First of all, the blog is back! And the more you get to know me, you will realize I say first of all far too many times, even when there isn’t a second point.
Good morning Speakeasy readers, my name is Peter Hernandez, and I am the new apprentice, hell yeah!
This new venture is truly a dream come true for me, and I’m still pinching myself to make sure I’m awake.
This was my first official week in the new position and so far it’s been full of learning. Very exciting stuff! In all seriousness, though, I can see the road ahead of me and I couldn't be more stoked for the journey that awaits me at Speakeasy Tattoo Los Angeles.
I hope you enjoy reading of my apprentice adventures that are to come, but for now here’s one or two things about me. I come from Tucson, Arizona, which if you have never been, has a huge, vibrant art scene. Museums, galleries, street art, and even the traffic medians. Yes, that’s right, even the roads are artsy diamondbacks. I have a huge passion for skateboarding and as a young adult I went to film school thinking I would make skate films the rest of my life, while that is not my focus anymore it is still a huge passion for me that I will always love and hold close to my heart. And over the next year ill fill you in little by little. Now let's get to the article.
AI FILTERS & TATTOOS
“Can I confess something? I tell you this because as an artist, I think you'll understand. Sometimes when I'm driving... on the road at night... I see two headlights coming toward me. Fast. I have this sudden impulse to turn the wheel quickly, head-on into the oncoming car. I can anticipate the explosion. The sound of shattering glass. The... flames rising out of the flowing gasoline”- a scene from “Annie hall” 1977
the things we’re being shown on social media are feeling more and more true every day. In the last five years we’ve had our lives inundated with fascinating filters for your photos and videos on your tic tacs and instagrams, and yes i said it how I said it. tic tacs. These things are cool, fun, and shouldn’t illicit any extracurricular feelings other than the escapism we all regrettably seek.. I personally find the cat ear filter to be worth dying over. Sadly, this isn’t the point of my article. I don’t want to come off hyperbolic, or deranged for what I’m about to say, but my disillusionment with our current AI craze in the tattoo realm has reached a fever pitch. Flat out, I find it insanely cruel to lure a person into your tattoo studio under false pretenses of skill you do not possess. What do I mean by that? I have a story stick with me, recently submerging myself into the deep lore trap of tattoo culture on Reddit, I came across an innocuous thread r/instagramreality while losing hours of my life i stumbled upon this picture of an artist from the UK who used an Ai filter on his piece after the fact and was being lambasted for it on all the socials. ya know, I didn’t really think twice about the implications of it at first glance. I thought it was insane and super messed up for this weirdo to do it, but it was topical, super surface level stuff. Right at that moment, I didn’t get it. A couple of weeks go by, and it's bugging me more and more. Almost like when you see a Volkswagen driving around and then all of a sudden you seem them everywhere. This was especially prevalent with nonsensical chores or errands. Or…it happens when I’m sitting for dinner at a not so great establishment eating food that looked better/more vibrant/cleaner/ etc. on their Instagram. Was it my fault my gullet was decaying into absolute death for days afterward? Was it my responsibility as a patron to check the pH levels in their dishwashers. Is it my responsibility as a customer to hold the owners and profiteers of this place to the food and safety standards of their own industry? IS IT THE CUSTOMERS RESPONSIBILITY to check an artists' skill before they entrust their skin to you? If they’re being lied to and led astray by artists using filters, the answer is increasingly becoming more gray,.. How is it their fault? You lied. You misrepresented your work. In our brains, things that are true elicit cognitive ease. Cognitive ease is the level of ease that is associated with the understanding and processing of a piece of information. It dictates how a person perceives the info in front of them. 1 +1=2, the sun is hot, cats meow. From early on, we were indoctrinated to believe these things. They feel super familiar, and you don’t think twice about accepting it as common knowledge. Let me first tell you it can be mimicked artificially by repetition. If a person repeatedly sees the same contrast filter on photos of tattoos even if it's complete bullshit, it can become familiar. That person sees it, processes it, and it's those feelings of familiarity that sparks ease and trust and feelings of goodness. Which can be preyed upon by our lurking artists. Listen, this blog entry isn’t for the artists that don’t put filters on their photos. I’m not talking to you. I'm talking to that person staring off into the headlights while that car is coming towards you fast. I can see you're wanting your career to smash into this oncoming car and I'm Anticipating the crash. Shattering glass and the smell of gasoline. Take a deep breath. And do not post. That brain orgasm you get from those cheap likes aren't worth your credibility. Keep it to yourself until it's ready. Save it. That instant gratification will hit different if you master it.
Listen, who am I to tell you anything. If doing some shitty tattoo filtering it and making a quick buck is all you want, the world is yours, baby.
But damn in my humble opinion you as a tattooer should be held to a higher standard. As an artist. As a Shinobi. You have to find your ninja way. People are conditioned to trust the images they see on their phones, as an artist its your responsibility to not take advantage of that.
til next week FAREWELL MY FELLOW APES
Speakeasy Tattoo Los Angeles