Myke Chambers: Sorry if I Sound Like a Dick, but Your Tattoos Suck

Myke=profileBy Myke Chambers Sorry if I sound like a dick, (because I’m really not) but sometimes I’m blown away by how blind people are when it comes to tattoos. I know my tattoos aren’t the best, and they are not perfect, but the crap some people think are good tattoos is insane… One major problem is sometimes people think because you are a good artist it automatically means that you are also a good tattooer. I see it time, and time again, where a tattooer does some amazing drawings/paintings but can’t put in solid color or hold a steady clean line to save their fucking life! And I’m not talking about new tattooers either, I’m talking about tattooers that have been at it for years. Secondly, these tattooers that are messing these people up and 9 times out of 10 think their tattoos are actually good, so they keep at it. One of the main reasons is they have the people on the internet commenting about how great their tattoos are. And they have clients leaving thinking they got an awesome tattoo, but it’s like rewarding bad behavior, so-to-speak… So these tattooers have no reason to get better because obviously they’re The Shit… wrong. This type of behavior will only hurt a tattooer. We have to be able to tell people…”Sorry, but that kinda sucks.” It may hurt but it will drive them to get better. I know from experience. IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS PEOPLE Around six years ago I had been tattooing for about 11 years. 11 years! I told myself, “I’m a tattooer, and I’m  good, so fuck you.” I “thought” my tattoos were good and there wasn’t anything left for me to learn. Ha! It was exactly that mentality that kept me from growing. I was wrong. Around that same time a few tattooers that I respected told me I should stop tattooing and stop fucking people up. I was devastated. I almost quit tattooing. I looked at my tattoos from then, and realized they were right. I sucked… My whole life, all I knew was tattooing. What the fuck was I gonna do? Lay down and die? No… I was stronger than that. One thing was clear, I had to start all over. What I had been doing all those years was wrong. It was at that point that I learned humility and became teachable… I was ready to learn. The rest is history. Today I know that I’m not the shit, I’m not a rockstar, and there’s always room to grow… may I remain teachable until the day I die. (Myke can be found on the road and at Art Machine Productions in Philadelphia, PA.)

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13 thoughts on “Myke Chambers: Sorry if I Sound Like a Dick, but Your Tattoos Suck

  1. This. Is. Awesome.
    I couldn’t agree with this more, and to have this written by someone who’s been in that situation and has used it to become an amazing tattooer is even better. 🙂

  2. It needed to be said! I hear so much hype about some artists and don’t get it. They’re popular because they’re local and affordable. It’s great you’re wise enough to see beyond the shit.

  3. Right on Myke. Seriously, I write a tattoo critique blog for the benefit of my critical thinking and tattoo analyzation skills, and it BLOWS ME AWAY how many clients post their work online (truly terrible work!) which they think is amazing. Mind boggling. If I ever find myself thinking my tattoo work is “the shit” I would just up and quit. Humility is such a huge part of the learning process. Seeing work by artist that is so good it just makes me want to pack up and quit tattooing, really drives my art. Thanks for writing this!

  4. You hit it out of the park with this article. There are tons of shops that put out some really terible work….some of it is amazingly bad. I don’t understand it, don’t these so called “artists” have any kind of brain to realize their work is just…bad? I’m surprised people actually pay for it. The truth is you don’t need to be artistic to tattoo, you just need to know how to properly setup, breakdown and sterilize. And that sucks! I am just dumbfounded with some of the “profesional” peices I see….seriously. I am extremely humble about my work, I always look for ways to improve my skill. I’m not in this perfession to be the best tattooer….it’s so subjective anyways. I don’t claim to be the best…I never will. If I can impress myself, do some quality artwork on clients and make a living, I will be happy. Tattooing is a constant learning curve, I love looking at others work and being impressed. So, shitty “pro” tattoo artist prob think their work is the best (in-consistent lines, blow outs, shitty fills, infection etc etc) will never know the true meaning of the artform, and it’s so dissapointing.

  5. Can someone help me out here..? I’m tattooing for almost 20 years now and always tried to come up with the best possible tattoo/design i’m capable off. If i look around nowadays it almost seems an ‘over the top oldskool’ design is appriciated higher than a well thought over and executed design/tattoo..!
    What i mean with ‘over the top oldskool’ are all these things Jay mentioned in the comment before…inconsistent lines, crossed lines in points, off the line fills..etc. Plus the design looks like a 5 year old done it..!
    I could be wrong and it could be just a matter of taste…but is it..?? Or could it be that ones people get attention through reviews and such they don’t give a sheeps crap anymore and get away with major fuckups..?

    I mean don’t get me wrong i love a well executed Am.traditional tattoo with bald use of black and solid (straight..!) lines..!
    So is it a matter of taste or a new style maybe..? Or do these guys really fuck up and don’t give a shit because they get good credits….no matter what they put on skin..?

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