"The things I could tell you about that business. ALL the very specific gossip, powertripping, speculation, back biting, back stabbing, treachery, smoke and mirrors bullshit, drug dealing shop owners, client fuckers fucking clients in the shop during business hours, control freak OSHA types, suppliers selling misrepresented crap, lying machine builders, lip service paid to proper sterilization techniques while obliviously cross contaminating shop from HiV+ client. And bikers. And scammers. No FDA approval for tattoo pigment. 'Tattoo Pigment' that is actually low end acrylic craft paint. And narcissists. Lots and lots of narcissists, and other serious personality disorders including psychopaths. Plus many artists with no formal training, no interest in the visual arts, or aptitude for this whatsoever. But they act/look cool and can trace and use a stencil maker and they have the latest giant grip on their rotary machine. And they are on the forums and their Tumblr every day and go to the same conventions as you. Lots and lots of ego, bluster, ignorant and oblivious cultural appropriation mixed in with some bullshit old timey retro stance to go with the WW2 imagery, expensive selvedge denim, and waxed handlebar moustache hipster scum. Did I mention the conformity?"
—Is the tattoo industry a unique hotbed of intrigue and skulduggery or just another example of how every human endeavor is filled with terrible people who are only out for themselves and where even those who come into it with the best intentions are eventually dragged down by the inexorable pull towards mediocrity and worse that infects all of our efforts because everyone, even you—especially you—is a huge disappointment? Tell us in the comments!