Tag Archives: tattoo artists
My son and I went to something called Tattoo Fest. It was held in some “hall” (I think the VFW serves spaghetti there on Tuesday) down South of Tampa in Palmetto FL right off I75. Keep going three hours more and you get to Broward and Dade Counties, better know for Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. If I could get down there, I’d like to visit a tattoo shop named Miami Ink. They did, I’m not sure if it is still on, a reality television show about tattooing. I believe Kat Von D. was “associated” with that location until she got her show that is filmed out in LA. I’d love Kat to do my tat, but then I’m not famous, don’t have a tear jerker story for the reality show and as my son keeps reminding me, what I want is too simple for someone so famous as her to even consider. If she did, well, it would billions of dollars – well thousands maybe. Oh well. What a bummer.
I don’t know what the cost to go in was – we had free passes – but if I had to pay, based on what I’m about to tell you, I would have wanted my money back. It was Sunday and the doors opened at noon. About ten people were there. The exhibit hall had about 50 booths arranged in a square with four isles. There was a small stage and speakers for a band. 1/2 or more of the booths were empty. Some of the “artists” (apprentices?) were in the booths fast asleep. A few of the tattoo companies were represented by three or four people behind their tables and seemed a little shy about reaching out to the attendees walking past them. They made you feel like they were outsiders – I don’t know why – or you were the weirdo that might intrude on their territory. Is noon on Sunday too early for these folks? Not for me and I’m the one paying.
I’ve worked many trade shows and this is not how to get business. I could have held a mini seminar on how to “work” a show. There were two tattoo shops that did reach out and guess what? They were busy tattooing people. If I didn’t have to take my shirt off and sit in a strange black medical chair while people gawked at me, I might have considered their services. One tattoo shop had their people huddled around in a circle, like Eskimos trying to stay warm against the cold. Some would sit in their chairs just staring out into space. One seemingly talented Japanese calligraphy dude was too busy to answer questions about what he was selling, his head down working with a X-Acto knife like he was carving the original Pinocchio. The were some product just for the tattoo industry, having nothing to do if you wanted a tattoo or piercing. There was a masseuse guy, but I prefer a woman’s touch.
All I want is a simple symbol tattoo done by someone clean and competent, somewhere private. Is that too much too ask? Perhaps. Let me digress a sec. It’s not necessarily fun being an outsider. I never was very happy being an employee not participating in those long drawn out boring meetings that everybody hates but where workers fates are determined. I wanted in and worked hard to be in management. I wanted to run those meetings. Well, that got old fast, having a career in business with some corporation is nothing more than extension of going to high school. I don’t play well with others, don’t like games or dealing with children, that is, workers and bosses.
This job, that job, this business, that business, one incompetent abusive boss after another – ho hum, I tried to leave the rat race and became an over the road truck. Truth be told, I left the corporate BS to go back to college to get my degree with the thought of law school, but attending classes at 35 was boring. One of many recessions was going on after I graduated and getting back to who and what I was in business, even living in the same house, wasn’t going to work. So, I went to trucking school, got my CDL, which became more valuable, employment wise, than both my corporate experience and the college degree, and became an over the road trucker.
I shed the corporate skin my father cultivated in me since I was 12, became even more arrogant and independent than ever and was “in” with the trucking, motorcycle, warehouse, mechanic, blue-collar – TATTOO – crowd. I was one of the few truckers with all my teeth and hair that could write or speak a continuous coherent sentence. I didn’t, however, own a pick-up truck, hunt or lie about being a US Army Ranger hero. The President of the company I worked gave me (???) the ultimate compliment, “You’re not like any trucker I’ve ever met.” Wow – too bad it didn’t come with a raise, better truck or extra week of paid vacation.