by rustygorndon (http://inkednation.com/rustygordon)
Scratcher defined....One who attempts to tattoo without proper training in the application of tattoo and proper medical procedures.
This is the original deffinition of a scratcher. Some scratchers have shops and some artists work from home studios. The difference is in the education. A properly trained artist will follow procedures regardless of his location. A scratcher will not regardless of his location. Some artists started out as scratchers and after years and years of making friends with professionals and taking courses in prevention they have become professionals. They are rare.
Thank you to Sterile Steve for this definition
I'd like to start of by saying for one they are dirty... let me rephrase that their techniques are dirty, there environment is dirty because they don't have the proper training to prevent cross contamination and or prevention of blood borne pathogens (hep, aids, etc) being spread from client to client, working area, floors carpet and especially the table that either their or your family eats off of. The tattoos that are created by these home bound geniuses should not be subjected to human skin because of incorrect application and technique ..... TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR HIDE!.... YOU ONLY GET ONE ROUND!
Sure they are cheap but in the long run it will cost you more to get it fixed by a seasoned experienced professional and most can not even be fixed but instead must be covered at an additional cost....not to mention that it could cost you your life, if you get tattooed by the wrong person or after they tattoo the wrong person before you!
I know that if someone comes into my parlor and says "Hey man i got this friend that said he would do it in his home for half that price"i then respond "well,give me the money abd sit down,let me save your life" and they look at me like a dog as they cock thier head to the side and think about it.
Its not that we hate the scratcher or the person that they are, we hate what they do, and what they may possibly do to you and also the earned skilled profession of tattooing.
However they do generate a lot of work for the professionals in their area as far as cover- ups and headaches because they do tattoo out of their house untrained and un-sterile!
Most professionals are highly trained and have undergone a rigorous apprenticeship at the hands of another seasoned professional. On the other hand there are professionals that have not taken apprenticeships and have worked for many years to advance to where they are today, that doesn't mean that they tattooed unclean in the beginning but have learned enough to be disease transmission free,to tattoo clean images and have a safe environment for their clients,unlike the filthy kitchens full of last nights dishes and trash from 25 tattoos done. The bio-hazardous
material generated by professional tattoo artists is kept away from children playing,and eating in their bedrooms,unlike the backroom,kitchen,living room scratchers.
i will say that i'm all for education of scratchers as far as an apprenticeship goes.I have rarely turned anyone away from them.I do however reserve the right in my state to turn them in to the health department for criminal activity.And yes it is a criminal offense in my state to tattoo without a license,punishable by a year in jail and a $2500.00 fine and confiscation of all equipment.
I guess what i'm trying to say here is we are not mad that the scratchers and hacks take money from us,they just take the dignity and the hard work we as professionals have strived so hard for and throw it around like a bad habit....which is really what it is.