Today is a frustrating day for us. It’s one of those days that make us question whether we’ve made any progress at all. One of our apprentices’ family member has been telling her that her art is no good, that she will never make it as an artist, and that she should just stop wasting time with those “gangsters’ from her work. Now, we are not trying to call out the family member, but hearing this made us realize that this problem is still very real, and if we don’t speak out against it, then we are ignoring a problem that plagues not only our industry, but young people right now and future generations as well. First of all, HER art is amazing. We know because we’ve seen plenty of apprentices and she is one of the most talented people we’ve ever met. Second, she is an amazingly good person. Recently, we asked her how she was doing for money as an apprentice, and if her family is giving her any money in the meantime; she answered saying she isn’t really comfortable taking money from her parents and really wishes she could make it on her own, so she wouldn’t have to keep burdening them. (For the record, it wasn’t her parents who was being negative) She has INTEGRITY and a backbone. We commend her for dreaming and most of all; we commend her for doing something about it. She is not just a dreamer. She is a do-er. She is doing it everyday by working hard to improve herself, and we are going to make damn sure she has an amazing career. We dare say she will become a household name someday. And, Us, the ‘gangsters’ she hangs out with at work are busy giving her art tips and how to use a tattoo machine properly; so we haven’t had time lately to go out and kill people. Here’s the thing that these people don’t understand. The world is a hard enough place as it is. Tattooing or any other career is hard enough to ‘make it’ without any one trying to bring you down. For all those who don’t conform to traditional careers, hold your head up. But make sure you are honest with yourself and your education. Don’t choose a career because it’s the easy thing to do, but because it’s right for you; because it’s what your heart wants to do everyday. Go pursue something that can earn you money and happiness. It’s 2013, there’s no reason that you should be ‘stuck’. Reach out, talk to someone, find a way - there’s ALWAYS a way. As for the families of these young people, give them a chance before you judge them. Are there ‘gangsters’ in tattoo shops? Of course, but there are bad cops, crooked lawyers, and cheating accountants too. Does it mean that they shouldn’t pursue those careers either? To be honest, if you guys really want to help, take the time to find out more before judging. Go talk to their place of work, meet the people there, talk to the owner, and then decide. Take a more active role in their lives before talking about things you don’t understand. Ignorance causes arguments and distance. And, here’s something these people might not know about. Tattooing gave a lot of us a way OUT of trouble, not IN. Tattooing saved a lot of us so we are qualified to talk about this. Why? Because it gave us a purpose in life and it gave us a way to support our families. So, the next time you decide to cast stones, look in the mirror first. Are you doing something that you love every single day? Do you really want to deprive someone else of that?]>>
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