Welcome back to the Knowledge Source, intrepid travelers! It’s The Five and Trinity Art Collective bringing you more of the juicy, succulent knowledge nuggets you crave! It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and we here at TAC are dedicated to making sure that you, our lovely clients and friends, are not wearing Milk-Bone undies!
Today’s topic is one very near and dear to my heart. Being someone with a rather neurotic personality and enough personal-space issues for three or four adults, I can feel my blood heating as I compose these words. Fifteen years, folks. That’s how long I’ve spent the vast majority of my life inside a tattoo shop, witnessing the comings and goings of people from every walk of life. Such long-term exposure to certain situations has definitely distilled my emotions concerning the topics, today. Pure and somewhat harsh, my opinions are strictly mine, and probably shouldn’t be attributed to any other human being than me. With that disclaimer, hold on tight!
The Non-tourage. You might be wondering if I have misspelled a word…I have not. Urban dictionary defines it as a group of sycophants and hangers-on that accompany and bolster an individual (usually, a hellishly insecure one) on their adventures, generally providing nothing but endless nuisance and distraction wherever they appear. If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a thousand times. One person coming in for a tattoo…be it the first, fifth, or fortieth in their collection, and the twenty-seven friends and family members that came with them to harass, jostle, crowd and distract the working artist with an endless stream of interruptions and mindless clichés. For the benefit of those who might inhabit a hollow space beneath a particularly choice rock, I’ll paint a nice, pretty picture…complete with audience participation.
The next time you are online, Google Image search tattoo shops and tattoo procedures. Paying attention to what you see? What you may (or may not) notice is the LACK of a dozen people hanging all over the tattoo chair, up in the artist’s personal space, doing everything they can to make sure the tattoo recipient moves, talks, laughs and gestures as much as possible. Make no mistake, ladies and gents, we DO want to kill you for that. All of you. Consider a dentist…would you have fourteen people crowding your dentist or surgeon while they try to focus on the procedure you’re paying good money for? It’s sad that I have to explain this in 2016, but your 6 cousins, 8 parents, 2 Abuelas and fifty high-school besties should NOT be in the tattoo area. IF YOU ARE NOT GIVING OR RECIEVING A TATTOO, FIND A WAITING AREA AND PARK YOURSELF. Your crowding is bothersome and entirely unwelcome.
The polite, considerate individual in a tattoo shop will keep control of the crowd they create. If your friends and supporters are becoming loud, obnoxious and generally getting in the way of things or interrupting your artist, it is YOUR responsibility to do something about it. Trust me, Cupcake, you do NOT want us doing it. Our version will be much more short and concise. If you can’t handle the tattoo without half of the class of 2013 swarming all around you, your problems are manifold, and no tattoo will ever soothe what is wrong with you.
Speaking of what is wrong with people, here’s a great chance to segue into my next subject matter; Child Care.
If you’re wondering why a tattoo artist is writing a blog about child care, you’re not alone. I, myself, wonder why it has become necessary to enlighten the world at large about proper application of child care resources and techniques as they relate to tattoo shop etiquette. With rapidly increasing frequency, I have found myself deflecting and discouraging someone’s wild-born children from sprinting full-speed through the shop, screaming and crying and generally acting out while the parent (or parents) seem to have forgotten that they brought the little devils in with them. It’s something you see everyday at grocery stores, restaurants and house-parties. Parents bring a few little tykes along and suddenly develop amnesia about all of their parental duties and responsibilities. I’m here to tell you that’s not a good thing. I’m here to tell you that nobody should ever leave it to a group of strangers to ‘look-after’ their child or children while sitting in a tattoo shop for hours on end.
You might have noticed on those earlier google searches, you don’t see strollers, car carriers, sippy cups, pack-n-plays, or any other romper-room type accessories in tattoo shops. The reason? If you’re not there for a tattoo (and thus of legal age) you probably don’t belong there. In fact, scratch ‘probably.’ Infants, toddlers, adolescents, tweens, and teenagers below the age of consent are all barred from receiving tattoo services…so why in the blue hell do people insist on bringing them along to hours-long appointments? Has the world gone mad? There are a hundred websites advertising a babysitter-finding service. Better still, send those aunts, uncles, brothers, cousins and besties home with something better to do than be in the way. Have them watch your child or children while you do adult things.
I know…babysitters and daycare are expensive, right? Are they more expensive than fixing a hammered tattoo that you wouldn’t stop moving through because little Lucifer decided to run rampant through the shop, or scream ceaselessly as your artist had to politely endure the fiasco you dropped on his or her day? Even better, if money prevents you from securing a babysitter or childcare for your progeny whilst you get tattooed…why in the hell are you spending money on a tattoo? I wish I could relate how many times I got this mouth-breather response from vapid, inconsiderate people regarding the reason they brought all nine of their kids to the six-hour tattoo appointment they set a month ago. There’s not an excuse. It’s a tattoo shop, and therefore, offers NOTHING for children to do to occupy themselves. If you get the nagging feeling your kids, your friends, or your besties are pissing people off, you can bet they are. If you have to ask if you are in the way of the tattoo shop employees and paying customers, you are. It’s common sense…it’s just not so common anymore.