"Tattoo School" Picked Up By TLC
11:51 AM
tattoo school tattoo.jpg
Oh, you are going to be mad. I'm talking Just John Tattoo mad (see below).

Last July, a mass of professional tattooists and collectors rose up to boycott TLC's "Tattoo School" -- a show where the disillusioned are led to believe they can learn to tattoo in just two weeks. This sparked online petitions, Facebook pages, and angry YouTube videos. Oh, and death threats. But things quieted down when TLC said it was just a one-off program and not a series.

Well, "Tattoo School" is now a series.

Check a video premier of the show on Entertainment Weekly. Also the Futon Critic posted TLC's press release, which offers this explanatory gem:

Over the two-week intensive course, students will be tested on three 'real world' challenges that mimic the situations they may find themselves in as a working tattoo artist. Each challenge will test a specific skill or technique that is required to become successful in the business. From sketching to inking human VIP clients, the students will be subjected to all aspects of tattoo artistry. Upon graduation, the student with the best final, original tattoo is gifted with a golden gun, which will last for their entire career.
A golden tattoo gun!

Ya know what will last their entire career? The shame of taking the easy way out to learn a craft and get 15 minutes seconds of reality TV fame.

While I've been mellowing -- or rather given up -- a lot of my anger over tattoo TV [as I noted in my "Best Ink" post], there's something just so ... sad about it. So sad I can't even find something funny about it to properly mock.

What's particularly upsetting is that, even with a boycott of tattoo school grads by reputable studios, many will indeed get jobs because of America's particularly obscene obsession with TV celebrities. How do you explain Kim Kardashian's fame? People will want to get a tattoo, even a bad tattoo, by someone who has been on TV just to say that a "celeb" did it. We've seen it already with the competition shows where the weakest artists (but great self-promoters) are the "stars" at conventions. They also get paid to show up at nightclubs and suddenly have waiting lists for sub-stellar work.  

Maybe the best course of action is to not make them celebrities -- or bring more viewers to TLC -- by giving them publicity with blog posts like this one or angry videos. Maybe we need to pretend "Tattoo School" doesn't exist and instead promote excellence in the industry.

In that case, I apologize for writing this and will go back to artist profiles on those who deserve it.

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