So some of you might be wondering why am I not updating my Random Tattoo Art Challenge thing lately. I have a few excuses, mainly:
(1) I have too many other projects, my hands are full! What about the 30 day drawing challenge?
(2) These days I practice my drawing whichever way I can, not just by doing tattoo art.
(3) I got discouraged knowing that some people have all the luck and opportunity, while some don’t.
I won’t call myself successful in what I do for a living, (if I’m successful I’d rather be sunbathing in Fiji all year long) but I worked my ass off to get where I am now. Okay, that might be an overstatement, but to be where I am now in life, everything wasn’t just handed to me for free. I had to fight, I had to learn a lot, I had to pay my dues.
When I thought about the chances of me being a tattoo apprentice, it scared the fuck out of me. I was scared that I will never be good enough. I was scared that I will never be unique enough, to have my own style. I was scared, what if I don’t possess the right attitude, whatever ‘tude it is that’s deemed necessary to survive.
I felt scared when I became aware that becoming an apprentice is a full time commitment, and I would have to leave certain parts of my life behind, and welcome uncertainty – and unpaid work for a few months. That, plus the cost of the apprenticeship itself.
I was also scared that I would end up being a copy artist – Making a living copying others’ custom artwork, which in my opinion is very unethical but very common practice in Indonesia. How can you blame them? Customer is king, and the artist is just trying to make a living. Fuck copyright, never mind that each tattoo artwork has personal meanings to its bearer… Well, unless it’s a flash art coming off a flash sheet, then knock yourselves out copying the hell of it!
When I first became aware about this issue of plagiarism in tattoo art, I thought that if I ever become an artist, I would personally kill or maim anyone who copy my work without my permission. Yes they will die a slow painful death. Be very scared. Then again, as others say, imitation is the greatest form of admiration!
Yes I was scared of many things. The more I get scared, the more I push myself to get better. Yoda or someone wise said that there are no shortcuts to awesomeness. But lately, I’ve became aware that in some cases, people did take shortcuts. That you don’t need to be able to draw or have any artistic sense to be a tattoo artist. You don’t need proper safety and health risks training. You don’t need to pay for a proper apprenticeship. All you need are a machine, some ink, some willing victims, and some art downloaded off the net (of course).
At first, this issue with wannabe artists (scratchers, if you might say) pissed me off. Then it scared me, that a lot of people are claiming to be “artists” while actually they aren’t. Then it actually encouraged me to practice more, to get better, so that when I enter the game, I can stand a head above the rest, cos I actually haz teh skills!
Does this verbal diarrhea make sense? Am I rambling off my (nonexistent) tits? I guess I’d better stop ranting and start practicing my drawings instead. Practice makes perfect!
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”
– Eleanor Roosevelt