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I finally was able to come into the shop early enough to get some practice in.... grapefruits!

I have been pretty frustrated lately, with the whole thing. It felt good to just sit down and listen to the machine for a little while before my mentor came in to watch. I know that I signed up an "old school" apprenticeship, and its very difficult to just be patient and take in all the information that you can. After watching 3 friends go from apprentice to "professional" tattooer in less than 2 yrs, I have a better appreciation for those that have really put in their time. I'm blessed to know that I am one in very few of my generation to receive a "real" apprenticeship, one that will actually count for something. I have been apprenticing for 2 yrs and 3 months, still have yet to tattoo a paying customer. My friends bug me to practice on them, and I feel like if I am made to wait any longer I will explode! I get alot of "what kind of tattoo apprenticeship doesn't have you actually tattooing?" Well, after I am done these 3-4 yrs, I will not only be able to put in a clean and solid tattoo, but I would have built the machine I tattooed with, built the needles I used, spun the coils on my machine, mixed the inks used to put in the tattoo, and fixed up the broken clip cord after it shorted out during that tattoo. How many "professional" tattooers can say that that are under the age of 30? Not many, but I will. The tradition behind tattooing really interested me from the beginning, and the MOST traditional thing about tattooing is the road which you take to actually learn how to do it. Just like when Leonardo apprenticed Raphael. I am so excited to start, and don't have much farther to go.

So, to the grapefruits!! Practiced some vines hand drawn on a grapefruit as stencil doesn't go too well. My linework is not as shaky as before, but I need to get better at pulling long lines and picking up on started ones. That seems to be hardest part for me so far. "SLOW THE HELL DOWN!" I have to keep telling myself. I paint very fast, and therefore draw fast.... but tattooing is forever, no erasers people...

That's all for now, will post some more artwork in a bit.

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