Well, if you want to be technical, no not really. We're still a couple days short of the 1 year mark, but I've graded my last test of the semester so, for the time being, I'm done! But, the next semester will be starting up in about 2 weeks, and, as I've decided about a month ago, I'll be staying on as a teacher here for 1 more year. There were a lot of reasons that I made this decisions but I mostly just want to talk about the biggest one.
As some of you may or may not know, one of the leading factors in my decision to major in Illustration was that, ever since my first tattoo, I've been considering a career as a tattoo artist. Although I was a musician for about 10(?) years, and entertained the idea of making a career of that in some capacity, it was never really something that I felt confident in. But from basically the first time I considered tattooing as a choice my thoughts were always something along the lines of 'It's kinda crazy...but this is something I could really do'.
About 2 months ago, I was having a conversation about art with a substitute teacher here at school and mentioned my interest in tattooing. She told me that at the studio she goes to in Bangkok where she had also seen people learning and practicing on artificial skin. Mostly on a whim, I sent a message to the studio asking if there was any chance they'd be interested in showing me the ropes. The owner, Nick, messaged me back fairly quickly, we set up a meeting time, and, long story short, I'll now be spending a majority of my weekends in Bangkok learning about tattooing.
It's a small studio. Not including me, there are three artists working there who, from what I've seen, all do really good work. It's in a pretty cool, trendy looking area, set up in a group of permanent shops that are part of a weekend night market. Due to the market they get a lot of foot traffic, and, on the weekends I've been, there's always somebody in the chair getting work done. Basically, I think it's going to be a very good environment to start honing my skills in over the next year. Now, obviously you don't get something for nothing. Nick speaks English pretty well, but the other artists' English skills aren't quite as good, so I'll be informally working with them on their English as they teach and advise me.
So, since the main point of this blog was to write about my travels in Thailand (and I've checked just about everything off my Thai travel list), I feel like it's time to retire this blog. I'll probably throw up a few of the straggling pictures that I've been too lazy to post over the next week or so. I'll also be starting up a new (hopefully longer term) one focusing more on my art, my progress as a tattoo artist, and I guess really my life in general. So stay tuned and, as my students like to write at the end of their essays, 'Thanks for reading :)'