IN SOUTH AFRICA, DEREK BAKER IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST RECOGNIZED AND RESPECTED TATTOO ARTISTS. HIS EXPERIENCE IN THIS BUSINESS GOES WAY BACK. HE IS A VETERAN OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN AND EUROPEAN TATTOO CONVENTION SCENE WITH HIS ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION AT MORE CONVENTIONS THAN MOST OF TODAY'S ARTIST HAVE IN YEARS TATTOOING! HIS POINT OF VIEW ON MACHINE KNOWLEDGE IS BASED ON HIS DECADES OF TATTOOING, MACHINE BUILDING AND WITNESSING GLOBAL CHANGES IN OUR INDUSTRY.
"I am Derek Baker from Metal Machine Tattoo and Piercing in Cape Town, South Africa. I was asked by Art and Steve to give you a pre and post seminar write up from my point of view as a South African Tattooist with 20 years of experience and participation at many European conventions.
The problem that South Africa had for so many years is that we were blocked from the world and no decent info was coming in about machines, inks or anything else to do with tattooing, that is why I started doing Germany conventions back in 1997 so I could start meeting other artists and learn as much as I could. Even with participation at the conventions you were closed off if you did not know the right artist. Thankfully many top guys started to do seminars which opened the door to so many great learning experiences to improve what we chose to do for a living.
What I liked about Art and Steve’s seminar was that they weren’t out only out to punt their machines,it was about making the machines that you own work without working hard.What I mean by this is everyone thinks that the machine must run fast and hard, the old school way which fucks up the skin and scarsit so the blind can read it like brail, your client is in pain and you eventually go deaf.
A Tattoo machine is your bread and butter so it needs to be treated with respect. Art and Steve understand that when you set up your machine to work to at its best it will hum and not over heat. Your client will sit far longer and in less pain so you can give them the tattoo they deserve and not some scared piece of crap that will blow out.
I do believe that we should do any decent seminars available as we do not know everything; if you walk out of a seminar and have learnt just one thing then you are better off than you were before you went in and that is what it is all about for me.
If you think you know it all do us a favour and pack it in as you are not doing your clients justice and will carry on fucking them up.
So for the post seminar - The seminar is about knowing what your machine is saying to you while using it. Without this information your machine could be screaming at you and you’ll never understand what it's saying or be listening. I expect to see less tattoo machines land up in the “fuck that machine it does not work” drawer and instead finds itself on the work bench for a little TLC so it can keep on working for you and not you for it.
Thanks to art and Steve for coming over to South Africa and giving their time and knowledge over and helping the artists that want to learn more...
Ps: please remember to bag your machine - you wouldn’t have unsafe sex so don’t force unsafe tattooing on our clients."