Reboot My Career

Rebooting My Career

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I Am Not Done Yet

I’m rebooting my career.

I have survived 27 years in an industry that has shaken off a lot of dead weight in the last few years.  Tattooists from back in the day are succumbing to age, lack of drive and feeling irrelevant.  I have friends in the industry that have quit or are miserable. They don’t admit it. They surround themselves with other old tattooists and use comradery to reaffirm that their drier state isn’t so bad.

I am not one of them. I have fallen into an odd place.  I am a progressive artist and I’m almost 50.  The younger tattooist don’t really have much in common with me and the older tattooist can’t figure me out.

Stay in the Front

In 1997 I started traveling the world in search of information about tattooing. I went from Japan to Europe to Brazil and ended up traveling in an RV to see the United States; all for the sake of the continuation of learn my craft.  In 1997 you could count on your fingers and toes how many American Tattooist had visited Japan. Now it is a rite of passage with hundreds of artists guest spotting in the Far East.

In 2012, I switched to digital drawing.  This was the single biggest reason I continued to grow after 17 years of tattooing.  I was mocked by my peers.  I was set apart from the traditional tattoo artist.  They didn’t see the point. The story ends with every tattooist having an iPad as a drawing tool by 2019.

That same year I offered booth rental to tattoo artists at my shop.  This also broke the classic 50% rule in my market.  I wasn’t the first in the world to do this but in St. Louis it was new.  10 years later, most (if not all) of new shops in St. Louis use a form of my business model.

What is Next?

Online Courses.

I have been following the example of classic artist (non-tattoo) by signing up for online classes. I started in 2017 with folioacademy.com by paying for my first online course.  I was basically a “how to digitally illustrate in photoshop” course.  Next, I found Schoolism.com by Bobby Chiu.  This to was for traditional artist but with teachers who were masters in their field. Artist that had worked at Pixar and Disney.

Today I am 40 hours in my first TATTOO ONLINE CLASS! I am so stoked and it feel like learning to tattoo all over again. The class is 10masters.com and is a tattoo realism course. I cannot say enough great things about this new experience. Game Changer.

Continuous Education is the next big wave of tattooing.

So here is the next chapter of my career.  I am going to immerse myself with online courses.

Stay Hungry as FUCK.

Let the Reboot commence!

Have you heard my podcast? 

Bastards of Art: Too polished for folk art, too punk for fine art.

Bastards of Art is a podcast to reach out to lowbrow artist. We are helping artist to come together with a message of positivity and ambition. It can feel very lonely spending hours in the studio. We are here to help erase self doubt and cultivate the artist inside you.

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