From TAMblog: “JoJo Ackermann: That’s The Impression That I Get”

I just read this column, it struck a nerve and I just had to share it with you.  It is a concise and honest piece on respecting those who came before you and learning from what they have to say.

All too often, I feel like tattooing has gotten so big and filled with so many people rushing to cash in on its popularity, that the number of folks that care about the history and the struggles that our tattoo fore fathers/mothers endured to get tattooing to become accepted (dare I say respectable?) is at an all time minimum.  Its sad.  Dollar signs seem to have eclipsed the beauty of the art.  Scratchers and scab merchants plague the art with little care or regard for its sacredness and vibrant history, never mind their blatant disregard for learning properly, doing quality work and following ESSENTIAL safety practices (tattooer Isaac Aguila used to have a comprehensive collection of pictures documenting the horrors of home tattooing, before someone dimed him out to the facebook police)…  it’s all just cashing in.

(***UPDATE*** Isaac’s valiant and laudable efforts to dissuade homemade horrors has been revamped and gotten its own page on facebook!  Check it out!  Tattoo Artist United)

I, too, have met some great tattooing legends, like Jack Rudy and Lyle Tuttle (to name drop a few).  My favorite part about meeting them wasn’t asking them what kind of inks, needles and machines they liked… it was hearing their stories and absorbing their wisdom.  I think that is something that a lot of people in this “industry” ignore or discount as irrelevant.

Mr. Rudy at work in the wee early hours of the morning at the Motor City Convention, Detroit, 2007

Mr. Tuttle tattooing me at a convention in Dayton, OH, 2008

A lasting memory of talking to greatness

I feel incredibly lucky to be given a second chance at tattooing and to learn under a master (my life-long mentor Ron Antonick)  that is phenomenal in everything he touches; tattoo art or otherwise.  I never take for granted that there are/were pioneers and trailblazers that came before me to allow me this opportunity.  It’s a big part of the reason that I study so hard and do my best to learn from them.  I don’t want to sully the sacred waters of tattooing. I care about what I’m doing.

Anyways, enough rambling out of me… please go check out Jojo Ackermann’s thoughtful and well-penned piece at the link below:

JoJo Ackermann: That’s The Impression That I Get

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to all of those who have come before me for paving the way… some of us still care.  Cheers.

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