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Flogger
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Quote Flogger Replybullet Posted: May/07/2010 at 7:34am
Didn't mean to step on anyones toes here, hope no one took offense =)

What I meant is that one would probably chose the apprentice rather than the other way around, so one naturally choses someone who they know will do this and really put effort into it, so money doesn't really matter. A teacher wants a student as much as the student wants the teacher, it should be a trade IMO.

As a footnote, we don't charge people for college around here, all education is for free and money is given to people studying (as well as the ability to loan money).
I have heard of people getting an apprenticeship and getting social welfare (as it in the future will make them taxpayers), but as I said, the system in the US is different :)
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Quote MontanaPiercer Replybullet Posted: May/07/2010 at 10:08am
The USA is the world's capital for capitalism. Very little happens without a fee, yes. Most artist can do without the headache of an apprentice. I have never personally known any that NEEDED and apprentice.  Usually an apprencitce is taken because the artist has more work than he can handle alone or is looking to free up his/her time for other things. Few people want to train another to take their hunk of pie so to speak. This is the case with me. My piercing apprentice was trained to replace me, when I moved into a tattooing role.
 
Another artist working in town can easily cost you the $1500 in lost business that you got from the person for the apprenticeship.  This is something that all mentors should keep in mind. There is only so much food at the buffet line.....
 
ps, no Flogger, no offense. I see how your rearing and your country's social structure can lead to that point of view. It wasn't presented in an offensive or inflammatory way, its all good.


Edited by MontanaPiercer - May/07/2010 at 10:18am
"A word to the wise isn't necessary -- it's the stupid ones that need the advice." Bill Cosby
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Carrie_p2005
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Quote Carrie_p2005 Replybullet Posted: May/07/2010 at 1:06pm
To add something I meant to say earlier, I don't agree with posting a classified ad to seek out an apprentice.  It takes a special kind of person to make it in this industry.  Your average jackass won't have the social skills, artistic skills/dexterity, mental capacity, or motivation to even complete the apprenticeship, let alone become a well-respected artist.

We never look for an apprentice, we don't need one.  Sometimes having another artist would be good, but as Montana said, it's all a trade-off.  During tax time, having a second artist would definitely help us squeeze everyone in and prevent us from having to turn away walk-ins, but the other 9-10 months out of the year, we make just enough to live comfortably.  Having to share the money that we make would significantly cut into our standard of living. 

To say a teacher wants a student as much as the student wants the teacher, I would have to disagree with that, at least for the most part.  There are times when an artist really needs the help and actively seeks out an apprentice.  But I would have to say that for every artist who wants an apprentice, there are at least 50 people seeking an apprenticeship.  If an artist were to seek out an apprentice, I would expect more of a trade situation.  But if the potential apprentice is not needed, or even wanted for that matter, why trade for services that are already covered?

I see how my argument doesn't really apply to your original post, as you were pointing out that an apprenticeship was being offered in the newspaper, and my point was basically supporting your original statement.  I pretty much disagree with the advertisement all the way around.  To me it seems like they've found an easy way to make a little extra money.  Charge $1500 (I think that's the amount in the ad), offer half-ass training to get them out the door quickly so you can make another $1500 off the next guy.  It sounds a lot like a shop here in our town.  They will train ANYONE (I use that term loosely) with no money down, and let that person work off the fees afterward by keeping 100% of the money that person makes off tattoos or piercings.  Once you're fees are paid, you're out the door.  The whole thing is a sham.  The artists are never there to actually support the apprentice, and all the work on clients is done by an apprentice without the client's knowledge, while the "artists" and the owner split the money.  In the 2 years we've been in this town, we've met at least 6 apprentices from that shop.  It's a complete joke and shames the industry.
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Quote Flogger Replybullet Posted: May/08/2010 at 7:26am
I suppose if one needs help in a shop then an apprentice is more than just an apprentice, IMO an apprentice should only learn the important things needed to become a piercer, not be some kind of "slave" around the shop, seen this quite a bit and seems they're not actually looking for an apprentice as much as a free cleaning-help. But that of course isn't everyone, but I've seen it a few times and it seems as though they don't really want to teach them what they need, kinda like you said Carrie, they just want help for a bit (and cash) and then kick them out the door when they're "done".

Educating a competitor is of course always a tricky thing, they will most likely steal some customers (even of only a few). Often they make a deal with the apprentice though, that they're not allowed to open a shop within 100km of the teachers city, for example. In that way not stealing as much of the clients.

Anywho, I'm quite new in the industry myself and won't be looking for an apprentice any time soon, if ever.

Cheerio! =)
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Quote Carrie_p2005 Replybullet Posted: May/10/2010 at 12:54pm
Originally posted by Flogger

IMO an apprentice should only learn the important things needed to become a piercer, not be some kind of "slave" around the shop


I have to disagree with this statement.  It is so very important to teach the apprentice the significance of cleanliness.  Our apprentices spend the first few months doing nothing but cleaning.  We do this not to punish them or make them a slave, but to stress that 90% of the job is not fun and games, it's ensuring that both the artist and the client is safe.  We refuse to teach someone how to potentially put a client at risk until that person fully understands how to keep the client safe.  Too often these days I see apprentices enter with the attitude "I'm not your slave, I don't have to clean."  But that couldn't be further from the truth.  It is EVERYONE'S responsibility to clean.  Maybe not so much sweeping and mopping when the studio has someone to do general housekeeping, but each person is still responsible for keeping their own station sanitary.  If you allow the apprentice to form the attitude that "cleaning isn't my job", that sets a precedent for unsanitary conditions.  We don't have a housekeeper, we all share in the responsibility of cleaning at our studio, so why do I have to inform our current apprentice that the fucking toilet needs to be cleaned every day, and that I'm not going to be the only one who does it?  When you get someone in the habit of cleaning every single day, it becomes second nature, not something that gets done only after constant reminders. 

When my fiance started his apprenticeship in Germany, he spent the first 3 months scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush.  After all that time, he finally stood up one day and said, "how is the floor supposed to be clean when you hand me the same damn toothbrush every day."  After that, he never had to clean the floor with a toothbrush again.  The point his mentor was trying to make: no matter how clean a surface appears to be, it will still be contaminated unless you clean it properly.  Maybe that was an extreme way to go about getting a point across, and maybe it wasn't 100% accurate considering that a floor will always be dirty regardless of what you do, but it was still a valid point. 

It's not about the free cleaning help, at least not with us.  I'm not saying that it doesn't happen, but to say a shop isn't doing a proper apprenticeship because they expect the apprentice to both pay and clean isn't always accurate.  In my opinion, one does not necessarily cancel out the other.  Whether an apprentice pays or not, it does not make sanitation any less important.  What is important is whether or not the apprentice will get hands on training, the mentor has the experience to properly teach, and if the apprentice will walk away ready to be a competent artist.


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Quote Flogger Replybullet Posted: May/10/2010 at 1:29pm
Of course cleaning is a very important part, I'm not saying they shouldn't clean, just that they shouldn't be treated as a cleaner but as a colleague, an equal that helps around, naturally of course still being treated as a student when it comes to piercing, but isn't downsized by his lack of knowledge (as that is why he is there, to learn), this is my opinion with all types of teaching though and not just in this question.

Sounds like you've got a good system there Carrie with all of you doing the cleaning together, I alone do the cleaning in our shop (I do pay less rent for that though) and it is more work than people think. Hygiene is extremely important and they need to know that.
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Quote kcir Replybullet Posted: May/13/2010 at 4:32pm
Originally posted by Flogger

But an apprentice who already devotes all his full time to the shop still needs to survive, so asking them to pay for it is IMO to expect too much.



where exactly did you apprentice and when did you become a pro? i see you've been doing work at home and bought some tools, but that doesn't necessarily qualify you as an authoratative source.
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Quote Flogger Replybullet Posted: May/14/2010 at 7:20am
I started off piercing at home and slowly but surely got to doing more and more stuff on friends and friends of friends, after a while I realized I wanted to do this for a living. I went to my piercer and talked to him frequently, he told me things I needed to think about, how do to certain procedures (such as dermal anchors) and told me what I needed to know to continue practicing, I went and still go to him regularly. He also said that he had undergone two apprenticeships, one here in Sweden and one in London and he simply said that they're not really worth it, learn the theory and then the only way to learn piercing is through practice and it definitely doesn't hurt to have a pro to talk to when questions arise, which is what he said he could help me with.
His name is Eddie and works in Gothenburg at Ed's Kroppskonst and is regarded as one of the top body modders in the country and no, I am not or have never been  his "apprentice", simply learning from him every time I visited him for the past three years, mostly theoretically but some things he showed me practically as well.

I started working with this professionally in January when I started my own company, three years after doing my first piercing and six months after doing my first scarification.

So I suppose I haven't really apprenticed at all, perhaps in your eyes that doesn't get me a say in the question.
Though I have simply been uttering my opinion on the matter of whether one should pay or not pay for apprenticeships, which doesn't have anything to do with the fact that it says "Bmod Pro" under my name. It's interesting to hear others opinion on the question.

So there you go Kcir, cheers!
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Quote Carrie_p2005 Replybullet Posted: May/14/2010 at 12:37pm
Something that has seemed to have been lost in the shuffle in the past 5-10 years or so, in this industry respect is earned, not given.  Maybe it's a result of the overall attitude of humanity, where the concept of working for what you want baffles most people.  You think it's bad that apprentices are stuck doing most if not all of the cleaning?  You should have seen what apprentices had to go through 20 years ago.  Hazing, name-calling, being treated like the dirt beneath someone's feet.  It was brutal.

I don't necessarily agree with hazing and treating your apprentice like absolute shit, but I do long for the sacredness of the industry.  There once was a time when if you wanted to be an artist, you had to really want it.  If you were anything but tough as nails you wouldn't get anywhere.  As such, only a select few rose to the top.  You didn't see a shop full of wanna-be's on every corner, and artists could actually make a very good living because they didn't have to compete with the jackass 2 blocks down who bought his equipment on Ebay and watched some videos on youtube.  Today it's way too easy for anyone to become an "artist".  And with the current attitude of today's society, if you expect your apprentice to start at the very bottom and earn his/her way up, you're an asshole.  You're not respecting your apprentice.  I suppose this attitude is across the board.  Hell, not too long ago I heard a news story about interns bitching that the work experience to add to their resume wasn't enough for them, they needed to be paid for their time.  Nevermind the fact that companies give internships as a way for college students and recent graduates to gain work experience when a fresh degree alone is not enough to land their dream job, and that those internships wouldn't exist as a paying job.  WTF has happened to people?  Are they too fucking lazy to work even a fraction as hard as their parents?

I'm not old school by any means, I've only been an artist for 3 years, but I've been taught old school.  I've been taught that you respect your mentor, you respect those who have been doing it longer than you, and you respect the art and the industry.  You get respect in return when you have earned it.  It doesn't get handed to you on a silver platter.  Until you earn that respect, you know your place.

It kind of baffles me when someone says something like the apprentice should be treated like a student when it comes to tattooing or piercing, but treated equally in all other areas.  I don't know why an apprentice should be considered an equal.  How are they equal to an artist who has spent the last 10 years working his/her ass off?  Sure, treat the apprentice like a fucking human, but the fact remains that they are starting off at rock bottom.  They are not equal on any level.  As time goes by and the apprentice learns about the trade, learns how a shop works, and earns the respect of the mentor, this slowly balances out.  But to demand equal treatment in the beginning is akin to the attitude of the society as a whole, I deserve everything although I have worked for nothing.
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Quote kcir Replybullet Posted: May/14/2010 at 4:10pm
flogger...just because you have a rope doesn't mean you're a cowboy.

i've never heard of your buddy "eddie." if your friend thinks an apprenticeship is not worth it the reasoning behind it is that he probably doesn't know enough to teach you. the only thing seperating you from a kitchen crusader is that you own a studio. what are you going to do when you nick something severe and blood gushes? call your friend a couple hours away with blood flowing everywhere and ask for help?

obviously you've made your decision already, but i personally think you should learn to walk before you start running. by not taking an apprenticeship you're missing out on the fundamental education that lays the groundwork for your future endeavors. it's not about being the shop bitch. my apprentice will tell you as much, i don't make him do anything not directly related to learning, even if he doesn't realize it.

when you sort and package tapers day after day you end up with an eye for sizes. when you mop the stains on the floor you learn what gets up the ink and what kills blood. everything is for a reason.

for you to pooh-pooh the system because you don't understand the reasons the tasks are there shows quite a bit about your attitude towards the industry.

i'd like to add that giving out pro status to kitchen hacks makes the rest of us look just as sketchy.
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