Articles and Information
Below please find information about tattooing as well as articles written by Inflicting Ink’s staff.
Sterile Tattoo Environments and Underground Tattoos
Although some hard-core tattoo enthusiasts will throw caution to the wind when it means saving a few hundred dollars for their next piece of art, choosing a tattoo artist and studio that is fully licensed, and practices at least the state minimum sterilization procedures, if not better, could mean the difference between life and death if you are the unlucky customer on the end of a reused needle.
While even most underground and unlicensed tattoo artists do not reuse needles, the sterile practices that are missing could be as simple as a bit of cross-contamination between your skin and their coffee cup that leads to an infection or more major concerns.
In the State of Rhode Island the tattoo laws have not been changed since 1997 when a local tattoo studio owner and sterile tattoo environment expert, Jeff Goyette, consulted with the state to rewrite the outdated laws to better protect the public from bloodborn pathogens and cross contamination in the tattoo environment.
Since that time, new infectious diseases, most notably HIV and Hepatitus C have become more prevalent, yet the tattoo laws regarding sterilization remain the same in RI, and are non-existent in other states, leaving tattoo studio customers to roll the dice with their health when choosing to get inked.
Recently in Idaho, the Center for Disease Control traced 40 cases of MRSA, a very serious skin infection that can lead to pneumonia, bloodstream infections, and at its most severe a painful flesh-destroying condition, to an underground artist who was practicing tattooing unlicensed from his home. Everyone recovered, including the four who had to be hospitalized, however this case stands out as a harsh warning to would be tattoo enthusiasts, as well as a cry for State control over sterilization and licensure procedures for tattoo artists and tattoo studios.
There are plenty of unlicensed underground tattoo artists that work from their homes to make extra money. Often, these artists are already employed during the day by a sterile and licensed facility that is not aware of their moonlighting activity. Most legitimate tattoo studios will not employ tattoo artists who do tattooing from their homes for the obvious safety and insurance reasons.
If you are thinking of getting a tattoo, check with your local State laws to determine whether there are any governing the licensure and sterilization process of the studio that you choose. At a minimum, the artist should be licensed, and the facility should practice sterile procedures including the use of gloves, no eating or drinking in the tattoo area, a clean sink with running water and soap available in the immediate vicinity, an autoclave that is used to sterilize equipment with a monthly report filed with the Department of Health regarding its use, and clean, fresh needles for each tattoo.
Talk to others who may have gone to certain artists and get recommendations from them before choosing an establishment or artist. Recognize that the tattoo will cost a good amount of money to be done properly and safely and choose to preserve your health and spend accordingly. Remember that there are an abundance of safe, clean, licensed tattoo facilities who will be able to give you a great tattoo for a fair price, and choose to honor your body and health above all else.
Jeff Goyette is the creator, builder and owner of Inflicting Ink Tattoo Studio in Portsmouth RI. Mr. Goyette has been involved in the tattoo industry for almost all of his adult life, making him a veritable expert in the field of sterile tattoo practices and tattoo licensing. You can visit his website for more information at http://www.inflictinginktattoo.com/
Myths and Facts About Tattoos
It’s bad luck to get a tattoo of someone’s name… Light colors hurt more… Tattoos bleed a lot… A tattoo needle is only one needle… Tattoos turn blue when they are old… Red ink fades quickly… Anyone who can draw can tattoo… Only sailors, bikers, circus people and tough people get tattoos… Tattoos cost a lot of money… Tattoos are forever…
Many of these urban legends were started a long time ago, when basically some truth did exist in them. Everything from the types of folks who would venture into a tattoo parlor, to the kinds of skin dyes used caused the myths to become popular in the first place.
Modern tattooing is much more about the art form, hygiene, and appealing to people from all walks of life, than about maintaining any outdated stereotypes and falsehoods. Let’s take a few of these myths about tattooing and turn them into factual statements instead.
Having someone’s name tattooed on your body, while not necessarily bad luck, is a personal choice. And while any relationship can fail, if you already believe that getting their name tattooed on you is a guarantee one way or the other about the outcome then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons anyway. Relationships fail for all kinds of reasons, getting someone’s name tattooed on you is not one of them.
Tattoos do hurt, and depending on your tolerance to pain, some will feel more pain, some less. The light colors are typically done last when the skin is most tender, so to most, these will be the most painful colors. As to other ink colors, tattoo ink innovations have come a tremendously long way. During the 50s and 60s, tattoo ink pigments were not as refined as they are today, so bright colors like red or blue would fade under the elements and normal wear. That is no longer the case however, and all tattoo colors resist fading if properly cared for when healing.
Tattoo needles are clustered together in soldered groups of odd numbers, 3, 5, 7, etc. While most tattoos bleed minimally during the outline, and up to as much as 10 minutes after the shading is done, by the time you leave the shop, the bleeding will have stopped. Your tattoo will be bandaged for hygienic reasons only.
With modern medical advances in dermatology and skin care, tattoos are no longer a forever commitment. Laser tattoo removal and fade creams can remove a tattoo leaving behind no trace.
Stereotypes for tattoos came about at a time when tattoo parlors were rare, unregulated, and often located in seedy areas. Many sailors obtained tattoos according to the myths and legends that said that tattoos and piercings were thought to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck to the wearer. The prevalence of motorcycle enthusiasts who enjoy tattoos is merely a cultural bias. Today, anyone can have a tattoo and no one would even know, and conversely simply because someone does have a tattoo, does not mean they are part of a seedy sub-culture. The prevalence of tattoos in society and among more publicly notable figures has also done a great deal to bring tattooing into its place as a mainstream form of art and personal expression.
If you believe that anyone who can draw can tattoo and that you need to be bargain hunting for your tattoo, chances are good that you are getting one for the wrong reasons and need to rethink your decision carefully. There are truly exceptional tattoo artists who have adopted a style that they are very skilled in doing, and there are tattoo artists who are just that, tattooists. Every level of tattooing takes skill and training, and just because you can draw, does not mean you will be a good tattoo artist.
While most artists do have artistic backgrounds, there are some who simply love the art and wanted to make their living doing something they enjoyed. Tattoo artists are normal everyday people, just like you or me. They have lives and good and bad days just like the rest of us.
Examine the work being done, or better still, find someone who has a tattoo that you admire and find out where they had it done before you put your own skin under the needle. And remember to choose an artist whose style matches the tattoo you would like to get.
Finally, bargain shopping for your tattoo will get you a bargain tattoo. If you are concerned with how much it will cost, it is likely not a good time for you to be thinking about a tattoo. While they are not all overly expensive, and good quality tattoos can be gotten for less than you would expect, it is still the kind of purchase that you need only make when your wallet is not an issue. It is mostly permanent, and it is your skin after all.
For more information on Tattooing call the Inflicting Ink at (401) 683-5680 or find more information at http://www.InflictingInkTattoo.com.