You may be, like many, under the impression that a "Professional Tattoo Artist and/or Piercer" leads an extraordinary, wild party lifestyle. These assumptions, I guess, could be due to our appearance and maybe your preferred shop's vibe. Maybe this idea is due to the nostalgic fantasy of the type of craftsmen/craftswomen of yester year and in a time when the industry was dominated by the hardest of men and the occasional female artist whom most likely did indeed lead crazy life styles. The sad reality of it is, the majority today have very common lives.
I think in our younger years we were all wild to varying degrees, (I'm actually banned from a country, hehehe) and regress in our middle age (some earlier than others) with a vision of a slower, quieter family life. For most of us come kids, and we realize the real pressure of responsibility. The responsibility of child care cost, college, mortgage, dog, white picket fence, medical insurance and the general rising cost of living, the list goes on. It puts a demand on how valuable our shop time is.
There is something customers and clients need to keep in their forethought; This is not a hobby, This is how we make our fuckin living. If you can't grasp that basic concept and reject your personally worked up fantasy that we're here just for party$, you couldn't be further from the truth. And if you convey that attitude to a "Professional Tattoo Artist", don't be surprised by, quite possibly, an abrasive response from your image building "Technician". After all, that's what we're doing here isn't it? Quality image building isn't cheap. None the less, the majority are willing to spend more on instant gratification from purchasing that days look as it expires and becomes old in the near days following.
So as you are donning those $200 sneakers, $100 shirt $150 pants/shorts or skirts, (totaling $350 on the average and that's not including a jacket during the winter), Remember that regardless of what stage, we as Tattoo Artist are at with our after hours life, We aspire the best for our families and ourselves, as does the rest of the working the world and that costs money.
"The Uniform of The Day" is temporary, your tattoos are not! Tattoos are for life, even if you have them removed by modern technology there is always the scars and remnants of yesterdays indelible idea in your skin.
In addition, professional tattoo supplies from reputable suppliers are not cheap and are necessary to perform our craft at the highest, most proficient level available and possible. Every year new products enter the tattoo industry that enable us "Pros" to provide to you, the client, the best in tattoo application and aftercare products performance as a standard to rely upon, and those fore-mentioned products do not come cheap.
So, before you go whining to your tattoo artist that you want what you want and want it at your price, Remember "Cheap Tattoos Aren't Good and Good Tattoos Aren't Cheap"
Neckbone (Mike Harmon)
Shop Owner and Artist