Chef-Ink

Self Evaluation And Being Humble

55 posts in this topic

Fellas (and ladies)

Just spent the day yesterday reviewing my art and tattoo work. Wrote a list of questions for myself to answer.

1. Are you an artist? --Yes, not a very good one, custome drawings take me alot of time and alot of work

2. Are you decent craftsman at tattooing?----yeah, my strong point. More of a technician than an artist

3. Do you know as much as you think you do?---I think so, I know my limitations, I have a long way to go

4. Are you humble?---yes, without doubt. I know how I got to this point an who has helped me along the way (thanks A, and others)

5. Humble enough to accept advice from others that know more?--- yeah again,

6. Do you respect the craft and those that came before you?--- I hope so, i l try to remain ethical and keep things real. I try to pass along what I hink I can, and leave advice for things I cant to those that know.

Just though a few of us need to do the same. Having a few tattoos under your belt DOES NOT make you a tattooist or a wealth of tattoo knowledge. It makes you a student. Have enough respect for the craft to know the difference. I read a quote that I have taped to my wall in my tattoo room. "Stand on the shoulders of giants and you will reach higher"

Respect the trade, respect the guys that busted their balls to get the trade where it is, respect yourself by knowing what you are and what you are capable of.

Be humble and smart enough to take advice (even if it stings) from those that know more than you.

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very interesting post ,my friend ...sometimes i need to take the cotton out of my ears and put it in my mouth ...i learn new shit everday ...be it tattoos ,machines ,my girl,people at the shop/life , or on the internet ...

i will tell you ...humility is a key element ...

peace bro

A.

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1. Are you an artist? Yes, Drawing and Art are important to me

2. Are you decent craftsman at tattooing? I know much about tattooing, but im still a student as im sure i can learn alot more.

3. Do you know as much as you think you do?---I would like to think so, i embrace tutition with open arms (want apprenticeship)

4. Are you humble?---fucking right, i can eat my pie any time of the day. i thank this forum and the friends i make here!

5. Humble enough to accept advice from others that know more?--- again more advice the more i welcome it

6. Do you respect the craft and those that came before you?--- Yes, i still feel im no where near good enough to call my self a tattoo artist, i respect people that had nothing to what they have now in the craft. peers are showing us the way and paving our future, respect!

n1 post chef-ink

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Excellent post, Chef! This is a good rhetorical question for everyone.

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Am i an artist? i have a creative flair and will turn my hand to most things art related. i am working to improve my drawing skills.

Am i a decent craftsman at tattooing? i am confident in my approach and feel that i am improving all the time but i have a long long way to go!! i am apiring to become a tattoo artist - i haven't yet earned the right to use that title!

Do i know as much as i think i do? I think i do but i know there is alot more to learn. i try to not pass on information unless i am sure its accurate.

Am i humble? Damn straight i am ... and i know who to thank and where my roots are! i just hope to prove to those that help me in my quest that i am worthy of their time and advice!

Humble enough to accept advice from others that know more? How else will i grow and succeed if i don't?

Do you respect the craft and those that came before you? Of course ... without those people there would be no craft to respect!

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1. Are you an artist?

I'd like to think so, but I'll let others decide that.

2. Are you decent craftsman at tattooing?

Have no clue, never trying on human skin. But never got any complaints from the fruit so far.

3. Do you know as much as you think you do?

I know 100% of what I do know, and yet 0% of what I should.

4. Are you humble?

I guess that's for other to decide.

5. Humble enough to accept advice from others that know more?

I suspect that I am.

6. Do you respect the craft and those that came before you?

I respect anybody that believe in what they do.

:)

I like to think of myself as someone that loves to learn. My fault is being to damn sarcastic.. lol

Edited by loneferret
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way to stay grounded chef! that attitude will take you far and its EXACTLY the sort of thing a mentor wants to hear!! proud of you bro!

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1. Are you an artist? --Yes, I have my good days and bad days but all said and done I have to draw.

2. Are you decent craftsman at tattooing?---- not yet, wish I was, some days feels like a struggle not getting the results I require as yet...

3. Do you know as much as you think you do?--- Not much at all - still got a long way to go.

4. Are you humble?---I would like to think so.

5. Humble enough to accept advice from others that know more?--- yes, but I have to be careful of a slightly stubborn streak!

6. Do you respect the craft and those that came before you?--- God yes. Stoney st- clair in particular is my hero.

I just want to learn my trade. Do the best that I can do for my customers and hopefully make them really chuffed about their tattoos/body. Don't need to look any further than that for why I want to do it. A bit corny sounding I know - but sod it that's what I think.

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I thought that answering this might make what I say a little better understood :D

1. Are you an artist? --Nope. However, although I can't draw, I have an eye for what is good and what isn't. Kinda like my singing.. can't sing a note, but can pick out every slightly off note by someone else.

2. Are you decent craftsman at tattooing?---- No. I've watched hubby all the way through. Everything his mentor has taught him, I was there. I've seen the highs and lows. I'm not a craftsman.. but I've seen and felt what it takes to try and get there.

3. Do you know as much as you think you do?--- Absolutely not. I have a reasonable understanding of what makes a good tattoo (as reasonable as possible as I've never tattooed in my life). I also have the luxury of being able to see a nice tattoo without picking out the faults in it... I'm no expert. I know as much as I could now, tomorrow.. I'll know more :D

4. Are you humble?---For sure. I have my opinions, and I'll stick to them. However, my opinions are easily changed by those that are more experienced/knowledgable/talented in any field than I am. I will happily back down (publicly preferably.. I'm not one to hide behind anything.. keyboard included) and reassess my position. I'm not the greatest thing on earth and never will be... I hope to be humbled every single day. To not be would be the beginning of the end.

5. Humble enough to accept advice from others that know more?--- Of course. I'll put my opinions/thoughts/ideas forward at the drop of a hat :D I hope that sometimes they help people. However, I think that listening to what others have to say, and taking it on board and rethinking my own opinions is a fundamental part of learning.. and I'm not just talking about tattooing. I'm absolutely not ashamed to say that my opinions change, depending on what I've learnt and the advice I've accepted, thought about and appreciated.

6. Do you respect the craft and those that came before you?--- Definitely. As I've said, I'm not a tattooist in any way shape or form... hubby is. He's paid his dues, there was no easy way in for us (we moved from UK to Spain, left everything, so that hubby could train in a shop with a respected artist). We were lucky, we got the apprenticeship, so many potentially good artists can't. I look on hubby's tattooing as a joint venture, we were in this together when he first started out, and we're in this together now. It absolutely has to be a way of life.. not a job. Hubby is (and I am too) very 'Old School' in his views on how you get to be a tattooist. You work your butt off, for nothing, for a long time, either at home or as an apprentice. You need to know the history of tattooing to appreciate the choice you've made. It's not a regular job... people have worked long and hard to make tattooing a 'profession'.. a 'proper job'. You need to earn your right to permanently mark other peoples skin. By that I don't mean that I'm slating those who work from home/just starting out.. an apprenticeship isn't everything. I mean that you need to have the drive/ambition/need to be as good as you can be. You need to learn from those that came before you... you need to know that tattooing is a craft, not a job... you need to know that every tattoo you do can always be improved upon... you need to be open to new ideas/techniques/styles... you need to learn that progress is slow.. and to match your subject with your ability, i.e. never take on more than you can confidently deal with. Tattoo grapefruit to start with, then maybe pigskin, perhaps then maybe yourself... there's no glory in taking on more than you can handle. Better to make mistakes on any of them I just mentioned, than on another person. But mostly you need to remember that tattooing has a history. If you do it safely, hygienically and to the best of your ability, you'll be a part of that history. And that's what matters right? Being a little part of tattooing history :) You got into this because of those that went before you, the artists that inspired you, the fabulous pieces of work you saw, right? You wanted to be a part of that.

Well, now that you are, make sure you do it right. Tattooing has a fantastic history, great men and women, new ideas, shifting boundaries...

If you love the tattoo lifestyle as a whole, you'll be right ;)

Final words (and I know I've rambled on, but it matters to me) next time you see an older guy with the dodgy looking greeny/blue indistinct tats on his forearm (ex-Navy?), remember that the guy that did those tats helped build the way of life that we are so passionate today.

Kj xx

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1. Are you an artist? --as far back as i can remember, this is what i've been...without art, i'd go insane.

2. Are you decent craftsman at tattooing?----i am a deciple of the craft....treating it with the utmost respect and willingness to learn. i am honing my craft. it's a life long journey, not a destination.

3. Do you know as much as you think you do?--- i will continue to make sure i can support what i say with empricism, and second guess myself before others can.

4. Are you humble?---i am most certainly my harshest critic....i can't even accept praise for work i do...i only see what i could have done better.

5. Humble enough to accept advice from others that know more?--- the defination of "sensei" is one whho is further along in life than I....there is just so much to know about this art form.....i will continue to seek more understanding from others.

6. Do you respect the craft and those that came before you?--- I respect that tattooing is sacred in many cultures. I respect that it is one of the last crafts handed down from master to apprentice...I am moved by traditional/classic designs, and recognize contributions by those who paved the way in less tolerant times.

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1. Are you an artist?-- I do my best and put 100% into anything I do.

2. Are you a decent craftsman at tattooing--I am not even close to where I want to be.

3.Do you know as much as you think you do?-- I hardly know enough.

4. Are you humble?-- Yes I know I am a beginner and have loads to learn.

5. Humble enough to accept advice from those who know more?--Absolutely and spend most of my waking hours looking for it.

6.Do you respect the craft and those who came before you?-- Completly they are who I look up to and strive to be like.

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This should be a questionnaire before and after an apprenticeship and before you hire someone at a shop.

1. Are you an artist? – No, I do and enjoy creating art; everyone that I have known to say they are an artist says it with an air of condescension and can't draw their way out of a paper bag. Smearing crap on a canvas and titling with a clever name is never a replacement for something well crafted. I don't respect things I can do just as easy.

2. Are you decent craftsman at tattooing? ---- Maybe, I've reached a point in my carreer where basic construction and application are not a problem the only thing that limits me are the choices of my clients. It is not my skin therefore I can't force anyone to get something beyond their wanting.

3. Do you know as much as you think you do? ---No, I know what I know and never claim to know anything I don't to make myself look bigger. If I don't know something I look for the answer. Everything I talk about is from personal experience.

4. Are you humble? --- I would like to think so, there is always someone better. It's better to know who you are then to have someone tell you otherwise.

5. Humble enough to accept advice from others that know more? --- Yes and from people who don't; tattooing isn't for the tattoo artist you are providing a service for people that can't do it themselves. They are the ones that need to be happy with it not your peers.

6. Do you respect the craft and those that came before you?--- Yes the only problem it's so easy for people to get into this business for the wrong reasons that it is starting to bastardize the craft. A lot of hacks have made there way in and they are teaching and working when they have no buisness to be. Those with egos no matter how good they are do not get my respect. You should never forget where you came from. I can respect the executed tattoo because you can never argue someones talent because of their attitude.

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1. Are you an artist? – I try to do my very best everytime I pick up a tool, be it metalwork, woodwork, drawing or tattooing. I know that I have a LONG way to go though, but my heart and soul are in everything I do.

2. Are you decent craftsman at tattooing? I would say decent, yes, but definitely learning new things everyday. I am by no means a consumate tattoo artist. This will take time, LOTS of time.

3. Do you know as much as you think you do? I know enough to get by on a day to day basis, but as I said, I can always learn more and definitely look forward to the journey.

4. Are you humble? I like to think so. There are plenty of people out there better than me, and without their knowledge and dedication (as well as my own) I doubt I would have gotten this far.

5. Humble enough to accept advice from others that know more? Of course. Advice is only advice if it is taken. I always listen to others and hopefully take what they say on board.

6. Do you respect the craft and those that came before you? Most definitely! I would have loved to watch Sailer Jerry Collins or Stoney personally lay ink into someone's skin. The way tattooing has evolved amazes me daily and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the pioneers.

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I never intended for anyone to post their answers to the questions I asked myself, Im glad you guys did though.

I guess I did it to gauge myself as far as how much progress I had made, and what needed the most improvement.

I cant think of myself as an artist, I honestly dont know if I ever will. Id say im more of a craftsman. I have to do custom work, and to be honest Id say it's "OK", and takes me a loooong time to finish a drawing. Im talking multiple sketches, rifinement; and a final tracing.

Its not "gimme 30 minutes and Ill have a drawing for ya", I gotta really work at it.

And Mark, I consider you a VERY solid artist, I can appreciate being your own harshest critic; but IMO you have talent.

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I never intended for anyone to post their answers to the questions I asked myself, Im glad you guys did though.

I guess I did it to gauge myself as far as how much progress I had made, and what needed the most improvement.

I cant think of myself as an artist, I honestly dont know if I ever will. Id say im more of a craftsman. I have to do custom work, and to be honest Id say it's "OK", and takes me a loooong time to finish a drawing. Im talking multiple sketches, rifinement; and a final tracing.

Its not "gimme 30 minutes and Ill have a drawing for ya", I gotta really work at it.

And Mark, I consider you a VERY solid artist, I can appreciate being your own harshest critic; but IMO you have talent.

I guess coming from one of the biggest commercial, underground and fine art scenes in the country san Francisco. I really don't want to put myself in with the majority of hack douchbags calling their crap art and saying they are artists. As for drawings I never take 30 minutes for complex pieces I do a ton of sketches and research.

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1. Are you an artist? -- i feel the same as mark said, NO, although i know the deisgn process and can draw close to anything without reference im in no way a master of anything, i am a picky person , lets just say i know where to add and when to not continue with things. i think people who use hue instead of color are fags

2. Are you decent craftsman at tattooing?---- everything i learned before this forum i learned myself so i guess im crafty. id say im decent but in no way great . i can do a clean looking tattoo, can design from scratch.ive been tattooing for about 6 years and im not where i should be.

3. Do you know as much as you think you do?--- i know what i know really well , but theres things i dont know im not afraid to learn or say it or ask for help or ask questions.

4. Are you humble?--- im hungry to become better , but humble yes. ex: i can draw peoples faces and i probably could do a good color portrait but i wont because im not where i need to be to make it the best and im fine with that.

5. Humble enough to accept advice from others that know more?--- yeah definatly thats why im on this site, even people who know less it doesnt mean there wrong most of the time they make a good point most of the time.

6. Do you respect the craft and those that came before you?--- i totally respect the artists and techniques before us , in a way are very much like ourselves in most aspects. thats one of the reasons i dug this site for jason and daves cool oldschool work. i respect that era in time when the world wasnt handed to you, and guys worked and didnt play ps2 all day in there mothers basement. hard work.

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1. Are you an artist?

I can draw skulls and dead things..so YES

2. Are you decent craftsman at tattooing?

Hahahaha NO I'm an noob

3. Do you know as much as you think you do?

One thing I have learnt, as much as I learn day to day I still no nothing

4. Are you humble?

To an extent. I know there will always be people better at anything I do than myself.

5. Humble enough to accept advice from others that know more?

Defo I love learning stuff.

6. Do you respect the craft and those that came before you?

Respect for the craft yes if it was well executed, as for the people well... those that I've worked with or met yes. I'm not a hero worshipper, unless Aaron Cains reading this :P

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things must travel slow in Canada they have PS3 now.
lol and we have houses not igloo's now, shame you guys don't have a real hockey player though lol

as for being humble, well everytime i look at a magazine i realize i have a long way to go, i think the art of tattooing is something you never stop learning, there is 2 shops in my area, 1 has a guy who walks around like a rock star(looser) and the other is this guy link, he's the first guy around town that will even help out, he's so down to earth and is willing to admit he's still learning, now a guy like this is my kind of hero, i can only hope to be as good an artist as him and stay grounded, i think im average when it comes to being a newbie at this art, humble is when you do a good job on a tattoo and you cant stop looking at it cause you've impressed yourself , you don't know how proud i am of my heart n rose i posted woohoo im almost as good as the guy next door lol ps we had ps3 last yr lol

Edited by keyzink1
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Are you an Artist?

i used to consider myself an artist with my youthful arrogance. Now I find it unclear what an artist is, with the artforms around now, but in comparison to those I myself refer to as artists, NO i am not an artist. I love most artforms, I love trying to do art, i can mimic any art onto a stencil for my own uses, but NO I still can't produce original, quality art.

Are you a decent craftsman at Tattooing?

No, I am a long way from being anything at tattooing. I am quick to pick things up, I am a fast learner, i have the common sense which has helped my through life so far but it will be a warm day in Hell before I can call myself a craftsman at tattooing. It helps having over 1000 individuals in a similar situation willing to share experience, opinions, and advice on a forum like this though. I think I will learn more here than I would from one person(regardless of how good they are).

Do you know as much as you think you do?

Hmmmm, let me think, is this a trick question? I know as much as I have learnt, although I have forgotten some surely. I think I know enough to live life as I do, but I don't know enough to live life as I would wish to. So I expect to never stop learning, I think even a 105 yr old man in his death bed is still learning.

Are you humble?

I believe so.

Humble enough to accept advice from others that know more?

Definately. I must assume that everyone I meet will have more knowledge then me on any given subject. On the rare occasion this is not the case, there WILL be something he I know that he does not, & vice versa.

Do you respect the craft and those that came before you?

Yes. I must respect them in order to respect the concept and existence of tattooing. If not for them, tattooing would not be where it is today, with its quality and longevity.

On that note, i find it hard to respect the minority of 'professionals' who would refuse the 'right' to tattoo to those that will take this craft to the next generation.

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this is an awesome post....although im just an apprentice <_< i think its important that you keep it real as an artist and not get egotistical about your abilities.

a perfect example of this is my instructor (maddhatter) who is an excellent artist and in my opinion has done some wonderfull work......hes still says he doesnt know everything and is my opioin too humble in his assment of himself.......

so thanks for starting this thread, and helping others to remember theres always more to learn :o

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1. Are you an artist?

Absolutely. And like any other artist, I have a bit of OCD about it. My major problem is that I cannot make myself finish on anything but skin anymore. Even the rare charcoals I do take a huge amount of self-argument to complete. I hope to fix this one day, but tunnel vision can be a problem.

2. Are you decent craftsman at tattooing?

I think technician is a better word, but I would love more time to focus only on machine tuning. Guys like Andy make me way envious.

3. Do you know as much as you think you do?

I've learned the most important lesson (in my opinion) and that is you can never ask enough questions, no matter what level (you think) you're at.

4. Are you humble?

Humble, but extremely confident in my work. I won't ever talk down on even the worst tattoos (even when I'm faced with covering one), and I have to be able to appreciate the piece I'm about to do or I won't even consider inking it.

5. Humble enough to accept advice from others that know more?

For sure, BUT just because someone may not know MORE than you doesn't mean they don't have SOMETHING different to offer. You have to listen to everyone because they will inevitably have some pearl to offer, even the most unlikely source.

6. Do you respect the craft and those that came before you?

Without a doubt - and I really want to see it flourish to the next level. Without the new people, new cultures, different personalities, etc we'll all just be spinning our wheels or running in place. When I started years ago, my favorite artists were people like Gil Montie, Freddy Negrete, Kari Barba, the Lieu family, etc. Now there's a whole new group of up-and-comers that have taken their styles different directions, and developed new styles to learn from. One trend that's a great example, is it seems the graffiti artists that are crossing over are bringing a whole new twist on tattoo art - and the more of them that succeed, the more new things we can learn and apply to our own art. You don't have to reinvent the wheel, but you can keep making it better.

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good post chef...

1. Are you an artist? – No, i am a lazy bastard... a long time ago, the day i was meant to do my entrance exam for fine arts at university, i dropped acid instead! lol... now i'm a rigger / scaffolder and a hack 'artist' who spends too much time fucking about (like on the internet) than actually doing what i should be doing. I plan to get to a point where i'll be deemed an 'artist' (i.e. full time) in the eyes of others, but i'll always think i suck at it hahaha... nothing ever looks like it does in my head

2. Are you decent craftsman at tattooing? - no... i suck. Won't be returning to my leg until i have a better grasp of the machine, groupings & technique

3. Do you know as much as you think you do? ---No, memory like a gold fish... constantly reviewing everything... and who ever REALLY knows evertyhing anyway... even Einstein couldn't workout his bloody grocery shopping

4. Are you humble? --- Yes, nothing worse than an egomaniac know all

5. Humble enough to accept advice from others that know more? --- Yes, you never stop learning until you're dead whether you agree with them / it works for you or not

6. Do you respect the craft and those that came before you?--- Yes... it's such an interesting and involved medium with so many levels and aspects to it. Gotta have respect for that!! You'd be mad not too... This goes for anything you do in life. We always learn from the success and mistakes of those before us... if we didn't we'd still live in trees and throw our own shit at each other (well... we live in 'houses' and the shit has turned into bullets, bombs and lawsuits... but that's another story!) lol

haha that was fun... how much for that session dr sigmund chef-ink?... you have a most comfortable chais longue

Edited by rot & roll
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1. Are you an artist? Yes, but constantly learning...

2. Are you decent craftsman at tattooing? I'm ok but always trying to improve, I can take any criticism and use it to better myself.

3. Do you know as much as you think you do? ... Hell no... My brain is a sponge... I'm constantly trying to learn more and more, I don't care how good ppl say i am, I'm always up for learning something new.

4. Are you humble? Yes... very... There's no reason to be any other way in this industry, there's always someone better, there's always something new to learn, the second you think you know more than anyone else you'll be proven wrong.

5. Humble enough to accept advice from others that know more? Yup... see my previous answers... there's always someone better and that's the one I wanna learn as much as I can from...

6. Do you respect the craft and those that came before you? Definitely.. they are the ones who paved the way for me. They don't owe me anything and it's because of them why I'm where I am now, yeah people say I'm good, but that's only cuz there was someone better than me to show me how to be good... I just hope to reach their level someday.

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