Local Tattoo Shop Owner Illustrates Real-World Art Career
The goal of the annual RPS 205 Academy Expo is to bring in new organizations and businesses to support students' career exploration. One of the areas we typically struggle with is smaller, locally owned businesses. They usually want to help out, but it is costly and time consuming to step away from day-to-day operations even to support an event you believe in. However, some businesses make it a priority to be there even if it brings some pretty strange looks.
Times have changed, but tattoos are still often considered a workplace taboo. Yet more and more often we see them peeking out of the cuff of a shirt or neatly adorning an ankle, even in professional settings. But is it something that is appropriate for our students to be exposed to as a career? The answer to that question is yes. Tattooing is a rapidly growing industry with many shop owners reaching into the high six figures in revenue in an art-related field. Tattooing is a burgeoning industry that is reaching new heights of acceptance and popularity with younger generations and even older generations. I, myself even have a few.
Along with this high interest level comes amazing support inside its community. Tim Atwell, owner of Delicious Ink Tattoo parlor in Rockford, has been an adamant supporter of both our students and our initiatives for years. Tim has been an eager career expo participant; his booth is one of the more popular stops for students. He also enjoys spending time in several of our art classrooms discussing his craft with students. His lessons of hard work, understanding artistic principles and entrepreneurship resonate with our students and make them eager listeners.
I am always amazed at how supportive Tim is and how much he cares about the impression he makes with our young people. His booth at the career expo is arguably one of the most prepared, featuring banners, digital displays, portfolios, art, and curiosities for students to both see and feel. It might be considered risqué to have our students exposed to a career that lives on the edge of workplace acceptability, but the information, stories and lessons Tim brings to our students transcend any issues of questionability and lie simply in the realm of real-world education.
Reid Jutras is the Director of Career and Technical Education for Rockford Public Schools. He has been in education for 11 years, most recently teaching Psychology at Guilford High School and Education at Rockford University. Reid is a proud member of Screw City Jeeps 815.
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