More followers , better artist?
Nope my friend.
I feel a little clarification is due.
The number of followers IS NOT a measure of how skilled and experienced a tattooer is. This is a misconception fruit of the modern age.
(You can look up what “cognitive biases” are, very interesting stuff).
I’m aware of apprentices (aka people still learning the very basics) with a huge amount of followers compared to other tattooers.
People that have been in the profession for 10-20-30+ years, distinguishing themselves for expertise, vision and ethics.
Mike Roper doesn’t even have social media.
What does that say about the whole framework?
Instagram is mostly marketing skills applied to a platform ruled by an algorithm.
I always believed that the relevance of a professional should be established by qualified people, belonging somehow to the trade and well educated about it.
Nowadays, at least in the perception of the public (and some greener tattooers), that is decided by social media, so is the redistribution of work.
Especially for younger artists, I once more highlight the importance of knowing your trade, meaning:
-Where styles, subjects and techniques come from;
-Who contributed significantly and how;
-Reverse engineering what the components of a well planned, placed and executed tattoo are.
This way your understanding will be based on knowledge and research, a wonderful journey of discovery on its own, rather than the guess of the uninformed.
That being the algorithm or the last trendy page ran by marketing hustlers who never even heard of Filip Leu.
Go to the roots, not to the fruits.
This is why I have created Tattoo Tales, to try to amplify the voices of those who spent lives of dedication to this.
So that their experience might educate and inspire, give a sense of direction safe from false idols, celebration of the ego and misplaced focus.
Ultimately, let’s remember that knowledge is power.
Take control of your own, so that you truly become a contributor to the industry by cultivating and promoting educated information.