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Explosion In Tattooing, Piercing Tests State Regulators | HuffPost – HuffPost06.17.17

Nearly four in 10 people born after 1980 have a tattoo, and one in four have a piercing some place other than an earlobe.

The Associated Press

Anyone who goes into a tattoo parlor in North Carolina can be assured that it has a permit from the state health department and that inspectors have checked the premises for safe and sanitary conditions.

But go for a body piercing in the Tarheel State and theres no such protection. A state law, approved in the 1990s, regulates tattoos but doesnt apply to other forms of body art.

Most people think its all regulated, said state Rep. Kevin Corbin, a Republican. But we found out theres no law on the books.

North Carolina is not alone. State legislators and health officials across the country are trying to keep up with the growing popularity and evolving trends of body art.

Health officials worry that unregulated body art studios may not follow safe practices, which can lead to scarring, nerve damage and infections, including hepatitis C, the leading cause of liver cancer in the U.S.

The body art industry is much more nimble than the government, said Doug Farquhar, who tracks body art legislation in the states as the director of environmental health for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Nearly four in 10 people born after 1980 have a tattoo and one in four have a piercing some place other than an earlobe, the Pew Research Center has reported. (The Pew Charitable Trusts funds both the center and Stateline.)

Besides tattoos and pierced navels, todays self-expression through body art may include branding, scarification (scratching, etching or cutting to produce a design in the skin), or subdermal implants (placing objects under the skin for ornamentation).

Nearly every state has some type of body art law, but laws vary widely. Most states do agree on one thing: age limits. At least 45 states prohibit minors from getting tattoos, and 38 states prohibit body piercing and tattooing minors without parental permission, according to NCSL.

In the last four years, states have considered 167 bills on body art and tattooing, and 33 have become law, Farquhar said.

Oregon, for example, extensively rewrote its tattooing regulations in 2012, updated them last year, and in January clarified that microblading, in which a practitioner uses fine needles and pigment to create eyebrow hairs, is tattooing and not an aesthetic, or cosmetic, practice.

Oregon requires practitioners to have hundreds of hours of training and pass written exams before being licensed for specific types of body art. Georgia is among states that do not regulate or certify the body art industry, but most Georgia counties have adopted ordinances.

Maryland does not license body artists, though it requires them to use sterile instruments, wash their hands, wear disposable gloves during procedures, and cleanse customers skin. They also must maintain three years of customer records and make them available to health officers if requested.

But some Maryland localities, such as Baltimore, do require licenses. In Nevada, which has no state body art regulations, local ordinances, such as in Las Vegas Clark County, prevail.

North Carolina is one of at least six states considering body art legislation this year. Corbin co-sponsored a bill updating the tattoo law to include other types of body art. It passed the state House in April and is under consideration in the Senate.

The sharp increase in hepatitis C cases in the last few years has intensified states concern about sterile and sanitized needles and equipment and associated health and safety training.

The number of new hepatitis C infections in the United States tripled between 2010 and 2015, to more than 2,400, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last month. The CDC blames the increase on the rise of injection drug use associated with the opioid epidemic and says major research studies have not shown hepatitis C to be spread through licensed, commercial tattooing facilities.

However, the CDC said, transmission of Hepatitis C (and other infectious diseases) is possible when poor infection-control practices are used during tattooing or piercing.

Corbin was a Macon County commissioner last year and a candidate for the North Carolina state Legislature when he heard from his county health officers about the rising rate of hepatitis C and the gap in state law regulating body art.

Macon County environmental health specialist Jonathan Fouts explained his frustration inspecting a tattoo shop: Usually beside the tattoo room is the piercing room. I felt like I was only doing half of what I should be doing, since I couldnt say anything about the piercings and needles.

Corbin took the problem to the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, which made a body art bill a legislative priority. Then the freshman representative took the issue to Raleigh.

I dont personally have any piercings and I dont plan to have any, but if someone wants to have them, more power to them, Corbin said. We want them to be safe.

Health officials have worried about the health risks of tattooing for decades. New York City banned tattooing in 1961, citing concerns about hepatitis, a virus that attacks the liver. Tattooing continued underground, however, and the ban was eventually lifted in 1997.

In 2015, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law requiring tattoo artists to use single-use ink and needles. The body art community protested that the laws language was overly broad, and Cuomo, a Democrat, rescinded the measure. The state Health Department is developing new rules.

The American Red Cross requires someone who has had a tattoo to wait one year to donate blood if the tattoo was applied in a state that does not regulate tattoo facilities Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia. No waiting period is required if the tattoo was applied in a state that requires tattoo shops to use sterile needles and single-use ink.

Another potential health risk is tattoo ink, which is not regulated or tested by the federal government. But no outbreaks of infection from contaminated ink have occurred since 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports.

Its unusual for any industry to want regulation, but body art practitioners say regulations make everyone safer. In the absence of comprehensive government rules, the Association of Professional Piercers adopted its own standards. The association also offers online, industry-specific training in how to minimize the hazards of bloodborne pathogens, such as hepatitis and HIV.

State legislators, recognizing that they arent experts in body-art best practices, often call on body art practitioners to help write and enforce laws.

San Francisco body piercer Steve Joyner of the Association of Professional Piercers has helped about two-dozen states write legislation over the last two decades, an experience he describes as eye-opening.

The downfall of politicians is that they really dont understand our industry, he said, adding that many state legislators have never set foot in a tattoo or piercing studio.

Joyner is working with the National Environmental Health Association and the Association of Food and Drug Officials to update the national Body Art Model Code.

The old code was written in the 1990s, when bloodborne pathogens and medical waste disposal didnt get as much attention as they do today. States and localities will be able to adapt the new code to their needs.

Its meant as a guide to best practices for regulators and also for the regulated community, said Sandra Whitehead, director of program and partnership development for the environmental health association.

The code-writing committee, which includes industry representatives and state and local health workers, has been working a year and a half. The goal is to publish the new code in October.

When you have everybody at the table, it takes a little longer, Whitehead said.

One of the first instances of body art practitioners asking to be regulated was in Florida, where a piercing law was enacted in 1999 with input from the industry. Tattooists soon started lobbying for state regulations too.

The tattoo industry wanted to pedigree their profession. Thats the word they used, said Gina Vallone-Hood, environmental administrator for the Florida Department of Healths Bureau of Environmental Health.

The Florida Legislature passed a tattoo law in 2010, and the Department of Health started licensing tattoo artists in 2012. Currently 450 piercing shops and 6,000 tattooists are licensed in Florida.

Michael Crea, a piercer for 20 years who owns a shop in Sarasota, is president of the Florida Environmental Health Association. Crea also runs the states body piercing certification class that is required for piercers.

You really dont want people working out of their house, he said. We do deal with blood and body fluids. We break the skin. You can be spreading hepatitis, MRSA [methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus] or AIDS, and you dont want that.

But Crea and other body art practitioners say that even when regulations are on the books, enforcement can be weak. Health inspectors often are responsible for checking out a wide range of potential hazards from septic tanks to swimming pools and cant be expert in everything.

Thats why the environmental health association will feature a live tattooing demonstration at its annual conference in July in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

It will be a safe space for health inspectors to ask questions, said Christl Tate of the environmental health group. Our mutual goal is protecting the public health.

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A Dermatologist Busts the Most Common Myths About Tattoos – Inverse06.15.17

No, getting inked won’t give you cancer.

Heres a general rule most people live by: Dont get poked with a needle unless absolutely necessary and even then only by a medical professional.

But theres a big exception to that rule: tattoos. In 2016, a poll found that three in 10 American adults had permanent ink splayed on their skin; Pew has put that number as high as four in 10 among Millennials.

And yet, tattoo artists arent considered medical professionals. (Okay, theres no reason a tattoo artist couldnt be a retired doctor or nurse; its just not the norm.) And while tattooing is certainly art, its an art form deeply intertwined with dermatological science.

Major medical sources like the FDA have pointed to ink ingredients being similar to that of printer toners, but thats muddled the science a bit too, in that tattoos arent necessarily made of unsafe ink that will slowly poison your body.

University of Rochester Medical Center dermatologist and skin cancer expertSherrif Ibrahim explains the science of tattooing, and busts common myths of tattooing.

Imagine an ink so thick and binding and sticky that once its applied to a surface any surface that surface is stained forever. It can never be cleaned.

Now dump that ink over someones arm. It would fix to their skin, a splatter stain that would last for weeks or months. But soon enough it would disappear.

If you look at the epidermis, or outer layer of the skin, it looks like a nice brick wall, Ibrahim said. Those bricks and mortar are cells keratinocytes and melanocytes and theres a lot of activity going on within those cells.

Like every cell in a body, skin cells have life cycles and quick ones. Pretty much every couple months you have a new epidermis. So anything in the epidermis would never be permanent, Ibrahim said.

Thats why tattooists use needles to dig under the epidermis to deposit pigment a full layer down, in the dermis.

The dermis is mostly made up of connective tissues like collagen and elastin, with a few cells known as fibroblasts strong between them. With less cellular activity going on down there, balls of ink can slip in among the local tissues and hang out for years.

The pigment doesnt have to lodge that deep in the skin to stick around, Ibrahim said. On a persons back, for example, the epidermis doesnt get more than 150 microns thick, just a fragment of a millimeter.

Thats why youll never see something thats really black, Ibrahim said. [A black tattoo] almost has a bluish tint to it, because you get some refraction of the light as the black passes through the superficial dermis and the epidermis.

Ask Google whether tattoos cause cancer, and youll get some alarming results.

A 2016 article in The Independent opens with an alarming claim: Tattoos can cause cancer and mutations and one color is potentially more toxic than others, according to scientists. The Guardian is a bit more measured, reporting that tattoo inks may contain cancer-causing chemicals.

These articles are sourced to a single report that finds certain tattoo inks contain chemicals associated with health problems, including cancers.

Heres the deal: While in many places there are laws requiring tattoo shops to meet basic health and safety guidelines in how they use needles, theres little regulation covering the inks those needles inject. The report in question takes a stab at examining those links, and opens the door to future research into possible risks from certain brands.

Theres no reason, in other words, to think getting a tattoo is going to cause cancer to bloom in a persons skin. A deep review70340-0/fulltext?rss=yes) of the research on skin cancer and tattoos published in The Lancet found a grand total of 50 cases of cancer growing on tattoos, despite concerns about carcinogenic ink. That puts the relationship between the ink and cancers squarely in coincidental territory, the authors write.

Asked whether he worries about tattoos causing cancer for his patients, Ibrahim said, simply, No.

I think years ago there was a much higher risk for communicative diseases, in particular hepatitis from dirty needles. I dont really think people are going to those types of tattoo places anymore. Theres risk any time you break the skin of infection. There are risks of changing your mind thats the biggest one I think, regret, Ibrahim said.

The most serious danger of a tattoo is a bad allergic reaction to the ink itself. There are really allergic reactions, where a particular pigment causes thickening or keloiding of the area. And that looks and feels terrible. But thats pretty rare. Red pigments in particular seem to risk causing a bad reaction, Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim says that the most worrisome side effect of a tattoo is actually far more practical but overlooked. What I see as someone who treats skin cancer, especially in people who have sleeve tattoos, large areas on the back, and so forth, is that you cant always see a skin cancer. Its not that the tattoo caused it, its just that it can mask it, he said. The more area covered in tattoo, the more serious that risk is, and the more the tattooed person should pay attention to minute changes within their skin.

Someone Googling tattoos would also learn that that for inked-up folks, sun is the enemy. Conventional wisdom in tattoo shops holds that the suns ultraviolet light will penetrate the epidermis and wreck the pigment buried deep in the dermis.

Ibrahim is skeptical, though. Its a question of where it is in your body and whether that UV can reach it. UV can reach the superficial dermis, but not I dont think [it would fade a tattoo], he said. The UV from sun and other sources just dont make it that deep.

Most of a tattoos fading over time is the result of the bodys natural processes. Microphages cells that wander the body looking for gunk to clean out will eventually clear many of the globs of ink out of the dermis. But that can take decades.

That said, it cant hurt to protect skin from UV light and it will save lives. Even people who tan but never burn are at risk of deadly diseases if they let their skin darken without sunscreen.

Lets say youre regretting that tat of your everlasting love to your ex. What do you do? Laser removal has proven promising, which involves shooting lasers, tuned to the pigment of the target ink, deep into the skin. [The laser] heats the tattoo particles very quickly, very rapidly, so [the balls of pigment] basically explode into very, very, very, tiny particles, Ibrahim said. Notably, the technology for doing so has improved dramatically over the years, with super-short laser bursts heating the pigment faster, requiring fewer sessions and therefore less pain.

That doesnt mean a person should view a tattoo as temporary: Tattoo removal comes with some steep expenses, along with risks of pain, scarring, and the removal process simply not working.

The science of tats are evolving and slowly improving. One myth that seems to stand the test of time? The fact that tattooed dudes are deemed pretty freaking hot. That, combined with research indicating that tattoos might actually be a boon for the immune system, make getting inked a lifestyle choice that might not be so bad after all.

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VOTE: People Are Actually Tattooing Freckles On Their Faces What Do YOU Think Of This Ink?? – PerezHilton.com06.15.17


We’re not really sure how to explain this one, but it seems a lot of people wish they had freckles so badly that they’re tattooing them permanently and semi-permanently to their faces!

We LOVES freckles, too but this definitely seems like a risk, right?!

Vote: Are The Kardashians Totally Uninteresting??

See some examples of these freckle tats (below)!

We’ll admit, some of those look pretty natural!

But we wanna know

[Image via @amandalouise.brows/Instagram.]

Tags: beauty buzz, freckle tattoo, freckles, inked, play with perez, polls, skin, tattoos

Guess The Celebrity With THIS Massive Religious Back Tat!

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This Chinese Plastic Surgery Company Specializes In Turning Women Into Ivanka Trump!

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Tattoo artists go to court to legally shed shady image ahead of 2020 Games – The Japan Times06.15.17

Tattoo artists in Japan lobbied Tuesday for better legal protection of a profession that has long been associated with organized crime, seeking to end a decades-old prejudice as the nation braces for an influx of tourists and athletes sporting body art ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

While Japan seeks to attract 40 million tourists a year by 2020, the notion that tattoos are a symbol of the yakuza instead of a fashion statement still runs as deeply in society as it does in the underworld.

At the heart of Tuesdays campaign was 29-year-old Taiki Masuda, an Osaka-based tattoo artist who is fighting what is expected to become a drawn-out court battle over the legality of what he does for a living.

In 2015, Masuda became one of a growing number of tattooists in Osaka Prefecture to face a police raid and court order demanding they pay fines for allegedly breaking the Medical Practitioners Law, which bans unlicensed doctors from engaging in medical practice. The rationale behind the crackdown is that the act of engraving an inked image onto someones skin constitutes a medical practice, which means tattooists are violating the law. Its unclear how many tattooists are actually licensed doctors.

Masuda refused to follow the court order and took his case to the Osaka District Court, claiming that tattooing is not a medical practice and his profession should not be regarded as illegal.

Japan doesnt outlaw tattooing per se, but the police assertion that it requires a medical license, if supported by the judiciary, would result in an estimated 3,000 tattooists nationwide losing their jobs and perhaps opting to go abroad, experts say.

Given the time and effort needed, I think its next to impossible for tattooists to get a doctors license, Masuda told The Japan Times during his Tuesday visit to Tokyo, where his advocacy group, Save Tattooing, held its first-ever gathering near the Diet.

Instead, I think we should create a separate accreditation or licensing system that recognizes our profession for what it is, he said.

Doing so, Masuda says, will help put an end to the industrys shady standing in Japan and pave the way for its foray into the mainstream. Although the 1948 abolition of an archaic law banning the act of inking bodies technically made tattooing legal, the nations tattooists have largely remained underground nonetheless due to their perceived ties with the yakuza.

This unsavory image is what typically makes politicians hesitant to fight for the profession, said Democratic Party member Akihiro Hatsushika, the only Diet member to show up at Save Tattooings meeting in Tokyo.

Many foreign athletes expected to visit Japan in 2020 have their bodies inked. At a time like this, how could Japan still insist that those with tattoos are not welcome to public baths or beaches? he said.

Eventually Id like to see Japan give better legal endorsement to tattooing so that Olympic athletes can openly enjoy being tattooed here as some form of souvenir for themselves, he said.

In March last year, Hatsushika became the first lawmaker to ask the Diet whether tattooing is medicine or art.

In response, health minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki told a Lower House committee that it is possible that tattooists who are not licensed doctors could be breaking the Medical Practitioners Law because injecting ink into layers of skin inevitably raises the risk of infection and inflammation. But he also admitted there are cultural aspects to tattooing and said the matter merits more active discussion.

Industry veteran Masahiro Kishi, 54, thinks that eradicating the discrimination hinges on how he and his lot behave in daily life.

Whenever I walk outside, I make sure I dont get in the way of people around me, or I always apologize should I bump into someone. I never fail to say thank you when I get a glass of beer at an izakaya (traditional pub), said Kishi, who also attended Tuesdays event.

As long as society continues to frown upon people with tattoos, were handicapped, in a way. What I mean by this is we need to be extra well-mannered and gentlemanly as we go about our lives, otherwise our image will never improve, he said.

The case initiated by Masuda is near its climax, with only a few sessions left. The much-anticipated ruling by the Osaka District Court is due in September. With no compromise expected, the case is all but certain to go to the Supreme Court, said Michiko Kameishi, one of Masudas chief lawyers.

If the top court agrees that tattooing is not a medical practice, it could embolden practitioners of other quasi-medical services, such as semi-permanent makeup application and piercing, she said. Currently, the Medical Practitioners Law is widely interpreted as banning unlicensed doctors from performing these services as well, leading to arrests.

At the same time, Masudas win would ignite momentum for rethinking his professions shady status and creating a separate licensing system for tattooists to prove their skills or hygiene knowledge a move that would go a long way toward making the profession less taboo, Kameishi said.

Losing the case would practically ruin the Japanese tattooing community because those without doctors licenses would be disqualified from doing it, the lawyer said.

Unlike makeup application or piercing, the drawing techniques used by professional tattooists are so unique and complicated that few doctors can immediately replace them, Kameishi said, noting they would likely be forced underground or overseas to make a living.

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An astrologer explains why some tattoos can bring you harm – DailyO06.14.17

Tattooing, as a form of art, has a rich and long history. But today the form of body art has become more of a fashion statement. Many across the world feel the need to decorate their bodies with symbols and motifs without even knowing their actual relevance. Many are still ignorant about the meaning of a certain symbol and what it does to their personality, body and mind. Tattoos are everything but a symbol of contemporary fashion.

Sadly, not many are aware of the consequences of getting a tattoo embedded into their body, sometimes without even knowing if the technique used is safe and healthy.

Astrologically speaking, tattoos can have unimaginable and uncanny effects in life, especially if you don’t know what a certain motif or symbol stands for.

People choose get tattoos for different reasons sometimes artistic, at others to identify themselves with certain groups or emotions. In some countries Yantra tattoo a form oftattooing which is believed to have originated among the Tai tribes of southwestern China are considered to be a symbol that protects against evil things and brings good luck.

People choose get tattoos for different reasons sometimes artistic, at others to identify themselves with certain groups or emotions.

I did a small survey on people who got tattooed in the past three years. The idea came to my mind after a friend came to me for astrological advice. He had tattooed his shoulder eights month before our meeting and started having problem in his personal life.

Since I knew him for the past 10 years, I had noticed some changes in his behaviour but even after long discussions both of us couldn’t find any strong reason for those changes, or the problems in his life.

I gave him some tips and asked to come and meet me after two weeks. I started thinking about him and talked to his family members (since Iknow them very well and they too were worried about him) and two common friends with whom he use to spend time.

I called him up and told him to keep his tattoo (he had one on his shoulder) covered (under clothes) all time. I then started talking to more people who had tattooed their bodies and made a strange discovery (I’ll come to that later). As I started reading about tattoos I become confident that it was the tattoo which was creating problems in my friend’s life.

I advised my friend to get his tattoo removed. And he agreed, albeit with some resistance. After two months, I went to his place to find out that things were back to normal after he removed his tattoo.

That is when I decided to write about tattoos. It’s important that we understand how tattoos work. For example, if you have tattooed a religious symbol like “Om” or “Swastika” in your body, it will be beneficial for you only when it is done correctly, that is, by sticking to the original form of the motif. You will feel confident and happy. But if the tattoo artist tries do something new by changing the actual design of symbol, it will have negative mental and physical effects.

When I say negative, it means unspecified stress and depression. Some people may feel more depressed and sadfor no reason.

So, it’s important to know what you are getting in exchange of a tattoo. That’s one reason why some people get their tattoos removed with so much pain.

Tattooandastrology cosmic connection

The relationship amongour body, mind and the planets is very important. And all these things come under the umbrella of astrology. Tattoo is a form of body modification, where a design is made by inserting ink. So, it effects the body and mind. Gem stones, metals like gold, silver are all connected to astrology. Even clothes and their colours. For instance, the colour red (we wear so often) is connected with Mars, green with Mercury. Body parts also haveastrological connections like the eye is connected with the planet Sun, our skin with Mercury, blood with Mars and Moon.

In a way everypartof our body is connected with planets and astrology. As written in shastras “Yat pinde tat brahmande”,whichmeans “whateveris present in our body is present in the universe”, or “your body is a miniature universe”. So when a tattoo is designed in right way it willhavepositive astrological results, but if not itcanaffect your mind, body and behaviour and as well as family, friends, career and the society.

History of tattooing

Tattooing has been a part of many traditions and cultures for eons. The word tattoo comes from the polynesian word “tatau” which means “to write”. The first written reference to the wordtattooappears in a journal by Joseph Banks, a British naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences. There are many types of tattoos such as traumatic, amateur, professional, cosmetic etc.

The first professional tattoo artist in the United States was Martin Hildebrandt. In India, from the time of Ramayana and Mahabharata people use to have tattoo on their faces and hands.

So, go ahead and getyour favouritetattoo, but justbe careful.

Also read: Good Indian culture: We like foreigners, just not with Goddess tattoos

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Masters Of Ink: Challenging Gender Stereotypes With Guet’s Flower Tattoos – Konbini US06.13.17

Masters of Inkis a Konbini original introducing you to a whole spectrum of tattoo artists from all over the world. Custom designers specializing in everystylefrom moderndotworkto traditionalAmericanatattoos tune in for something new every week!

Guet is a tattoo artist practicing blackwork and dotwork between France and Ibiza. A graffiti enthusiast from an early age, he’s been hanging out in the tattoo community for 20 years, but only started tattooing himself 5 years ago after a trip to Polynesia.

At first, Guet experimented with spray paint effectsbut soon stood out with a unique style, mixing geometry, abstract art and a tribute to natures beauty and wisdom.

He tells Konbini:

“At first, I wanted to make wildstyle graffiti on bodies. Then, little by little, my mind opened up to other aesthetics, toward more elegance.

Ive realized that with flowers, I can express the dynamic of sketching as well as this wild side that is teeming inside of me. My work now heads for motion, in order to exalt body.”

Discreet as he is, Guet enjoys working in the shadows. However,he can’t avoid drawing attention with his impeccable work, which is exactly what happened three years ago thanks to a video of slow motion tattooing.

The footage grabbed international attention, millions of views and is still trending around the web, hypnotizing fans of the needle. “This video has aroused a genuine enthusiasm for my work for sure. It allowed me to explore more ambitious and crazier projects,” Guet says.

In the tattoo world, flowery designs are usually subject to misogyny, as they’re mostly associated with femininity. However, Guet is a fierce defender of both the artistic value of botanical tattoos and the empowerment of his clients.

“Yes, my clients are mostly women.But the way I see it, tattoos don’t have gender. There is no difference between working on a female or a male body: the most important thing is the harmony between the tattoo and the anatomy.”

The work of Guet is a cool breeze in todays sensationalism of tattoo art on women. While avoiding the pitfalls of using concepts such as feminity and feminism, the artist is making his humble contribution to a world without stereotypes and standardization.

“Im happy that with the rise of tattoo art, some prejudices are being blown away. Women are freeing themselves from the stare of others with body art. Yet, there still is way to go to get rid of all the clichs.”

Follow Guet on Instagram and discover more of his tattoos below:

Read More ->Masters Of Ink: Pushing The Limits Of Abstract Tattoos With Olivier Poinsignon

Writer for tattoo and art related medias, as well as author of crime novels. I live in Paris.

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Judd Bowman’s Blackwork is Taking Over SoCal Tattooing – OC Weekly06.13.17

Monday, June 12, 2017 at 8:21 a.m.

The latest master of blackwork.

Courtesy of Judd Bowman

When Judd Bowman was growing up in Pennsylvania, becoming a tattoo artist wasnt really a feasible job. Tattoo shops were hours apart from each other, the industry hadnt hit the airwaves of cable TV, and there werent visible sleeves on everyone from soccer moms to baristas just yet. But even by the time he started high school, Bowman wanted to get tattooed more than just about anything else.

When I turned 15, I begged my parents and got them to sign for a tattoo for me, Bowman says. I quickly became friends with the tattoo artist, so by the time I was 18, I had a bunch of shitty, bad tattoos. I didnt really think much of it, so I just collected some tattoos for the next few years.

While many heavily tattooed teenagers go straight into apprenticeships these days, Bowman didnt consider it as a career until a while later. The artist began as a carpenter, but he befriended a tattooer after a few years on construction sites and the two began sharing artwork. Inspired by his new contact, Bowman bought a few machines and began inking friends and coworkers out of his home for a bit but it didnt take long for him to realize a career change may suit him best.

After a few months, I had a portfolio of tattoos that Id done that werent too terrible, Bowman says. I took that to a biker shop in the area because where I was from, the nearest tattoo shops were like an hour away and started there to build a portfolio and get better.

Once hed learned the basics under his biking bosses in Pennsylvania, Bowman made the move out to Oakland where he took a break from his tattooing career to grow weed for a living before tattooing his way through Europe and then heading down to SoCal. Now that hes established himself in the local scene, Bowman has become known for his unique take on blackwork.

Without using any color for many of his tattoos, Bowman is able to capture a classic elegance with a modern twist on many of his tattoos. As an artist whose goal is to someday have many people recognize his tattoos when seen in passing out on the street, the Black Diamond Tattoo artist knows that keeping his all-black technique fresh and interesting is the key to his success. But really, his love for blackwork only started because of how popular color tattoos had become in his hometown.

Being from a real small town, it always seemed like color tattoos were more of a bargain like it was really nice if it was red and shit, Bowman says. When I started tattooing, I thought thats what I had to do because everyone wanted color. Its not like I hate doing color, its just that I think theres something super classy and mysterious about blackwork. Im down with a lot of different styles, but I just like the classy traditional images that have a little bit more of an illustrative twist.

Of course, when Bowman first got started in the industry, he wasnt really worried about carving out a spot for his blackwork or making a name for himself. A little over a decade ago, a lot of the tattooing TV shows were just starting to hit the airwaves and bringing the inside of tattoo shops to peoples homes. Having seen the beginnings of those programs, the laidback Bowmans biggest concern was that the artform he loved and career he was beginning would end up being a lot more drama and trouble than he was looking for.

When I started tattooing, it was at the very start of the reality TV tattooing, so I thought thats how tattoo shops were, Bowman says. Maybe thats why I didnt get into it sooner. I thought it was just so much drama. I quickly realized its not always really like that, and its actually super chill a lot of the time. Over the years, I realized its about who youre around, and that drama can be a real thing. Its kind of silly I think because tattooing is this beautiful, innocent thing. It should be fun and about letting loose.

Black Diamond Tattoo, 412 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, 310-399-1177, @juddbowman

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Two men arrested for torture after tattooing teenager’s forehead with ‘I’m a thief’ after accusing him of stealing bike –

Two men have been arrested for torture after distressing footage emerged of a teenager having ‘I am a thief’ tattooed on his forehead after allegedly stealing a disabled man’s bike.

The 17-year-old look petrified in a video the men recorded as they scraped their permanent message onto the boy’s skin during the incident in Brazil.

After tattoo artist Maycon Wesley Carvalho dos Reis and his friend, Ronildo Moreira de Araujo were finished they made the boy show his new inking to the camera, before asking him if he liked it.

The hand-scrawled tattoo read ‘Eu sou ladro e vacilo’ in Portuguese – translated as ‘I am a thief and a loser’.

The lad ran away after the attack and went missing for over a week, before he was eventually found by his family.

He has denied the theft and is scared to show anybody his face, and doesn’t want to leave his home.

Dog lover who has tattoo of beloved pet on her leg watched in horror as beloved terrier was stolen

Mr Reis, 27, and Mr Moreira de Araujo, 29, were arrested and face charges of torture.

The teenager gave a statement to police denied having committed any theft and was taken to the medical post to be medicated and returned to his grandmother’s house.

He is being treated at a psychological care centre and is receiving treatment for his wounds.

G1, a Brazilian news website, spoke to the boy’s uncle.

He said: “He’s very well-liked in the neighborhood and many people started looking for him, they came to tell us where he was and his friends went to pick him up, and now he’s at his grandmother’s house, resting.”

This heavily tattooed woman’s chilling Halloween make-up will scare the hell out of you

One of the lad’s childhood friends has started a crowdsourcing page to raise funds for the tattoo to be removed.

But he says he has received death threats from the “tattoo community”.

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Four arrested in local illegal tattooing investigation | WSET – WSET06.09.17

Christopher Alley is one of the four arrested; the other three mug shots weren’t immediately available. (New River Valley Regional Jail)

PULASKI, Va. (WSET) – Four people have been arrested and charged with illegal tattooing in Pulaski.

Health officials say the illegal tattooing has infected victims with acute Hepatitis C.

Police say Christopher S. Alley, 26, Bradley A. Cook, 29, and Timothy A. Hagee, 34, all of Pulaski, were arrested Wednesday and released on a recognizance bond.

Police say the three were arrested after they conducted search warrants at three locations, the 300 block of Meadowview Drive, the 100 block of Lake Street, and the 100 block of Tower Street.

The three are charged with alleged offense of tattooing without a licence in violation of the Virginia Code.

Officials say the fourth person, Keith A. Brogan, 39, of Pulaski was arrested when police served a warrant on June 2.

Brogan is charged with tattooing without a license, tattooing/piercing a minor, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Pulaksi police stress that there are no licensed tattoo artists in the town.

“It is of critical importance that these individuals determine their health status for the sake of their continuing well-being and to prevent the spreading of this life impacting virus to their family members or significant others,” police said in a release.

They say anyone who has gotten an illegal tattoo should contact their local health department and be tested for Hepatitis C.

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Tattoo artists create designer skin | Arts | – Yakima Herald-Republic06.09.17


Art covers a wall at Jim and Jennis Quality Tattoos on East Yakima Avenue in Yakima, Wash., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

YAKIMA, Wash. — There are a million reasons why people get tattoos to honor family and friends and pets, to celebrate accomplishments, to show membership and highlight military service, to inspire themselves and others.

All those reasons are how Jim Rosal has made a living since he opened his first tattoo shop at age 17 in Sunnyside and he appreciates that. At age 52, hes as passionate about his artistry as ever.

But Rosal also will tell you that you dont need a reason to get a tattoo. Not a single one.

It doesnt have to mean anything. Its all about fun, about collecting and vanity, said Rosal, co-owner of Jim & Jennis Quality Tattoo on Yakima Avenue.

Longtime tattoo artists like Rosal and Tim Stillwaugh at Cyclops Tattoo Parlor on Fruitvale Boulevard, among several area tattoo businesses, were creating designer skin long before the continuing explosion of tattoo reality shows.

Viewers cant seem to get enough of a peek into the places and people behind a tradition that has existed through much of human history but still carries a whiff of the taboo for some.

Added to the mix this spring was Vicelands Needles & Pins, a series that explores the world of tattoo art as it grows from subculture to global phenomenon. Host Grace Neutral explores the cultural journey of tattoo art and meets the people around the world who use needles and ink to express themselves, according to a show summary announcing its debut.

Thats old news for guys like Rosal, who have seen tattoos and tattoo artists become more mainstream than ever after decades of association with potential health dangers and motley characters on the fringes of society.

Were the real deal, Rosal said. We were doing this before it was popular.

Jim Rosal, co-owner of Jim and Jennis Quality Tattoos, works on the final phase of a tattoo sleeve for Jake Garland at the shop on East Yakima Avenue in Yakima, Wash., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Rosal has been tattooing since the late 70s and started the first tattoo shop in the Yakima Valley in Sunnyside in 1983. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

Originally from the San Francisco area, Rosal got his first tattoo when he was 13, a hand-poked version on his upper right hand.

My mom took one look and said, Oh, man, you did it! he recalled.

She was upset because she wanted her son to have a good tattoo. She told him if hed raise $100 over the summer, she would match it and would take him to Seattle. He did, and she did, and Rosal got his first professional ink at Tattoo Emporium: a black rose on his upper right arm.

Rosal also got a peek at the bundle of cash the tattoo artist had in his wallet.

I was just so, Im doing this! he said. I have my cool tattoo; Im hooked.

He left high school and opened the first tattoo parlor in Sunnyside and the first in the Yakima Valley. That was 1983. Rosal met his future wife and business partner a few years later when the Spokane native was in Sunnyside visiting her sister.

The Rosals have been together for 30 years and have four children, the youngest 3 years old. They moved to Yakima in 1994.

She has literally pulled her weight over 25 years, Rosal said. Every kid, she worked all through her pregnancy to, Sorry guys, Ive gotta go.

You wont see Jenni in the shop these days; shes a stay-at-home mom now and doesnt need to work, anyway, but does do special requests.

Rosal charges $125 an hour.

Were seasoned and veteran tattoo artists, Rosal said. That seems like a lot, but were quick. … Were pretty comparable to the cutthroats.

At Cyclops Tattoo Parlor on Fruitvale, its $100 an hour, with a $50 minimum. A $50 deposit is required when booking an appointment or requesting a drawing, and deposits are nonrefundable if you decide to cancel your appointment.

These days, thats pretty cheap, said Stillwaugh, 50, whos been tattooing for the general public for about seven years. Hes had his equipment for around 15 years.

Tattoo artist Alex Chavarin tattoos the forearm of Andrea Evangelista, her 14th, during his shift at Addiction Tattoos on West Yakima Avenue in Yakima, Wash., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

Jim Rosal, co-owner of Jim and Jennis Quality Tattoos, works on the final phase of a tattoo sleeve for Jake Garland at the shop on East Yakima Avenue in Yakima, Wash., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Rosal has been tattooing since the late 70s and started the first tattoo shop in the Yakima Valley in Sunnyside in 1983. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

Jim Rosal, co-owner of Jim and Jennis Quality Tattoos, works on the final phase of a tattoo sleeve for a customer at the shop on East Yakima Avenue in Yakima, Wash., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

Art covers a wall at Jim and Jennis Quality Tattoos on East Yakima Avenue in Yakima, Wash., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

Peter Bennett, artist at Addiction Tattoos, uses a tattoo gun called a magnum while tattooing a customer at the shop on West Yakima Avenue in Yakima, Wash., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. The magnum uses 11 needles arranged in a stacked formation and is used for shading. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

Pete Compian, owner of Addiction Tattoos, lays some line work for a detailed tattoo for a customer at the shop on West Yakima Avenue in Yakima, Wash., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

Tattoo artist Alex Chavarin tattoos the forearm of Andrea Evangelista, her 14th, during his shift at Addiction Tattoos on West Yakima Avenue in Yakima, Wash., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

Jim Rosal, co-owner of Jim and Jennis Quality Tattoos, works on the final phase of a tattoo sleeve for Jake Garland at the shop on East Yakima Avenue in Yakima, Wash., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Rosal has been tattooing since the late 70s and started the first tattoo shop in the Yakima Valley in Sunnyside in 1983. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

Jim Rosal, co-owner of Jim and Jennis Quality Tattoos, works on the final phase of a tattoo sleeve for a customer at the shop on East Yakima Avenue in Yakima, Wash., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

Art covers a wall at Jim and Jennis Quality Tattoos on East Yakima Avenue in Yakima, Wash., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

Peter Bennett, artist at Addiction Tattoos, uses a tattoo gun called a magnum while tattooing a customer at the shop on West Yakima Avenue in Yakima, Wash., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. The magnum uses 11 needles arranged in a stacked formation and is used for shading. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

Pete Compian, owner of Addiction Tattoos, lays some line work for a detailed tattoo for a customer at the shop on West Yakima Avenue in Yakima, Wash., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

He and fellow artists Richard Rangel and Juan Carrillo rent chairs from Pablo Casillas, another highly regarded tattoo artist who has owned Cyclops since early 2011.

Sometimes were tattooing only a couple hours a day, said Stillwaugh, whos tattooed almost every area of the human body. But its a decent living.

Theyre pretty busy these days, booked out about a month. Demand for tattoos always rises during tax season, when people come in flush with tax-refund cash. It dips in the summer, then rises again around Christmas.

The guys at Cyclops sometimes quote particular pieces because of the size, intricacy of artwork or other issues. But its always good to talk with the artist no matter what the customer has in mind, said Casillas, who is 27 and began tattooing at age 16.

Nowadays, people get a lot of inspiration from social media. For an artist, its a little bit frustrating, Casillas said. We like when they give us a general idea and are open to interpretation. That makes it fun for us. Thats the ideal way.

Then theres the opposite end of the spectrum, when customers come in with a vague idea and an earnest, I trust you guys. Of course the ideal tattoo should be a unique creation that pleases the artist and the customer.

You should come in with an open mind and a general idea of what you want, Casillas said.

Theres no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to tattoos, and local artists are happy to help.

We stay busy. Part of it is we really like to treat people well, Casillas said. Its just a great team. Theyre all experienced. We get inspiration from one another.

Another reason its important to talk with artists beforehand: money. While tattoo artists welcome walk-ins, any prep time necessary for walk-ins goes toward the final bill including sketching the design. Thats not the case if customers come in for an initial consultation, Rosal said.

I did 12 hours of work before I even zapped him with a needle, he said of one customers elaborate design. They talked, the customer gave him ideas, then Rosal sat down and drew his vision for what the customer wanted over that time.

If I do it on the spot, you pay for that. If youre smart, youll want to talk about it, Rosal said. Then you wont pay for prep.

Stillwaugh grinned when asked about the quirkiest tattoo request hes received.

Thats a hard question. People come up with everything you can imagine. Thats what makes it fun.

Getting your first tattoo can involve a range of emotions nervousness, excitement, cold feet and more. The Hart and Huntington Tattoo Co. in Orlando, Fla., offers these tips to help ensure all goes well.

Dont rush. The design is quite possibly the most important step, followed closely by where you get it done. If youre not sure that youre 100 percent happy with how the preliminary sketches look, talk to your artist about it. They can adjust the drawing and answer your questions.

Research the shop. Read the online reviews and visit in person to check out the health standards, clientele, and tattoo artists. Its important to make sure youre comfortable in the shop, so do your tattoo research well ahead of time.

Research design ideas ahead of time. Come in with as much reference material necessary to deliver an articulate description for your tattoo.

Question. A good tattoo artist will answer every single question and take the time to make sure youre comfortable before they start the process with you. If they dont answer to your satisfaction, youre just not connecting, or if the artist seems shady, leave.

Consider placement. Your first tattoo is a special experience in and of itself, you may not want to choose something really huge or extremely visible (such as your face, neck or hands) for your first one. First of all, its a big commitment and it could make it difficult to get employment depending upon your field.

Dont be too thrifty. You dont want your first tattoo to end up on Fail Blogs. Go ahead and shop around until you get an idea of fair pricing, but its a great idea to choose a shop based on the artists skills, experience, and health standards, rather than just price.

Take care of yourself. Dont go to the shop drunk (impaired judgment plus tattooing equals bad idea), and make sure you eat a decent meal and drink lots of water beforehand.

Mentally prepare. Its going to hurt a little and youre going to bleed a little, but it never hurts to know what youre getting into when tattoo machines are involved. Trust us, its worth it. And it doesnt hurt all that bad.

Wear comfortable clothes. Depending upon where the tattoo will be, youll want to wear clothes that will allow easy access to that part of your body. Also, if the tattoo is large, you may be there for awhile, so wear something thats comfortable to sit in.

Take care of it. Tattoo aftercare is something you should take seriously. Healing your tattoo is just as important as the process itself, so dont use any type of ointment or left over tattoo wax or goo from five years ago. Invest in a bottle of After Inked.

Relax! This should be an enjoyable process, and a great story to tell in the future. Have fun with it!


And it includes pets a lot of pets.

Ive got one in the books right now for a wiener dog, he said.

Hes created tattoos youd expect for this area, such as anything related to the Seahawks. That kept tattoo artists really busy when Seattle played in back-to-back Super Bowls.

Sports tattoos in general are popular, but as with any design, Its gotta fit your body, Rosal said. Everybodys a different shape.

Its kind of like going to a tailor, customer Jack Baugher said: Hell actually sit here and measure you.

Youre making designer skin, Rosal added.

Back to Jim & Jennis recently for more color and shading on a tattoo on his left upper arm, Baugher talked about his experience.

I shopped around and looked at different designs. … With both of these, I gave him the ideas and he drew these up, said Baugher, whose elaborate tattoos are on his upper arms.

Baugher will end up paying a little over $1,000 for the tattoo on his upper right arm and shoulder.

But again, its for something youre going to have for the rest of your life, he said.

That means every tattoo heavy meaning or not should be exactly what the customer wants.

Most people arent listening to their own brain and heart, Rosal said. I aint no preacher, but I actually tell people, You need to really think for yourself. Who cares what your friend thinks?

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