So you want a Tattoo?

I’m certain many folks out there are watching any one or all of the many shows dealing with Tattooing and Piercing that are on TV now days. Having been in the industry since my Tattooing Apprenticeship in 1973-75 under Al Orsini at Golden State Tattoo in San Diego, CA I’ve seen a number of changes in this realm….some good, some bad….but the basics haven’t changed much.

20 years ago I created a tri-fold information sheet that answered many of the questions asked then which should still be asked today. Be alert and observant when you go into any tattoo and piercing studio. Besides the fact that even the friendliest, nicest of people can be abhorrent in their sanitation practices, their smiling face can also cover the fact they don’t have a clue what they are doing. Seen it, hate it, been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

Competent artwork and piercing is something that is not “luck” if you get it, it should be the Industry Standard in our contemporary world. There is no excuse for re-used, non-sterile, semi-functioning equipment or poor quality piercing lances and jewelry.

If you are new to this world of Body Modifications or an old hat, at minimum ask the following questions of any studio before getting any work.

Excerpts from my old Tattooing tri-fold:

  1. How many years have you been tattooing?

  2. Where did you complete your Tattoo Apprenticeship and may I call them for a reference?

  3. Is the portfolio you are showing me yours?

  4. Do you use sterile, single use tubes, needles?

  5. What is the proper steam sterilization cycle for your equipment? (350º at 20psi for 20 minutes)

  6. If your equipment is unused, how often do you recycle the sterilization procedure? (Six months or less if kept in a sanitary enclosure)

  7. Do you construct your own tattooing needles or buy pre-made? (If “construct”, see that there is no pockets or gaps in soldering, this can collect bacteria that may not be killed in steri-cycle)

  8. How long does it take for a tattoo to heal? (7-10 days)(If they say more than 2 weeks, run!)

  9. What are your printed aftercare instructions?

  10. What type of ink do you use? (Have artist show you labeled bottle or demonstrate procedure if they mix powdered inks and should be a Cosmetic Dye safe for human use)

Additional and/or replacement questions for Piercing:

  1. How many years have you pierced?

  2. Where did you complete your Piercing Training and may I call them for a reference?

  3. Is the portfolio you are showing me yours?

  4. Do you use sterile, single use lances?

  5. What is the proper steam sterilization cycle for your equipment and jewelry? (350º at 20psi for 20 minutes)

  6. If your equipment and jewelry is unused, how often do you recycle the sterilization procedure? (Six months or less if kept in a sanitary enclosure)

  7. How long does it take for a piercing to heal? (7-30 days depending on type of piercing. Have them give you detailed information)

  8. What are your printed aftercare instructions?

I sincerely hope this helps you get quality workmanship from a sanitary and quality artist.

Blessings of Peace,

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One response to this post.

  1. Thanks for informative post. We are pleased positive this post assists me help save many hours of searching other related posts just to find what I was looking for. Just I want to declare: Thank you!

    Reply

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