I Want To Join Banner Skully
Buy Merch
Advice from an Industry Asshole - Part 2
Hello and welcome to cooking with fire and I am your host, Gak...oh wait, no, I'm kciR, and this is Advice from an Industry asshole.  Todays topic is just as important as fire is to cooking.   if you read that and think "but hey, what about sushi?" you should just go finish your mac-world ezine and bagel, you preppy asshole, because I'm talking about how to get an apprenticeship and you probably wouldn't make it.  For the rest of you, turn down the White Zombie, open up a beer (unless you are Harley), and read on.

"Ok, I got my beer, the music isn't blowing my mind anymore, I read the last article and found a good artist, and I want to be an apprentice.  What do I do next?"   

I recommend getting to know the person you want to train you.  Don't just show up and state your desire to replace the person you're talking to.  Essentially, you're saying: "I like your job, I want it."  Take that into consideration before broaching the subject.  What you think is so fun and easy to do is this person's livelyhood and if you don't take the subject seriously and treat it with respect you will probably insult them.   Most artists get asked frequently about taking someone on and rarely if ever does anything come of it.  Consequently, most of us aren't going to take you seriously unless you make a good case for yourself.

First of all, check to be sure you are qualified to be an apprentice.  Make sure you have the time to commit.  If you can only make 1-2 days a week you can guarantee yourself a long, long apprenticeship.  If you can work 7 days a week make sure you can afford to eat and pay rent without relying on the time you dedicate to learning.  It may be a long time before you make some cash and You better get used to the taste of ramen.  If mom's still doing your laundry you better spend your savings on chocolate and shit she likes so she puts up with your dumbass coming home at 3am with pockets full of cheeze-whiz and popcorn after a long day of straightening flash and answering the phone.  

Transportation is important.  If you can't show up responsibly don't even attempt to hold a schedule.  If you're supposed to be at work at a specific time you're supposed to be there.  Paid or not.  People rely on you to do your job when you say you can do it, so don't dick around.  If you're still in the getting-to-know-you phase with your artist and you're getting some work done by them make sure you're on time, as this sets a good first impression.   

Don't name drop or kiss ass when speaking to your would-be-mentor.   Find common interests and talk about them.  Just because we work around tattoos doesn't mean that's all we talk about.  If you say some stupid shit about Ed Hardy being a cool artist or that you really liked what Kat Von D stuck in her ass last episode you can count on the cold shoulder.   Showing off that retarded tribal or barbed wire your homeboy did in your kitchen isn't going to get you cool points.  
If you have previous experience working in the industry, bring in a portfolio.  DO NOT bring in some pilled out moron friend of yours with four safety pins hanging out of her lip and belly button.   The people you associate yourself with will define how you are seen as well.  If you bring an acquaintance who is ill mannered and a pain to be around you are probably going to be asked to leave.  It's always best to show up under your own power and act responsibly.  
Alcohol/drug before meeting up with your artist is STRONGLY discouraged.  If you two decide to go have a beer afterwards, that's perfectly fine, but NEVER show up intoxicated.  Many good shops have strict policies about drug use.  Getting fired with prejudice from one of these studios may hurt your chances at another studio, as artists are like hairdressers and love to spread gossip. 
However you do it, always be on your best behavior, even after you are an apprentice.  Remain professional whenever possible, learn your lessions, and always follow rule #1.  
Hakuna Matata, Bitches.

- kciR
kciR (aka Rick) has been warned, flagged heavily, and then finally banned from the forums for his natural tendency to be an asshole. Unfortunately, he also provides a great amount of helpful advice, so what do we do? We bring him aboard as our first columnist!

Copyright © 2023 Permission is granted to reprint this article in its entirety as long as credit is retained and usage is non-commercial. Requests to publish edited or shortened versions must be confirmed in writing. For bibliographical purposes this article was first published January 15, 2011 in New York City, US.

I hope someone sees the humor in this =)
Posted on January 15, 2011 (11:55pm)
informative ...
Posted on January 16, 2011 (3:42am)
i love the referance to hairdressers. So true tho!
Posted on January 16, 2011 (3:59am)
I try to follow rule #1 as much as possible:(
Posted on January 16, 2011 (12:31pm)
this article should come out more frequently, kcir is straight to the point and its hard to stop reading once you start, i was stoked for the next article before i was finished reading this one.
Posted on January 16, 2011 (4:01pm)
ahem. this and the third installment were written around 2 weeks ago. someone was just too busy enjoying australia to post them. :P
Posted on January 16, 2011 (5:06pm)
Posted on January 16, 2011 (6:11pm)
you have good advice. i enjoy reading your column :)
Posted on January 16, 2011 (9:05pm)
Love it! So straight to the point!
Posted on January 17, 2011 (10:20am)
Posted on January 17, 2011 (3:09pm)
KciR touched on this, but I think it needs to be mentioned more. If you covet an apprenticeship with any piercer, get some piercings from them. Not only to get to see how they do things but to get a good fell of if you'll even be able to get along. Nothing destroys an apprenticeship faster than clashing personalities. I'm not saying you have to have every little thing in common, but if you cant hold a decent conversation with that person, it won't work from either side.

The other reason this is a good idea is because when someone comes in to ask about an apprenticeship and they have multiple piercings and then upon asking tells you they have the $20 piercing shop across town pierce them, then that is the end for me. If you respect piercing enough to want to do it, respect it enough to seek out quality work. I actually had a girl ask me to teach her to pierce but then told me she'd ONLY let a certain other piercer in town pierce her. SO wait? Im not good enough to pierce you, but you want me to teach you my trade?
Posted on January 17, 2011 (3:16pm)
well said. keep up the great advice. the public needs it.
Posted on January 17, 2011 (7:47pm)
Join Now!
Welcome to!
The most kick-ass Body Mod community in the world!