Functional Life Saving Tattoos

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Flickr image via chuckula

OVERVIEW—There has been a new tattoo concept flowing through the industry as of late that is both functional and potentially life-saving. Medical ID tattoos are now on the radar as a substitute for the more conventional medical ID bracelets and wallet-cards.

For those suffering from chronic and/or life-threatening conditions, medical ID alerts are crucial for times when a person is unable to communicate on their own regarding a medical condition. These alerts have historically been common for people with diabetes and life-threatening allergies, and are often indicated with the use of medical ID jewelry. However, those with the need for such alerts have been getting more creative – and might we add, stylish – in the way they indicate their medical conditions.

While many people feel that a more permanent marking is better suited to convey serious conditions, there are some who argue that medical ID bracelets or wallet-cards are a safer bet. Looking into why someone may not feel safe with a medical ID tattoo, a few reasons were uncovered that have more to do with the standard EMT protocol than the efficiency of these tattoos.

For instance, emergency responders are trained in a standardized protocol that includes quickly scanning a person’s wrists and wallet for medical identification. They are not, however, trained to check a person’s arms, chest, etc. which means that there is the potential for a medical ID tattoo to go unseen by paramedics. This makes sense, as EMTs respond to emergency situations where time is often limited. Another inconsistency with medical ID tattoos is that they are not moderated the way medical ID jewelry is, so it is possible that EMTs might mistake the identification tattoo for a medical awareness tattoo. There is also no standard guideline for medical tattoos, so designs could vary drastically and potentially confuse paramedics.

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Flickr image via Char James-Tanny

So why look into getting a medical ID tattoo anyway? There are plenty of people who have had negative experiences with ID jewelry, such as the jewelry breaking off or becoming misplaced—certainly not an issue with a tattoo. Having a medical alert that you never have to think about make living with a chronic condition that much less stressful. Having a unique medical tattoo can also open up the door for casual communication about serious medical conditions and allow people to educate others about their condition.

When balancing the pros and cons of replacing conventional medical alerts with medical ID tattoos, it seems that different alerts may just work better for different people. These innovative medical alert tattoos are best suited for people who do not already, or do not plan to, have an abundance of other tattoos, people who do not like the inconvenience of jewelry (replacements can get expensive), or those who simply do not like the style options available for medical ID jewelry.

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Tattoo Artists Featured in Fine Art Auction

horiyoshi iii 2(Horiyoshi III)

 

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(Bob Roberts)

Tattoo art is no longer confined to the body as “living” art. Tattoos that used to be a signature of outcasts, criminals, and sailors are now becoming appreciated as expressions of intricate visual design. This new appreciation was showcased for the first time last weekend at New York-based auction house, Guernsey’s, during the first-ever auction of original tattoo art. The collection contained over 1,000 pieces of tattoo art ranging from $500-$30,000, many of which Arlan Ettinger – president of Guernsey’s – expects to double in value within a year.

For those who’ve never heard of the world-renowned auction house, Guernsey’s is famous for its eccentric, high-profile offerings and historically significant auction events. These landmark events include their “40 Years of Rock and Roll” auction and their auction of almost 200,000 pre-Castro cuban cigars, for which Guernsey’s had to petition the US government to temporarily lift the embargo that would have prevented the collection from entering the country. Badass!

Guernsey’s pioneer auction of tattoo art was made possible courtesy of Peter Mui’s collection, a highly respected fashion designer who passed in 2009. Mui curated the collection during 15 years of extensive travels in search of the world’s most extraordinary Tattoo Masters. “It’s a who’s who of artists whose names resonate to people who follow this slice of global culture,” explains Ettinger to the Daily Beast.

So, who are the artists featured in Mui’s astounding and groundbreaking collection? To give these Masters the full appreciation they deserve, we’ve outlined each of the artists and their styles below:

 

Horiyoshi III (real name Yoshihito Nakano)

This beloved Japanese Master is a living legend known for his stunningly intricate full-body tattoo suits created in the true manner of shisei, which embodies the concept of “balanced balance”. He earned the title Horiyoshi, a title given to a master tattooist in Japan, after completing an apprenticeship with the legendary Yoshitsugu Muramatsu (aka Horiyoshi I). Horiyoshi III stresses the life lessons that can be learned from perfecting the shisei method, and also advises, “To evolve, you must break away from what you’ve learned” (check out this interview). 

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Horitomo

Part-way through a career in single-needle westernized tattooing, Horitomo experienced a rebirth of pride for Japanese traditional culture and began an apprenticeship with Horiyoshi III. Since then, he has devoted his life to studying traditional Japanese tattooing, particularly tebori (Japanese hand-tattooing). These days, Horitomo sits at the forefront of cosmopolitan tattooing with his initiative to spread knowledge of traditional tattoos and technique. He is commonly known for his tattooed cat art, which is featured in his published book Monmon Cats.

Horitomo - @ Asian Art Museum

“Horitomo’s Work” by Asian Art Museum is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

Horitoyo

Proud of his ancestry’s technique, Horitoyo is known for strictly using the tebori hand-tattooing method even for his most intricate shisei works. He is also known for his unique style of incorporating modern new-school design into Japanese traditional motif, inspiring an evolution of Japanese tattooing.

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Filip Leu

Swiss-born Filip Leu began working as a full-time tattoo artist under his parents at the age of 15, later becoming a pioneer of larger needle configurations in his style of Japanese traditional tattoos. Leu is also co-founder of the Art Fusion Experiment, an association presenting tattoo artists as fine artists.

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Bob Roberts

With almost half a century of tattooing under his needle, Roberts – founder of LA’s famous Spotlight Tattoo – has earned an international reputation as a legendary underground tattoo artist and painter. Robert’s tattoo work features traditional styles with bright color-work and his paintings are renowned for their watercolor composition.

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Robert Hernandez

Another European Master, Hernandez is a renowned realistic tattoo artist from Spain specializing mostly in black-and-grey works with a dark, sinister style. He got his start at Mao y Cathy, the first-ever tattoo studio in Madrid, before opening his own studio called Vittamin Tattoo.

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Guy Aitchison

An American artist from the Midwest, Aitchison is known for mastering the tricks of depth and lighting to bring out a highly-dynamic visual experience. He is praised for his efforts in the advancement of tattoo education, a practice that was previously coated in suspicion and jealousy due to the narrowness of the industry.

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Photo: www.hyperspacestudio.com

 

Aaron Cain-Cain is legendary for his popularization of biomechanical tattoos, which was inspired by his interests in science fiction and fascination with the tools of tattooing. Similarly, you have likely heard of or used one of his exquisitely sculpted tattoo machines, of which the majority of his career is now dedicated to crafting.  

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Leo Zulueta-As the founder of LA studio Blue Wave (original home of the modern tribal tattoo), Zulueta is well-known for popularizing the style of tribal tattoos in the United States.

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Preserving Your Loved One’s Tattoos After Death

Tattoos are becoming more permanent than ever…

What’s displayed on your walls at home? Most likely some interesting art prints, perhaps a tapestry or two, your grandfather’s chest piece…wait what?

We almost didn’t believe it either, but now you can give a new meaning to the phrase “family heirloom” by getting the tattoos of your deceased loved ones preserved as a badass piece of artwork. Two companies (one in the U.S. and one in Europe) are now offering this service, pioneered by tattoo artist Peter van der Helm of Amsterdam tattoo shop Walls and Skin. Here, clients can register to have one or more of their tattoos removed promptly after death and shipped off to a lab to become preserved in a way that it can be displayed for decades to come.

But this service, available only in Europe until recently, has finally made its way to the U.S. thanks to Charles Hamm, founder of the company Save My Ink.The organization associated with the company, the National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art, launched earlier this fall to bring to life many people’s desire to have their body art preserved in the manner of museum-quality fine art. NAPSA is a non-profit membership association that allows registration for Save My Ink’s preservation service as well as other tattoo community benefits.The cost for clients seeking this service begins with a $60 registration fee, followed by a $60 annual membership fee for each consecutive year of the client’s life.

The process begins with each client devising a sort of tattoo “will”, designating which of their pieces are meant to be preserved and who the beneficiaries will be. In order to complete the process, notice must be given to the NAPSA within 18 hours of the client’s death, after which they will overnight a “preservation kit” to the client’s funeral home, then ship it to their lab where the preservation process is completed.Beneficiaries will receive these intimately preserved works of art within 3 to 6 months. As NAPSA’s website states, “By joining NAPSA and registering your tattoo(s) for preservation, you can immortalize your legacy for your love ones or donate your preserved tattoo to be a part of our ever growing collection”.

NAPSA’s proprietary technique for preserving skin tissue is innovative because it was designed specifically for the purpose of tattoo preservation. The process permanently changes the chemical structure of the skin tissue, making it impervious against decomposition while maintaining the purity of the art. The finished result is a perfectly unique work of art that can be displayed as an intimate way of remembering loved ones for generations after their death.

If you’re wondering why someone might be inclined to register their tattoos for preservation, van der Helm explains on the Walls and Skin website, Preserving your skin can be done for many reasons. Preserving the artwork, the story, the emotional value or preserving tattoos for your next-of-kin”. Is this concept too morbid, or innocently sentimental? See for yourself below.

 

 

savemyink.com

 

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Change NYS Bill S1421-2015 to allow the use of disposable ink caps in tattooing!!

 

ATTENTION NYS TATTOO ARTISTS AND SHOPS!

Click here to sign the petition Change.Org

8.27.15

New laws have been passed in NY effective December 12th that will require the used of single use prepackaged ink cups instead of the usual disposable ink caps.

EXERCISE YOUR RIGHTS! CONTACT YOUR LAWMAKERS!

SIGN THE PETITION! SHARE WITH OTHER TATTOO ARTISTS

To: Senator Carlucci, NYS Department of Health, Governor Cuomo, Assemblyman Zebrowski and whomever else it may concern,

This petition is regarding the wording on the new tattoo laws that were passed, bill S1421-2015. The wording regarding single use inks is complicated and may lead to completely unnecessary and expensive measures.

The new bill (s1421-2015) defines “SINGLE USE INK” SHALL MEAN A SEALED AND PRE-FILLED PACKAGE OF INK THAT IS ONLY INTENDED FOR A SINGLE USE”

The standard procedure by any properly trained tattoo artist involves purchasing large bottles of inks, and pouring them into small plastic, single use, disposable “ink caps”, just enough for the procedure, which are thrown away during clean up. The original large bottle is to be stored away from the client and the work station, and therefore away from any possibility of contamination.

The way the law reads now, would not work with these proven safe, common-practice procedures. They have single use, prepackaged inks, but they are incredibly expensive and not offered by any of the better quality brands of ink (really just a couple brands), and only available in a limited palette. For many artists, switching to a lesser-quality ink, is just not an option. For permanent makeup pigments (which is very much tattooing as well) there are no brands packaged for single use. These single-use inks, are impractical and unnecessary, since standard precautions are designed to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination.

We would like to propose that better wording would be something that specifies that pigments are required to be poured into single use disposable receptacles aka ink caps.

Example: “single use ink” shall mean all inks are poured into disposable single use containers, and disposed of after each procedure.

The key to safe tattooing is annual education requirements, teaching artists in the industry to use universal precautions and learn the newest and best practices to prevent cross-contamination and prevent the spread of dangerous infectious diseases. This is already a requirement through federal OSHA laws, which many other states have chosen to reiterate.

Rewrite NYS BILL S1421-2015 before it goes into effect!

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Breast Cancer Survivors – Turning Tragedy Into Art

About 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2014, there were more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the United States. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.

The majority of these women have already or will have to get mastectomies in order to combat this disease. A mastectomy is a surgery that involves removing all or part of the breast to treat or prevent breast cancer. Although this can be a live-saving procedure, the scars that are left behind can have a huge physical and psychological impact on the individual. As a result, many of these breast cancer survivors are choosing to reclaim their lives and their bodies with beautiful commemorative tattoos.

For some, these tattoos serve as a form of healing. For a lot of women, coming to terms with how their body look after treatment can be very difficult. The tattoo not only serves as a decorative piece for the scars, but it also plays a huge part in the recovery process.

P.ink (Personal Ink) is a charitable initiative, that connects mastectomy patients with qualified tattoo artists. Every year, they host P.ink Day events where they connect mastectomy patients with tattoo artists who donate their time and services for free. P.ink also accepts donations throughout the year to help pay for survivors to receive these tattoos.

David Allen, a tattoo artist connected with P.ink, describes this process best: “What was clinical became beautiful again… we turned sterile into sensual. We took back control.”

For more information or to donate, please visit P.ink.

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[Show Recap] Motor City Tattoo Expo

Attending the Motor City Expo in Detroit was a blast! Although it was a more intimate show, the turnout was still amazing. The energy in the place was off the wall and the art was even better. As always, we are extremely thankful to meet new faces and catch up with the familiar ones. Check our slideshow below to see if you can find yourself!

Detroit Motor City Expo Photos >>> 

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We hope to see all of you at our next conventions. Check back regularly for show updates and recaps!

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[Show Recap] Philadelphia Tattoo Convention

We kicked off our 2015 Show Tour with the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention and Phoenix Body Art Expo. The turnout was great and all the artists who participated were amazing. We appreciate each and everyone of you for stopping by and showing your support. It always a great pleasure to catch up with familiar faces and meeting new ones as well.

Philadelphia Tattoo Convention Photos >>>

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Phoenix Body Art Expo Photos >>>

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We hope to see all of you at our next conventions. Check back regularly for show updates and recaps!

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Woman Start Business to Tattoo Scars of Burn Victims

Basma Hameed was severely burned as a young child in a hot oil kitchen accident. The accident left permanent scarring and discoloration on parts of her face. After undergoing over 100 procedures, she was still not able to conceal the third-degree burns. It was not until she was getting her eyebrows tattooed that she had the idea to tattoo her entire face.

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“I saw the result immediately,” she told Mic.com of the procedure, which she underwent following failed eyebrow transplants. “I was so happy that I thought to myself — why not do the same procedure using skin tone pigments on my scar tissue, to camouflage the discoloration.”

Hameed put herself into school and received training on para-medical tattooing. This form of cosmetic tattooing is used to help restore features lost due to scars, vitiligo, hair loss, and breast reconstruction. Today, she has helped many people transformed their lives through her business and through her charity, The Basma Hameed Survivors Foundation.

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Some may say that tattoos are a form of social deviance. Others might say that they are a form of artistic expression. With the emergence of paramedical tattooing, there’s no denying that tattoos are now becoming a vehicle for personal healing.

“When I first meet my clients they can be so shy and insecure about their respective skin conditions, but once we do a few treatments they are like brand new people,” she told Mic.com. “They smile, they laugh, and most importantly they feel like they can live again.

To learn more about Basma Hameed and para-medical tattooing, please visit her website: http://basmahameed.com/
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2015 TATSoul Convention Schedule

UPDATE: 2015 TATSoul Convention Schedule

Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention
Philadelphia, PA
February 13-15th

Phoenix Body Art Expo
Phoenix, AZ
February 13-15th

Motor City Tattoo Expo
Detroit, MI
March 6-8th

San Franciso Body Art Expo
Daly City, CA
March 13-15th

Musink Tattoo & Music Festival
Costa Mesa, CA
March 20-22nd

Chicago Tattoo Arts Convention
Rosemont, IL
March 20-22nd

Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention
Baltimore, MD
April 10-12th

Pomona Body Art Expo
Pomona, CA
July 17-19th

Seattle Tattoo Expo
Seattle, WA
August 14-16th

**Check back often for continual updates of upcoming shows and conventions!

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Thumb cobra tattoo with Erik Payne

From conception to fist biting to thumb cobra. Here’s Luke Holley getting tattooed by Erik Payne at Inkvision Tattoo in Boise, Idaho.

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