Arts and Entertainment

Misconceptions about Tattooing are Common


In the world of tattooing there are many misconceptions that are completely wrong, and they just never want to leave. Many of which are just bad judges of the artist themselves. I have decided to investigate what it really is like to be around a tattoo artist and clients. I currently work at Endless Ink Tattoo Shop, I have been a client, a viewer, and I’m now starting my journey to become an artist. I looked at some of the main misconceptions listed by Emma Boshart in her article, “17 Tattoo Artist Misconceptions (That refuse to Die),” and Fine Line Tattoo & Piercing in their website page “Stereotypes of Tattoos and Tattoo Artists.” My number one stereotype that I think is completely wrong today is that many people think tattoos are associated with criminals, addicts, or dirty people. Back in the day this was true. Studios were dark, dirty, and often filled with criminals. That was years ago, and the world has changed. Boshart states in her article, “3. Tattoo shops attract *bad* clientele, Jason from Chico, California recently branched out on his own and was looking into renting a one-person, appointment-only studio. To his surprise, no one would even hear him out. Overall, the general opinion was: “tattooers are irresponsible and attract *bad* clientele.” Eventually, one place gave him a chance and two people in the building even told him he was the best tenant there.”

From my experience in Endless Ink Tattoo Shop, I watched the artists, and the clients interact, and every time I have ever been in there the artists are kind, open, and joking around trying to make their clients feel comfortable as many are nervous about the needle. I have not once seen anyone give off the feeling that they are dirty, criminals, or addicts of any sort, and the shop itself is very clean, bright, and lively. Endless Ink Tattoo Shop is in downtown Piqua, Ohio. It is a storefront with glass windows with logos on them looking at the front desk and waiting area.

When you enter the artist also say “welcome” or “hello” and they let you know they will be down the help you shortly. The waiting area has couches and decorations for the season, and always has a table with the artist portfolios laid out. When you walk to the tattooing area each artist has their own booth with decorations, they set up the express themselves, usually bright colorful sign, poster from movies and artwork of theirs. The artists usually are talking and joking with each other and their clients creating a light, happy, welcoming mood, which makes the clients more relaxed as getting a tattoo is not always the most comfortable feeling. The usual jokes going around would not be appropriate in an office or with children, but adults think it is funny and loosening the mood.

On a normal day there are about 5 to 10 people in the shop at a time all together, but during flash sale days there are many people crowded together to get tattoos. I know anytime I have been in the shop I have never been uncomfortable, scared, or felt judged. The shop is very casual both the artist and client wear comfortable clothing to relax in, as the artist does not mind getting ink or chemicals on their clothes and the clients want to give the most access to the area being tattooed.

In the experience of being in the shop nearly 6 to 8 times and wanting to join the family to become an artist should let you know that tattoo shops are not scary or filled with criminals. If I am known as a person, people know that I am not a criminal or covered in tattoos and I do not plan to be any of those things. I am aware that when I let people know I am a tattoo artist their image of me will completely change of me and I hope that in my time as an artist this stereotype begins to change, and tattoos become more recognized as art instead of bad signals of criminal activity.

By Chloe Thompson

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