Tattoo Education

By Robbie Ripoll

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How many of the layperson out there actually give a fuck about tattoo education? Or, better yet, are completely ignorant to the fact that there is a higher level of education about tattoos?  There is a huge world of education out in this vast galaxy of media driven blue collar bullshit and teeny bopper news that we call the Internet. You used to have to look for it or know where to look for it, that is before Kris Richter started her Beyond The Ink campaign.

I first met Kris through my former boss, Danny Fugate, owner of Ambition Tattoo in Knoxville, TN.  She did a seminar entitled “The Not So Secret Secsrets Of The Tattoo World” at my shop in Florida a little over a year and a half ago, and it was such a relatable way for the uneducated client to getter better aquatinted with everyday common knowledge that the experienced tattoo artist would want their client to know before even stepping foot in the door. There are many other topics that Kris touches on as well.  She gives a basic breakdown of the elements you need to take into consideration before you get a tattoo, like portfolio viewing and even poses the question “Ready For A Commitment?”. She explains how communicating with your artist is of utmost importance and also giving your artist the trust that should be given to an experienced tattoo artist that has passed all of your credential checks. One of my favorite topics is “Respect: You Get What You Give”. It’s about client etiquette (FUCKIN AWESOME). I mean, client etiquette… who knew there was such a thing? She hits on size requirements and body placement, cleanliness of studio and aftercare importance, and even price.

“There are BAD tattoos, OK tattoos, GOOD tattoos, and AMAZING tattoos… it’s your choice”, that says it right there. This is something the uninformed client isn’t necessarily aware of.  Most folks walk into a tattoo joint and expect to get a guy that will tattoo whatever garbage idea you bring in off of google search or Pinterest.

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While I believe there is a place for tattooers like this, because there are some clients that just don’t wanna hear it and just want a tattoo.  Those tattooers should remain in a small percentage.  They will always be out there along with the even lower down the ladder home tattoo “scratchers”. There is a huge arena in the tattoo world for the truly experienced and driven tattoo artists to share the labors of their hearts and souls and I for one am super glad that Kris Richter is here to shine a light on those artists and keep driving the masses into the doors of these reputable, well maintained, tattoo art establishments. We need to keep the masses of tattoo enthusiasts proverbially “off the streets” when it comes to getting new tattoos. Meaning NO MORE HOUSE TATTOOS! It is unsafe and stupid.  There are so many amazing artists out there who are more than willing to give you an amazing tattoo.  Use your brain.

Thank you,  Kris Richter for starting Beyond The Ink, because artists who care should have a liaison between us and the client.

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3 thoughts on “Tattoo Education

  1. I am guilty of receiving “house tattoos”, however, at the time, the guy doing them was apprenticed to a shop and just wanted additional practice/experience. He, much to my relief, did pretty good. His line work was solid and his shading was ok. His colour… Needed work.

    I think there needs to be a discussion about scratchers because while most are sketchy, there’s that tiny percent who really want to be reputable and good tattoo artists and just haven’t found their “in”.

  2. Ok house tattoos in general are bad, however it is over used as a blanket statement and not 100% true. There are many home studios that are legal in some states and perfectly safe. It is usually done so because of greedy shop owners wanting to take half of what you make and/or it being too expensive to open your own place. Majority of artists on our planet have at some point tattooed from a home, they are liars if they say otherwise. Nikko Hurtado, Mike Devries, Bob Tyrell and the list goes on and on of people who have tattooed out of a home at some point. So, please retract this blanket statement of home tattoos being evil and bad because without conclusive evidence of it being 100% unsafe, it is only an opinion.

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