Several years ago, a new trend in TV, and tattooing, emerged. Various television shows began to spring up, focusing on local tattoo shops, letting the general public in to what had previously been a slightly cliquey and stigmatized environment. People that would otherwise never step into a shop found themselves engrossed in these shows – they, for many, became a more risqué, more true to life soap opera. Viewers were tuning in just to see whether that ditzy front desk girl would ever get fired, or which tattoo artist would win whatever the shop argument du jour was. And those of us that worked in a shop were inundated with the same question over and over: is that what it’s really like?
The answer, of course, is yes…and no…and sometimes. There isn’t a single industry on earth that is entirely free of drama, and many of the things portrayed in those shows do go on in every shop on earth. But it must be kept in mind that this is TV, and the producers want drama. The cameras get turned off during the normal, day-to-day goings on, and only the more interesting conflicts and customers ever make it on screen. If you are looking for only the most exciting, dramatic, and outrageous moments of our lives, those shows will offer the occasional accurate portrayal. If, however, you are looking for information on what the industry as a whole is like, there are many better places to turn. Tuck in and check out these in-depth and informative documentaries on the art:
ANCIENT INK : http://www.watchdocumentary.tv/ancient-ink-blood-and-tattoos-documentary/
HORI SMOKU SAILOR JERRY : http://horismokumovie.com/
TATTOOS: A SCARRED HISTORY : http://www.tattoosascarredhistory.com/home.html
THE GYPSY GENTLEMAN : http://gypsygentleman.com/
THE VANISHING TATTOO : http://www.juxtapoz.com/tattoo/the-vanishing-tattoo-documentary