February 4th, 2012 - leave a comment
Over the past year and a bit there has been a lot of what I call “politics” within the uk tattoo industry, negative hate mail posted on facebook, forums and websites about skin deep magazine and the conventions it is involved with. After a year and a half travelling working in Australia and New Zealand it is saddening to see all this going on as I didn’t experience any of this abroad, maybe its just a British thing to be bitchy and bad mouth other people within the industry you work. But the tattoo industry in the uk is in a terrible state, which I think is a lot to do with small mindedness and small town syndrome, people need to get out and see the bigger picture.
Most of the people posting this are hypocrites and I will tell you why.
These tattoo magazine’s and conventions put out tattoo talent to a huge audience, they also promote upcoming talent and introduce people to artists from all over the world they may not have heard of before, for the most part they are promoting tattooing in a positive light.
Most of the people bitching about it have been featured in the magazine and worked their conventions, in fact it was skin deep and tattoo jam where I discovered a lot of these artists myself, it appears they are happy to lay in bed with the devil when it suits them, and then once they have got what they want out of it they turn their back on it and call it a whore!
Some of their arguments are “these people only make money from tattooing” well what do you do apart from make money out of tattooing? Ok you sit in a shop and tattoo but what do you actually put back into the industry? These conventions and magazines are constantly promoting artists both established and up and coming. And its not as if they have just popped after the boom tattooing has seen in recent years, this magazine has been around for sixteen years.
You make money from tattooing to live and eat so do they.
Most of these people buy their tattoo supplies from company’s that have nothing to do with tattooing, they are not tattoo artists themselves, all they do is make money from tattooing? Yet their happy to support them by buying supplies and equipment from them.
Most of the tattoo conventions in the UK are not organised by tattoo artists? In fact most of the biggest tattoo shows in the world are not organised by tattoo artists.
There are also a lot of tattoo shops out there owned and operated by people who do not tattoo, and this is a problem you can fix, if they didn’t have artists to work for them they couldn’t stay in buisness.
This is exactly how I see it, and sadly there will always be people who want to destroy the success of others. This is not hate mail towards anybody and I am certainly not taking any sides I think people just need to get some perspective, even if you are against skin deep and their conventions if they were not doing it somebody else would be.
Also I would like to add something about the new “great British” convention, which people see as being in direct competition with the London convention. Firstly London is a huge city, seven million people live there, a country like New Zealand has four million people living in the whole country yet they have three conventions there a year, and they all do well. Secondly London is a very well established convention, which has the best artists from all over the world working it, it is quite literally the cream of the crop and has a three year waiting list for booths, it is a prestigious event that most tattoo artists in the UK cannot work, not because their not good enough, but because they are not a big enough name. It is a goal many of us strive to achieve, working this show means you are in the very small top percentage of the artists in the world. The “great British tattoo show” is giving those other artists a chance to work a show in the greatest city in the world.
Some of you may well be reading this now and thinking “well you are bias as you write for skin deep magazine” well let me tell you this, i “contribute” to the magazine, I do not get paid for my article, I am a freelance writer and have no allegiance to anybody. However for the past year I have spent my time (and money) visiting tattoo studios across Australia, New Zealand and given them some exposure and introducing them to a new audience, people who work hard within their craft putting out great tattoos deserve some recognition. I do this because these people’s work deserve to be seen, I do this because I feel it’s my way of giving something back to the industry I make a living from and I do this because I love tattooing.
people know my views, i have always been straight up with everybody and never tried to hide anything.
Seek out the truth, read the facts from both sides and make up your own mind, because there are far to many people who want to make it up for you.