When I was younger, around 18 years old, I told my mother that I was going to pay for university by freelancing as a tattoo artist. This might not sound unreasonable now but keep in mind this was the year 1999. For a point of reference to the view on tattooing check out the stats from a CBC article:
The Washington-based Pew Research Center reported in 2010 that 38 per cent of millennials (then the 18-29 age bracket) acknowledged having at least one tattoo.
The report concluded that “tattoos have become something of a trademark” for people who began entering adulthood in the 2000s.
By comparison, 32 per cent of gen-Xers surveyed said they were tattooed, and only 15 per cent of the older baby boomers had body art.
-Matt Kwong –Tattoo culture making its mark on millennials
At the time the options for apprenticing as a tattooist in the city were limited and the cost for the apprenticeship would have covered at least a semester at the University of Regina at the time. So I dropped and pursued other ways of paying my tuition. My little brother however didn’t drop it… His schooling was under a local artist and his “tuition” was to pay to apprentice. He has now been tattooing for 6 years in the city and opened his own shop at the start of September (Check out his Facebook Page). We have always joked about working side by side. In his toast to the groom at my wedding my brother said it was my love of art that inspired him to become an artist. Now the tables have turned it’s my brother’s talent as a tattoo artist that have inspired me to learn a new trade. So when I had to decide on a skill to learn for my Personal Learning Project I approached him and asked how likely he thought it would be that I could learn all that was needed to give someone a basic tattoo by the end of this project. He said with a little mentorship and some online research from sites like Nick Baxter’s it would be a reasonable goal.
To start my learning I took to the internet to find out a little bit about the history of tattooing. I found a great Ted Ed video that summed up a lot of what I had read on-line.
So now that I have an idea of where tattooing came from it’s time to start learning how to do it; lesson #1 will be my next post. Feel free to join me and find out what I learn week to week. I trusted my brother enough to let me be one of his first clients, now who will trust me?