Hi, everyone!  Welcome to another thrilling, chilling, gut-busting edition of the Trinity Art Collective blog!  It’s a doozy I’ve got in store for you today, kiddos, so grab a snack and a drinkie-pooh and let’s get down to those proverbial brass tacks.

I think…I hope…that by this point, most of our faithful readers will have noticed a certain pattern to the blog posts.  Current events, being current, obviously hold tremendous weight when deciding what topic to elucidate when it comes time to serve up another loving spoonful of pure text comfort on these pages.  Sure, there’s plenty to learn and discuss when referencing past technologies, techniques and general goings-on within the tattoo industry.  One must always be mindful of the past and the lessons it taught one, lest history attempt to repeat itself.  Good, great, even grand!  However, the past is not what has stirred the gears of my verbal machine this time.  Nay.  It is, instead, another in a long list of improper and aggravating trends that has brought us all here to the table, yet again.

Speaking of gears, that is a perfect segue into the topic at hand…

Think of your tattoo artist as a well-tuned engine.  You put in raw materials and the necessary components to make that engine purr like a kitten, and we churn out dynamic, dramatic and beautiful artwork with which to decorate the lovely expanse of flesh for which you had it designed.  Like an engine, there are a few critical components that make it work the way it should.  Like an engine, if you remove one (or more) of these components, or replace it with some other component that was not originally part of the design, the engine will break down.  Have I lost you, yet?  Hang in there, dudes and dudettes, I’ll clarify for you.

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What I’m talking about, in my metaphorical and imaginative diatribe, is you.  The public.  The very people that make our work possible and often quite enjoyable, can just as easily become the reason a job at a gas station washing windshields and shining tires can seem attractive by comparison.  Honestly, if a certain percentage of the tattoo-client public were drafted as MLB pitchers, they would all be experts in throwing the Change Up.

Here’s the bare-knuckled thrust of it, folks.  DON’T PLAN ON CHANGES THAT YOU HAVE NOT DISCUSSED WITH YOUR ARTIST AHEAD OF TIME!!!  I know.  I know!  It totally seems like pretty simple logic, right?  You research, you plan, you ask around, you spend countless hours thinking and scanning web pages to get a sense of that perfect design you want.  You find the best artist for the job.  You leave a deposit, artwork is produced, you love it!  So, some time passes and finally, it’s tattoo day!  You head over to the shop for your appointed time, and suddenly, BAM!  That’s the point when you decide to tell your artist that you have changed your mind on what you want done…or that your spouse or boyfriend or indentured servant is now going to take the appointment spot that your artist has already diligently prepared for.  Folks, I can tell you from a wealth of personal experience, there are few things in this profession that can make me want to find out what a human-skin rug would look like in my study.

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Not to put too fine a point on it, your artist doesn’t just goof off until you show up.  We spend long hours, every day, to ensure that our artwork is ready and our heads are on straight when it comes time to tattoo you, our wonderful clients.  Substituting another human being (or close enough) for yourself is throwing a MAJOR wrench in the gears of the process!  Changing your mind on the design and topic of your tattoo moments before you’re scheduled to have it applied is yet another HUGE wrench in the works, y’all.  If you have a change of heart or mind, let your artist know IN ADVANCE and we can blaze new trails and create exactly what you want to have done!  Alas, for the sub-in scenario…just cancel your appointment with plenty of lead time, and make your husband, friend, third cousin, or twelfth roommate pull their flowery little panties up and, like a functioning adult, make contact and set their own tattoo appointment.  I don’t care who you might be, your hopelessly haggard and spotty description of what someone else wants to have tattooed is NOT going to be enough to work with.  Sound like a slick segue?  It is…

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As a note about a peeve, when you have great tattoos and a reliable artist, everyone wants you to estimate what your artist would charge for something, or want you to get them in touch.  Ask yourself, people…is it worth your effort to endure the rigors of talking to your artist and going over fine details and scheduling hurdles for a tattoo that you will not be getting?  I think not.  If someone is too damn bashful to make a phone call or drop in to a tattoo shop, they need medications and counseling…not a new tattoo that they didn’t do any of the leg-work on.

It’s a miracle that we live in the future.  I thought it ubiquitous knowledge that phones can make voice calls, send emails, send text and SMS messages, send FB messages, and provide contact information for any particular individual, like, anywhere.  Someone, please, fill me in on why nobody remembers that when they change their mind or want to swap an appointment time with another person?  Is it situational amnesia?  Is it entitlement-minded snobbery that makes people look at tattoo artists like we flip pre-made combo-meal tattoo designs all day?  You want a T-bone, you don’t go to a burger joint, people.  Every little sketch, every little detail is custom made for you, the client.

There can be no better guarantee on a fantastic experience than proper preparation and attention to the execution of the details.  Focus.  If we prepare for your dragon, we’re not ready to extract a unicorn from our respective backsides.  Take it to heart, but most of all, kids, TAKE IT TO BRAIN.

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Tony Stannard

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At an early age I was introduced to the world of tattooing. All throughout my school years I was getting in trouble for drawing on schoolwork and assignments when I should not have been. I had a few friends back in high school tattooing people with home made machines. I borrowed a machine and did my first attempt at tattooing back in 1994 on one of my best friends. We did a few tattoos but I never pursued it more than that.

I joined the Marines after high school and after my first year a friend of mine convinced me to buy a Spaulding and Rodgers Tattoo Kit out of a magazine. I got my tax return back and purchased a kit. I sought out an apprenticeship but keep getting denied and told to keep tattooing and come back. So I left for Okinawa Japan, and tattooed anyone I could. Once back in the states I looked for another apprenticeship and again was denied over and over. So I just took it upon myself to keep tattooing and see where it went. I tattooed all over and even on a Navy ship in sea state 5 waves. If you know what that is then you know what I’m talking about. I continued tattooing on and off for years until my wife linked up with an old art college friend. He had seen some of the tattoos that I did on my wife and soon after went in to see about possibility working at that shop. I messed around with sweeping and mopping etc for a few months then Tattooed a walk in one day and now 8 years later opened my own shop with two good friends.