I’m on a roll baby, I got my sights set on BIG changes in the tattoo industry.  I am over my old, limited thinking…

“Old school rules”, “tattoo secrets for a chosen few”, “I’ll never be good enough”, “I’m too fluffy”, “I’m too bright and happy in this dark and stubborn world”…….argh. BS left & right…

and the worst:


Um who are they anyway….really?​ Why did I let THEIR imposed constraint hold me back as long as I have?


They are tattoo folks who’ve decided they will be the gatekeepers of the art of tattooing. Based on a collective consciousness of intimidation, self-importance, threat, and coercion. They are even forcing their opinions regarding how to train as a tattooer as well…look at this comment on one of my Instagram posts:

“We’re coming after you”??  SeRiOusly? ReAlLy?  Is that a threat? Because I own a tattoo school?  Are they even aware attending tattoo school is a state legal requirement where I live? [BTW Garden of Ink Tattoo School is no ‘quasi’ school, it is a real, thorough and highly developed tattoo training, and indeed over 70+ graduates are working tattoo artists in the industry.]

Tattoo Crabs in a Bucket

CRABS IN A BUCKET; Having a crab mentality is a metaphor for keeping others down. When a solitary crab is in a bucket or pot with no lid–it can easily escape. But when many crabs are in there together, NONE can climb out. If one crab attempts to get up and out, the others pull that one back down to share their dismal fate. 

The analogy here is that members of a group will attempt to undermine the self-confidence of anyone else who attempts to achieve success; out of fear, competition, arrogance, ignorance, spite or envy.

Sounds a bit like the mentality of many tattooers.

It’s taken me a few years to get here, but DAMN if I haven’t now found myself at the forefront of a SWEEEET evolution in the tattoo industry.

Making waves, bringing light, and lifting up the people who WANT to be inclusive, feel good and just do their FUCKIN art!

(Ok imma Pollyanna, but I also love to CURSE!)

Therefore, I’m working my tushie off to finish new projects, reach out to awesome artists, clients and students and be a changemaker and light beacon. I’m putting together an online course for tattoo novices and I’m doing consulting now, for people who can’t seem to find their way on this rocky/bumpy sometimes stuck up, arrogant and thorny road to becoming a tattooer.

Also I’m also hosting a telesummit (online virtual interview series) in September of this year to shine a spotlight on the tattooers in the industry who are kind, generous in spirit and undaunted by the discord and potential animosity that exists on this tattoo journey.

Sign up for my email list and you’ll be notified of the details and dates. We’ll be paving the way for a new school of thought when it comes to this exceptional and enigmatic artform.

Don’t be crabs in a bucket!

No need to pull the others down or hold them back from brilliant achievement. Stop your pinching, pushing or shoving and lift each other up! Give ‘em a boost! When one crab gets out, we are all free to learn from their adventures and successes!

Boosting crabs since 2006,

Shelly Dax

The Fierce Pollyanna

Be feisty. Stay kind. Get creative!