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 people’s success and forget about my personal goals. I encourage myself to stay the course. The quote above isn’t something that should be pondered. To achieve my personal goals,I have to put it into practice.

What is my Motivation?

I want to help as many people get the tattoo they deserve. I thrive off the feed back from my clients. My motivation isn’t the finished tattoo. My motivation is the byproduct from the event of tattooing. What ever you think a tattoo means before you get it, it will mean something else after you finish it. You can’t help but to find a new perspective after an experience like getting tattooed. This is what I enjoy about tattooing.

Avoid Slander.

This one can be easy to say and difficult to practice. I used to be proud of the fact that I wouldn’t say anything about a person that I wouldn’t say to their face. Now I think “Why say anything at all?” To be honest, saying negative things about others is me trying to feel better about myself. Slandering another tattooist or client just makes me look insecure. I didn’t notice how much until I really listened to myself.

Be Happy for Other Peoples Accomplishments.

I would be doing something really fun. Then I would see someone on Instagram doing something I was envious of and be jealous. This is me being very ungrateful. When I would get jealous of other’s hard work, I completely cut myself out of the big picture. We are in this together. Life shouldn’t be a dog eat dog world. I had to stop telling myself that they didn’t deserve praise. I started calling people and telling them congratulations. Holy cow! This might be one of the most rewarding things I started doing. It isn’t always easy to put my ego aside and say “Great Job!”. When I do, the energy that is shared is contagious. Try it. It is awesome.

Give Myself Enough Time to Achieve.

I put way to much on the plate. I have to limit myself to three good goals for every six months. I used to try to do more like 6 good goals for every 3 months. This was setting myself up to fail. I never felt like anything got accomplished, because it rarely did. I would abandon projects because I was sick of them or embarrassed that they were not finished yet.

Be Realistic.

This is a where honesty plays a huge role. Learn how to not under sell yourself. Learn how to not oversell yourself. Be happy for others. Realize that you are not an island. We are all moving together. Some fast. Some slow. A tattoo career is a journey. There is no race to the finish. We will never retire. We just die. The question is, “What will you leave behind when your journey is finished?”

-Matt Hodel


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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