Skin Deep 269

Skin Deep 269 11 October 2016 269


About three years back, we moved into a house that needed some work. Not a whole lot of work, but definitely some work. It’s funny how days turn into weeks into months.

Yesterday, a guy turned up to look at the bathroom because its ‘fake it till you make it’ attitude about actually being a bathroom is fading. Arriving an hour later than he said he would because he needed to ‘stop for a sandwich’ and then dicking about in the car for 10 minutes, when he finally got in the house he asked me what I did (I guess people are curious as to why I’m at home) and this loosened his tongue enough to tell me that he was really a songwriter not a bathroom measurer. That’s something I have experience of for sure, so we talked about this for a while—or we did until I discovered his time was better spent measuring bathrooms. The farce continued and probably hasn’t ended yet.

There is nothing wrong with working for a living—the table is always looking for bread and the Gods will bear witness that I have paid my dues along the way and have felt the pain (and then some) but there is something wrong with not actually doing the thing your heart is screaming out for you to get on with.

It would have been neat if he had come in and said he was late because he had to stop and get some lyrics down that came to him while driving. I would have had ultimate respect for that. That would have been a man writing songs regardless of being Ryan Tedder or not (look him up).

That man would be doing His Thing.

And this has what to do with tattooing?

The number of people I meet who want to be tattooers is still growing. The number of people looking for apprenticeships and wanting articles in the mag about such things, is definitely on the increase. And yet, when challenged for proof of life—sketchbooks, flash sheets, drawings on napkins, biro tattoos out of boredom, whatever… nine out of ten wannabes don’t have such things. Nothing.

It’s called Empty Hand Syndrome and is caused by thinking TV or what everybody else is doing on social media is more interesting than practicing your art.

Those days that turn into weeks that turn into months… those are your days too.

Five hours sleep a night is enough for anybody. You might crash now and again, but when there’s important stuff you should be doing to get where you’re going, it’s more than enough and sometimes the world needs you to bring more than damn bread to the table.

Do sharks complain about it being Monday? No. They’re up early, biting stuff, chasing shit, being scary and reminding everyone they’re a fucking shark.

Strap on your fins.


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