Ryan Uses a Computer

Matt teaches Ryan Computer Ryan and I want to make a YouTube channel.  We both do cool stuff and have fun lives.  A good friendship is rare and we have been each others yin and yang for a decade or more. We help each other quite a bit.  I think the trick to have a…

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Saturday Morning Cartoons

Cartoons Inspire Creativity I was born in 1975. The 1980’s world of Saturday Morning Cartoons was a small window of time from 7:30 am until noon. I cannot express enough what an escape those few hours were for me. The fantasy worlds of Smurfs and Dungeon and Dragons and He-Man were a stark contrast to…

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New YouTube Channel!

Ryan and Matt TV Ryan and I have been good friends for years. We share a work space tattooing, share a garage, we have cabins next to each other and we have logged over 20k miles traveling together. It was brought to our attention that we should start filming. So here is Spring Break 2022.…

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Whiskey Tattoos and No Regrets

My title is a bit misleading. No one was drinking whiskey when we did this handle of liquor tattoo today. My clients last name is McCormick and he wanted a vintage whiskey flask by the distillery with the same name. I’m not too concerned with capturing a photo realistic image of a whiskey jug. I…

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Competition.

Healthy Competition “When you are in competition with others, you get bitter. When you are in competition with yourself you get better.” Self Growth Competition is healthy. Like most traits, using competition in the wrong way can be self destructive. Using other’s successes as your barometer isn’t reliable. Sometimes I can get jealous of other…

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Becoming Tattooed

Becoming Heavily Tattooed. Swapping stories about getting your first tattoo is fun.  It’s a lot like bagging about fishing tales or near death experiences.  Your nerves overestimate the environment and the adjectives don’t quite capture the maximum effect your trying to articulate.  The only way someone else can understand is if they have been through…

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Instagram for the Tattooist

The common tattooist in the marketplace relies heavily on Instagram and Facebook.  While the tools of social media have simplified the process to get your name out into the market, they are not without their draw backs. Let us think of Instagram as a link in the chain for driving new clients to a contact…

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What is Tattooing?

What is Tattooing? How do we explain the tattoo life?  Sometimes it feels like arguing over the genre of your favorite band. It has changed faces so many times in the last few decades so that it even reveals itself differently to people.  It has grown beyond a counterculture movement. As the price of admission…

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The 50% Cut.

The common business model for tattooing is the Street Shop.  It was originally an Apprentice based program for all new hires.  The single new hire relied on the mentorship of the owner to be trained from the ground up. In return, the novice artist paid him back with a 50 percent stake of all labor…

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Tattooing as a Ritual

Humans have had rituals for years.  Rituals mark the end or a beginning. It is a time to put your mind and body at one and to be consciously in the moment.  Examples would be graduating from college, getting married or how we prepare our morning coffee.  The Masons are famous for there secretive rituals. …

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5 Traits that Hold You Back

The traditions of tattooing have been deeply rooted in the echoes of time. If you meet anyone who has been tattooing for more than 15 years, they will tell you how things used to be. Truly, tattooing has changed and evolved from the sponge and bucket days. With many progressive features being most noticeable on…

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Most People Won’t

Putting the extra into your hard work is what makes you rise to the top. Nothing will be given to you. What is amazing is how many people will come to help you once you have started to help yourself. I have found that staying in motion is the key to advancing my career. This…

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Tattooing has Changed, Have You?

In 1995 there were 14 tattoo shops from O’fallon, Illinois to O’fallon, Missouri. In 1998 there were 40. With each shop averaging 3 artists working in house, that would equal 78 new jobs for tattoo artists in three years. That is almost a 300% increase in the industry. As impressive as those numbers are, where…

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Advice for the New Tattooist.

Tips for the Freshman Tattooist. Its has been said that you haven’t been tattooing until your fifth year is complete. This is when you get to see your old tattoos healed. It takes that long for your tattoos to settle. Until then, your first 5 years are very important. Here is some advice. Take it…

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Emotionally Driven Tattoos

Emotionally driven tattoos When a loved one passes away, the feelings of helplessness washes over us. The desire to “do something” gnaws at our heartstrings. Tattooing has always been the ultimate act. The one thing you can do that truly lasts a lifetime. Just getting a tattoo is a statement within itself so it is…

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Worked to Death.

Measuring success. What is your barometer for success? What are your benchmarks to get there? Have you been making progress? As self employed practitioners of the tattoo arts, we enjoy a rebellious reaction to those outside our craft. We boast of travel and freedom while we enjoy a walk of life that few will understand.…

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Want More Money? Then Stop Worrying about the Money

Your reward is a byproduct. The fastest route is a straight line: unless you’re so focused on the destination that you fall off the path. This happens when you are trying so dang hard to succeed. Sometimes we get so obsessed that we micro manage the entire journey. Have you ever counted calories or tracked…

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Become the PRODUCT!

“I just love my tattoo! It was fast and efficient!” -nobody ever Why. Why do I want to rally the troops? Why do I want to reach out to artists? Because times have changed. The product is no longer the institutional names of big shops but the future solely relies on the individual tattoo artist…

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Cancelation Policy!

People cancel their appointments. This is a simple fact of business. I do not take offense to a cancelation. Do you want to know why? I love my clients. I love hanging out with them and I put them before myself. If someone needs to cancel I do not penalize them or beat them down…

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Lessons Learned

My SELFJournal has a few parts to it. There is an opening of the day that includes writing your Itinerary, a Gratitude lList, Targets and daily Goals. Upon closing the day, you write Lessons Learned, Wins and another Gratitude List. The journal has helped me to take a daily inventory of myself and my actions.…

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Tattoo Artist Meet-up!

What we do is not secret. Secrecy has been considered a value in the tattoo culture. It has been such a tradition to guard all of your information that we pretend we are sitting on a wealth of knowledge that only the entitled are privy to. If you know me, I constantly challenge the standards…

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Bastards of Art : Lost Episodes

The Bastards of Art Movement   Last year I had the idea to try a podcast.  I wrangled Jon Fournier into the project and together we recorded 24 episodes that were released weekly. Together we learned a lot.  I think the most positive part of the project was forcing ourselves to articulate what we do…

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Failing to Succeed

I hear the word success more that 10 times a day. I choose to hear it. I surround myself with the word. When I run, the Nike App commentator says it in my earbuds. When I listen to podcasts on my drive to work, the host says success repeatedly. The book I am reading right…

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