I was on the road once and stopped to visit Gil Montie. He’s a very helpful guy to younger artists; I really liked him once I spoke to him a few times. I stopped at his awesome shop (Tattoo Mania) in Texas, just to say hello, after seeing him and hanging out with him at a convention. He took a look at me- in road gear, dirty shirt, busted up cowboy hat, tired, bedraggled. and he told me that I had to make myself look better.
That I should respect the work I do enough to be professional about my appearance, and that I was better than that. That tattooers are important people, that we do useful work, and we should care about ourselves, each other, and the work we do. That what we do, who we are, means something. And that it should be taken seriously by us (if not by the world at large)
It kind of stunned me because I’d never thought of it before. I’d been a crusty like punker when I was younger and went through years of politically-charged poor hygiene…but now I was a professional.
He was right. Ever since then I’ve tried to maintain at least some semblance of good hygiene. I usually dress down for work but I wash my face before I go in. Anyone that’s worked with me will tell you that I have good days and bad days…I tend to the smelly side, always have, even when I’m clean. But some days I can manage to do it right. I’m not usually in a three piece suit, but it’s not unheard of. So here are some pictures from work yesterday…that sum it up well.