Tonight I sit down with Oliver, Dave, and Chris to help judge this weeks episode of Inkmaster. I have a love hate relationship with tattoo “reality” shows. Like many of my peers its hard to see our beloved profession dumbed down to be consumed by the masses for entertainment, for that I hate it. But I love how it has helped some of my dear friends.
I’m thankful to friends and real tattooers like Ami James, Oliver Peck, and Chris Nunez for maintaining some control (even though small) of pop culture tattooing even though it is out of hand, tattoo tv would have been even worse without their influence and guidance now with Inkmaster and in the past with Miami ink.
Some of these artist, are talented artist, but I feel most of them have little understanding of the craft, its history, and therefore doing it a disservice by publicly representing “tattooers” as many of them are newer in the business and don’t really represent us. They know the price of tattoo machines, not the value, they know the price of books, not the value…for i.e.. When it comes to Inkmaster Ive always watched it because of my respect Oliver and Chris as veteran tattooers and as friends. They have old school knowledge, modern outlooks, and respect for the new enhanced artistic nature of current tattooing. The show also seems to educate the public a bit on what to look for in quality tattooing, and lord knows people need that.
Tattooing has changed a lot since I started getting tattooed almost 20 years ago. But I take comfort in the fact that my friends and peers are talented and smart enough to stay ahead of the curves, meanwhile passing and carrying on some of tattooing necessary traditions. We are standing on the shoulders of giants. Thank you tattooing.