I think it’s very important to stay humble. I try my best. We all get a bit prideful at times, but it’s good to keep that attitude in check. A lot of negative consequences come out of pride and ego. Left to run it’s course, pride will lead to a disregard for the welfare of others, and a belief in entitlement that can be a greedy and selfish path.
I strongly believe in karma and the golden rule. I know some others who don’t always practice what they preach. It is of utmost importance to treat everyone they way you would like to be treated. Even if they treat you poorly, you have to understand that in the end they are only hurting themselves. You should never intentionally and consciously do anything to hurt another person. It will absolutely come back to you. I’ve had it happen to me, and I’ve seen it happen with countless other people. They constantly shoot themselves in the foot over some selfish endeavor that causes more harm than good.
I believe it is important not to bite the hand that feeds. You need to know who your friends are, and what fruit your actions will bear. Maintaining a level of respect for your peers is crucial to a bountiful career and solid professional relationships. Remember that within a given field, everyone has friends, and our actions affect more than just the people you deal with directly. People talk. People form opinions and act based off of them. Wrong one person and a dozen more may take issue with you.
I believe in being up front with who you are. Honesty an integrity of character are more important than you can imagine. All people have aspects of themselves that they don’t want in the public eye. That’s completely fine. Privacy is key to having personal relationships. At the same time, I believe it is necessary to be honest with both your personal and private lives. Basically, don’t be a scumbag behind closed doors and put on a smile for the public. That makes you a liar. Nobody respects a liar.
I do my best to stay humble, honest, and respectful of others. They are all key to happiness and success. If you are not truly following these rules in your heart, one day all you have built will crash around you as your selfishness consumes you.
Food for thought.
In tattooing, there is a firm history of lineage. Many artists I know can tell me who taught them, who taught their teacher, who taught THEIR teacher, and so on. It’s not uncommon for tattooers to trace back their history 70 or 80 years.
I’ve never been able to do that. I learned from my teacher, who I’m pretty sure was taught by some biker dude. After that I have absolutely no idea. I’ve picked up most of what I know by working with a very diverse set of people over my 15 year career. Sometimes I’m a little jealous of that lack of lineage. It would be cool to trace back to someone who people know. That’s just the hand I was dealt.
I’m not one to look at things in a bad light. I’ve decided that if I can’t be part of a lineage, then I will make my own. After all, our lives are built by our experiences, not the experiences of our ancestors. All respect to those who came before me. Without them I couldn’t be doing what I do today.
I understand who I am. I know that I lack a certain history, but my hard work and respect for my craft will one day allow others to trace their own lineage to me and be proud. I will forge my own legacy. I will build my own tradition.