For a lot of people within our Kulture, their contribution comes in what they can do with their hands and their talent. Some guys build incredible cars or bikes, others are kulture artists who can put their tattoo art or pinstriping or low-brow art out into the world. Of course there are also the talented auto body guys, car and bike painters, welders, fabricators, mechanics and so on.
Our kulture is filled with people who can use just their talent and a small space and contribute to the kulture and make a living doing it. There have been many great builders that started in a one car garage or even just a driveway. Just as many of the most talented tattoo artists out there started with only a sketchbook and a pencil and moved onto tattooing out of their house and then onto their own shops or at least working out of a quality shop. How many folks that make a living pinstriping or lettering started out by years of practicing their skills and giving away their work just to get to the point of having their work noticed so one day they can making a living at it.
For the most part nobody that makes a living in our Kulture got there overnight . There is often a long road ahead, and a bunch of dues to be paid. It is rare to meet an owner of a custom shop that didnít start off doing the back breaking unglamorous stuff it takes to bring a machine to its best. Most if not all of the mechanics Iíve talked to over the years started off doing things like oil & tire changing, or lot attendant at a dealership or some other job far removed from where they end up. Countless tattoo artists got there start in high volume ď street shopsĒ cranking out flash work of hearts, butterflies and Tazmanian Devils.
On occasion there are guys that have no experience or life stake in the Kulture that open up a shop. Because money has allowed them to skip the hard but very necessary journey and the current fad allows it, some of these shops come roaring on to the scene with big marketing tricks and bravado. Often though , these shops that came in with a roar end up going out with a whimper. Usually after all of the fanfare and newness wear off, these new shop owners realize, that from a business sense , serving the Kulture is a tough way to make a living. Most of us who are in this, are here because we deep down in our gut love it. The money and fame is secondary and often more than not, there is a shortage of money and the fame never comes ,most of us are okay with that.
Some of the best at what they do in our Kulture started off with a shear unadulterated love of the life and the desire to share their work with others and be the best at it. Anyone committed to making a living at this has the true desire to give their customers the best, even if its not always the most profitable way. Ask any builder or artist if their man hours invested in a project makes them rich. Most of the time, the actual hours invested far exceeds the money earned, but the end result is always the most important thing. WhyÖ because that car or bike or tattoo or whatever is built to last a lifetime, and it is a product of the years of struggle and hardship and lessons acquired over the years. That piece is a representation of who they are and what they do.
When we put out only our best work, regardless of the cost, that is what we are known for no matter what we do for a living. If corners are cut to make a quick dollar and appease the fickle masses, it may bring instant gratification, but as soon as the next guy finds a way to cut even more corners and put out faster, cheaper, shoddier work, your fickle customer are now his.
Ask any person who truly eats, breaths and sleeps our kulture and makes a living at it, if they would rather produce 10 times the product or have 10 times the customers at the expense of quality and integrity of their craft. Iím willing to bet that those with a true love and desire to serve our kulture and keep it thriving would rather put out one quality build, or one quality tattoo or serve and keep one quality customer than to compromise their name and their craft by putting out sub par crap in order to gain 10.
Donít believe me? Try this little experiment, go into the kitchen and cook yourself a homemade hamburger using top quality chopped sirloin , real cheese and a fresh bun and whatever else you like that will make it and incredible edible burger. It will take some time, effort and bit more of money but I bet itís pretty damn good. I bet itís so good that you would make one just like for your loved ones or friends with pride.
Now go to Happy McBurgers and grab a 79 cent burger and tell me if you enjoy it at much, or feel like others are missing out by not sharing it with your family and friends. Iím also willing to bet you, that you will be thinking about how much better the burger you created with your own hands and care was. Heck you may have gone as far as updating your Face book status with a pic of the masterpiece burger you created in your kitchen, so you can show off and brag to your friendsÖ is your camera phone pointed at your McFast food burger?
Deep rooted love, hard work, sacrifice and commitment is what is going to keep our kulture alive along with an awareness of the importance of these in our Kulture. I hope in this digital age of instant gratification and the desire to save a few pennies, that more people realize that there really is a difference in quality vs. quantity. As my little example showed the difference in something as small as a burger, imagine now that same principle applied to your next car or bike or tattoo. Are you going to really want the McQuicky save a buck insta kulture , or will people finally realize that the unseen extras are worth so much more. Support Your Local Kulture and keep our way of life thriving, before all we have left is a lukewarm, reheated, passionless version of what it is we truly love.
Proudly Serving The Kulture Community... Rich "Bingo" Fournier ( Bingo@GarageBoyz.com)
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