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Industry Secret Revealed:

Tattoo Artists are Sensitive as Little School Girls

by JasonLambertArtist

July 29, 2005

Tattoo shops have a particular smell. A combination of soap and disinfectant that too many is overpowering. The funny thing is that after a few tattoos that smell becomes like crack and people simply can't get enough. I've had many folks tell me that they love the smell of tattoo shops, but its usually after their 3rd or 4th tattoo. It must be a Pavlovian thing, associate the joy of new ink with that greensoap smell. Unfortunately I cant smell it at all anymore, being in it 6 days a week means that my nose has filed away that combination of odors in the "ho hum" file part of my brain. Now I can only get my olfactory jollies by sniffing vinyl stickers. . . what!? You know you fucking do that too!

Dear Toodles,

I want to get my first tattoo and I saw exactly what I wanted on your
website!! I took the drawing to a local tattoo place in my town and them
seemed a little upset that I had a printout of what I wanted. Is this
insulting to artists? Do they want me to pick something from their shop?
They said they would draw it and I am scheduled to go on Saturday. I am
nervous that they are not going to do a good job.
Kristen in Sarasota FL

Well Kristen I canít be 100% sure not knowing the artist personally, but I do believe you might have bumped into what we like to call, THE ARTISTIC TEMPERAMENT. (It has to be in all capitals or it gets upset...) Anyway the Artistic Temperament is a little known secret about tattooing. Itís like this, almost every single one of us big, hairy; death metal-listening, skull-shirt-wearing, naked lady-tattoo sporting tattooers are really, deep down inside, sensitive little schoolgirls. We take offense at the slightest perceived insult and more than one tattooer has quit a shop because he couldnít hear his CD when he wanted to!
Of course the benefit to this is that artistic types make damn good tattoos, but you need to handle our fragile, giant egos (its kind of like a 30 foot wide balloon made of tissue paper) with care.
However, if the artist in question simply wont do what you want for YOUR tattoo. You can, and should go find one who will. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go cry in my room while listening to emo. *snif*

Dear Toodles,



Typing in all capitals is rather ass-ish you know . . . oh wait. . You ARE Ashish. My Bad.
So you want to learn my body tattoo eh? Well many have tried but without dinner and a movie you donít ever get to see "lilí toodles". What I want to know is how you found out about my secret genital tattoo!? That was just supposed to be between me, the artist, and my 7000 friends!? Is there no such thing as PRIVACY anymore!!!!?

Dear Toodles,

i have a large tattoo on my lower back. I got it done a year ago with a
guitar string and a homemade gun. It looks ok, but could be a lot better. I
have no ideas for how I want it to look. If I send you athe stencil of it
could you color it in for me and I'll get it done!

Sorry, Jenward, Id love to color it in for you, but all out of rusty guitar strings and I already burnt up all my red checkers making ink for "sweetpea" in cellblock-D. I will give you some advice though, never looks "Killa-G" directly in the eyes or its shiv-time for you in the showers. . . .
As much as Id like to help you, Iím not sure the penitentiary would allow me in there to tattoo you.
Whatís that you say? Youíre not IN prison?
Hmm so why would you allow yourself to be tattooed with a jail-house rig in such an unsafe, unsanitary manner?
Give us a call when your parole and/or common sense comes through.

Dear Toodles,

Some people don't start out as professionals. They have to start somewhere.
I submitted some of my wifes artwork in your forum. The moderator known as
Jason Lambert totally shit on our enthusiasm for the tattoo trade. I think
that your goofball moderator is nothing but a shit eating fuck stick!!! I'll
never sign up for tattoodles again!

- Chris

Dear Chris,

Jason Lambert? I fucking HATE that guy too!!!! Heís such a dick for, like, enforcing the clearly posted rules. What a tool eh?
Still he does have a point. You say that "they have to start off somewhere" and you are correct. That somewhere is called an apprenticeship, if your wife is too self important to learn the basics of clean, safe, (and in your case ... artistic) tattooing with a real apprenticeship then I believe that you might have the wrong end of the "shit eating fuckstick" in your hand. Give it a smell and lemmie know what you think there champ.

Listen Capín Chris, if her "enthusiasm" doesnít extend to. . .say. . .knowing what the fuck she is doing, I donít think we are going to be too sad about your "never signing up for tattoodles again".

Dear Toodles,

yeah i just turned 16 and got my first tattoo in memory of my dad and it
got fucked up and i was wondering if u guys could give me any ideas on how
i could fix it it would be a verry big help thanx for your time

- doug

Wow Doug, that really sucks about your tattoo. I mean a memorial to your father is a pretty important tattoo. Itís the kind of thing that you really want to be done well, by an artist with real talent and a commitment to quality, huh?
Too bad that as a 16 year old you probably had to go to Scratchy Jacks Tattiní Shack. Iím sure you got a hell of a good deal (was it a half bag of meth and a six pack or just a whole case of Pabst?) and his kitchen was probably REAL clean and stuff. He probably took the needles out of the oven right in front of you, scraped off the dried up macaroni bits, and blew the germs right off a that sucker huh?
A tattoo is forever, and before you say "I knew that" the fact that you got one before your body was even done growing shows that you donít. A memorial tattoo can be a great, meaningful, important way to remember your loved onesÖ or it can be hacked up shit if you donít wait Ďtil you are 18 and can go to someone decent.


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