Monthly Archives: June 2010

Got me a ticket for an airplane…..

…But only because I can’t get there on a fast train.  Not a huge fan of flying,  it doesn’t scare me,  I just find it uncomfortable and dull.  If I could afford to travel first class I am sure that I would feel very different about it. So after spending 24hrs on a plane with no sleep at all,  I arrive in London to find that an Icelandic volcano has closed the airport and my connecting flight to Belfast has been cancelled…of course. A the strange thing is this doesn’t surprise me at all. I am quiet a good traveler apparently, or at least not an easily fazed one. Plan B….a ferry to Dublin and then find my way to Northern Ireland. The ferry ride is pleasant if vaguely surreal, at least for me. The ferry between Wales and Dublin is an exact replica of the one the travels between Melbourne and Tasmania. Every Carpet and fitting, every nut and bolt….the only point of difference between them was the gift shop. In Australia the gift shop is fill with Stuffed Tasmanian Devils, not Leprechauns….but other than that? I enjoyed the trip to Dublin far more than Dublin itself, probably due to the fact I was in the tourist strip, my hotel offered “A Full English” breakfast, that should have been a warning. So I viewed the statues, they like a statue in Dublin, and walked the streets, and drank a beer or three in an Irish pub….but I really wasn’t feeling it. I hadn’t drawn a stroke since landing…I was starting to worry….

But I don’t have a passport…..

So the only person I have found to teach me to tattoo is on the other side of the planet. There is video chat, but that doesn’t really seem to be quiet enough. Now I am not an experienced traveller, in fact I have never left the country. I have seen most of my own wide brown land and have stayed in more hotels than many, but I have never taken that plane journey that required a passport. Big expensive step, but hey nothing ventured nothing gained. So I set out to organise things…
  • Passport              (check)
  • Plane Ticket         (check)
  • Place to Stay        (check)
  • Confidence           (not yet)

I am not playing XBOX…I am networking….

I am a member of a clan….Not a white sheet and crucifix burning kind of clan, but a group of older gamers from around the globe. Mature people that meet up in the virtual word to beat seven types of snot out of each other. Now one might think that any such organisation might be populated by couch bound under achievers, but this is not the case. This group is made up of people with a very diverse range of professions. Fire fighters, Members of the armed forces, Music producers, Television producers, Web designers, Graphic artists, Quantity surveyors to name but a few. This group also has a Tattooist, and he was the rarest of all Tattooists, one willing to share information. So I asked questions, some sensible, some stupid….but the questions were answered. Wonderful. Now the problem, I had met someone with the knowledge I wanted….Great…..However, I live in Australia and the only person willing to help me lives in Northern Ireland. That’s a problem….

Step one….

My first step in learning to tattoo……Hmmm……I could seek out an apprenticeship. I have been told this is in fact the only method recommended by tattooists, no surprise there. I have also been informed that any apprenticeship would not involve any actual tattooing for quite along time. According to the people I have spoken to what it does involve is a lot of cleaning and menial tasks with just enough information being drip feed to keep you hanging around and working for free. I am not good at indentured servitude. So what now? How about the Internet? Surely it must contain the sum of all knowledge in this department? Well yes and no, it contains a lot of information, some good, some bad and some just downright ridiculess. So the Internet provided me with some knowledge, but what it couldn’t give me was the confidence to actually get started, at least not in the traditional way…

In the begining…..

As an illustrator or artist I would work with pen and ink on paper. Many hours of tiny strokes, attempting to get everything in the right place, making an image pleasing enough to the eye to make people want to keep them. This gave my artistic efforts some permanence, and me some satisfaction. As I sat in a coffee shop working away on whatever project of day had taken my fancy, occasionally a passer by would stop and comment. On more than one occasion I would be asked if I was a Tattooist, quiet often by someone who looked as though they might have been. When I answer “no” they would scurry away. I would later learn that my particular methods of inking paper would translate directly from pen to tattoo machine. I would also learn that the reason for the rapid departure of these knowledgeable passers by was that they knew this fact even if I didn’t. Such is the secretive nature of the tattoo world that all information is guarded feverishly, and excluding that knowledge from outsiders to prevent them from entering the profession. I don’t think it should work that way, so I set out to learn….