I’ll ever get around to owning my own house, as the property market scares the hell out of me and because I now refuse to become financially linked to anyone else, it’s pretty impossible that I’ll ever be able to afford this on a single income anyway. I just refuse to spend any more energy feeling guilt or anguish over this.
9. Ordering drinks of time-consuming preparation. If its on your menu and you are standing behind a bar looking like an employee, then this is your job. If I’m friendly and not a rude bitch like many other customers, then please do what you are being paid to do and make the damn drink.
10. Having split ends and not having been to a hairdressers for a haircut in about 8 years. Nobody actually notices other peoples split ends because they are too focused on themselves. Also, why pay someone $100 for a cut I can do myself and moreover, the exact way I want it? I know I don’t cut my hair “properly”, but who gives a shit? It looks good. Everyone should get the fuck over it!
11. Not being interested in other people’s kids or babies, even if said person is a friend. Guys please – I do not give a shit what your kid did that was sooooo cute or funny. I especially don’t care if your kid has a cold or a chest infection or whatever. You have been hidden in my status update feed. Don’t take this personally please – I love you, I just DO NOT CARE IF YOUR KID LAUGHED OR GOT THE HICCUPS.
12. Drinking to get drunk. Anyone who says they drink because they enjoy the taste is a huge liar. Of course everyone drinks to feel the effects of alcohol. Otherwise there would be beer and wine flavoured soft drink – but there isn’t, because nobody would drink it if there wasn’t any goddamn alcohol content.
So gang, I’m off to bed now, thanks for listening to my bitching and whining dribble, I sincerely promise more interesting and funny posts over the next week because this one fell short of the usual standard in my opinion!
Love Chelle xoxooxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxox