I was going to write something helpful today…

praying mantis shadowbox with teethI had planned to update my old post about lettering for tattoo art (because I’ve learned a lot since then)- but then…

today I looked over what it costs me to keep my websites up ad-free. two hundred bucks a year. It’s a lot, maybe too much. every year it takes a chunk and I always wonder if it’s worth it, that’s money I will only have if my car repair is cheap and I don’t go to the dentist. You know? That’s two months of internet and phone. That’s a doctor-bill payment.

The ads wouldn’t pay me anything, this is a non-commercial site, and I’ll never MAKE money from it. Even if I downgrade and allow the ads- they won’t pay me anything. This site is considered “adult content” so I can’t have any google ad network ads on it- and even if I did, my numbers would pay out maybe five bucks a year. Then there’s the content of those ads the hosting company would run, they’d be for crap I don’t endorse (THANKS GOOGLE YOU JERK) like tattoo schools (SCAM), unlicensed equipment (WTF), etc… and all it would do is lower my cost yearly to around thirty or forty bucks if I let them run them.

Every year I go through this dilemma. Every year I end up paying it out, even though this is the season when the wolf is at the door. And every year I feel more resentful about it, wishing people who just found my site randomly (not people who already know my work or me, new people) would just buy something…even one or two random hits would pay for the site. But they don’t, so I go through this every year. Maybe my work is just that bad! I’m never sure. Maybe I don’t post useful content at all, that could be.

I have a paypal button up if people want to chip in to help me keep the site running. It nets about ten to thirty bucks a year, usually. Then I feel the stuff I post must be pretty useless- if nobody wants to keep the site up but me, and one or two friends who I could just TELL this stuff to- then why bother? I could just post the stuff I have for sale, make no informative posts, and let the damn ads run. Because fuck it, right? I could put all that stuff into an ebook and list it on amazon or something and not just give it away.

And so I came here to post a long photo essay showing new things I’ve picked up in the last two years about tattooing text and lettering, how to plot it out, expanding on the thing I wrote that was just joking around, making it actually helpful to newer tattoo artists. Adding in tricks I have been given or told. Helping out people who might be having the same kind of fierce struggle with lettering I’ve always had. Sharing information, you know? The main reason I have this site at all.

I spent a day taking photos of stuff, grid lines, bending, how to make text look better than your computer would. I looked up and did research on sign painting and tattoo artists I know who do excellent lettering, wrote them emails, asked permission and questions. And you know what?

Instead of writing that, I’m paying all the money I have in my account, today, to keep the damn site up.

I’ll probably feel better tomorrow and have forgotten all about my money woes and have the good spirits and energy to post that piece. I think. It doesn’t take me long to get over being peeved. When I am peeved, though, I have to say something. So here you go, my yearly rant.

Here’s the paypal link, it’s also in the top left corner of every page on the site. Consider it. Mull it over. I’ll post something useful tomorrow and end all this dreadful whining.
||| kick in a few bucks to keep the site running (paypal link)