We are often silent about many subjects but this is one we can, and will, get behind and support. For those of you who don't know, there is a tattoo school opening in Philadelphia, and many tattooers in the community are taking a stand.
A tattoo school is a place where people pay to learn the basics of how to tattoo at an accelerated pace. They get a certificate, and essentially expect to immediately get jobs in the industry. Traditionally, tattoo apprenticeships are earned through hard work, dedication, and (lets be honest) going through a lot of shit you don't want to deal with, and it breaks your ego down which helps prove your heart and drive to want to do this for the right reasons, and not just for a temporary cool card in a trade you'll give up in a few years or hand out to all your friends. Tattooing is a craft that should be handed down through generations, but unfortunately it's become something that's handed out instead.
Eric Perfect has been working to show people in Pennsylvania that they are being taken advantage of for money, and attending one of these school is the least appropriate way to enter the industry. With signs stating "Apprenticeships are earned not bought" and "You are being exploited" the hope is that the school will be shut down, and those wanting to attend will instead choose to look into going about tattooing the respectful way instead of giving money to a greedy culture mooch. Eric's posts have been geared towards showing the truth behind this school, it's motives, and the stolen art they're using to promote it. He's also making it known that not everyone is a good fit for tattooing, and in our opinion he is 100% correct. Just because you like the idea of being a tattooer doesn't mean you deserve to be walked in the door and put in a booth.
Earlier this year, Freddy Corbin and a group of supporters proved that if we stand together, it is possible to run Tattoo Schools out of this sacred trade.
The bottom line is that we stand with them in choosing to protect the trade and the integrity of tattooing. You can't demand respect when you didn't earn it, and you can't expect to be taken seriously by those who have earned it the traditional way. It's not about being a snob, it's about believing in working for the things you want instead of having them handed to you. We're staring at a generation of people who expect to be given whatever they want and think they deserve to just throw money out for a quick lesson in something many spent years earning.
Respect is earned, not handed out or purchased.