Tattoo FAQ

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REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 1/9--Introduction

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From: (Stan)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.bodyart,rec.answers,news.answers
Subject: REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 1/9--Introduction
Followup-To: rec.arts.bodyart
Date: 16 Jul 1998 02:36:36 GMT
Organization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
Expires: August 15, 1998
X-Original-Message-ID: <6ojovk$>
Summary: This posting contains a bibliography of various sources
     available on the topic of tattoos. Anyone who wishes to read/post 
     to the RAB newsgroup, or obtain tattoos should read this first.
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X-Comments: more than likely by someone other than the original poster.
X-Comments: Please see the end of this posting for a copy of the cancel.
X-Comments: Dave the Resurrector can be contacted at

Archive-name: bodyart/tattoo-faq/part1
Last-modified: May 26, 1998
Posting-frequency: Monthly

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This FAQ is maintained by Stan Schwarz <>

If you are reading this file using a web browser, and the file you are
looking at is from, click on the other archive
sites to access the FAQs instead. Ohio State's site is no longer
maintained, and continues to provide outdated versions of FAQs.

You can retrieve a copy of the FAQ via anonymous ftp from the MIT FTP
server:  <>.

The FAQs are also available on thw World Wide Web at

This is Part 1 of the rec.arts.bodyart non-piercing FAQ file that is
posted on a monthly basis (in the latter half of the month) and includes
information about everything but piercing that might concern bodyart. If
you would like to know what rec.arts.bodyart is as a newsgroup, read the
separate posting entitled: "What is rec.arts.bodyart?", posted twice a

All of the Tattoo FAQs and Alternative Bodyart FAQ are formatted to be
html-friendly. That means that most news readers will allow you to jump
to the next subject by pressing ^G (control-g).

The rec.arts.bodyart Tattoo FAQ is broken up into 9 parts:
1/9--Introduction <---YOU ARE READING THIS FILE 
2/9--Getting a tattoo
5/9--Artist list 
6/9--Care of new tattoos 
7/9--General care/removal 
8/9--Misc. info 

There is also a short, separate FAQ on alternative bodyart, which
includes brandings and cuttings.


This FAQ serves to disseminate information on the most frequently asked
questions about the basics of tattoos and tattooing. If you are
interested in learning more about the rec.arts.bodyart newsgroup itself,
read the "What is rec.arts.bodyart" file that I post twice a month.

While bodyart has been around for thousands of years, it is currently
experiencing an almost unprecedented popularity in the US and in Europe.
However, the general population of developed countries still regard it
with some disdain, especially against those who have *A LOT* of any type
bodyart. The purpose of this FAQ is *not* to raise these issues or to
change such views, but to educate those who are interested in learning
more about tattoos. Regardless of motive, tattooing is a very personal
choice. Information in this FAQ should help you make a wiser decision
about getting inked, since the reversing process is not easy.

I have tried to include the contributor's name and email address where
possible, both for accountability reasons and for obtaining further
information. Contributions, while welcome, may not always be added
depending on whether they fit into the purpose of this FAQ.


Under the Berne Convention, this document is Copyright (c) 1997 by Lani
Teshima-Miller, all rights reserved. Permission is granted for it to be
reproduced electronically on any system connected to the various
networks which make up the Internet, Usenet, and FidoNet so long as it
is reproduced in its entirety, unedited, and with this copyright notice
intact. Web sites are included. Individual copies may also be printed
for personal use.

This document was produced for free redistribution. If you paid money
for it, not only did you do so unnecessarily, but none of the money went
to the person who did the work of producing the documents.

Sharing the files on an individual basis: You may copy, archive (ftp and
web pages) and disseminate the entire set of FAQs electronically and in
print on an individual, non-commercial basis. If you must break up the
sections, break them up in the format already separated for you. Do not
create your own sections. Do not add your own information in the FAQ.

Sharing the files through a BBS: If you maintain a BBS and wish to have
these files available, please include a notice of how to obtain the most
recent copy of the FAQs.

Creating your own html pages for WWW: Add whatever you want to your
pages, as long as you leave my FAQs intact. Note that the "official" web
page I list in the FAQ is:

Which is the RABbit Hole URL. Individuals who wish only to link to the
FAQs may select

While you are allowed individual copies of the FAQ, that does NOT mean
my FAQ is in the public domain. To quote Jeffrey Knapp, "Lately,
spaghetti publishers have taken to exploiting FAQs and lists, often
publishing them without obtaining written permission. This is an abuse
of copyright laws, and threatens the continued viability of the FAQ
system which benefits us all."

All of my FAQs may be cited as: Teshima-Miller, Lani (1997)
"rec.arts.bodyart _______* Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)" Usenet
rec.arts.bodyart, available via World Wide Web:,
~180 pages *I maintain all of the tattoo files, "Alternate Bodyart"
file, "Welcome & Netiquette" file, and the Purple Pages Directory.

You *MUST* obtain prior permission from me before you make the FAQs
available commercially, including reproducing/distribution in any
electronic or print format that is not a pointer to the archives (e.g.
CD-ROM, diskettes). I usually give permission as long as I get a copy of
your product.

You need not obtain special permission to quote parts of this FAQ for
academic research purposes (although you must cite this FAQ).

If you are not sure how to cite electronic information, a must-have is
_Electronic Style: A Guide to Citing Electronic Information_ by Xia Li
and Nancy B. Crane (Westport, 1993). It will tell you how to properly
cite FAQs, posts, private email as well as FTPs, etc.

*IF YOU ARE A MEDIA REPORTER OR JOURNALIST, you are explicitly requested
to email me prior to using material in, or quoting from this FAQ. I will
respond to you personally and will often provide you with additional
quotable sound bites if you wish.*

I will gladly accept submissions from artists interested in discussing
technique, style, or the reasons they got into the field.

This FAQ was originally compiled by Paul Davies (Synthetic Man) at, with contributions from various
people. The rights and responsibilities to maintain this FAQ was passed
on to Lani Teshima-Miller in Summer 1993, and has since grown in size
by at least 350%.  It was passed to Stan Schwarz in 1998.

If you would like to offer suggestions, ideas or submissions, please
email me at <>

If I have *any* advice for those who decide to get inked, it is: To shop
around, to ask a lot of questions, to not fret about the cost too much,
to always ask to look at the artists' sample photos, and to get
something that's custom, significant and meaningful. That thing's gonna
be with you for a looong time. Oh--and "Think Ink!"


The 9 parts of the Tattoo FAQ files of rec.arts.bodyart, and the
information provided in each:


2/9--Getting a tattoo: Does it hurt? Should I get one at all? 
*WHY* do I want one? Religious (Christian) arguments A
temporary alternative? Where do I find a good artist, and what should
I look for in a tattoo artist? How to look around in the shop 
Asking to see their portfolio What to look for in their portfolio
What kinds of questions to ask What sorts of things to look
for in a shop How much does it cost to get a tattoo? How should I
act once I get in that chair? Where on my body should I get a tattoo?

3/9--Sanitation: Can I get infectious diseases from tattoo needles? 
What to look for in a sanitary shop environment. Can I get AIDS from
tattooing? Can my tattoos get infected? How to look for
sterilization Are there any medical conditions that will preclude me
from getting a tattoo? What is the Alliance of Professional

4/9--Conventions: When and where are upcoming conventions? Tattoo
Conventions: What are they all about? What types of conventions are
available? Why would I want to attend? What's the format? 
What's the atmosphere? What kind of tattoo contests are there? Can
I actually get a tattoo at a convention? What else can I find at
these conventions?

5/9--Artist list Who is a good/bad tattoo artist near me? US West
Coas. US Midwest. US Southeast. US East Coast. Canada.

6/9--Care of new tattoos: General advice from a medical doctor. What
are some bad things for my new tattoo? Sauna or steamroom.
Sunlight. Preparation-H. How do I care for my new tattoo?.
Suggested Method #1: The Minimal Moisturizer Method. Suggested Method
#2: The Pat-with-Listerine Method. Suggested Method #3: The
Wait-24-Hours-to-Take-Off-Dressing Method. Suggested Method #4: The
Coconut-Oil-Itch-Relief Method. Suggested Method #5: The Huck
Spalding Method. Suggested Method #6: The Noxzema Method

7/9--General care/removal

How does weight gain/loss affect a tattoo?How does lifting
weights affect a tattoo? How does pregnancy affect a tattoo near the
abdomen? Can a tattoo be removed? Get it reworked--cover-up.
Get it reworked--touch-up. Get it removed--Tissue Expansion. Get
it removed--Sal Abration. Get it removed--Staged Excision. Get
it removed--medical lasers. Innovative Government Incentive Program
for Tattoo Removal. One person's decision toward tattoo removal

8/9--Misc. info: Are there glow-in-the-dark tattoos? Where can I
get a Japanese "irezumi" tattoo? When did tattooing start? How
does a modern tattoo gun work? How long do I have to wait before I
can donate blood? Tattoos and allergies. How do I become a tattoo

9/9--Bibliography: Are there references about tattoos I could look up?
Tattoos in movies and videos. Newspaper articles about tattoos/bodyart.
Magazine and journal articles about tattoos/bodyart. Books about
tattoos/bodyart (reviews where available). Tattoo organizations.
Resource material for custom tattoo design ideas. Current tattoo
magazines in print

The one-part Alternative Bodyart FAQ has the following: What is
branding and how is it done? What is scarring? What are cuttings?


--List of artists (ongoing) 
--What kind of colors are available? What are the inks made of? What is
it about red ink that causes allergic reactions in some?
--Where can I get good ideas for designs? Part of a
bibliography. [Note: As of 9/95 there is an extensive bibliography on
Celtic design resources by tattooist Pat Fish in this section!] 
--How is"traditional" tattooing done without the tattoo gun? 
--What is the history behind Japanese tattoos? How is it done? 
--What Polynesian islands were into tattooing? 
--What tat magazines can I look at for examples of artists' works? 
--Are there any tattoo museums I could visit?

--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--

This ends "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 1/9--Introduction." This should
be followed by "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 2/9--Getting a tattoo." --

REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 2/9--Getting a tattoo

Message-ID: <REPOST-28137.1412963867.1961669922.90991210938.6ojp0u$>
X-Original-Message-ID: <REPOST-26339.1961669922.90991210938.6ojp0u$>
X-Original-Message-ID: <REPOST-2951.90991210938.6ojp0u$>
From: (Stan)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.bodyart,news.answers,rec.answers
Subject: REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 2/9--Getting a tattoo
Followup-To: rec.arts.bodyart
Date: 16 Jul 1998 02:37:18 GMT
Organization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
Expires: August 15, 1998
X-Original-Message-ID: <6ojp0u$>
Summary: This posting contains a bibliography of various sources
     available on the topic of tattoos. Anyone who wishes to read/post to the
     RAB newsgroup, or obtain tattoos should read this first.
X-Comments: DtR Repost: The following Usenet article was cancelled,
X-Comments: more than likely by someone other than the original poster.
X-Comments: Please see the end of this posting for a copy of the cancel.
X-Comments: Dave the Resurrector can be contacted at

Archive-name: bodyart/tattoo-faq/part2
Last-modified: May 26, 1998
Posting-frequency: Monthly

 --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--
| * * * *  |
|  4 STAR  |
|   SITE!  |

This FAQ is maintained by Stan Schwarz <>

If you are reading this file using a web browser, and the file you are
looking at is from, click on the other archive
sites to access the FAQs instead. Ohio State's site is no longer
maintained, and continues to provide outdated versions of FAQs.

You can retrieve a copy of the FAQ via anonymous ftp from the MIT FTP
server:  <>.

The FAQs are also available on thw World Wide Web at

The rec.arts.bodyart Tattoo FAQ is broken up into 9 parts:
 2/9--Getting a tattoo <---YOU ARE READING THIS FILE
 5/9--Artist list
 6/9--Care of new tattoos
 7/9--General care/removal
 8/9--Misc. info


This file is structured as a traditional FAQ in the form of questions
and answers. Questions answered in this file:

Rec.arts.bodyart FAQ Part 2/9: Getting a tattoo
  Does it hurt?
  Should I get one at all?
     *WHY* do I want one?
  Where do I find a good artist, and what should I look for in a
     tattoo artist?
     How to look around in the shop
     Asking to see their portfolio
     What to look for in their portfolio
     What kinds of questions to ask
     What sorts of things to look for in a shop
     R-E-S-P-E-C-T: What to ask from artists
  How much does it cost to get a tattoo?
  How should I act once I get in that chair?
  Where on my body should I get a tattoo?

Under the Berne Convention, this document is Copyright (c) 1997 by Lani
Teshima-Miller, all rights reserved. Permission is granted for it to be
reproduced electronically on any system connected to the various
networks which make up the Internet, Usenet, and FidoNet so long as it
is reproduced in its entirety, unedited, and with this copyright notice
intact. Web sites are included. Individual copies may also be printed
for personal use.




This is the first question in this FAQ because it's usually the first
question that people ask. The answer is yes. Having needles pierce your
skin *does* hurt. But what you *really* want to know is, "How MUCH does
it hurt, and can I handle it?"

It's not nearly as bad as what you might imagine. The pain comes from
the cluster of needles on the tattooing machine piercing your skin very
rapidly. This sensation, however, doesn't feel like the poking pain of
an injection--it's more of a constant vibration. You will be amazed at
how quickly your body releases endorphins, (pain killers), which dullens
the pain significantly.

The pain will also vary according to where on your body you get worked
on. Skin right above bones (collarbone, anklebone, etc.) tend to be more
painful than other areas. In addition, certain types of needles seem to
hurt more than others. I personally think the needles used for outlining
produce a sharper, more noticeable pain, while the needles used for
shading seem to be much more like an electrical buzz (nearly painless).

Remember, you are volunteering for the experience. The amount of pain
will depend on your psychological attitude.

NOTE: Do not drink alcohol or take illegal drugs for pain relief
purposes prior to your tattoo sessions. Both aspirin and alcohol thin
your blood and promote excessive bleeding. Aspirin also decreases the
clotting of blood, which will slow down your healing as well. In
addition, artists do not appreciate dealing with drunks and is illegal
in many states.


Your reading this may mean you're already interested in getting a
tattoo, or may know someone who is. In a survey of 163 tattooed men and
women, a third of them had regretted their tattoos! While most of this
FAQ discusses the process once you've decided to get one, let's pause
for a moment.


People get tattoos for different reasons. Is it to please your partner?
Is it because you want to belong to a group that has tattoos? Do you
identify with a certain subculture known for tattoos? Do you want to
show your independence, individuality or uniqueness?

These are all valid reasons, and why many people get tattooed. However,
because of the permanency of your tattoo, try to look at yourself in
five, 10, or even 20 years. What will you be doing at that time? You
might be a free-spirited college student now, and a web of vines on your
wrist would look really lovely. However, are you planning to work in a
very conservative field after you graduate? Will others look at your
tattoo in a bad way? Will you have to hide it with long sleeve shirts?
Are you *willing* to wear long sleeve shirts if the environment is

Do you want a tattoo of a tiger because your partner's nickname is
"Tiger," and you love the way s/he scratches your skin? Do you think
you'll be with this person in five years? If not, how will you look at
that tattoo? With fond memories, symbolizing a special period in your
life? Or a shameful or painful reminder of somebody who hurt you and
didn't care for you?

You're a headbanger (or a nose-smasher, ear-bopper or whatever) and you
*REALLY* want a tattoo all over your arms just like Axl Rose, but you
can't afford a professional artist so you get your friend with the
mail-order tattooing machine to do those designs for you? Or perhaps you
get spider webs tattooed all over your hands (or your face, which has
happened) because you want to be "different" in school. What if you
decide to "straighten out" and get a real job; train as a chef or
something, and then no restaurant hires you?

*GETTING IT REMOVED* is *NOT* easy, and is *NOT* cheap. Expect to pay
$1,000 to remove even a fairly small-sized tattoo if you're looking at
laser surgery. Expect to have a noticeable ugly scar if you go with a
non-laser technique. Expect to pay for every penny out of your own
pocket because health insurance companies will not pay for tattoo
removal. There may not be a laser surgery specialist in your area. Then
think of all those laser-surgery doctors who are going to get rich off
of a person's foolishness or lack of careful thinking.

...Maybe tattooing isn't for you.

...Maybe you shouldn't get that $10 tattoo your friend's been telling
you he'll give you, in his garage.

...Maybe you shouldn't let your buddies tattoo your hand with India Ink
and a needle at this weekend's party.

...Maybe you should get a tattoo on your back instead of on your hand.

...Maybe you should get a tattoo on your left wrist so it can be covered
by your watch if you have to...

...And maybe after reading this FAQ and reading RAB, you'll think
carefully about it, and make some informed, wise decisions about what to
do with your body.

  *Tattooing can be beautiful.*

    *Tattooing can be exhilarating.*

      *Tattooing can open a whole new world for you.*

             ...but make sure to do it *RIGHT*.



  Written by: Chris Wayne (, originator of RAB and a
  self-professed Christian.

A word to the religious: In Leviticus 19:28, it says not to tattoo "I am
the Lord" on you (i.e. don't take the name of the Lord in vain). It does
NOT say you can't mark yourself at all, and it does NOT say there's
anything wrong about piercing. What it DOES say is that it prohibits
mutilating yourself for the dead, which was a senseless practice at that
time. But for Christians, they are no longer bound by the Law. Remember
that it's not what you do; it's what's in your heart when you do it. The
Talmud even mentions that it's not the tattooing that is wrong, but what
the tattoo is of (i.e. if the tattoo is an image of a 'false god' as
opposed to just a 'design').

There are probably many 'prim & proper' Christians out there that have
had the urge to be tattooed, but have repressed it because they believed
it was a sin. Well, if you really believe that it is a sin, then it is.
But is getting tattooed really a sin? If it draws you away from Christ
or causes someone else to stumble, then yes. But tattooing isn't any
more special than anything else we distract ourselves with.

Take things in moderation at your speed. We are to deny ourselves of
things if they cause us to lose sight of Jesus (for some, it could be
driving a car, getting married, having children, going to work, smoking,
abusing drugs & alcohol, disrespect, etc.). If you have good
discernment, you know what distracts you from Christ and what doesn't.

Tattooing isn't inherently evil; it got it's 'evil' status because
GOD-less heathens from places like the South Pacific were tattooed. Do
what pleases GOD; and one thing that pleases GOD is to be confident in
oneself (not overly prideful, but confidence tempered with discernment,
almost bordering on arrogance). Tattooing can bring out that confidence,
because to be tattooed requires commitment. And that's a conquering
power over fear and old ruts. GOD wants mature dynamic individuals that
fear him to fellowship with, not people cowering in fear from some rigid
set of laws. Note: fear of GOD is totally different from cowering in

Some Christians will claim that drinking any amount of alcohol is
sinful, but the medical community is saying that 2-3 drinks a day is
good for the heart. Drink responsibly. So, for those that have repressed
getting a tattoo because of family or religious upbringing, just do it.
If it's not for you, fine--but don't ruin it for the others.

Tattooing in no way marks who's saved and who's not. If you've seen the
trilogy "A Distant Thunder," the Mark of the Beast was tattooed on your
right hand or forehead. The tattoo was 666 in binary '6's (i.e. 1 0 11 0
11 0 1 Sort of like a UPC code), but this doesn't mean that every tattoo
is a Mark of the Beast.

People have stated that the credit card and the computer were tools of
the Devil. So what? Everybody depends on both today, even if the
Anti-Christ is to use the computer to control the population, it doesn't
mean that if you use a computer, you're a follower of the Devil.

I believe that religion, when improperly used, is a dangerous thing.
Christianity has wasted a lot of valuable time trying to influence
people in believing that unimportant things are evil instead of
spreading the word of GOD. Christianity (or those prideful, arrogant,
self righteous leaders) has looked down on tattooing far too long.



A) For those who might not be ready for the plunge, but are seriously 
   considering what it would look/feel like to have a tattoo, Julian 
   ( recommends a particular type of temporary 
   tattoo that uses very light Japanese rice paper. He says these are of
   very high quality, and last about two weeks WITH CARE. I have had the
   phone number confirmed recently so they are still in business. Note: 
   This will the only time I'll discuss *temporary* tattoos. :)
    Don Ling's Removable Tattoos & Fantoos, 507/956-2024
    P.O.Box 309 Butterfield, MN 56120
     or 102 2nd ST. South Butterfield, MN 56120

*FLASH NEWS* This is a new update as of 2/96: It turns out Don Ling
actually only began carrying these rice paper tattoos this year. The bulk
of his merchandise are "decal tattoos." This according to Roy of Temptu
<>, the company that owns the rights to the rice
paper tattoos. The following is from Roy himself:

 "The rice paper temporary tattoo you...mention is made in New York by
  Temptu studios. It is a cosmetic ink printed on an archival
  cigarette-like tissue paper. Special cosmetic inks are then used to
  paint in the 'tattoo.' The result is totally realistic, waterproof,
  and longlasting (yep, up to 2 weeks!)

 "This process was used in _Cape Fear_ on Robert de Niro, _Once Were
  Warriors_, and currently on Sean Penn at the end of _Dead Man
  Walking_. Also see Bruce Willis' Head in _The 12 Monkeys_. It was
  invented by Dr. S. Zuckerman for the film _Tattoo_ (Bruce Dern/Maude
  Adams in 1981.

 "Often we are asked to create at temporary tattoo for someone who wants
  to 'test drive a tattoo,' so they can decide on position, color,
  before deciding what and where.

 "Temptu primarily develops semi-permanent body art. Current interests
  include working on a 'safe' and legal line of tattoo inks,  airbrush
  body art, and Indian Mehandi (henna). I work closely with the New York
  Body Archive, a strange and wonderful place!"

Roy adds one of comment: "I'm frequently asked about the six-month
  tattoo you mention in FAQ. East Coast people say it's available in
  California. But this is bullsh*t. No such animal!"

B) For some, the easiest thing to do is to simply draw on the skin with 
   a non-toxic marker. In fact, many people who already have tattoos do 
   this to figure out placement and design. If you want it to wash off 
   right away, use something temporary. Crayola's washable markers work 
   well. I you wanna see if you can live with a design for a couple of 
   days, try a permanent marker such as the Sharpies. They come in basic

C) MEHENDI: In some countries such as India, brides are covered from head to 
   toe with intricate bridalwear (including the face). To try to show off as
   much of what skin they can show, they paint their hands and forearms 
   with something called henna. Henna, when applied correctly, stains 
   the skin and can last several weeks. Mehendi has become popular with
   the mainstream, with a number of mehendi tattoo shops cropping up in some 
   cities such as Berkeley and Los Angeles.

Part of the process of getting a tattoo is coming to terms with its
permanency. It's like losing your virginity. You lose it once, and you
can't get it back. You can neck and make out, but it's not intercourse.
If you're afraid of losing your virginity, you have to come to terms
with THAT before you can have sex.

But once you lose your virginity, you forget all about how you feared
its loss, and simply enjoy having sex! :)

*Debunking of urban folklore*
Someone asked to confirm a rumour about the possibility of temporary
tattoos obtainable by using a tattooing machine very shallowly on the
skin, to have the tattoo last only six months or so.

Several professional tattoo artists replied with a very strong *NO*.
There is no way to be able to prevent the needles from entering the
second layer of skin (the dermis), where tattoo inks normally go.
Further, even if the tattoo machine only enters the top layer of skin
(the epidermis), you will end up with too much scarring that the tattoo
will never really go away.

Considering the time, cost and pain factors, this is not an option--and
no professional tattoo artist will want to experiment on you.

A proprietor posted on RAB about a "new! discovery!" of a temporary
tattoo that was removable after a couple of years. All efforts by
various reviewers and professionals to confirm the validity of this
product have been unsuccessful--this product, whatever it is being
touted as, is *not* endorsable.



The bane of the tattoo world is the shadowy, unprofessional person
called the "scratcher." A scratcher is somebody who:
--Does not have the proper training in either tattoo art or of running
  a professional operation;
--Does not know and/or care to use responsible sterilization methods;
--Promises to provide tattooing services for an incredibly low fee, for
  free, or in exchange for drugs (ack!);
--Chooses not to apprentice through a legitimate tattoo shop because of 
  one excuse or another (but lacks the knowledge one needs to work in or
  run a professional shop);
--Will hurt you because they don't know what they're doing;
--Will give you a permanent tattoo you will regret for the rest of your 
--You should stay away with a ten-foot pole.

Never, never, never get work from a scratcher unless you are willing to
accept all the hazards listed above.

Of those in a study by Clinton Sanders who regretted their tattoos, more
than two-thirds of them regretted their tattoo because of poor quality!

Looking for an artist can be as easy as checking the Yellow Pages, or as
complex as checking references, magazine photos, and reading RAB. There
are a number of ways to find good artists, including (but certainly not
limited to):

--Perusing tattoo magazines. While not all tattoo magazines are of the
National Geographic quality, the photos will speak for themselves. Some
issues highlight specific artists' works; a good way see the type of
work someone does. Use the photos in the magazines to compare with those
of the artist you are interested in. These magazines have done a lot to
show what is *possible*.

Some things to look for in magazines:
  -Style (realistic, black & grey work, tribal, etc.)
  -Placement on your body
  -Ideas for images
  -Size in proportion to your body
  -Artists whose work you like.

--Reading RAB and this FAQ. It'll give you a base in which to start. If
you live in an area where an artist is not listed in the FAQ, you might
want to post a query. If you saw an artist whose work you liked in a
magazine, see if they're listed in the FAQ. If not, post a query.
Remember--the artist list FAQ is limited because we only take first-hand
recommendations from people who read RAB There are many artists who are
excellent, who have not worked on RAB participants.

--Attending a tattoo convention. Read the FAQ section on tattoo
conventions for more information.

You can approach this one of two ways. You can either go to a shop
because someone recommended the artist to you, or you can go in cold.
For obvious reasons, you will have a little more information with you if
you already know something about the artist. This may make you feel more
at ease when going into a shop for the first time.

Many of the top-notch artists recommended in this FAQ are very busy and
work on an appointment-only basis. Visit their shop anyway--you will
still learn about them even if it doesn't mean getting work done right
then and there.

Bodyart enthusiast Dr. Kai Kristensen <>, a pathologist
and a recently retired lab director of an internationally prestigious
medical center in La Jolla (California), says the most important aspects
of a good result are to:
 o Choose an experienced, knowledgeable performer who knows about 
   sterilization and avoidance of infection.
 o Avoid infection during the healing process.

With both of those bases covered, healing of either should be
non-eventful and the desired appearance should be guaranteed.


What images do you think of when you think of a tattoo? Do you think of
anchors, of roses or of skulls? While these traditional images are still
available, you will be pleasantly surprised at the variety you will find

There are two basic types of tattoos: Flash, and custom. As you can
imagine, "custom" means you have a design you like that you take in with
you. "Flash" is the stock designs you see on the walls of the shop.

The main thing to remember is that you're not required to choose from
the selection of flash in a shop--You're NOT limited to just an anchor,
a rose or a skull. Remember however, that these smaller pieces of
pre-priced flash are the bread & butter of many shops, since they are
proportionately expensive ($75 for 20 minutes' work, for example where
an artist might charge $100 an hour for custom work). Also, the number
of customers who lay out the big bucks for large, elaborate custom
pieces is too small to keep a regular shop in business.

A few of the major styles of tattooing:
BIO-MECHANICAL: A style popularized by illustrator H.R. Giger, who 
 designed the creature from the _Alien_ movies. Bio-mechanical work
 usually involves an anatomical flesh intertwined with some technical
 drawings of machines. A close relative of this style involves just the
 biological look of flesh without the mechanical parts.
BLACK & GREY: Refers to the colors used, this style requires the artist 
 to have advanced shading techniques for subtlety.
Celtic: Beautiful, intricate knotwork of the Celts (a hard "k", NOT a 
 soft "c" like the basketball team). These are much harder for artists 
 to do, and is best done by someone who specializes in it. Also usually 
 done in just black ink.
Oriental: Big, bold pieces of Oriental images (carp, clouds, dragons, 
 etc.) based on the Ukiyo-e woodblock prints of 18th Century Edo-period 
 Japan. Note: It is fine to call this "Oriental" and not "Asian," 
 because it references an object and not a person.
PORTRAIT: Images taken from photos, best done by someone who can render
  realistic photographic images. Usually done in black and grey ink.
Sailor Jerry: Traditional sailor tattoo style made famous by Jerry 
  Collins in Honolulu.
Tribal: Usually bold simple lines, simple patterns. Almost always done
 with just black ink.

With a good artist working for you, you can get practically any image
you'd like. Accomplished artists can render portraits, wildlife,
psychedelic and biomechanical styles with impressive results. Your main
challenge is to find the artist who can best do the design YOU want.


Concerned that you'll end up with a greenish tattoo with little bits of
red or yellow? Worry no more! Today's inks run the entire gamut--and it
would not be terribly sarcastic to take a Pantone color chart with you!

Most tattoo inks are metal salt-based pigments that are not made
specifically to be used under the skin, and have not been approved by
the FDA for this purpose. The idea is that for most people, these
pigments are inert and cause no problems. Some people have been known to
have allergic reactions; any reputable artist should be willing to
provide you with a small "patch test" of the colors you desire. This is
required in the state of Arkansas.

Tattooist Uncle Bud Yates (Pikes Peak Tattooing) says some artists use
acrylic-based pigments, which he feels may be more troublesome than the
metal-based pigments for some with sensitive skin. Best to ask your
artist first.


Don't let the shop intimidate you when you first walk in. For the
uninked, a tattoo shop is intimidating enough. Strange smells, strange
sounds. Some shops even try to look intimidating to create a tough-guy
feel. Just keep in mind that you're a potential customer. Consider it
window shopping.

The first thing you should do is to take a minute to look around.
Chances are, you'll encounter some flash (stock illustrations) stapled
on the walls. These will most likely lean toward the traditional. Skull
and crossbones, roses and the like.

You might also see some signs ("No minors; we ID," "We have sanitary
conditions" etc.). These signs will also be indicators of the
personality of the shop owner. If the signs seem overly intimidating,
patronizing or snobbish, they can be tip-offs of the shop's attitude.
Some are very friendly, with plants, aquarium fish, and signs like
"Tattooed people come in all colors."

Note: There is no national law regarding the legal age for tattooing.
Check with the shop to find out what the local statute regulates.


Do NOT be impressed by the flash on the wall. These illustrations are
usually purchased from other artists and do not represent the work of
your artist. Frankly, anyone with some experience can easily trace the
outlines of these illustrations and fill in the colors. What you really
need to look at is a book that contains a collection of photos of the
artist's work. Go to the counter and ask to see one. If they tell you
they don't have one, walk out immediately. You're visiting the shop to
commission a piece of art to be permanently illustrated on your skin;
for the artist to tell you s/he doesn't have samples in a portfolio is


When you do look in their portfolio, there are a few things to keep in
mind. Do you see any photos of pieces that you recognize in the flash
(on the wall, or in a flash book)? If so, how is it rendered in tattoo
format? Before anything else, check to see that the lines are clean. Are
they well-defined? Straight where they should be; not shaky or blurry?
Are the borders all uniform in width? Do the colors seem true? Are they
bright? Proportionately correct?

Look at the people in the book. This can be an indicator of the
clientele in the shop (besides looking at the ambiance of the shop). Is
there a fair mix of women and men in the book? Are they all sporting
"biker" tats, or any one particular genre/style?

Again, keep in mind that anyone can stencil an outline of an
illustration onto your skin. The skill in the artistry comes in the
shading, use of colors and other subtle things that set an artist apart
from a simple tattooist.

Do you see anything in the portfolio that is not in the flash? These are
the custom pieces that the artists have done, and they should be their
crowning glory. How do they look? Do you like what you see? If there is
more than one artist working in the shop, and you see some photos you
like, make sure to find out which artist did the work.


Whenever you ask to see their collection of photos, the person in the
shop will hopefully immediately recognize you as someone who knows a
little more about tattoos--at least enough not to be satisfied by
looking at just the flash. If the shop is not too busy or if the artist
is not in the middle of working, they might stand on the other side of
the counter to have a conversation with you. This is a wonderful
opportunity to ask questions of the artist.

Some reasonable questions to ask in your conversation that shouldn't
take too much time for the artist to answer:

What is their favorite style?
 If what *you* are looking to get done happens to be their specialty you

 are in luck; be it tribal, wildlife or whatever.

Is there any one particular subject they like to do?
 One artist, without hesitation, told me his favorite was skulls. I 
 would've jumped for joy had that been what I wanted.

How long has the shop been here?
 This may be an indicator of the stability of their business. The tat 
 industry in itself fluctuates, but continuity implies business acumen, 
 responsible practices and that they are not a fly-by-night operation.

How long have they been at the shop?
 The shop may have been there for 20 years, but the artist may only have

 been there for a couple of months. If they have been there for what you

 consider a short period, ask them where they were before.

How long have they been tattooing?
 It might not matter so much that the artist has only been there for a 
 short while, if they've been tattooing for several years. They might 
 come from various backgrounds--anywhere from working on friends to 
 having a fine arts degree. This type of information will give you more 
 insight into the artist's attitude as well as aptitude.

Do they get to do much custom work?
 This may depend on where the shop is located, but it also depends on 
 how good of an artist they are, and whether they have their own style 
 for which they are known for.

Do they use apprentices at the shop?
 It is often difficult for new artists to break into the business, and 
 an apprenticeship is often a very good way to learn not only about 
 tattooing itself, but also about the day-to-day operation of a small 
 business. For artists to take apprenticeships means they're interested 
 in expanding the artform, in giving a new person a break (so to speak) 
 and feeling confident enough about their own skills that they feel they

 can offer some insight and experience for the new person. This again 
 goes back to the attitude of the artist and the shop.

Don't let the looks of the artist intimidate you. Tattoo artists usually
have a lot of tattoos themselves. In fact, I would be somewhat leery of
an artist who has *NO* tattoos at all. The main thing is that you need
to talk with them and get a feel for what they are like. As you talk
with the artist and build a rapport, if you feel comfortable you may
want to broach the subject of what you're interested in getting done.
Bounce your idea off with the artist and see what they are willing to
help you with.

Remember however, that the artist is running a professional business! Be
polite--don't linger and overspend your welcome if you don't plan on
getting any work done at all.

[Note: Don't base your decision according to what tattoos you see on the
artist--they were not done by that person!]


Looking critically at the shop is as important as choosing your artist.
Make sure the place is very clean, make sure the artist uses disposable,
single-use needles (that are not re-used after one client), and uses an
autoclave for all other equipment. Don't be afraid to ask them, either.
A legitimate artist will be glad to show you.

What does the shop look like? What is its ambiance? Does it look like a
barber shop, a hair salon, dental office or an art gallery? If you are a
nonsmoker, will cigarette smoke bother you? Look for used ashtrays as
signs. Do the work areas offer you any privacy? Do they use shower
curtains, private booths or shoulder-high room dividers?

Try to go and visit and then come back another day. Don't feel pressured
into having to get one right then and there. Try and talk to some people
that have experience with the artist (and not the groupies that you'll
find hanging around the shop). You should feel comfortable with the
artist and you should like him/her. If you don't, then don't get a

Make sure the artist is willing to listen to you and respects what you
want. Don't go to an artist that has an agenda of what he/she wants to
do. The artist may make suggestions, but the final word is always yours.

Finally, make sure you take their business card with you. If the artist
you talk to does not have his/her own card, jot down the name on the
back, and perhaps some notes to yourself about the shop and the artist.


It has been brought to my attention that some tattooists have an
attitude problem when it comes to potential customers. Tattooists (and
piercers!) need to realize that not every person who walks in has to
look like a grunged-out leather-wearing biker, or a raven-haired
cleopatra-eyed septum-pierced zombie. People from all walks of life may
be interested in bodyart.

A potential customer should *NOT* be made to feel out-of-place or
ashamed for walking in wearing a business suit, or an LL Bean dress. It
is amazing to think that someone with purple hair and eyebrow rings
could actually discriminate against someone, but apparently, this seems
to be happening.

Just as a customer should expect certain sanitation standards, they
should also expect an inviting atmosphere.


Most reputable tattoo shops are insured. The problem is, they're usually
insured against premises liability. This means that they have insurance
coverage if you fall and hit your head on their floor, but *NOT* if
you're unhappy with their work. In the past, the only insurer who would
cover the latter was Lloyd's of London, and their rates were apparently
very high.

This has changed recently, with the availability of a comprehensive
insurance package available from one agent based on the West Coast. Many
shops do have some form of insurance (this may be a requirement in their
rental lease). Just keep in mind that the insurance does not necessarily
cover QUALITY.


This is an age-old debate, so the following is just a very basic
ballpark. You usually pay for work either by the piece, or by the hour.
The smaller pieces in the artist's flash book are "standard stock"
material that usually don't take the artist too long to do. For these,
you might find prices listed right next to the artwork. The artist may
have a "minimum" charge that might vary with each artist.

Larger (or custom) pieces will usually be charged by the hour (unless
you and the artist decide beforehand on the total price). If you get a
"stock" piece (probably about 2" x 2" in size), you will probably not
pay more than $100 and sit no longer than an hour in the chair. Your
mileage may vary.

If you bring your own design, the artist may charge anywhere from $50 to
a few hundred dollars an hour, depending on the artist. However, you may
want to work with someone who charges $100 or so an hour; after all, you
DO get what you pay for. Also, some artists charge for illustration time
prior to beginning tattoo work. If they do, this might increase your
price by an extra hour. If they tell you that your piece will be charged
by the hour, ask them how many hours they think it'll take. If you are
on a limited budget, tell them how much you can afford.

Price negotiation should be up front and straightforward, a part of your
initial discussion before work begins. Some shops take credit cards;
most don't. Out-of-towners may be asked to put down a deposit. Be
particularly wary of people willing to work "for cheap" or "for free."
They are often artists just starting out, who are still developing their
skills. Caveat emptor.

Warning: Once the artist quotes you a price, *DON'T DICKER WITH IT!* The
best way to get on the artist's bad side is to try to bargain with the
price. If you think the price is too high, renegotiate the scope of the
artwork--NOT the price. I usually do it this way: "Hi, I have X amount I
can spend on this design. What can we work out for that price?"

If you are very pleased with their work and service, you are strongly
encouraged to tip the artist, even if they own the shop. Even shop
owners don't pocket 100% of what they make (remember--it's a business!).
Tips can range from 10% to 20% of the piece, so be prepared with cash on

I personally recommend a tip for any work which you are pleased with, or
any custom work where the artist spent time drawing up your illustration
(since drawing time is usually not included in your price). Nothing
brightens up a day for the artist, or helps to build a friendly
relationship with your artist more than a generous tip. If you're very
happy with the artist and you think you might get more work from them
later, TIP!!

There have been heated discussions on rec.arts.bodyart in the past
regarding the appropriateness of tipping a shop OWNER. If you feel that
an owner does not deserve a tip on top of the price s/he charges you,
then A) do not give a tip at all, or B) bring some sort of offering, be
it food, flowers or whatever.

Many tattoo artists have told me that the BEST TIP is good word of
mouth. If you are happy with your tattoo, show it off to your friends
and tell them where you got it done!


Once you have settled on a design and a price that you and your artist
agree on, the work will either begin right then, or you will be asked to
come back for a later appointment (e.g. if the artist has another client
coming in in 15 minutes).

Once you're in that chair, what can you expect? Most likely, the artist
will begin the long process of preparing for your work. This is
especially true if the artist is going to do a custom design that you
brought in. First, the design will have to be worked on. Most artists
will play around with the design on paper first, although some artists
will do it freehand. "Freehand" means the artist takes an ink pen to
hand and begins drawing a design on your skin without the use of a
stencil (NOT where the artist begins work with the tattooing machine
immediately--the artist, no matter how good, still needs to envision how
the work will look on your skin--proportion, placement, etc.).

When you and the artist are happy with the design, the artist might
outline the design with a piece of carbon paper, or use an old-fashioned
copy machine to get a working copy of it. This would be when the artist
would properly size the design. The artist will then clean your skin
where the work will be done (probably an alcohol or antiseptic rub), and
will swipe your skin with an "adhesive," which is usually Speed Stick
deodorant (for some reason *I* haven't seen any other brands). The
artist will then put the carbon side of the design directly on your
skin. When the paper is lifted, ta-da! A carbon line drawing of the
design should appear on your skin!

The artist will probably let you look in a mirror to make sure you are
happy with the design and the placement. Once this is agreed upon, the
artist will then begin putting the supplies out.

At this point, your artist should be doing things like dispensing
various colors of ink into little disposable wells, and rigging a new
set of needles into the tattoo machine. At this time, you will probably
try to look cool by looking around the studio walls or occasionally
looking to see what your artist is doing. Your artist might have a radio
playing, which will help distract you a little.

At this point, it is best for you to try and relax. You can ask the
artists about some things, like the colors of the ink. Depending on the
work you are getting, the artist will need to mix some colors, for
example. You're probably somewhat nervous, but excited at the same time
because you're actually gonna get a real tattoo! Whether you realize it
or not, your body is going through quite an adrenalin rush. Try to
remain calm and not too anxious. Your hyped-up condition and your
anxiety about the anticipated pain of your experience by themselves may
trigger a fainting spell. It will help if you are not there on an empty
stomach. Get a bite to eat about an hour or two before you go in for
your session. Having hard candy or some juice on hand during the session
is also recommended.

Just relax and try to stay calm. For women, the experience of anxious
anticipation is similar to a pelvic exam at an OB/GYN, where you are
more nervous about it while waiting for the doctor as you lie prone on
the examining table, feet in the stirrups. Just as most exams aren't
painful or really all that bad, neither is tattooing.

Bzzzzzttttt....The artist starts up the machine, dips the needle into
the ink and starts to work toward your skin! Aaaaaahhhhh!!! Will it
hurt? Will it hurt? Grit your teeth! Hang tight!...

Ooohhhhhhh! It *does* hurt! Ow! Ow! Ow! I'm okay, I'm okay, this is
fine, it's not that bad. I can grit my teeth. Grit, grit, grit. Try to
smile a bit. My teeth are gritting, anyway. Oh, I hope this pain doesn't
stay like this!! Breathe. Don't forget to breathe. Relax. Relax. Relax.
Okay there, that's better. Not so painful. I can handle it. Yeah--look
at all the tattoos HE's got on his arms. I can handle it, too. Yeah.

...The most painful part of the process will pass in a couple of
minutes, after which the area will feel abuzz with electricity and
warmth. Just try to relax and breathe deeply--enjoy the one-of-a-kind
experience that you're feeling. Oftentimes, you end up clenching your
jaws, grinding your teeth or grasping the chair with your white-knuckled
hands. But once you pass the first couple of minutes, you'll feel silly
for having worried about it so much. If you still feel uncomfortable
after a few minutes, it may be because you're sitting in an
uncomfortable position. See if you can get into a more comfortable,
reclining position--but make sure to ask the artist first before you try
to move.

Some people try to distract themselves by trying to talk with the
artist. This is kind of like with hair stylists--some stylists just love
to gab and gab (just ask them an open-ended question), while some
stylists would rather concentrate and not screw up your hairdo. Same
with tattoo artists. While some will like to "talk story" with you,
others would rather concentrate on the work you're paying them to do.
After all, their job, income, and reputation are on the line when they
have the tattooing machine to your skin. Often, they'll talk during easy
parts, and less during complex work. Just go with the flow and not worry
about it.

The only thing I don't particularly prefer is if there's a lot of
traffic walking around in the studio and the artist has to keep talking
to them (either potential clients or tattoo groupies). For this reason,
a cubicle or dividing partition is a nice option for privacy.

Most people can sit through over an hour of work, but if you get
uncomfortable, just ask your artist if you can take a break. If you feel
woozy, you might consider bringing some candy with you to give you a
little lift, or some water to drink.



This may seem VERY trivial, since the answer can be "anywhere you
please!" The ONLY places you cannot technically get permanent tattoos
are your hair, teeth and nails (even the cornea used to be tattooed
years ago for medical purposes). Interestingly, women and men tend to
get tattoos in different locations. This, according to sociologist
Clinton Sanders, is because men and women get tattoos for different
reasons. Men, he says, get them to show others, while women get them for
the sake of decorating their body--and often place them where they can't
normally be seen, so that it doesn't prompt comments about her
"reputation." However for the sake of this FAQ, the following is a short
list of areas to get inked. I am included the statistics from Clinton
Sanders' study on the body location of the first tattoo for men and
women as well (there were 111 men in his survey group and 52 women).

Head: The "head" here refers mostly to the area where your hair grows.
 You'll need to shave the area for the tat to be most visible. If you
 need to hide your tat, you can grow your hair out. Areas more commonly
 inked are the sides of the head (above the ears), and above the nape of
 the neck in the back. There are people who have their entire heads 
 inked. I am told that the tattooing process vibrates your skull!

Sides of neck (nape).

Back of neck: I've seen some tribal pieces, and bats done on the back of
 the neck. You'll need to keep your hair short or tied up to keep it 

Face: Various areas possible. Facial tattoos could fall into the 
 cosmetic, prison, or standard categories. Cosmetic would include 
 darkening of eyebrows, eyelining, liplining, etc. Prison tattoos (which
 are actually in their own category) often include tat of a single tear 
 near the eye to signify time served. Getting a tat on the face is 
 serious business and crosses a portal because people will never look at
 you the same way. Can we say "Circus," boys & girls?

Upper chest: One of the standard areas for tattoos for both men and 
 women. Allows lots of flat area in which to get a fairly large piece. 
 One of the areas where you can choose to get symmetrically inked on 
 both sides. (Men: 5%, women: 35%--chest & breast combined)

Breasts (women): Used to be trendy to get a tiny tat on the breast. 
 Women (particularly larger breasted ones) need to be careful about 
 eventual sagging of the skin in the area. Don't get a tat that will 
 look silly when it starts to stretch (like a round smiley face that'll 
 turn into an oblong frown).

Nipples: Usually the artist leaves the nipples alone--the omission of 
 ink tends not to be so noticeable. There HAS been work done with 
 tattooing a facsimile of a nipple onto a breast in reconstructive 
 surgery for those who have lost their nipples, tho--for aesthetic and 
 self-esteem purposes.

Rib cage: Can be rather painful because of all the ribs you work over. 
 However it offers a fairly large area, and can be incorporated into a 
 major back piece, wrapping around toward the front.

Stomach/Abdomen: Some people choose not to get work done on their 
 stomachs for a couple of reasons. Area is difficult to work on because 
 there's no solid backing to hold the skin down. It is a sensitive area 
 that may feel uncomfortable. The tat may look horrible after your 
 metabolism slows down and you develop a - er-- "beer gut." (Men: Less 
 than 5%, women: 14% Women concerned about the effect of pregnancy on a 
 stomach tattoo can read the section specifically devoted to this in the
 Tattoo FAQ section 7.

Genitals: The matron nurse: "Did you see the patient in #409? His penis 
 has a tattoo that says 'SWAN' on it!" "Oh no it didn't," says the 
 younger nurse. "It said "SASKACHEWAN'!" All kidding aside, people DO 
 get inked in their genital area. The idea may sound very painful, but a
 friend of mine said it wasn't any worse than any other spot. However, 
 do consider that there *will* probably be some blurring in the area 
 because of --er-- shall we say, the amount of movement the skin 
 experiences (kind of like hands)? A thread in RAB discussed whether 
 penises are flaccid or erect during tattooing--some are, some aren't 
 (how one can *maintain* one during the process is a wonder to me). The 
 only female genital tattoo I've seen (inner labia, I think) was in 
 _Modern Primitives_, and it looked rather blurry. Note: Many artists 
 refuse to do genitals. (Men: 0%; women: 5 %)

Thighs/hips: A popular area for women to get larger pieces (often 
 extending from the hip area). Shows well with a bathing suit but easily
 concealable in modest shorts. The entire area of skin around your 
 thighs is bigger than your back, so you can get quite a bit of work 
 done. (Men: 3%; women: 10%)

Calves: Nice area to get a standard size (2" x 2"). However if you have 
 very hairy legs, it may cut down on the visibility somewhat. (Men: 7%; 
 women: 8%. Category simply listed as leg/foot)

Ankles: Currently trendy. I think you have to have an ankle tat before 
 you can go to the Eileen Ford Agency with your modeling portfolio. :) 
 You can either get a spot piece on the inner or outer ankle, or get 
 something that goes around in a band. Vines and other vegetation seem 
 popular (pumpkins, anyone?)

Feet: I've seen some incredible footwork (pun intended) in some of the 
 tat magazines. Concealable with shoes. Probably don't have as much wear
 and tear as hands so you might get less blurring and color loss. This 
 however, is the TOPS of your feet. You will have trouble retaining a 
 tattoo on the bottom of your feet.

Armpits: Usually reserved for those who want to get full coverage around
 the arm and chest area, & need the armpits filled. Probably not 
 strongly recommended for the highly ticklish.

Upper arms: One of the most common areas for men, although I have seen 
 some nice work on women as well. If you decide to get a piece done on 
 your upper arm, consider how much sun it's going to get. Will you be 
 able to put sunblock on it regularly? Otherwise, expect some color loss
 and blurring. If you want some serious work done and you wanna show it 
 off, you may want to consider getting a "half sleeve"--full tat 
 coverage throughout your upper arm. (Men: 70%; women: 18%. Category 
 simply states arm/hand)

Inner arms: A more unusual location than the outer upper arm area, this 
 area is often not easily visible. Be careful if your genes are prone to
 "bat wing" flab, however.

Forearms: Popeye sported his anchor on his forearm. Probably not as 
 popular as the upper arm but common just the same. You can have your 
 upper arm "sleeve" extend down for a full sleeve. For an example, check
 out the heavy metal veejay on MTV (who has a nose pierce, BTW).

Wrists: Janis Joplin had a dainty tat on her wrist...easily concealable 
 with a watch.

Hands (fingers and palms): RAB receives frequent queries about fingers, 
 palms and hands in general. Some artists don't do hands because the ink
 will have a tendency to blur or fade easily. Consider that you probably
 move your hands the most out of your entire body. A friend of mine had 
 a multi-colored tat on his finger by Ed Hardy (who cringed upon hearing
 about where my friend wanted it), that is only several years old and is
 now barely noticeable. Some people want to substitute their wedding 
 bands with tat bands. Your palm doesn't retain ink well--if you can 
 find an artist who will do it, you can expect it to be a rather basic 
 line, and that it will not last too long. Perhaps just matching tats 
 someplace else would be okay? There *IS* a photo of a tattoo on a palm 
 in Sandi Feldman's book on Japanese tattooing. This seems to be an 

Shoulder blades: The back shoulder blade area is another popular spot 
 for women, who can show off the work with a bathing suit or tank top, 
 but cover it up with regular clothes. If this is the case, be 
 particularly careful with sun because you're not gonna be wearing that 
 unless it's warm & sunny. It's a "safe" place--but may get in the way 
 if you decide to commit yourself to a large back piece. (Men: 15%, 
 women: 15%. Category listed as backs/shoulder)

Back: You can get any part of your back done, or find yourself an artist
 you really like, and save your money for a "back piece" that 
 encompasses your entire back. Expect to pay several thousand dollars 
 for a full back piece (not to mention many tat sessions).

--Buttocks: Again, beware of potential sagging in the area.

 --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--

This ends "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 2/9--Getting a tattoo." This
should be followed by "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 3/9--Sanitation."

REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 3/9--Sanitation

Message-ID: <REPOST-14596.5545349121.0192260742.198638916.6ojp3g$>
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X-Original-Message-ID: <REPOST-26258.198638916.6ojp3g$>
From: (Stan)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.bodyart,news.answers,rec.answers
Subject: REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 3/9--Sanitation
Followup-To: rec.arts.bodyart
Date: 16 Jul 1998 02:38:40 GMT
Organization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
Expires: August 15, 1998
X-Original-Message-ID: <6ojp3g$>
Summary: This posting contains a bibliography of various sources
     available on the topic of tattoos. Anyone who wishes to read/post to the
     RAB newsgroup, or obtain tattoos should read this first.
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X-Comments: more than likely by someone other than the original poster.
X-Comments: Please see the end of this posting for a copy of the cancel.
X-Comments: Dave the Resurrector can be contacted at

Archive-name: bodyart/tattoo-faq/part3
Last-modified: May 26, 1998
Posting-frequency: Monthly

 --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--
| * * * *  |
|  4 STAR  |
|   SITE!  |

This FAQ is maintained by Stan Schwarz <>

If you are reading this file using a web browser, and the file you are
looking at is from, click on the other archive
sites to access the FAQs instead. Ohio State's site is no longer
maintained, and continues to provide outdated versions of FAQs.

You can retrieve a copy of the FAQ via anonymous ftp from the MIT FTP
server:  <>.

The FAQs are also available on thw World Wide Web at

The rec.arts.bodyart Tattoo FAQ is broken up into 9 parts:
 2/9--Getting a tattoo
 3/9--Sanitation <---YOU ARE READING THIS FILE
 5/9--Artist list
 6/9--Care of new tattoos
 7/9--General care/removal
 8/9--Misc. info


This file is structured as a traditional FAQ in the form of questions
and answers. Questions answered in this file:

Rec.arts.bodyart FAQ Part 3/9: Sanitation
  - Can I get infectious diseases from tattoo needles?
  - What to look for in a sanitary shop environment.
  - Can I get AIDS from tattooing?
  - Can my tattoos get infected?
     - How to look for sterilization
  - Are there any medical conditions that will preclude me from getting
     a tattoo?
  - What is the Alliance of Professional Tattooists?
  - Should I get a vaccination shot against hepatitis?


Under the Berne Convention, this document is Copyright (c) 1997 by Lani
Teshima-Miller, all rights reserved. Permission is granted for it to be
reproduced electronically on any system connected to the various
networks which make up the Internet, Usenet, and FidoNet so long as it
is reproduced in its entirety, unedited, and with this copyright notice
intact. Web sites are included. Individual copies may also be printed
for personal use.



There has been some concern recently regarding transmittable diseases
(particularly Hepatitis-B and AIDS [HIV]) and tattoo shops. Just as in a
dentist's office, as long as the area is strictly sanitized, your
chances for infection will be greatly reduced.

Note: If you plan on getting lots of bodyart (pierces or tattoos), you
should seriously consider getting immunized against Hepatitis-B. Hep-B
is a much more serious concern than HIV as the virus is much more
virulent and easier to catch.


The current popularity of tattooing and body piercing has also brought
on an increase in potentially hazardous conditions. RAB regulars have
begun posting information on unsanitary practices. For this reason, I am
posting the following guideline of what to look out for (in this
situation, "artist" refers to both tattooists and piercers):

-Lighting: The area must be well-lit so the artist can see what s/he is

-Counter and floor space should be lightly colored, preferably white so
dirt shows up easier.

-The spray bottle the artist uses on your skin should be disinfected
between customers, or some kind of protective film such as Saran Wrap
should be used.

-Disposing needles: All needles must be either discarded after EACH use
(or at least with each new customer), or autoclaved. Many body piercers
operate out of small booths and may not have spent money for an
autoclaver, in which they MUST dispose of each needle. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Reusing piercing needles is equivalent to sharing IV drugs with

-Needles touching other things: The needles, once open from their
sanitary packages, must not be placed on unsanitized surfaces. The
piercer should NOT set the needle down on the table, or, heaven forbid,
DROP THE NEEDLE ON THE FLOOR!!! If this happens, insist they open a new

-Gloves: The artist must wash their hands prior to putting on their
gloves, preferably with an antibacterial/antiseptic solution. Once they
put their gloves on, they should not touch anything other than your
skin, the needle, and the jewelry. They should not be filling out
receipts beforehand, or answering the phone--unless these have been
wiped clean beforehand.

-Is there a sink separate from the bathroom sink?

-Does the artist use a disposable razor when shaving skin?

-The Speed Stick used as an ahesive for the tattoo pattern should not be
directly applied to the skin, but applied first to a tissue which can
then be used on the skin.

-Autoclaves should be inspected regularly.

-Sterile materials should be stored in sealed containers away from
things that could cause body fluids or ink to splash on them

-The palate that holds the ink caps should be covered with Saran Wrap

-After tattooing, the ink caps should be discarded and the ink not
reused or poured back into the bottles

Be particularly wary of "outdoor fair booths." While many are run by
caring, experienced artists, these booths allow fly-by-night operators
to make some fast money and disappear. If you don't know the artist,
spend time watching them work on others first. Are they reusing needles?
Do they use needles that have dropped on the ground?

If you see any unsanitary conditions that are particularly alarming,
post them to RAB (better yet--email me or Ardvark for the Piercing FAQ)!
If you feel uncomfortable "naming names," then withhold the specifics
for private email. It is each customer's right to guard against getting
a contamination. Worse, If you have had more than one tattoo or pierce
within several months, it will be difficult for you to prove WHICH
artist was responsible!


IMPORTANT NOTE: This section refers to tattooing specifically, and not
to other forms of bodyart. Some, such as piercing and cutting, require
the breaking of the client's skin to a deeper level than what is
achieved with a modern tattoo gun.

This section on AIDS & Tattooing has been contributed by Nick
"Buccaneer" Baban <>, who studied at the Univ. of
Michigan School of Public Health, Dept. of Epidemiology. He spent the
summer researching AIDS and IV drug use in NYC. "I'm not an expert, but
I consider myself knowledgable. Any furthur questions about AIDS can be
e-mailed to me."

Obviously there is some concern about AIDS and tattooing because when
you get a tattoo, you bleed. But the mechanism of transmission needs to
be better understood.

AIDS is transmitted by intimate contact with bodily fluids, blood and
semen being the most comon. Intimate contact means that the fluid
carrying the AIDS virus (HIV) enters into your system.

Injection drug users (IDUs) use hollow medical syringes and needles to
inject drugs directly into their bloodstream. It is common practice to
withdraw a little blood back into the syringe to delay the onset of the
high. When needles are passed from IDU to IDU and reused without
sterilization, some of that blood remains in the syringe and is passed
on to the next user. If infected blood is passed, the recipient can
become infected with HIV, which leads to AIDS.

Tattooing is VERY different from injecting drugs. The needles used in
tattooing are not hollow. They do, however, travel back and forth
through a hollow tube that acts as an ink reservoir. The tip of the tube
is dipped into the ink, which draws a little into the tube. As the
needle withdraws into the tube, it gets coated with ink. When it comes
forward, it pierces your skin and deposits the ink. You then bleed a
little through the needle hole. This happens several hundred times a

You are only at risk of infection if you come in contact with infected
blood. Since it is only *your* skin that is being pierced during the
tattooing process, only *your* blood is being exposed. This means that
the only person at greater risk is the artist, because s/he is the only
one coming in contact with someone else's (potentially infected) blood.
This is why reputable (and sane) tattoo artist wears surgical gloves
while working.

Another source of infection is through the use of infected tools. *This
is why it is IMPERATIVE that you make sure your tattoo artist uses
sterile equipment.* Needles and tubes need to be autoclaved before EACH
AND EVERY time they are used. Ink should come from separate cups and not
directly from the bottle. Any leftover ink should be disposed of and not
reused under ANY circumstances.

The key to HIV transmission is *transfer of bodily fluids.* Evidence
indicates that infection may require a (relatively) substantial ammount
of fluid to be passed. A pin prick almost certainly won't do it. HIV is
also a very fragile virus that cannot survive long outside the human
body, and is very easy to kill via autoclaving. (I have heard of using
bleach to sterilize needles. While bleach is an effective HIV killer,
I'm not sure of the procedures for cleaning the equipment after bleach
cleaning. As I personally have no desire to have bleach put under my
skin, I go with autoclaving as the proper way to sterilize).

If your tattooer maintains sterile conditions and proceedures, there is
almost no risk of infection. I say "almost" because any risk, no matter
how miniscule, is still a risk and must be recognized. That said, I am
the proud owner of a Jolly Roger tattoo on my right shoulder because I
knew my tattooist and knew he had sterile conditions.


Check out the shop thoroughly. Don't be lulled into a false sense of
security by a clean look. If the needles are not disposed of after each
person, then it MUST be "autoclaved." Autoclaving is a process that
pressurizes the instruments and kills any virus or bacteria that might
transmit viruses or bacteria. My dentist has two autoclavers--one gas
and one steam--both pressurizing down to 250fsw. He also has spore
samples that he autoclaves and sends to a pathology lab to make sure the
machines are working. 

Ask the artist how they clean their needles. If they don't say they
autoclave, you are taking your risks. If they say they do, ask to see
their machine. Note that in some states, autoclaving is required by law.
Other common-sense types of things include throwing out the ink after
each customer. Make sure the artists have small wells for each ink color
that they dispense from a larger container, and that these are thrown
out after work on you is done. Compare the conditions of the shop to
that of your dentist--does the artist wear gloves? Are the areas sprayed

According to the Navy Environmental Health Center Medical Corps in
Norfolk, Virginia, each year, a few cases of Hep-B are reported in
people who've gotten tattoos within the last two months, but they have
not been able to trace the disease back to its source, nor attribute it
directly to the tattoo.

Becky Fenton <> says: "I spoke with a
disease infection specialist at Kaiser [Permanente--US West Coast health
care system], and there have not been any incidents (as of 1990) of HIV
being spread *to* a recipient of a tattoo. If you think about it, the
tattooist is much more at risk, as s/he has to touch the customer's

David Zinner <> notes that a blanket statement
regarding the use of autoclaves could be misleading. While an autoclave
will kill the HIV virus, it is not because of the efficacy of the
'clave, but because of the weakness of that particular virus. Far more
insidious is Hepatitis, which is more tenacious, and which a 'clave does
not always kill. He has gotten all of his info from CDC, by the way.

The irony, he says, is that now virtually anyone can afford a 'clave,
because many hospitals are selling them secondhand for a very good
price, and switching either to disposables, or purchasing dry-heat or
chemical sterilizers. Chemical is the best rated, and he says that his
friend's business has increased because of the precautions he takes.

In response to David's well-founded concern, Dr. Milton Diamond
<> from the UH School of Medicine who has been
researching sexuality for 30 years, says: Hepatitis is easier to
transmit than HIV but all the bugs will be killed IF the autoclave is
run properly (i.e., set hot enough & long enough). Some instruments can
not, however, be autoclaved since they cant take the heat. These have to
be sterilized with viracides, "bug"acides and so forth. In any case,
here in the States, EVERYONE should be using disposable needles.

The chemical bath is only as effective as how fresh is it, how
concentrated, what chemicals, how "dirty" or contaminated the
instruments, how long in the bath, which particular bug is under attack,
etc. It is not the device, autoclave or chemical bath, that is as
important as the operator. There are many different bugs out there. HIV
may be one of the most deadly and Hep among the more easily transmitted
but many others have to be considered (including Chlamydia, the
infection rate of which is 20%!) and "he who aims at one, hits one." "Mo
betta aim fo dem all." If the artist or piercer is conscientious,
reliable and knowledgeable, either device could serve. Again my general
rule still stands: "EVERYONE should be using disposable needles."

Dr. Kai Kristensen <> says: The needles that push the
ink into the skin (below the epidermis or outer covering and into the
mid-dermis or support structure under the epidermis) can transmit
disease UNLESS STERILE TO BEGIN WITH. When they have been used on you,
whatever bugs you carry in your blood can be transmitted to the next
person. The most commonly transmitted disease by needlestick is
Hepatitis B (and C). Clearly AIDS could be transmitted even though not
documented yet to my knowledge.

The skin should be cleaned with antibacterial soap and water and
scrubbing before the procedure to lessen the normal population of germs
on the hide. Alcohol doesn't do much but tends to degrease and cool, so
no harm but no substitute.

USE OF DISPOSABLE GLOVES: A conscientious, professional tattooist or
piercer will often go through A DOZEN DISPOSABLE GLOVES on one client.
Gloves SHOULD be changed every time they touch unsanitized items with
their gloves. If you see that the artist does not change gloves after
answering the phone, they are not being sanitary. Marginally acceptable
is if they pick up the phone (or other objects, such as pencil) with a
tissue. Optimally, they should use a new pair of gloves after each
potential contamination.


Autoclaving is accepted in the industry as the way to sterilize
nondisposable equipment. Autoclave machines look like small metal
washing machines--usually with the door in the front. They are usually
no larger than the computer with which you are reading this.

Uncle Bud <> recommends that autoclaves should be run at
273 degrees F for 55 minutes (from a cold start) at 15 lbs per square
inch pressure (PSI); the *minimum* standard is 20 minutes at full
temperature and pressure.

Further, he suggests that the solid stainless steel needles and tubes be
ultrasonically cleaned to remove particulate debris before being
packaged into individual autoclaving bags. Even *new* needles need to go
through this cleaning process, to remove any leftover flux from the
soldering process.

Equipment that IS supposed to be autoclaved should be torn out of their
sterile packaging in plain view of the customer.



Not as long as you take care of your new tat. There is a section in the
FAQ that covers healing methods in depth. Some people have trouble
healing tattoos with colors they are allergic to. If it gets infected
and refuses to heal after a few days of using a topical antibiotic, you
may want to check with a doctor. Keep in mind this assumes you are a healthy
individual without any condition that suppresses your immune system.



If you have hemophilia. There is even a case of a man who was HIV
positive who got a tattoo--if you are HIV+ however, you will want to
inform the artist, since it's the artist that is at more risk than you.
[In the case of the HIV+ man, he was John Baldetta, a former nursing
assistant at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, who got a tat on his
forearm that said "HIV Positive." He was suspended for three days
without pay and told he could return if he covered up the tat. He
refused and was subsequently fired, although he was not an RN and was
not doing anything that would put patients at risk.]

However, it is best to let the artist know if you have ANY medical
condition, such as diabetes or epilepsy, in case of an emergency.

If you have multiple allergies, you can always have the artist do a
"patch test" on you with the colors you want prior to returning for a
regular tattoo. This is similar to patch tests done for perms and hair
coloring, and will help you determine if your body will react to some of
the pigments.

Also, it is generally not considered a good idea to tattoo pregnant



This section was contributed by Pat Sinatra <>, a
professional tattoo artist and vice president of the organization:

The Alliance of Professional Tattooists (APT), Inc. is a professional
standards organization that was established in March 1992 and officially
incorporated in June '92 as a non-profit organization (contributions,
fees and educational materials are tax deductible.

Their activities:
 -Continuing education to artists
 -Offers accurate, up-to-date information about communicable diseases
  through seminars
 -Is interested in preserving tattooing as an artform
 -Monitors legislative activity to prevent over-regulation (controlled
  or banned)
 -Believes in keeping the art of tattooing safe and legal through 
  education, knowledge and awareness
 -Offers reliable information to tattoo lovers about safe tattoo 
  practices to ensure your health.

Headquartered in Maryland, its international membership has expanded
from the US to Canada, Europe and other countries. They are currently
establishing state chapters with state directors.

Their nine-hour seminar entitled, "Preventing Disease Transmission in
Tattooing," is taught by APT secretary, Dr. Kris Sperry (Fulton County
Medical Examiner, involved with tattooing for over 10 years). Designed
in 1988 to educate health care workers (including tattooists) in the
prevention of infection and the implementation of professional
standards,the program was specifically redesigned in 1991-1992 for the
needs of the tattooist and is the standard for APT members. Since the
1991 Bloodborne Pathogens Rule, APT, Inc. has designed this manual for

PDTT is presented in various locations throughout the country at a one
time fee of $125.00 (APT members) or $300.00 (non-members). This course
is open to the Professional and Associate levels only. Members are
required to complete this seminar within two years after initial

While we have noted that many individuals are promoting videos on this
subject, OSHA (the US Occupational Safety & Health Association that
regulates work-environment safety) says that an infection control
program cannot be taught by video, but by an on-site knowledgable
individual on site.

OSHA believes that the in-person interaction between instructor and
student is vital to the education of this serious subject, and that
individual questions regarding infection control, universal precautions,
disease transmission, pathology, etc., must be answered by a
knowledgeable, credible instructor such as Dr. Sperry.



Without everyone worried about HIV transmission, it is easy to forget
that hepatitis (specifically hep-B) is a much stronger and virulent
virus to worry about. Fortunately, you *can* get protection against both
hepatitis A and B! Check with your health insurance to see if it's
covered--otherwise, you might have to shell out $200 or so for both.
There are two shots (injected a month apart) for hep-A, and three shots
(injected over the course of six months) for hep-B. You are strongly
urged to get protected if you are planning to get tattoos *OR* pierces
on a regular basis.

As a warning however, note that a very small percentage of individuals 
react negatively to Hepatitis B vaccines, and could actually become
ill from the vaccines themselves. If you are contemplating getting 
vaccinated for Hep B, talk to your health care professional to weigh the
risks against the benefits. Note: Not all health care professionals are
apprised of the most current statistics on the adverse effects of Hep B

 --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--

This ends "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 3/10--Sanitation." This should
be followed by "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 4/10--Conventions."

REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 4/9--Conventions

Message-ID: <REPOST-25447.2233886719.5311889648.1994934082.6ojp4v$>
X-Original-Message-ID: <REPOST-15361.5311889648.1994934082.6ojp4v$>
X-Original-Message-ID: <REPOST-26230.1994934082.6ojp4v$>
From: (Stan)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.bodyart,news.answers,rec.answers
Subject: REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 4/9--Conventions
Followup-To: rec.arts.bodyart
Date: 16 Jul 1998 02:39:27 GMT
Organization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
Expires: August 15, 1998
X-Original-Message-ID: <6ojp4v$>
Summary: This posting contains a bibliography of various sources
     available on the topic of tattoos. Anyone who wishes to read/post to the
     RAB newsgroup, or obtain tattoos should read this first.
X-Comments: DtR Repost: The following Usenet article was cancelled,
X-Comments: more than likely by someone other than the original poster.
X-Comments: Please see the end of this posting for a copy of the cancel.
X-Comments: Dave the Resurrector can be contacted at

Archive-name: bodyart/tattoo-faq/part4
Last-modified: May 26, 1998
Posting-frequency: Monthly

 --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--
| * * * *  |
|  4 STAR  |
|   SITE!  |

This FAQ is maintained by Stan Schwarz <>

If you are reading this file using a web browser, and the file you are
looking at is from, click on the other archive
sites to access the FAQs instead. Ohio State's site is no longer
maintained, and continues to provide outdated versions of FAQs.

You can retrieve a copy of the FAQ via anonymous ftp from the MIT FTP
server:  <>.

The FAQs are also available on thw World Wide Web at

The rec.arts.bodyart Tattoo FAQ is broken up into 9 parts:
 2/9--Getting a tattoo
 4/9--Conventions <---YOU ARE READING THIS FILE
 5/9--Artist list
 6/9--Care of new tattoos
 7/9--General care/removal
 8/9--Misc. info



This file is structured as a traditional FAQ in the form of questions
and answers. Questions answered in this file:

Rec.arts.bodyart FAQ Part 4/9: Tattoo conventions
  - When and where are upcoming conventions?
  - Tattoo Conventions: What are they all about?
  - What types of conventions are available?
  - Why would I want to attend?
  - What's the atmosphere?
  - What kind of tattoo contests are there?
  - Can I actually get a tattoo at a convention?
  - What else can I find at these conventions?
  - Tattooing and traveling


Under the Berne Convention, this document is Copyright (c) 1997 by Lani
Teshima-Miller, all rights reserved. Permission is granted for it to be
reproduced electronically on any system connected to the various
networks which make up the Internet, Usenet, and FidoNet so long as it
is reproduced in its entirety, unedited, and with this copyright notice
intact. Web sites are included. Individual copies may also be printed
for personal use.



I have moved upcoming conventions to the top of this file so you can
peruse this section for information quickly without having to scroll to
the bottom of the page.

A fairly up-to-date listing is also available from Ken Dykes
<kgdykes@thinkage.on.cs> at his web site:

I always accept information on upcoming tattoo conventions. Please email
me at <> with the name of the convention, place, date,
time, registration fee and registration contact phone number.


AM-JAM TATTOO EXPO 1998, Schenectady, New York
January 10 & 11, 1998
Info:, (518) 346-0521. Sponsored by Am-Jam.

January 15-18, 1998
Info:, (415) 775-4991. Sponsored by Lyle Tuttle.

January 15-19, 1998
Info:, (417) 281-1228. Coordinated by Deana's Skin
Art Studio

January 16-18, 1998
Info: (519) 836-8680.

January 28 - February 1, 1998
Info: (423) 523-2300. Sponsored by Lyle Tuttle, Lifestyle Expressions
and Southern Comfort Prod.

JUNE 1998

NORTHERN INK EXPOSURE 1998, Ontario, Canada
June 18 - 21, 1998
Info: Sponsored by and Tattoocan Products.



People go to tattoo conventions for various reasons. Enthusiasts may go
to visit with or meet out-of-town artists, get new tattoos, look at
other people's tattoos or show off their own. Artists may go to purchase
flash work from other artists, visit with old friends or to gain more
visibility in the field.

If you are interested in finding out what's going on in the tattoo
world, the convention is the way to go.

The one thing that I find marvelous, wonderful and so exciting about
tattoo conventions, is that you can meet excellent and well-known
artists "in the flesh" and see many of them work! What other kind of
convention can you go to, where fans can openly admire the artists? The
only one I can think of off-hand is Fan Fair in Nashville, for country
music fans (and then it's the STAR versus the FANS--still not quite the


Conventions range in size and length, from very small shop-sponsored
conventions that last a day or two, to international
organization-sponsored events that span four days.

Conventions are usually held over a weekend, and usually include
contests (closed to official registrants only) and exhibit floors, where
artists may be selling their merchandise or tattooing. The exhibit floor
is usually open to the public on a one-day admission fee, for those who
don't want to pay the extra fee of registering.

Most of the larger conventions are fairly well organized. While not in
the same caliber as an academic conference (that might have many
workshops, board meetings, poster sessions), convention organizers
usually have arrangements with travel agencies and hotels, to provide a
good deal for participants. This allows attendees to obtain a lower
"convention rate" for both hotel and airfare.

Convention rates vary: Registration for a national four-day convention
may run around $30-$40, less for a shorter convention. Daily admission
passes usually sell for about $10 per person and are only good for the

Official registrants are usually given a color-coded hospital-style
wristband, while those paying for just the day may get their hand


Have you ever wanted to get a tattoo from a certain artist who lives in
another country, or another part of the country? Have you ever wanted to
feel a sense of belonging with a group of people who understand your
desire for tattoos?

People attend conventions for different reasons--the main thing to
remember is that these conventions allow you the unique opportunity to
be immersed in the tattooing world, where staring at other people's
tattoos, or people staring at yours aren't meant as an insult or an

You might have read and perused through tattoo magazines and thought "No
way! These guys are way too radical for me!" Just remember that
everybody was born naked with no tattoos or extra holes in their body.
We're all the same, and there is no reason to feel intimidated by others
who have bodmods. Also, remember that the magazines will often publish
the most outlandish subjects. Otherwise, it's boring and not newsworthy!
So sure, you'll see somebody with very bizarro tattoos or with 100
pierces on their body. So what? This is your opportunity to chat with
them or otherwise find out what drives them!

You think bikers are too rough? Sure, they might be tough-looking; but
they are some of the sweetest, friendliest people I've ever met! Word
is, a lot of the convention and hotel staff come into these tattoo
conventions with some trepidation, then discover, much to their delight,
that the attendees are some of the most polite, fun-loving, nicest
people around! If you have an appreciation for motorcycles, you'll find
some fine examples in the parking lot. However, you'll discover that
convention attendees run an entire gamut and that you can't pigeonhole
them into any one classification.


A kind word of warning here. If you love tattoos or are very intrigued
by them, and you want to meet others of your ilk, the conventions are
very good places to go. However, these conventions are not for
everybody. For one thing, these conventions are mostly geared toward
adults. Unless you are a tattoo artist and your toddler has lived her
entire life among the heavily tattooed and pierced, this may be a very
upsetting place to go.

Those who are sensitive to smoke or asthmatic should know that the
convention floor often becomes one big ashtray.

Finally, if you are trying to convince your partner to accept tattooing,
and your partner gets very upset about the topic in the first place, the
convention may be a very shocking and frightening experience that causes
the opposite of what you want.


Conventions are always pretty congenial and relaxed during the sessions
that are open only to registrants. Welcome receptions usually allow time
for a lot of socializing, where friends can catch up on old news and
share their new tattoos with others. Quite a few people take their
cameras along, snapping shots of tattoos and people. This period is also
the time to see the real serious tattoo enthusiasts and artists, since
these are the ones who usually register for the entire convention. This
means that you are likely to see people with very serious pieces of
custom work on their bodies.

The exhibit floor, when it is still closed to the public (usually on
Fridays during a four-day convention) are not too crowded. If you want
to get some work done from an artist who has rented a booth, Fridays are
a good time to get it done. This would be a good opportunity to visit
various booths and actually talk to people.

Once the weekend hits and the doors are opened to the public, the
atmosphere will change greatly. You will see a lot of "gawkers" and
various curiosity-seekers, who may or may not have any tattoos (or if
they do, they might be some mediocre flash). The convention floor takes
on somewhat of a carnival environment.

Attendance seems to depend largely on where the convention is being
held. No tattoo convention is so large as to take up a city's major
convention center--most conventions occur in hotel ballrooms. Thus if
the hotel is in a rural section of town, or the convention is not
appropriately advertised, you will not get a very high local turnout. On
the other hand, well-advertised events will be so popular that they will
have to limit the number of bodies in the room.

Note that the National Tattoo Association has a policy (which some
regard as archaic) that bans facial and visible body piercings (outside
of the ears) because it believes that these promote the side-show-freak
atmosphere, which is not condusive to the mainstreaming of tattooing.

While I will not condone the purposeful breaking of any policy, I can
state that I have seen enough various body piercings at NTA conventions,
that it seems if you keep it low key they will not bother you. With the
current popularity of body piercing, I would like to counter that some
pierces (eyebrows, navel, nipple) have entered into the mainstream, and
are now actually used in advertisements. I don't know why NTA still
maintains this policy, when many tattooists have their own in-house
piercers and the tattooists themselves often sport body pierces


Contests are limited to registrants during the larger conventions, while
they may be open to everyone at the smaller ones.

Categories seem to differ greatly, however some of the more standard
ones you can expect include: best black & gray, most unusual, best
tribal, best portrait, best overall.

Judging is done either by popular vote, or by a panel of experts
(usually composed of veteran artists). Obviously those by popular vote
are often judged by the contestant's looks or personality, and not
necessarily just by their tattoo.

If you plan to attend a contest, I suggest you bring a pair of
binoculars. The contestants are usually herded around on stage, and it
is often difficult to see the tattoos well. This is especially pertinent
if the contest is audience-judged.

Some contests are better organized than others; however I have yet to
see a contest where everything runs on time. Many contests do not limit
the number of entrants in a category, or limit entrants to one category.
This can cause long waits and long lines.

If you wish to take photos of these contests, plan to bring a telephoto
lens. A tripod would not be a bad idea either.


One of the biggest advantages of attending a convention is that you can
book an appointment with a well-known artist who does not live near you.
One of the biggest *disadvantages* of booking an appointment for the
convention with a well-known artist who does not live near you is that
you might not get as good a deal as you would if you were to visit the
artist's studio. That is, the exhibit floor is noisy, full of smoke,
crowded, and generally hard for anyone to concentrate in.

In addition, some artists try to pay for their trips and booth fees by
the appointments they do during the convention--so the more tattoos they
do, the more money they make. It is possible that you may be overcharged
for a tattoo that is not up to the regular standards of the artist.

How to avoid this pitfall? Phone the artist WELL in advance. Explain
your interests and reserve your time for the convention beforehand--the
earlier the better. Give your artist enough time to do some rough
sketches as well, that can be drawn up before the convention.

If you have been dying to get a tattoo from someone great and famous,
why take the risks that the artist fills up that appointment book before
you can get to that booth? Reserve in advance and avoid the headache.

Should you decide to "wing it" and hope to find someone you like once
you're there, you will have a much better chance of securing a time slot
if you visit before the public is admitted (which means you have to
register for the convention). Chances are, they will want to get a
deposit from you immediately (some people make appointments during
conventions then fail to show without notifying the artist--very

You have been warned, though. Caveat emptor.


Even if you don't plan on getting any tattoos, there is still plenty to
do on the exhibit floor. Most booths sell merchandise; many booths give
away stickers, business cards, etc.

Chuck Eldridge from the Tattoo Archive in California usually has a booth
at the larger conventions. If you've ever wanted to pick up an
out-of-print publication on tattooing, visit his booth!

Ever wonder how people get their pictures into the tattoo magazines? In
addition to photos submitted by the artists themselves, many of the
photos are taken at the conventions! Keep an eye out for signs that
identify tattoo magazines. Most of them set up portable studios in
nearby rooms. You will be required to sign a standard model release
form, and will have to inform them who your artist was (that's actually
more important to them than your own name). How to tell if the photos
were taken at a convention? Take a look at the wrists of the models in
the magazines. Do you see a color-coded hospital wristband? Does the
background look like a professional backdrop, versus the inside of a
tattoo shop?

Unfortunately, the magazine people won't be able to tell you if or when
your photo will appear in publication. Most of the time, you just have
to look at the issues that appear about three to four months after the
convention. The only time they will phone you is when you get a major
spread/feature, or if you've made the cover. If this is the case,
payment usually comes in the form of extra copies. Ask for as many as
you feel comfortable asking for (a couple dozen would not be out of
line, although I wouldn't ask for 500 copies unless you had an
incredibly large family).

Sometimes, the magazines will issue a special issue dedicated to the
specific convention you were at. These often include candids and photos
of contestants, and may include a photo of you!

Many convention organizers also contract a video production group to
tape the show. These are usually sold at an on-site booth.

In recent years, seminars geared towards artists have been added at
larger conventions, with topics such as "Creative Coloring", Care and
Tuning your Machine", "Spit-Shading - Watercolor", "Tribal Tattooing",
"Preventing Disease Transmission in Tattooing." Unfortunately, these are
usually open only to professional artists. I would personally like to
one day see sessions geared towards tattoo enthusiasts. Sessions
focusing on disease transmission prevention from the customer's point of
view, or the history of Polynesian tattooing, are two such examples.



Getting a tattoo at a convention poses a number of potential problems,
especially if you are used to getting tattooed near your hometown. Of
primary importance is the need to decrease your level of stress during
your travel. Thanks go to "convention trooper" Michele DeLio, formerly
of _Tattoo_ magazine for some of these pointers. 

VITAMINS: Begin taking vitamin supplements a few days prior to traveling
to the convention. A multi-vitamin supplement is fine, although in
particular, you are recommended to take vitamins B and C, and Zinc. Some
people cannot tolerate zinc supplements alone--in which case a
multi-vitamin supplement containing zinc would suffice. Pack enough
tablets to last the duration of the trip.

NUTRITION: Without sounding too motherly, eat yer vegetables! Vegetables
and fruits are particularly healthy and help cleanse your system prior
to your trip. Your digestive system tends to go haywire on the road, so
eating fiber (bran cereal, etc.) will also help. Stay away from
particularly spicy or greasy foods while you are traveling as well.

WATER: Most importantly, you should drink what you might consider
*excessive* amounts of water during your travel. Airplane cabins are
notorious for their aridity (sometimes as low as 10% humidity), and most
experienced travelers recommend that you drink eight ounces of water for
every hour you are flying. This will help your body flush out toxins,
and keep your skin fresh and hydrated for your new tattoo.

CLOTHING: Regardless of your mode of travel, if you are going to be on
the road for many hours, try to bring clothing that will let your new
tattoo breathe.

LEATHER: While a tattoo convention is a great place to look cool in your
heavy duty black leather clothing, these do not pack well. Try to limit
your heavy duty leather to just your jacket. If you must bring more,
choose those which are lighter weight. Bring an extra large diaper pin
(or a kilt pin), and use it to hang your jacket label up on the seat
back in front of you on the plane. This way, you will have arm room in
your seat, and will not have to risk having someone squash it with their
vanity case in the overhead. Remember also that leather does not breathe
well--if you are getting a tattoo, keep in mind that you will not want
to wear leather over it.

MOISTURIZER: The air in the cabin is EXTRA dry--pack a moisturizer in
your carry-on bag.

FRESH AIR: If you are a cigarette smoker, try to cut down on the amount
you smoke while you travel. At the convention, try to get outdoors as
often as possible--to get some natural light on your skin, as well as to
breathe some fresh air. Unless the building is zoned as non-smoking, the
convention floor will be a mass of ashtrays and smoke.

POOLS & HOT TUBS: If you are staying at a nice hotel for the convention,
you'll notice the swimming pools and hot tubs. Enjoy them before, but
not after your new tattoo. Your tattoo is simply too fresh to risk
immersing in public water.

STRESS: Excitement and tension often accompany long-distance travel. Did
you remember your airline ticket? Is your hotel room confirmed? Did you
forget anything? Just remember that most things can be fixed in a pinch.
Some stress-reducing suggestions:
o Try to pack as little as possible, and take all your essentials with 
  you in your carry-on (I always travel with one carry-on only).
o Make sure to leave your complete itinerary, as well as  photocopies of
  your tickets, with a trusted friend or relative.
o Most artists will accept traveler's checks as cash. Convert your cash 
  to these handy checks prior to traveling. Record the check numbers, 
  keep them separate from the checks themselves.
o Don't forget to confirm your flight 24 hours ahead, both before you 
  leave, as well as a day before you go home.
o Make sure to jot down your hotel confirmation number. With this you 
  should be guaranteed a room.
o Special meals on airplanes are HIGHLY recommended. These are  
  available at no extra charge, and include things like ovo-lacto 
  vegetarian (dairy/eggs), vegan (no dairy/eggs), Kosher,  seafood, 
  Hindu, low fat, low sodium. Airlines will differ on some things 
  (United offers McDonald's Happy Meals with a toy for the kids or 
  kiddies-at-heart; American offers a Weight  Watchers entree). My 
  favorite is the fruit platter. Guaranteed to be the freshest meal, 
  these usually include sliced melon, pineapple, grapes, strawberries. 
  Requests for special meals  must be made 24 hours in advance. Special 
  meals are served  before all regular meals (remind your flight 
  attendant prior to meal service).
o Wear ear plugs on the airplane to reduce engine noise. I prefer the 
  squishy spongy ones that snuggle right into your ear canal. Remember 
  that listening to your walkman will only mask the  engine noise, not 
  reduce it.
o Many travel stores carry inflatable neck pillows shaped like the 
  letter "C" that crook your neck for napping. These will prevent your 
  neck from getting stiff and sore.
o Always ask for a glass of water along with your drink. Or bring your 
  own bottled water.
o Stay away from caffeine and alcohol during the flight. These  will 
  dehydrate your body and potentially give you a headache (which, if you
  remedy with an aspirin, would be a bad idea for  getting your new 

TATTOO CARE KIT: If you get a new tattoo during the convention, it may
be a few days before you get back to the tranquility of your home. Take
along a "tattoo care kit" with you to begin caring for your new tattoo
while you are still at the convention. I have outlined what I personally
use when I travel (Johnson's baby products travel pack) in the "healing
a new tattoo" section in the FAQ. I particularly recommend products that
are very mild and/or hypoallergenic, so you have less chance of skin
problems. Many pharmacies and mega-marts sell one- or two-ounce travel
bottles of soap, lotion, etc. I suggest you try some of them for a while
on a test patch on your skin to make sure you are not allergic. Red,
itchy swollen rashes due to an allergic reaction to skin lotion is not a
nice way to be traveling with a new tattoo.

If you are going to be flying for many hours, you might want to find a
way to cover your tattoo so it doesn't stick to your clothes. Any
barrier is fine (tissue, handkerchief), but put this on before you fall
asleep on your flight.

The author of this FAQ is not only knowledgeable about tattoos; she is a
veteran of packing, and is recognized "expert packer" for the travel reservation web site. Read her Travelite FAQ at the library at

If you return home with your new tattoo and find that it is not healing
as quickly, dab a little bit of antibiotic cream on it for a couple of
days to see if it settles down. Whatever problems you're having with
your tattoo are probably attributable to travel stress.

 --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--

This ends "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ Part 4/9: Tattoo Conventions."
This should be followed by "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 5/9--Artist List."

REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 5/9--Artist List

Message-ID: <REPOST-15966.5127258301.133026123.88195800781.6ojp7g$>
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From: (Stan)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.bodyart,news.answers,rec.answers
Subject: REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 5/9--Artist List
Followup-To: rec.arts.bodyart
Date: 16 Jul 1998 02:40:48 GMT
Organization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
Expires: August 15, 1998
X-Original-Message-ID: <6ojp7g$>
Summary: This posting contains a bibliography of various sources
      available on the topic of tattoos. Anyone who wishes to read/post
      to the RAB newsgroup, or obtain tattoos should read this first.
X-Comments: DtR Repost: The following Usenet article was cancelled,
X-Comments: more than likely by someone other than the original poster.
X-Comments: Please see the end of this posting for a copy of the cancel.
X-Comments: Dave the Resurrector can be contacted at

Archive-name: bodyart/tattoo-faq/part5
Last-modified: June 13, 1998
Posting-frequency: Monthly

 --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--
| * * * *  |
|  4 STAR  |
|  SITE!   |

This FAQ is maintained by Stan Schwarz <>

If you are reading this file using a web browser, and the file you are
looking at is from, click on the other archive
sites to access the FAQs instead. Ohio State's site is no longer
maintained, and continues to provide outdated versions of FAQs.

You can retrieve a copy of the FAQ via anonymous ftp from the MIT FTP
server: <>.

The FAQs are also available on thw World Wide Web at

The rec.arts.bodyart Tattoo FAQ is broken up into 9 parts:
 2/9--Getting a tattoo
 5/9--Artist list <---YOU ARE READING THIS FILE
 6/9--Care of new tattoos
 7/9--General care/removal
 8/9--Misc. info



This file is structured as a traditional FAQ in the form of questions
and answers. Questions answered in this file:

Rec.arts.bodyart FAQ Part 5/9: Tattoo artist list
 - Who is a good/bad tattoo artist near me?
 o Laws on tattooing (primarily in the US)
 US West Coast/Pacific
 US Southwest
 US Midwest
 US Southeast
 US East Coast
 Canada: British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec
 EUROPE/UK: London
 - Where on my body should I get a tattoo?

COPYRIGHT AND DISSEMINATION: Under the Berne Convention, this document
is Copyright (c) 1997 by Lani Teshima-Miller, all rights reserved.
Permission is granted for it to be reproduced electronically on any
system connected to the various networks which make up the Internet,
Usenet, and FidoNet so long as it is reproduced in its entirety,
unedited, and with this copyright notice intact. Web sites are included.
Individual copies may also be printed for personal use.



The following is a list of artists who are personally reviewed by RAB
readers. I've now pulled all unattributed reviews that were in the FAQ
prior to my taking over the maintenance of. What unattributed reviews
there are left are from people who submitted reviews to me long before I
got my act together.

A posting on this FAQ does *not* constitute approval, and is the
personal opinion of the reviewer. For liability purposes, it is YOUR
responsibility to check out the artist. Because I only accept personal
recommendations, this list is limited to those who are known to people
who read RAB There are many excellent artists who have not made it on
this list yet. Just because an artist is not on this list doesn't mean
they're not recommendable. Consider the reviews in this list along the
lines of a restaurant or movie review--YMMV.

If you do not see any artists from your area, I suggest you read the
previous section of this FAQ on HOW to check out a shop yourself.
Another way to is to ask a person with a nice tattoo, which artist did
the work. This by the way, is always a very nice question to ask and
will often elicit a totally different response from the tattooed person
(since comments usually tend to be things like "Is that real?" "Did it
hurt?"). Asking who the artist was that did the work is a compliment
both to the person and his/her artist.

To submit a review, contact <> for an artist
review form via email. ANYONE can review an artist for this
section. If you like your artist, get his name out on the Internet by
writing a review! 

Anyone mentioned here in the artist review who feels they have been
misrepresented or who wish a "right of reply" are invited to send email
to me at <>. The contents of that email will be
posted in its entirety in its first appearance, and a condensed
version included permanently along with the artist's review.



California law states professional tattoo artists are not allowed to
tattoo minors who are under the age of 18. Otherwise unregulated.

Bay Area

222 TATTOO, 222 Eighth Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, 415 255-8222
Rates: $120/hr, $50 min; $25-$50 cash deposit required when making
appt. Cash, credit cards.
Reviewed 11/97 by Art Richards <>
SHOP REVIEW: 2.5 blocks south of Market in industrial neighborhood.
Newly remodeled, spacious, bright, airy, clean, pleasant, a lot of
artwork & plants. Excellent sound system and good CD collection. Makes
every other shop I've been to look like a hole in the wall.
ARTIST REVIEW--EDDIE DEUTSCH: World-class custom artist, formerly of Ed
Hardy's Tattoo City. Honed his art by working with many well-known
names. Easy chairside manner. Works mainly freehand, fantastic color
sense; very fast, takes few breaks hence probably less expensive than
artists charging less. Tattooing for 10 years. Booked at least a month

BLUE BUDDHA, 1959 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley, CA  94703, 510-549-9860
Priced by piece; ongoing, such as back pieces, $120/hr. Cash only.
Work featured at <>.
Reviewed 7/97, updated 7/98 by Art Richards <>.
SHOP REVIEW: Across the street from the BART station in a row of small
shops. The studio is small and a little cluttered. John works in an
alcove at the back, Will out front. Usual sanitary precautions observed
(gloves, ink cups, sterilization, etc.). A large selection of flash in
the waiting area. Alcove can be blocked off for privacy.
ARTIST REVIEW--JOHN DOUGHERTY: Hell of an artist! I picked out a small
flash phoenix; he used basic orientation, but completely redrew it and
did a full color rendering before we started. Got a lot of attention at
a recent convention. Easy to talk to. Has been tattooing 10 years,
apprenticed with Kev Heath. Heavily tattooed himself, full sleeves. 
Many of his excellent custom sketches mounted on the walls.
ARTIST REVIEW--Will Burgess: Very crisp outlining, beautiful detailed
work. Foo dog has intense, evenly applied color.  Has been tattooing
for five years.  Apprenticed with Bert Rodriguez.  

DIVERSITY, 1419 Broadway, Walnut Creek, 94596. Ph: 925-939-7901
$100/hr, $40 minimum, Cash, major credit and debit cards
Reviewed 6/98 by Art Richards <>
SHOP REVIEW: Downtown across from the library.  Diversity is a head
shop (clothes, posters, incense, smoke shop, bongs, etc.  About a
fourth of the main area is partioned off for two tattooists and one
piercer.  Fairly private and additional screens can be put up for the
shy.  Usual sanitary precaustions observed, new needle for each
client.  No smoking.  Good parking in city garage across the street
for $2 max. 
ARTIST REVIEW--Benja Burlingame: Benja is very congenial and easy to
talk to.  He has been tattooing for 4 1/2 years.  Trained at Academy
of Art College, San Francisco.  Does good clean work, nice light
touch.  About half of his work is flash.  Very good artist, I've seen
some of his custom work on others and it is excellent.  I plan on
getting a larger piece from him soon. 

TATTOO ARCHIVE, 2804 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley 94702. Ph: 510/548-5895
$100/hour, $45 minimum. Cash and major credit cards.
Reviewed 5/96 by Ann Duveneck <>
SHOP REVIEW: Very clean (he wears gloves while tattooing etc.) and
fascinating (lots of pictures and curios). When he worked on my legs,
he locked the door for privacy. When he did my shoulder (with my OK),
he let people wander in; this made me feel I was getting the total
tattoo experience! Neighborhood is old part of town; but I never felt
unsafe or was hassled on the street.
ARTIST REVIEW--CHUCK ELDRIDGE: Best known as a tattoo historian, but
does beautiful work of his own. A great conversationalist but not overly
chatty. Really listened and was open to my ideas about the design, but
also made suggestions to maintain artistic quality. He's had this shop
15 years. Won't do faces, hands, or necks. Heavily tattooed himself; 
has collected tattoos from all over the world.

TATTOO CITY, 722 Columbus Ave, SF, CA 94133 415/433-9437
Cost: $125/hr, cash/credit cards.
Shop reviewer: Karl Elvis MacRae <>.
SHOP REVIEW: The best in shop in SF (Actually, without a doubt the best
in the state; possibly the best in the country). Owned by Ed Hardy; the
guys who work there are simply great. You cannot go wrong with them.
ARTIST REVIEW--UPDATE AS OF 9/25/95, with new information provided by
Francesca Passalacqua <>, Hardy's wife.
NALLA <>: Blackwork; excellent artist. Also
knowledgeable about piercings, "a young guy from New York."
IGOR MORTIS: A great tattooer from Holland. UPDATE AS OF 97: Igor
is now working out of a Black Cat Tattoo in Kailua, Hawaii (on Oahu).
COLIN STEVENS: A young American who was raised in Japan. He's more
comfortable in Japanese than in English, but his English is nearly
perfect. His design sense is clearly Japanese. He is an amazing
artist, doing Japanese-style work.
Review 11/96 by Michael VanDercreek <>:
SHOP REVIEW: Flash from many styles adorn the walls of this medium-sized
tattoo parlor. Wide variety of music enjoyed by the even wider variety
of customers. Walk-ins accepted as possible but reservations highly
recommended as this is very busy shop with well known artists. It is
obvious that sanitation is a high priority here.
ARTIST REVIEW--NALLA SMITH: Fine-art illustration (SF/fantasy, anime,
comic book, gothic tribalism, nouveau design), undeniably first rate.
Portfolio shows mastery of many popular styles but more importantly also
show he has perfected own style. Chair-side manner friendly and caring
without sacrificing attention paid to artwork. True artist and will work
with you to achieve the perfect piece.

San Jose

PIN UP PARLOUR, 520 South Second St, San Jose CA 408/279-3582.
Reviewer: J. Eric Townsend <>
* UPDATE! Klem is now online at <>, and is*
* now at a shop called "Marks of Art," also in San Jose.     *
ARTIST REVIEW--KLEM <>: Went to Klem on the advice
of Karl MacRae. Klem helped figure out the right size of the piece I
wanted; talked to me quite a bit about visual vs. physical balance of
the placement of a tattoo ; answered all my questions about how
everything worked, what he was doing, why he did it, etc. Sems to
specialize in non-geometric, like Asian fish designs (he's got some
beautiful drawings of koi in his booth).

Reviewer: Karl Elvis MacRae <>
ARTIST REVIEW--PINKY YUEN: Used to be one of the best around--one of the
first Hong Kong tattooist to come over here and start a shop, so I
consider it something of an honor to be wearing his work. However in his
advanced age (70s?), he's not the same as he was. When he tattooed me
(twice, the first about 12 years ago, the second more like 9), he was
still doing OK work if he liked you, so I got some decent stuff.


BACK DOOR STUDIO, 1316 Del Paso Blvd, Sacramento, 95815
916/927-2136. Noon-8pm. 7 days/week. General Prices: $80/hr.
Reviewer: Richard Talbert <>
SHOP REVIEW: Clean friendly shop, has won the local "News & Review"
newspaper "Best Place to Get a Tattoo" award for 3 out of 4 yrs.
ARTIST REVIEW--JACKIE: Good basic work. Has done 5 tattoos on me from
Mickey Mouse Fantasia to tribal work. Have had her work described as as
crisp sharp lines with an understanding of what a tattoo should be.

LIBERTY TATTOO, 4825 Amber Lane (off College Oak near Auburn Blvd.)
Sacramento, CA 95814. Ph: 916/344-4340. $100/hour, cash only.
Reviewed 5/96 by: Carin Kimble <>
SHOP REVIEW: The shop is spotless. Bill's work area is in the open, but
there are two other rooms with more privacy for the shy. Both the
neighborhood and the other artists are fairly nice.
ARTIST REVIEW--BILL LIBERTY: Nine-time award winner, in the business for
years. Has great chairside manner and work is incredible. My piece is
beautifully done, colorful and unique. People stop me daily to ask where
I got it done. I have had work done by others, but I'll never go back to
them after having gotten work from Bill.

Santa Clara

EDDIE'S SKIN WORKS, 1207 El Camino Real, Santa Clara 408/554-8520
Reviewer: Karl Elvis MacRae <>
ARTIST REVIEW--EDDIE LUM. Highly recommend Pinky's brother, Eddie Lum.
His forte, not surprisingly, is Oriental stuff. Very good w/ flowing
lines, dragons,tigers, flowers. I have 2 pieces from him & am very
pleased. Warning: For custom designs, there's a language barrier, you
may have to explain it several times.

Redwood City

REDWOOD TATTOO, 846-M Jefferson Ave, Redwood City, CA
415/369-6365, walk-ins welcome, but appts have priority. Closed
Sun. & Mon, appts required for custom work. Cash only.
Reviewer: Rebecca Fenton <>
ARTIST REVIEW--PACO DIETZ: Was at Picture Machine (San Francisco);
specializes in fantasy art, custom designs. New shop w/ lots of new
flash. Beautiful tribal and celtic designs, as well as some unusual
Native American designs. Darker style Karl: Apprentice, past experiences
have been scratching out of his home. Specializes in Neo-Japanese. Does
very nice custom work (my favorite of his is a butterfly with a tiger
face peering out at you through the wing designs), experience in
blackwork and fine line.

Santa Cruz

LOVEDOG TATTOOS, 628 "B" Ocean (behind Trading Musician), Santa Cruz 
95060; 408/469-3642
Rate: Under $80/hour, cash only
Reviewed 11/95 by June Petersen <>
SHOP REVIEW: Small place, didn't see much privacy available. Shop was
very clean. Books available in the waiting area with art samples of all
the artists. From what I saw, exacting symmetry might not be her strong
suit, but the more creative work verged from nice to gorgeous.
ARTIST REVIEW--CHERIE: Very professional, friendly, and solicitous of my
comfort. We discussed the work in detail prior to start, and results
were quite pleasing. Aftercare information was quite good. Highly
recommended, based on my work, and the examples of her other work.

Santa Rosa

INKY CELLS TATTOO COMPANY, 821 Santa Rosa Avenue Santa Rosa, CA 95407
(707) 569-9525. Cost: $50 minimum for custom work, cash only.
Reviewed 3/97 by Sharron Darnell <>.
SHOP REVIEW: Tiny, but immaculate & well organized. Located on a busy
street in a dicey but colorful neighborhood. No privacy - shop is too
small. Homey atmosphere, like being in your own living room.
ARTIST REVIEW--DANA TYRRELL: 6+ years experience. Very friendly, with an
almost maternal chairside manner. Will not tattoo hate messages
(swastikas, etc). Amazing portfolio!

Central Valley

Tattoo Time, 1680 Yosemite Pkwy, Merced 
Ph: (209) 388-1067
Reviewed 3/98 by Dragon Don Sewell <>
Shop Review:  The shop is located on the south side of Merced on your
way to Yosemite. The shop is clean comfortable and profeshional. There
is a very large selection of flash and jewelry to choose from.
Artist Review--Dammit Dave Climer: Dammit Dave is probably the finest
flash tattooist I have seen. I have been to many shops and conventions
and still travel over 500 miles for my body work. He is a member of
NTA.APT.APC. and the APP. He has been tattooing for about
13yrs. 5yrs. in his own shop. He has been piercing for about 4yrs.

Greater Los Angeles

BLACK WAVE TATTOO, 118 S. La Brea, LA. 213/932-1900
Reviewer: Lani Teshima-Miller <> FAQ maintainer
ARTIST REVIEW--LEO ZULUETA: An incredibly humble and well-mannered man,
this former Hawaii boy is internationally noted for his bold tribal
blackwork. Amazing to see such bold pieces come out of such a diminutive
person. A nice person who makes your ink session a very pleasant
experience, he lacks the arrogance and attitude that sometimes emerges
with such big stars in this league.

BODY ELECTRIC TATTOO, 7274 1/2 Melrose Ave., LA, 90046.
Ph. 213/954-0408. Payment in cash, credit cards. Rate: $100/hr
Reviewed 8/95 by Lauri Tyeryar <>
SHOP REVIEW: Shop was immaculate, professional, in a clean, touristy
neighborhood, easy to get to. Everyone in the shop was professional,
knowledgeable, and friendly.
ARTIST REVIEW--JESSE TUESDAY: Specializes in custom, Japanese. Did a
great job on my arm. Not at all opposed to working around someone else's
work. Spent ~6 hours there and it was great. Left w/ an amazing piece,
was charged *very* fairly and felt like I'd made a friend. Went the
extra mile to see that we were both satisfied, and there was NO

OUTER LIMITS, 3024 W Ball Rd (@ Beach), Anaheim, CA 92804 714/761-8288.
Reviewer: Tim Lu <>
SHOP REVIEW: Shop wall is covered with awards. Nice front reception
area; work area behind reception counter. Not too much privacy--
individual work areas not divided. [Second shop in Riverside, although
Kari Barba works primarily out of the Anaheim shop: Twilight Fantasy
Tattoo of Riverside, 5517 Van Buren Bl (Sylvan & Van Buren), Riverside,
CA 909/688-8282. M-Th 11-10 FSS 11-11 MC VS AM Disc, cash no checks.]
ARTIST REVIEW--KARI BARBA: Extremely well-known for her work w/ nature &
wildlife. Style reminiscent of a watercolor-like quality, which sets her
apart from many other artists.

PECKER WOODS TATTOO, 16501 P.C.H., Sunset Beach, CA 90742, 310-592-3715
Rates: $125/hr, cash.
Reviewed 3/97 by William Carl Endsley <>
SHOP REVIEW: Very clean shop; hospital sterilization & equipment (e.g.
gurney, arm rest, cleaning solution). Half block from beach in very nice
environment. Easy to find on Coast Hwy. Moderate privacy depending on
area of tattoo. White tiled floor provides operating-room effect. Ample
sunlight through windows while keeping privacy.
ARTIST REVIEW--TROY HARLESS: Originally from Whittier, CA, tattooing
professionally for 8 years. His creativity and passion for the art is
reflected in his custom free-hand designs. His personality makes you
feel at ease, satisfied, yet wanting more.

SKIN WORKS, 313 E. Balboa Blvd, Newport Beach 92661, 714/675-8905
Reviewer: Tim Lu <>
ARTIST REVIEW--ARDEE ALLEN (owner): Excellent, always very professional.
I feel it's important to support women in business--been going to her
for about 5 years and she's done my entire chest & about 3/4 of my back.
Periodically attends conventions, work has appeared in a number of
tattoo magazines. Specialties: Custom work, coverups, colorwork, sumi
(Japanese calligraphy) style grey work.
LYNDA TOBBIN: Talented artist who does very nice custom work.
Piercer: Val.

SUNSET STRIP TATTOO, INC., 8418 Sunset Blvd. W. Hollywood 90069.
213/650-6530. 10am-Midnite 7 days/wk.
Reviewed by Antigone Means <>
SHOP REVIEW: Was quite impressed by their work in magazines, so I went
to check it out. It was clean, the people were very nice, and I was
impressed by the pieces that walked out of there.
ARTIST REVIEW--DOTTIE: I brought my own design; the artwork is
fantastic; lines are straight & even, shading is very
professional--everything I could have wanted! Made getting my tattoo a
highly positive experience, and everyone (other artists included) has
been highly impressed and wanted to know who did it!!

San Diego

AVALON TATTOOS, 1035 Garnet Ave, San Diego, 92109 (Pacific Beach)
619/274-7635. Email: Needles autoclaved, new ink for
each new client. Hours: Noon-8pm. Appts preferred; walk-ins on Sat
only. Cash only. Privacy ensured.
Update: 6/98 from mike <>
Avalon now has a 2nd store opened in San Diego , at 3039 Adams Avenue ,
San Diego Ca. 92104 ph # 619*280*1957 ! It is run by Fip Buchanan.
Reviewer: Lani Teshima-Miller <> former FAQ maintainer
ARTIST REVIEW--PATTI KELLEY: Specializes in bright color work. Award
winner, booked a few months ahead.
FIP BUCHANAN: Graffiti art.
STEVE BARJONAS: Likes all styles but particularly enjoys Native
American gray work.
RANDY: Comic book art-style.

Santa Barbara

TATTOO SANTA BARBARA, 318 State St, or mail: PO Box 777, Santa Barbara,
93101 805/962-7552; fax 805/962-1412. Email: <>.
By appt. Open around noon; Closed M/T. Quotes on small work; $100/hr
on large/custom work. Cash, Visa/MC, AMEX, ATM cards.
Shop Review #1 by Thom Wade <>: Bright, airy shop a
few blocks from pier with most hygienic setup I've ever seen. Work area
separated from walk-ins by a counter. Lots of visual art (hanging fans,
fish, visions of Ireland) in addition to tattoo art. Vast collection of
tattoo art and ideas.
Shop Review #2 4/96 by Sean Corfield <>: Excellent
sterile conditions despite a wonderfully cluttered shop with great guard
dog. Plenty of things hanging from the ceiling to keep the eyes occupied
while being worked on. Lots of soothing music, celtic, new age whatever.
Work area only separated from walk-in area by a counter but still
reasonably private.
Artist Review #1 by Thomas Wade: Pat Fish (owner): Specializes in Celtic
design. Tattooing 10+ years (after UCSB degree). Executes amazing
artistic visions on skin. Honest, direct and professional in every
aspect of her tattooing, making each customer feel his/her work is
important. With an artist's feel for what will look best, she guides
customers to art that looks and wears well.
Artist Review #2 by Aaron Remick <>: Pat is a very frank
and honest sort who really takes a lot of pride in her work, from design
through the finished tattoo. She was very helpful in working out tattoo
design, particularly relating to her knowledge of the Celtic style,
which is extensive.
Artist Review #3 by Sean Corfield <> 4/96: Pat is a
fiercely independent, outspoken woman who doesn't suffer fools gladly.
Taught initially by Cliff Raven, she has built up over 10 years of
experience running her own shop. She takes great pride in her work and
is very patient while dealing with placement and customisation of the
design. Her knowledge of Celtic art and culture is extensive and she has
a real passion for it.

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ATOMIC ART, 1306 NW Hoyt St. St 302, Portland, OR. 503/224-3633
Hours 11am-9pm Tuesday-Saturday, $100/hour, Cash only.
Reviewed 3/96 by: John Thomas Smith <>.
SHOP REVIEW: Clean (autoclave is prominent on a counter) and bright,
located in a older building housing many small businesses. Everyone in
the shop is VERY careful to maintain a sanitary work area.
ARTIST REVIEW--LONDON BELLMAN: All artists in shop do custom work. I had
London copy a picture of a Tiger's face from a book of cats. London
is/was an artist (drawing and sculpture) before doing tattoo. This is my
first so I have no way to compare with others, but EVERYONE who has seen
the work is very impressed. I would recommend London Bellman to anyone.

--==*-< >-*==--

WASHINGTON (State): Laws on tattooing: Nonexistent and unregulated.


DERMA*GLYPHS BY SHADER, 13813 Hwy. 99, Lynnwood, WA 98037
Reviewed 3/97 by Carry Tveit <>
SHOP REVIEW: Very clean, not much on walls, total privacy (blankets over
windows, door to studio, waiting area) in a easy to access area, nice
music, very mellow. Makes own needles, never uses one on more than one
client. Cleans between each color. Blends own colors.
ARTIST REVIEW--SONNY (owner): He took time (an hour!) to discuss the tat
beforehand, been in business for over 27 years, very nice, checks up on
how you are doing often.


DERMAGRAPHICS OF SEATTLE, 1516 Western Ave, Seattle,
206/622 1535, by appointment only,
Reviewer: Lani Teshima-Miller <> FAQ maintainer
ARTIST REVIEW--VYVYN LAZONGA: Specializes in combining bold primitive
lines with colorful, flowing abstract geometrics lines, bubbles, etc.
The whole effect is very pleasing, and rather unique, & would work well
for both men and women.
Reviewer: Gail LaForest-Mall <>
Artist Review--Vyvyn Lazonga: I have found Vyvyn to be very sensitive
and forth-right.  I have great respect for her skill and ability to
sense the needs of the people she works with.  I also admire her
courage in her long history of development and recognition as one of
the world's first female tattoo artists.

SEATTLE TATTOO EMPORIUM, 1106 E. Pike St, Seattle 206/622 6895
Reviewer: Hostess <>
SHOP REVIEW: A girl I worked with (who has 14-15 tattoos) told me that
she and her friends had had bad experiences from them in the past,
stemming primarily from their unprofessional behavior in trying to "hit
on them" in what they perceived as rather unflattering ways. Please
note that this did not happen to me when *I* went, although they did
not provide very good aftercare instructions.
Artist Review #1 by Hostess--HUBBA: I had a decent (if not average)
small rose tattooed by a guy named Hubba at the Seattle Tattoo Emporium.
Artist Review #2 by Kat O'Bryan <>: Okay, I beg to differ
on this one. I got my (very beautiful) tattoo at Seattle Tattoo
Emporium. Jim Hillary was the artist. I have seen other work he has
done, and I thought it was beautiful. Don't know if I would have gotten
any of the other guys there to do it, but I liked what I saw in his
book. Plus he is a nice guy. I get constant compliments on my tattoo
(whenever I wear a shirt that is low enough in back). I guess any place
can have its mistakes.

Slave to the Needle, Seattle
Reviewed 4/98 by Melissa Monson <>
Shop Review:  Great shop, lots of artwork to view and portfolios.clean
place, sterile, good music, friendly artists and comfortable chairs for
your friends while they wait.
Artist Review--Piere:  Piere had a nice portfolio and I took a look it
it and saw good inking, and well done tatts. Most of it was graffiti
style but he adapts well to other types and styles. 


ARTISTIC IMPRESSIONS, 4901 N. Market, Spokane 99207, 509/483-6545
$75/hr (1993 rate).
Reviewer: Victor Swan <>
SHOP REVIEW: Clean, well lit, open feeling shop. Business-like,
professional and congenial for both men and women (sometimes has a
female apprentice). Clientele are both young and old; shop does not
have a biker image, although bikers do come in from time to time. Has
alot of original flash, much of it not priced. He prices this original
flash after he does a piece once. Buys original tattoo artwork from
local artists.
ARTIST REVIEW--DUFFY MOON: Well worth the top rate in this area. Charges
less if it takes less time than estimate; never charges more than the
quoted price. Excellent technique, skill, craftsmanship. Incredible fine
work. Seems to like the opportunity to be creative--adds to/alters
designs on the fly. His personal, almost full-sleeve tattoos were
full-page pictured in _Skin & Ink_, Feb. '94, p. 61. He and his "Most
Unusual" award winning tattoo from the Chicago Tattoo Tour '93 are in a
full-page picture in _Tattoo Ink_, Jan. '94, p. 64.

IDAHO--Tattooing laws: Nonexistent and unregulated.

EYE OF THE DRAGON, 416 S 5th Ave C, Pocatello, ID, 83204;
(208) 232-7829. Appts/walk-ins welcome.
Reviewer: Antigone Means <>
ARTIST REVIEW--TOKEN TOM: Specializes in blackwork, and charges $5 for
each extra color. My custom frog piece looked like an outline with some
coloring in; the shading wasn't right and in 2 months the color started
to fade!! He & apprentice Jan were very nice, but I didn't want to go
back to get my tatt redone there after that experience. You will have a
problem if smoking bothers you. Permanent eyelining done, and now have a
resident piercer.

TY'S TATTOOS, 690 Yellowstone Av. Pocatello 83201, 208/234-4577.
Very reasonable rates. Appts/walk-ins welcome.
Reviewer: Antigone Means <>
SHOP REVIEW: Small but very clean; no smoking in front room.
ARTIST REVIEW--TY: Specializes in custom, tribal, and bright colors.
Very pleased with the results. Not totally perfect; some lines not as
even as could be on the outline, but pretty darn good. Excellent
shading, vibrant colors. Definitely an artist, not just
fill-in-the-space person. Definitely got more than my money's worth.
Ty's apprentice, Pat, drew up the outline freehand, and did an excellent
job. Ty guarantees his work and will do touchups for free with no

--==*-< >-*==--



A BLACK CAT TATTOO, 137 Hekili, Kailua, 808/263-5535
Open daily. Cash, Visa, Mastercard.
Artists: Igor Mortis (formerly of Tattoo City in San Francisco), and
Kandi Everett (formerly of China Sea).

CHINA SEA TATTOO, 1033 Smith, Honolulu, 808/553-1603
Reviewer: Lani Teshima-Miller <> FAQ maintainer.
SHOP REVIEW: The oldest tattoo studio in the US with a grand tradition.
In Chinatown area near Downtown Honolulu. Suggest going during the day
(hours: Noon-11pm) to avoid seedy nightlife scene.
ARTIST REVIEW--MIKE MALONE, DOUG HARDY: All excellent. Mike very active
in the tat world, and attends tat conventions. Doug Hardy is Don Ed
Hardy's son, and has been working at China Sea now for over three years.

SKIN DEEP TATTOOING, 2128 Kalakaua Ave, Hon. 808/924-7460.
If in Waikiki, you may want to stop by; right on the main strip. Place
is run by Winona Martin & several of her workers. Advertises heavily;
may be pricy due to Waikiki location.


--==*-< >-*==--



BOLDER INK, 2735 Iris Ave., Suite A, Boulder CO 80304, (303) 444-7380
$100/hour shop rate for custom work, cash and credit cards, including
Visa, MC and Discover.
Reviewed by S. "Elusis" Thomas <>.
SHOP REVIEW: Clean, comfortable, *very* friendly. Each artist has own
private booth area. Jennifer's is right in front w/ glass windows around
the top, but I doesn't feel too exposed. Safety/hygiene credentials and
workshop certifications displayed prominently. Portfolios for each
artist available out front: all quite impressive.
ARTIST REVIEW--JENNIFER was extremely friendly during our consultation,
enthusiastic about my choice of subject. She took the sketches and
pictures I brought in and did her own drawing from them over the next
week. I was especially pleased with her color work and the detail of her
shading. I understand that she's leaving Boulder at the end of August to
open a shop in Portland, OR.
Reviewed 4/98 by Anna Bunce <>
Shop Review: Autoclave, of course. Lance explains all sterilization,
and is aware of cross-contamination. He has been working with the
Health Dept. to develop a code for tattooists and piercers. Shop is
very clean, in a sort-of upscale mini mall. All 4 artists have their
own rooms off the reception area, so privacy is not a problem. No
smoking in the shop.
Artist Review--Lance Talon: Lance has a BFA from San Fran Art
Institute. Member APP/APT. Very polite and considerate. A cool guy
who also happens to be a great artist. 

BOUND BY DESIGN, 1121 Broadway, Boulder CO 80302, (303) 786-7272
Rates: Up to $200 an hour for custom work. Cash, credit cards.
Reviewed by S. "Elusis" Thomas <>
SHOP REVIEW: I encountered a "hipper-than-thou" attitude from the
artist, who quoted me what I thought was a high rate. His portfolio did
not seem to have many photos or custom work. Perhaps I felt judged about
my "normal" appearance and lack of experience with tattoos.


--==*-< >-*==--


Bill's Wild West Tattoo Shop
711 Alarid Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501 (505) 982-9421
Reviewed 6/98 by Anne Ruisi <>
SHOP REVIEW: The shop looked immaculately clean, and there was obvious
regard to sanitation procedures being followed  right in front of
me. Lots of flash art, neatly organized into large flip racks on the
wall were available to browse. The shop is right off the main roads in
Santa Fe, yet in a nice private alcove of the street.
ARTIST REVIEW--Mark: Mark told me he had no formal artistic training,
but spent most of his life drawing and watching other tattoo artists
and he's been working with Bill for the past two years. I am extremely
pleased with the way my difficult piece turned out. 


--==*-< >-*==--

ILLINOIS: Illinois Compiled Statutes Annotated @ 16-5-71 (1993):
Professional tattoo artists are not allowed to tattoo minors under the
age of *21*. Violations are considered a Class C misdemeanor. Otherwise

60657, 312/404-5838, (blk so. of Belmont, w. of Broadway), email:
<> Daily: M-Th 2-10p, F/Sa 2-Midnite, S 2-6p.
Cash, Visa/Mastercard. Appointments required for tattoo work. Resident
tattooist as of 3/97 is Misha.
Reviewer: Phredd Groves <>
Owned by Mad Jack, I can personally recommend these guys as far as
piercing & professionalism goes.

CHICAGO TATTOOING COMPANY, 922 W Belmont, Chicago, 312/528 6969.
Reviewer: Marla Clayman <>
SHOP REVIEW: Clean; on one wall there's a list saying something like
"things to look for in a safe tattoo environment" (cleanliness, etc)
which put me even more at ease because I knew questions would be
welcomed. No smoking. In a very gay-friendly and fun area. Rates:
$100/hr. Cash, credit cards
ARTIST REVIEW--ROB(ERT) HIXON: Seems to enjoy cover-up work. Has a
background in design and drafting, been tattooing for a couple of years.
Very friendly (and patient) to first-timers, and I saw a lot of cover-up
work I was impressed by in his portfolio. Willing to speak about other
artists he liked. Others he's inked that i've talked to have been very
pleased as well.

GUILTY + INNOCENT PRODUCTIONS, 3105 N. Lincoln, Chicago 60657,
312/404-6955 tattoos, 404-6963 merchandise. Mail-order catalog $1.
Reviewers: Phredd Groves <>, Dawn Grace
Russell <> and Lani Teshima-Miller <>
FAQ maintainer.
SHOP REVIEW: In an unassuming neighborhood with many empty shops. Could
easily miss this small shop if you weren't looking for it. Front area
looks rather dark with black walls, reminiscent of a bachelor pad.
Actual work area half a flight up in the back on a custom-built floor.
Air conditioning as of 6/95. --Lani.
ARTIST REVIEW--GUY AITCHISON: Booked a year and a half in
advance--deposit required, call for details. Award-winning artist,
highly skilled, very adept at translating your wishes into reality, hot
stuff! Well worth the price and long waiting period. $150/hr, includes
consultation/drawing time. --Phredd
An incredibly gifted artist with a personality to match; unassuming
and unpretentious, Guy seems more driven by an inner need to express
his art than in making a buck--I was impressed both by his work and
his person! --Lani
Notes: Dawn says *GUY DOES FRACTAL WORK*!
 Rob Koss no longer at G+IP as of 1996.

I'M NO ANGEL PRODUCTION, 2606 W. Farmington Rd., Peoria, 61604.
309/673-4930. Open Noon to 8pm everyday. New needles and ink for each
new customer. Appointment required.
Reviewer: Steven Parks <>
ARTIST REVIEW--WANDA HARPER (owner): Specializes in Celtic and Native
American designs, as well as piercings. Learned from Jim Hawk
(Galesburg), who occasionally stops by for a visit, and people in town
who know him may come in for a special tat. Wanda looks out for her
customers and won't do work that won't turn out--It's all in the

LIVING COLOR TATTOOS, 1622 Broadway, Mattoon 61938, 217/234-9611
Appointments only; will take walk-ins if appointments are cancelled.
Rate: $100/hour, cash only.
Reviewed 2/96 by Brad Koehler <>.
SHOP REVIEW: Nice large building in the nicest block of downtown
business district. High ceilings, well-lit work area, walls covered w/
colorful sheets of flash. Curtains can be drawn around work area for
privacy. Very clean; new needles/surgical gloves every time, all
equipment autoclaved, health department inspected/approved.
ARTIST REVIEW--DAVE "TOAD" BALDWIN: Only artist in shop. Accomplished
artist, owned/operated own shop for the 14 yrs. Excellent with the
clients, has great reputation and large following in the east central
Illinois. Very professional, explains everything, will answer all
questions. Has also been doing piercings for the past couple of years.

TATTOO FACTORY, 4408 N. Broadway , Chicago IL 60640, 312-989-4077
Cash, credit cards.
Reviewed 7/96 by: Rob Voorwinden <>
SHOP REVIEW: Large shop in relaxed neighborhood. A lot of designs
(looked for large tribal design for upper leg in various Netherlands &
London shops; finally found it here). Shop looks very clean. New razor,
needle and new plastic cover on the disinfectant spray for each
customer. This shop seems much cleaner than most shops I've seen.
ARTIST REVIEW--HARLAN ROSS: Very friendly, takes time for his customers.
Took some effort to get the design on the right place on my leg. Harlan
worked on me for 2.5 hours. The tattoo is really great: 13" wide, and on
its highest point 4" high. I paid 400 dollars for it and got two free
t-shirts as a bonus :)

--==*-< >-*==--

IOWA--Tattooing laws: ?

Creative Images, 4817 University Ave #7, Des Moines
Ph: 515 277 8288, $80 per hour
Reviewer: Jeff Gitchel <>
Shop Review: Excellent atmosphere, good location, many books of
art. Air conditioned, comfortable, and very clean. Smoking not allowed
in shop, nor persons under 18 (by law). Tattoos by appointment only.
Artist Review--Sherry: Sherry is the shop owner. She is very willing
to answer questions, and fun to talk to. She is very well known, among
those concerned for quality, for her excellent detail and single
needle work. I saw many people wearing examples of her fine work
before I called. I will be calling her again.
Reviewer: Davo Wilkins <>
Artist Review--Sherry Sears:Sherry has been tattooing for over 15
years in Des Moines. Her bed side manner is calm and relaxing and she
will let you bring in cds and make the experence as personal as
possible. She has a keen eye for placing and drawing the tattoo to fit
the body. She does mostly custom work. 

--==*-< >-*==--

KANSAS--Tattooing laws: unregulated.

SKIN ILLUSTRATIONS, 9970 Sante Fe Dr (87th Street), Overland Park.
Ph: 913/642-7464.
Reviewer: Robert Goings <>
SHOP REVIEW: Professional, VERY clean, excellent relaxing atmosphere;
great for both first-timers and experienced. Prices: $50/hr for
standard work and $65/hr for custom work. Some piercings also done:
Average price: $25 + jewelry.
ARTIST REVIEW--UNCLE RUSSELL: An excellent artist who's very versatile
in the use of colors and shades.
Jake: A very good artist also excellent with shading.
Matt: Shop apprentice.

--==*-< >-*==--

MICHIGAN--Tattooing laws: unregulated.

CREATIVE TATTOO, TATTOO AS ART, 307 E Liberty St. Ann Arbor, 48104.
313/662-2520. $100 minimum, $200/hr depending on work.
Cash only. Reviewer: Jami Goldstein <>
SHOP REVIEW: Very clean, bright, airy, nicely decorated with lots of
reference books and magazines for people who need to find the right
artwork. Makes you feel immediately at ease. Privacy is very important,
closed room for tattooing and she won't allow interruptions while she's
working. Barbara-her piercer and desk person is also very friendly.
personable, used to be a school teacher and definitely has a way with
people. She has some incredible body art too.
Artist review #2 by Jean-Luc Reutter <>:
Suzanne has great custom designs, preferably black only or celtic.
Skilled artist but sometimes lacks motivation w/ smaller pieces;
results may vary in quality. Usually by appt only, very rarely walk-
ins. Sometimes guest artists. Nice friendly atmosphere.
Artist review #3 by Lance "Zaphod" Bailey <>:
She really doesn't specialize in Celtic stuff. Used to, but doesn't
any more--says her old eyes aren't good enough for it. Was in her shop
yesterday and she seemed pretty disinterested in doing Celtic stuff on
me. Maybe Celtic- inspired, but it's going to take some work from me
to get a design she's willing to do, & I'm willing to wear...sigh. But
she does specialize in being good :) I saw a wizard she did yesterday
and it was so very nice.
Piercer: Barbara

--==*-< >-*==--

MINNESOTA--Tattooing laws: unregulated.

ACME TATTOO CO, 1045 Arcade St, St. Paul, 612/771-0471
Reviewer: Erik Nelson <>
Expensive. Pre-designed tats are costly & other work is $200/hour (as
of '92). Acme's highlight used to be Dave Black. Dave however, has
moved onto another shop (see next entry).

ALLEY CAT TATTOO, 597 N Snelling Ave, St Paul, 55104
612/641-1663. Reviewer: Erik Nelson <>.
ARTIST REVIEW--DAVE BLACK: Even better than he used to be, and has
affordable prices ($125/hr as of 1/95). Very good with coverups, tho' he
also does black & grey, tribal, cartoons, and just about anything. He
does a lot of custom work, but also has flash available.

--==*-< >-*==--

OHIO--Tattooing laws: unregulated.

8-BALL TATTOO, 2593 Indianola Ave, Columbus 43202, 614/784-8850,
2-10 pm Tues-Sat. $30 min; $30 deposit; competitive prices. Cash
only. Reviewer: Janet Ingraham <>
SHOP REVIEW: Looks a bit on the shoestring side: fairly bare, folding
chairs etc. They DO have a Magic 8-Ball. NO flash on the walls!
Instead, they have a display of excellent bumper stickers by a local
artist (eg: "Warning: Mind Control Experiments next 5 Miles") and other
artwork. Shop is on the fringes of a cozy and settled part of town
(Clintonville). Friends come and hang out.
ARTIST REVIEW--ADAM "ATOMIZER" GRAY: Color work and cover-up. At 23, he
recently won his first national award for cover-up work. Eric
(apprentice): Accomplished local painter, will probably be most into
doing custom.

CHRONIC TATTOOAGE, 104 Cleveland St, Elyria, OH 44035, (216) 323-9656
Rate:m $80.00/hour, cash only.
Reviewed 12/95 by Monica Jones <>
SHOP REVIEW: In a nice, safe neighborhood with parking behind the shop.
Entire staff is friendly and knowledgable, I felt very comfortable
walking in the first time. Tony works in a private cubicle with a door
for privacy, and holds himself and all his staff to a very high standard
of sanitation and professionalism.
ARTIST REVIEW--TONY DERIGO (owner): Tattooing professionally 3 years.
Experienced in various types of art (airbrush, acrylics, oils); much of
work he does are his original drawings. Have never felt as comfortable
with an artist as I do with Tony; has a knack for putting you totally at
ease. Actually fell asleep during my first sitting on my back piece.

TATTOOS BY WOODY, TOLEDO TATTOO, 2068 Airport Hwy, Toledo, 43609
419/382 8805. Reviewer: Jean-Luc Reutter <>
SHOP REVIEW: Needles autoclaved but I don't know about new ink for every
customer. Good custom designs, by appointment only, very reasonable
prices. Refuses to do swastika sh*t. Clean & friendly atmosphere.

VIKING STUDIOS, 1988 N High St, Columbus, 43210 614/294-1505
Cash and checks. Reviewer: Jennifer Engel (Jen Angel)
SHOP REVIEW: The shop is in the campus area and has a very professional,
yet unintimidating atmosphere that's probably due to the very easy-
going styles of Lars and Iggy (who works the front), both in their 20s.
The studio has no flash; is comfortable, easily accessible. The actual
studio where the work takes place is very clean and private.
ARTIST REVIEW--LARS JOHANSSON: Lars did some piercings on me, but I have
witnessed his work in progress and after completion. He does some really
amazing artwork and I respect him first as an artist and then as a
tattooer. I could not be more impressed with his attitude toward
tattooing and toward life in general. I feel the prices are very fair
and lower than other shops i have been in.

WISCONSIN: Statute @ 948-70 (1991-1992) prohibits tattoo artists from
tattooing "children" (age not specified--assume 18). Violators are
guilty of a Class D forfeiture. Otherwise unregulated.


T.O.C. TATTOOZ, 2525 N. 15th St., Sheboygan, WI 53081. 414-451-1109
Cost: $50/hour $30 minimum, cash.
Reviewer: Michelle Owen <>
SHOP REVIEW: Quiet neighborhood, 4' high partition between waiting area
and tattooing area, autoclave, disposable needles and gloves, relaxed
atmosphere, smoking allowed, soda available.
ARTIST REVIEW--SCOTTY K.: Easy going, relaxed, helpful and suggestive
with design creation, superior use of shading, does work at a
comfortable pace, talkative and friendly.


--==*-< >-*==--

ARKANSAS: State Annotated @ 5-27-228 (1993) allows the tattooing of
minors with the written consent of the minor's parent, legal guardian or
legal custodian.

DOC WALKER'S, Highway 71 S., West Fork, Arkansas 72774, (501) 839-8287
Reviewed by BrYan Westbrook <> 8/96:A
Sanitation: by the book for Arkansas which is very stricy. Environment:
good, privacy: excellent, neighborhood: rural, secluded.
ARTIST REVIEW--SAMMI WALKER: Apprenticed with her husband, "Poco", who
founded the shop. was able to put me at ease with my first tattoo
experience. background in fine arts.

--==*-< >-*==--


Lance Bailey <> says he was happy w/ Mike.

Reviewer: Sean Walsh <> says this is an excellent shop.
Very clean, professional. Visiting artists on a regular basis. Custom
work: $100/hour, but are worth it.
Louie Lombi (owner)
Ed Lombi (Louie's brother).

--==*-< >-*==--

GEORGIA: Official Code of Georgia Annotated @ 16-5-71 (1993) states that
it is illegal to tattoo a person under the age of 16. Violators are
guilty of a misdemeanor. Also, OCGA @ 16-12-5 states that it is illegal
to tattoo within one inch of an eye socket. Otherwise unregulated.

BLACK CAT TATTOO, 5047 Suite B Memorial Dr. Stone Mountain, GA
30083. 404/292-8192. Reviewer: Rick Thompson <>
Open 7 days/wk. Walk-ins welcome on weekends. Ave. $100/hr, depending
on type of work. Cash only
SHOP REVIEW: Very clean,they use autoclave and new needles.Each artist
has their own booth to work in. All of the artists are very friendly
and helpful.
ARTIST REVIEW--ALBEE (owner): I have had 6 pieces done by Albee, 2 of
which are large cover ups. One is a right upper arm oriental-style
sleeve, one a left full calf custom, one a left forearm dragon & wizard
piece,one a left shoulder snake and rose cover,one a left upper arm
eagle cover.
SHANE MORTON: I have only had one piece done by Shane but I am getting
ready to start another one.The one I have is a right calf black & grey
custom piece incorporating biomechanical, macabre, Shane Morton,I have
only had one piece done by Shane but I am getting ready to start another
one.The one I have is a right calf black & grey custom piece
incorporating biomechanical, macabre, and portrait.
Other artists: Mac, Tommy, Lesley

SACRED HEART TATTOO, INC. 483 Moreland Ave. (Ste 5, Hartz Bldg,
Little Five Points), Atlanta, GA 30307. 404/222-8385 M-Sa: Noon-
Midnight; S: Noon-10p. Minimum $40 (officially, not by the hour; but
from my experience I'd guess $100/hr) Cash or Visa/MC (no checks)
Reviewer: Paul Tod Rieger <>
SHOP REVIEW: Recommended to me by several RABbits. Very clean; well-
ordered. There's a side room if you want privacy. The neighborhood is
friendly and safe; the National Tattoo Association voted it the Best
Tattoo Studio 1995.
ARTIST REVIEW--TONY OLIVAS (owner): Black & grey. Work featured in
Tattoo (1/95), Tattoo Ink (3/94). I especially liked a blue color that
was in his portfolio. He was interested in my idea and took the time to
help me articulate it. Professional chairside manner Gave me a list of
care guidelines and discussed them with me.

Subtle Strokes Tattoo Studio, 4145 Houston Avenue, Macon
Ph: 912-785-1888
Reviewed 2/98 by Allison Altman <>
Shop Review: Subtle Strokes is one of the cleanest tattoo studios I've
ever been in. There is plenty of privacy where the actual work is
done. It has a large waiting area and tons of flash!There are two
artists: John & Lil' Rat.
Artist Review--Lil' Rat: Lil' Rat is very professional when he's
working. He has a good chairside manner. He has been tattooing since
1981, and he first worked for Sailor (Bill Kingsworth.)

--==*-< >-*==--


Tatoo Charlie's, 470 New Circle Rd., N.E., Lexington
Ph: 606-254-2174
Reviewer: Kathy Cornelison <>
Shop Review: Tattoo Charlie's is the cleanest in Lexington. They have
two chairs in the open so patrons can watch tattoo's being
performed. They also have a curtained off section for those who wish
to be more discreet. The shop is located off of a major road, very
easy to find. 
Artist Review--Mike Haney: He has been featured in several tattoo
magazines for his work and his tattoos. Very professional, explains
the process in detail before starting. I would highly recommend him to
anyone interested. 

--==*-< >-*==--

LOUISIANA: Louisiana Revised Statutes 14:93.2 (1992) states that
tattooing minors under 18 is legal only with the consent of a parent.
Violators are fined $100 to $500. Otherwise unregulated.

New Orleans

ELECTRIC EXPRESSIONS, 2327 Veterans Blvd. Ste B, Kenner, LA
70062. (504) 464-0053. Appointments preferred. $100/hr. Cash only
Reviewer: Douglas Pugh <>
SHOP REVIEW: Shop was very clean and well lit. Sanitary. Autoclaves. New
needles. 3 artists working when I was there. Some groupies hanging
around, but nothing too bad. Friendly to inexperienced people like
myself. Very non-intimidating. Curtains available for privacy.
Artist review #1 by Douglas--English Craig: I can only provide my
impressions as a person getting their first tattoo. Very nice, willing
to work with you if inexperienced. Explained everything he was doing.
Took his time. He has done work on myself and 4 of my friends, all
small, original pieces, and everyone was satisfied.
Artist review #2 by Lani Teshima-Miller <> FAQ Maintainer
Henri: Considered one of the better artists in N'Awlins area,
personally recommended by Elayne Binnie (Rings of Desire below). We
visited this shop looking to get some work done, was told Henri lived
next door to the shop. We never got any work because Henri, knowing we
were there, made us wait for over an hour while he "took a shower"
(according to his apprentice). I looked at his flash--the work was
good--however I personally am not willing to patronize businesses that
think they can keep potential customers waiting in the lobby (he
could've easily let his apprentice tell us to come back in 2 hours).
Reviewed 3/97 by Cynthia Higginbotham <>:
SHOP REVIEW: Upstairs in small commercial building behind strip mall on
Metairie thoroughfare. Clean, well-lit; lots of flash
in front, portfolios on table. Work done in open area behind counter, s
creened area/separate room available. Clean bathroom in back of shop.
Artists wear gloves, have autoclave, stuff taken out of autoclave
packages when ready to use.
ARTIST REVIEW--MIKE VOLENTINE: Soft-spoken, polite, likes doing large
custom pieces of fantasy art. Patient in working thru numerous
revisions. Excellent artist. Technically adept and skilled in
color/shading. Thoroughly reviewed aftercare instructions, gave me a
copy. Very concerned that I follow thru with aftercare for proper

RINGS OF DESIRE, 1128 Decatur St. 2nd fl, New Orleans, LA 70116 Above
"Boomerang" (leather shop), 504/524-6147. Email:
Reviewer: Lani Teshima-Miller <> FAQ maintainer
This is a body piercing shop--tattoos are *NOT* done here. However the
shop owner, Elayne "Angel" Binnie, is the subject of a poster that
shows a tattoo of wings on her back--she also has her entire legs
covered with multi-hued fish scales, done by Juli Moon, that is a true
marvel to behold. If you're down in the French Quarter, visit her shop
just to say "Hi!", gawk at her tattoos and marvel at a true role model
in our bodyart world. She's off Mondays & Tuesdays. (Afterwards, go get
either a muffelata at nearby Central Grocery, or a "debris sandwich" at
Mother's and have cafe au lait & beignets at Cafe du Monde.)

--==*-< >-*==--


BUZZARD & SONS TATTOO, 103 Gardner Blvd. Columbus, MS Ph: 601/327-2901
Licensed by Mississippi State Board of Health. Another shop at 738
McFarland Blvd; another opening in Montgomery, AL. $150/hour for Buzzy
Cash. Reviewed 6/96 by: Cynthia Higginbotham <>
SHOP REVIEW: In commercial area lined with small businesses. A bit
grubby looking; good sanitation on closer inspection: uses autoclave,
sterile needles kept in sealed packages until use, etc. Usual waiting
area with displayed flash, front desk. Restroom off waiting area.
Private room in back for tattooing & piercing.
ARTIST REVIEW--BASS: Apprenticed with his father, Buzzard. Tattooing for
about seven years. Friendly, lots of pierces and tattoos, fun to chat
with. He and my brother-in-law were trading sea stories all through the
tattooing (they're both ex-Navy guys who toured the same area).
Buzzy: Fine line work
Chris: New Age designs

--==*-< >-*==--

NORTH CAROLINA--Tattooing laws: Unregulated.


CHOICE PEACH TATTOO, 304-E . Weaver St Carrboro, NC 27516. 919/932-9888
is excellent. 100% original work, NO flash. By appointment only.
Reviewed 8/93 by Scott Jacobs <>
Nothing but positive recommendations on the ability of the two artists.
They do *only* custom work, no flash. Tom and the other artist have
extensive photo albums of their work, and clippings from publications
featuring their work. Shop is small, very friendly. On-site autoclave.
My blackwork tribal piece from Tom has some of the sharpest edges I've
ever seen. Rates are reasonable, especially considering the amount of
consultations and drawings he did. Not limited to one style.

--==*-< >-*==--

Oklahoma 21 OKI. St. @ 841 (1992) BANS all tattooing across the state.

--==*-< >-*==--

South Carolina Code Annotated @ 16-17-700 (1991) BANS tattooing across
the state, and violation of this is a misdemeanor.

--==*-< >-*==--



BEALE ST TATTOO, 333 Beale St, Memphis, TN 38103, 901-527-5436
Rate: $100 (min. $40), cash.
Reviewed 12/95 by Bob German <>
SHOP REVIEW: No privacy. Relatively clean. I watched him unwrap brand
new needles. Neighborhood?  Well, it's Beale Street, and you have to
have been there to understand. It's the home of the Blues.
ARTIST REVIEW--JAMES FAUST: A little rough, but usually I'm OK with
that. POW/MIA stickers on tool cabinet, and an "Impeach Clinton - and
her draft-dodging husband, too!" sticker. Spent entire time talking
about being in the pen, putting his girlfriend in the pen, and dealing
drugs. Tattoo looked fine when he was done, but a week later the scabs
came off & was splotchy and uneven.

--==*-< >-*==--



ATOMIC TATTOO. 5533 Burnet Rd., Austin, TX 512/458-9693
Rate: $80-100/hr. Cash only.
Reviewed '95 by Robb McCauley <>
SHOP REVIEW: Shop is clean and well it. Usual flash on walls. A wall
separates the work cubes from the "front" of the shop and each cubicle
is separated from each other, with miniblinds for privacy. The piercing
room is separated from the rest of the shop, and has a door. The
autoclave is in the back, but visible.
ARTIST REVIEW--LARRY EDWARDS: Larry actually inked me, and has been
tattooing for 19 yrs. He was very helpful in finalising the work. His
chairside manner is good. He won Best Female Backpiece at the 2nd Texas
Tattoo Shootout this year.
MIKE BELZEL: Did the intial drawing for my tat. His artwork is great.


TATTOOS BY GARY. 807-C W Moore, Terrell, TX 75160 214/563-0312
No set rate. Price set on image and work involved. Cash only,
Reviewer: Joy Ellen McManus <>
SHOP REVIEW: Dallas, in semi-rural Terrell. The shop takes on a psuedo
gawdy chic theme, full of couches and multiple artwork portfolio's. All
required equipment is sterilized thru autoclave and dry heat methods.
Lots of custom flash...
ARTIST REVIEW--GARY JACKSON: Fine detail work/Cover-up work. Tattooing
15+ years. Placed 2nd at 1989 Natl's convention for a full back piece. A
Texan through & through--will talk your ear off or work quietly--very
intuitive about customer's emotional state when tattooing. Very rarely
uses stencils, preferring to hand render images on skin before


DERMOGRAPHICS, 1414 New Boston Rd, Texarkana, TX, (903) 793-2276.
All prices are by piece but relatively cheap; cash only.
Reviewed 9/96 by BrYan Westbrook <>
SHOP REVIEW: Neighborhood is one of the less desireable in Texarkana,
privacy is non-existent as people off the street can walk over to the
work area and look in at any time, she told me that part of the reason
her shop is in the Texas side of town is that the regulations are more
lax than in Arkansas. 
ARTIST REVIEW--SANDY AZANCOT: Most work is freehand, roughed out on the
body itself. The tattoo I received is not of the same proportions as the
original picture from which she was working. she spent a great deal of
the time chatting with friends while working on my tattoo.


--==*-< >-*==--

CONNECTICUT: Connecticut General Statutes 53-41 (1991) makes it illegal
to tattoo minors under the age of 18 without parental consent. Otherwise

--==*-< >-*==--

MARYLAND: Tattooing laws: unregulated.

ARTISTIC CREATIONS, 2785F Ocean Gateway (US Rte 50 W) Salisbury, MD 21801
(410) 860-1999. Rate: $65/hr (varies); cash, credit cards (no checks).
Reviewed 9/96 by Katie Bevard <>
SHOP REVIEW: Incredibly well kept. No Smoking. Work done in separate
room (1 private, 2 semi-private). Busy on weekends from beach traffic,
but very willing to discuss when time allows. Bruce's private work area
is very relaxing and comfortable, with separate stereo system and a ton
of CDs and great books to help ease anxiety.
ARTIST REVIEW--BRUCE GULICK: Very honest about what would/would not make
good tattoos due to size, detail, etc. 1.5 hours spent discussing/
drawing designs. Very quiet & thorough when working, taking his time.
Well worth it! Very patient and professional; made the entire "first
tatoo" experience a very memorable one!

DRAGON MOON TATTOO STUDIO, 208 N Crain Hwy, Glen Burnie, 21061;
410 768 6471. Rates: $100/hr. Cash or credit card, deposit required for
custom work.
Reviewed by Shayna Steinger <>
SHOP REVIEW: A very pleasant place to get inked. Hyper-conscious about
safety and hygiene. All needles are autoclaved and all ink wells are
disposable. Tattoos are administered in a seperate room from the
reception area and in private divided rooms.
ARTIST REVIEW--MICK BEASLEY: Specializes in fine line. President of the
Alliance of Professional Tattooists and famous for her work. You have
her undivided attention and time the moment she begins. Insists time is
not an issue, will discuss designs in detail. We had a great rapport and
I felt confident about her work because her talent was so obvious and
she was so concerned that I be happy with the final product.
Reviewed 1/97 by Deborah Fleming <>
SHOP REVIEW: Pleasant environment, workspace separate from waiting area.
Very good sanitation: my only complaint in fact was that the friend I
brought for moral support was not allowed back in the work area for
sanitary reasons (only artists and clients). Therefore very private as
well--workspace partitioned.
ARTIST REVIEW--CHRIS/PEE WEE: Friendly, offered good advice, willing to
let me chatter. Did beautiful job on knotwork, good shading. Let me look
at the progress (tat on my back, so involved stopping and giving me
mirror. Very encouraging when he found out this was first tattoo. Don't
remember his training, but he works for Mick Beasley, so I assume it was
pretty good.

GREAT SOUTHERN TATTOO CO., 9403 Baltimore Blvd. (Rt 1), College Park, MD
20740. 301/474-8820. Right off the Washington Beltway (495), right up
the street from the Univ. of Maryland College Park Campus.
Reviewer: Kristen Herzog <>
SHOP REVIEW: Operated by a family (Charley, Sandy, and Dee Parsons);
very relaxed atmosphere. Also done some of the best work I've seen in
the area.
Artist review #2 by Stan Schwarz <>: I had some work
done by Dee at the Houston convention (Summer '94). I found her to be
very pleasant to work with, and she did a nice job.
Artist/Shop review #3 by Andy Dwyer <>:
Charley estimated one price, & upped it halfway through. I'd only
gotten from the cash machine what he quoted, and didn't intend to pay
more than the original quote, so the work stopped unfinished. I
suppose it might have been my fault for not getting pissed about it
then. In talking to people about their experiences, they seem to
divide along gender lines. Those who were happy w/ the work were
women, while those unhappy were men. I've heard more than one of them
give the impression that the difference in service might be attributed
to being the only close option in a college town, and not needing to
do a high quality job for the typical frat guy client."

SOUTHERN MARYLAND TATTOO. 4433 Crain Hwy, White Plains. Ph: 301/645-0306
Reviewer: Kris Hakes <>
SHOP REVIEW: I opened the door and walked into a smoky haze that began
to bother my contacts w/in seconds. There were several people sitting
and talking at the desk, and I couldn't tell who worked there. I felt
that 2 of the guys were commenting about my appearance (I was wearing
my business clothes and none of my tattoos were visible). I gave one of
them my rough drawing (a set of straight lines). He went to talk to the
tattooist, who was working on a customer. The guy returned and told me
the tattooist didn't want to do a design that reflected poorly on him
as an artist. I can understand that, but the guy was very short with me
and not very helpful. [Note: I didn't speak directly to the tattooist.]
*RIGHT OF REPLY* 2/96 by Jason Auth <>, owner/operator
SMOKING: Some may not like it, but it is not unsanitary, and seems to
make my (smoking) customers feel more comfortable (we spared no
expense in a ventilation system).
RESPECT: EVERY person gets treated with respect in my studio. Being
tattooed, I know what it's like to be pre-judged. I'd never allow that
to happen in my establishment. I'd quietly remove from my shop any
worker (or friend) who made any bad comments to my customers.
DESIGNS: I'd rather have a customer upset over not getting a tattoo,
than get a piece from me that looks like crap. In this case, I believe
the reviewer took offense when I suggested cleaning up the crudely
drawn design.

--==*-< >-*==--

Tattooing is illegal. Violators are fined with up to $300 and one year
in jail.

--==*-< >-*==--

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Tattooing of minors is illegal (considered "endangering
the welfare of a child"). Otherwise unregulated.

THE TATTOO SHOP, 109 Daniel St, Portsmouth 03801, 603/436-0805.
Reviewer: Fred Jewell <>
Artists: Hobo, Tattoo George
Prices start at $40; ave $100. In business since '76; clean, use
sterile instruments 7 do good solid work.

SIGN OF THE WOLF, Wiers Beach NH, (603)366-2557
Reviewer: Fred Jewell <>
Artists: Dave Sr., Dave Jr., several apprentices.
Friendly, laid back, would make you feel comfortable if anxious. So
clean you can eat off the floor. Dave Jr. has won a few awards. Range:
$100 to $350; average $260 for a fairly large piece. Specialize in
wildlife & American Indian art.

JULI MOON DESIGNS INC., Route 1, PO Box 1403, Seabrook 03874
603/474-2250; fax 603/474-7393. By appt only. Stevie: ~$100/hr. Julie:
$200/hr. Cash & check only, no plastic. $50 deposit required for first-
time clients. Free consultation.
Reviewer: Henry Knight <>
SHOP REVIEW: All work is custom and by appointment only. This is a very,
very, clean and professional shop. Note: The studio is no longer next
to Jim's Tattoo. They have moved across the street to a new gorgeous
and much larger place.
ARTIST REVIEW #1 BY HENRY--JULI MOON: Well known in the industry and
published all over the place, this very classy lady lives up to her
reputation, and is more than worth the wait (up to 9 months these days).
Pick up any magazine to see her work for yourself if you don'tbelieve
me. Truly amazing stuff.
STEVIE MOON: Makes me believe there's something to that genetics stuff
after all. A very personable and nice guy, this young tattooist's
reputation is growing--people are going to hear a lot about him very
soon. Color is definitely his strongest point. My back piece looks as
if it was airbrushed. Has a waiting list, but is much shorter than
Juli's. Does all of my work and I wouldn't think of going elsewhere.
Artist review #2 by Fred Jewell <>: "What can you say about
Juli Moon except, "When?" She is booked a month in advance, and is truly
award winning."

BROTHERS TOO, South Broadway, Salem NH, Exit 1 Off Rt. 93. Licensed &
Board of Health Approved.
Reviewer: Fred Jewell <>
Tattoo Frank scared me. Asked if he'd been vaccinated for Hep A & B he
said, "I only got hepatitis once and that was from a customer." His
brother, "Bennies Tattoos" is just down the street and seems to have the
same kind of attitude.

BILL'S TATTOO PALACE, Broadway , Derry NH, 603/437-8813
Reviewer: Fred Jewell <>
Nice guy, but I set up an appointment & he didn't show! I called back,
and got someone who thought he was doing me a favor by talking to me.
Some of the work is really good but there seems to be a lot of new
people in the shop trying out the profession.

Scorpion Tattooing, Hillside Plaza RT28, Derry
Ph: 603-434-4798
Reviewed 2/98 by Maria Van Amburgh <>
Shop Review: Very clean shop. I felt like i was in a doctor's
office..everything was pure white. No smoking in the shop. No
food. Had plenty of flash and showed custom work from portfolio. Total
privacy on getting tattooed. Complete sterile conditions. Located in
mini mall. Plenty of parking, handicapped accessible.
Artist Review--Mark Hesse (owner): Mark Hesse was a really nice
man. Very easy to talked to, and listened to what i had to
say. Explained everything very professionally. He took his time doing
the tattoo, even though there was a waiting line, I will not go
anywhere else for my tattoo.
--==*-< >-*==--

NEW JERSEY: Tattooing laws: Unregulated.

LAST RITES TATTOO 201/402-2380. "Dark Images by Paul Booth"
You may be familiar with Paul Booth's black & grey work depicting gory
images of sacriligious objects. Although he'sonly been in the business
a few years, he seems to have exploded in infamy for his striking
images, aided in part bythe incredible work he's done on his rather
photogenic girlfriend, Barbara Valverde. The following recommendation
by Reviewer: Deborah Lynn De Graw <>:
I have many tattoos by Paul Booth that I dearly love. I realize his
reputation of gruesome work may put off some people. While he usually
won't do colorwork, he's always been very willing and flexible for me
because he says it shows people he can do it. I was more than pleased
with my back piece, which has kept its color very well. He's sensitive
to my need for balance (symmetry) without my having to say so. He an
intelligent, superb artist who can take anything I give him and turn
it into the most beautiful piece of art. I feel extrememly lucky to
have found him before he became so popular. He's honest and always
careful about keeping everything sterile and safe!

--==*-< >-*==--

NEW YORK: Tattooing laws: Unregulated 

AMERICAN SKIN ART, 472 Oliver St, Tonawanda NY 14120 716-694-9185
Reviewed 8/95 by Leslie Fontanna <>
SHOP REVIEW: Very clean, environment was very friendly and cheerful. The
neighborhood is pretty good. I have no complaints.
ARTIST REVIEW--ED WALKER: Used to work at Paul Massaro's shop, but
left to pursue own business. Very good w/ customers, very concerned
about getting them exactly what they want. Great chairside manner,
honest, and his work is excellent.

716-876-6200. Rate/hour: Approx $150.00
Reviewed 8/15/95 by Leslie Fontanna <>
SHOP REVIEW: Nice-looking place however, there are dogs running around
inside and around people who are getting tattooed.
ARTIST REVIEW--PAUL MASSARO: After making my appointment months in
advance, I ended up getting no work from him. At the studio, he would
not allow my boyfriend to stay with me. His initial drawing on my back
was too large (and the price quote went from the initial $150, to two
sessions of $150 each). When I asked to have it redrawn, he wiped the
drawing off and asked me to leave. We later went back to request a
refund on our deposit; however Paul would not speak to us. Fortunately,
we got our refund and an apology from his apprentice, Carl.
Updated 3/98 by Mike Cascio <>
Shop Review: The shop was rather quiet and clean.  Dogs are visible
through a screen door (the entrance to their house) quite far back out
of the way. They are *not* allowed in the shop.  There's a chair up
front in full view of everyone, but my work was done in a small
secluded alcove with no room for observers. 
Artist Review--Paul Massaro: Paul worked carefully and safely, gently
putting to rest any concerns or nervousness I expressed (since this
was my first tat). He seems to prefer to work silently rather than
talking, which was fine by me.  If I remember correctly, the work I
had done took about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 

BRUCE BART TATTOOING, Main Street, Tannersville, NY 12485.
(518) 589-5069. Second shop at: 274 Lark St., Albany, NY 12210
(518) 432-1905. Hours: M-F Noon-8pm, S/Su 11am-6pm.
Cost: $120/hr. $5 disposable (& autoclaved) needles, new ink for each
Reviewer: Kirsten Herzog <>
Artists: Bruce Bart and Bruce Kaplan
Specializes in Japanese, modern primitive, colorwork, Celtic. Prefers
appts, but will take walk-ins if not busy. Lark St. shop looked like a
dentist's office. Very friendly, totally receptive. Impressed by the
ready art & sketches in the waiting room. Seemed very professional.

PAT'S TATS, 102 Mill Hill Rd, Woodstock, 12498. 914/679-4429.
Pat Sinatra: (not sure if this is current). Pat is
the owner--she is also VP of the Alliance of National Tattooists,
whose primary concern is informationdissemination on disease
transmission and sterilization. Note: Pat only checks her email on

THUNDER ROSE TATTOO, INC, 96 W. Main St (route 25) Smithtown, NY, 
(516) 361-5300. Cash, major credit cards.
Reviewed 7/96 by Chasity Stewart <>
SHOP REVIEW: Very clean and sterile. Artists opened fresh needles and
poured fresh ink right in front of us. Very open and airy - made me feel
very comfortable. No smoking/pets/other nasties I have heard about in
RAB. Lots of flash and tribal pieces on the walls to look at while you
are waiting.
ARTIST REVIEW--JIMMY (owner): Personable, keeps you informed and makes
conversation while working. Explained sterilization/safety procedures
PRIOR to work. On several occasions during my four-hour stint he
consulted other potential clients. Very willing to work with clients,
open to suggestions. A very good custom/free-lance artist as well.

New View Tattoo, Rt.9W, Highland
Ph: 914-691-8282
Reviewed 4/98 by Paul Fitzgibbons <>
Shop Review: The shop is clean and orderly.  It was being scrubbed
down as I arrived.  The environnment is is made comfortable and easy.
There is a couch, TV and coffee as desired.  Good privicy.  The
neighborhood is on a main highway but a little secluded, away from any
downtown area. 
Artist Review--Tom: Tom did a fantastic job on my tattoo.  Not only
did he design a product that came out spectacularly, but his
profesional manner made the process that much easier.  He is, I
believe, a former accountant turned tattoo artist who loves his work
and it shows.  As this was my first tattoo, he kept me well informed
thoughout the enitre process.  What also helped is that he is close to
my age.  I cannot say enough praises for him and would whole heartly
recommend him.  I will use him again. 

--==*-< >-*==--

PENNSYLVANIA: 18 Pennsylvania C. S. @ 6311 makes it illegal to tattoo
minors under 18 without parental consent. Violations are considered a
third degree misdemeanor. Otherwise unregulated.


610/252-7316. (About 2 hours north of Philadlephia)
Hours: 3:00pm to Midnite, closed Mondays. Cash only; all nondisposables
autoclaved, rest trashed. Rates: Smaller pieces $30-$50; Larger pieces
$60/hr starting (the larger the piece, the lower per hour cost).
Reviewer: Sean Maguire <>
Standard flash available. The owner (Tom Waltymeyer) works out of the
shop with 2 other artists.


BODYGRAPHICS, 627 S. 4th St. (btwn South & Bainbridge)
Philadelphia, PA 19147. 215/923-5834
Rate: Varies with artist. Cash only
Reviewed 10/95 by Joshua Burgin <>
SHOP REVIEW: Immaculately clean, well-lit and sharp looking. Nice large
bathroom for customers. Two chairs for tattooing areas, behind a
counter that separates the work area. Private area walled off from main
room available for privacy. In a pleasant, if busy neighborhood, right
off of South Street.
ARTIST REVIEW--BILL FUNK: Custom work, tribal. Tattooing for 16 yrs.
Comes from large tattoo family (father is Philadelphia Eddie). Amazing
degree of imagination, perception. Real visual accuity when fleshing out
vague designs. Pleasant to talk to, has a good sense of humor while
remaining professional throughout the process. 100% recommended!!

PHILDELPHIA EDDIE'S TATTOO, 605 S. 4th St., Philadelphia, PA.
215/851-9122. Rate: $150/hr. Cash only
Reviewed 3/95 by Aaron Pawlyk <>
SHOP REVIEW: Excellent shop, one of the cleanest on South St. Proper
sterilization equipment and set-up. Very hygenic. Smoking IS allowed
(yeah!). Several artists and storefronts available and piercing on
the premises. Best display of flash on the walls I've seen in the city.
Some semi-private and private booths with curtains available.
ARTIST REVIEW--JERSEY JOE: Highly recommended. Does very good
black-work, which comes out very black. Excellent in all regards: Very
good with customers, professional and has a good sense of humour.
Tattooing 30+ yrs. Makes one feel at ease and was willing to do a design
a few other artists said would be very difficult to do.


BODY WORKS TATTOO STUDIO, 106 Nelbon Ave. Pittsburgh, PA
412/731-3462; 412/468-8287. Cost: $100/hr. $40/min
Reviewer: Jack Briggs <>
SHOP REVIEW: Totally clean, no drinking or drugs on the premises.
Smoking outside only. Hospital sterilization, sanitation is an
imperative part of the job for all artists there. Mention this review
in the Tattoo FAQ when you visit the shop.
ARTIST REVIEW--JON TOROK: Very personable artist who makes the customer
feel very at ease. First-timers are always comforted and never rushed.
Always takes time to perfect the piece before he tattoos. Your
satisfaction is his, too. I can't recommend him highly enough.

State College

ART OF THE AGES,103 S. Pugh St., State College PA 16801, 814-231-3930
Cost: $100/hour, cash/credit.
Reviewed 1/97 by Audrey Lynne Smith <>
SHOP REVIEW: Very clean, inspected and licensed by the Health Dept. Phil
opens the autoclaved sterile needles in front of you. Rooms very
private, and he is very professional about tattooing or piercing "under
the clothes" areas. The shop is in downtown State College--I consider
it to be always safe to walk around here alone, even at night.
ARTIST REVIEW--PHIL: Former glass etcher, had alot of practice doing
fine detail with a steady hand. Usually cheerful, friendly, willing to
answer questions, tends to underestimate the time it will take to do
your piece--since you pay beforehand, this means you get charged less
than it should have cost you.

--==*-< >-*==--


ELECTRIC INK TATTOO, 153 Waterman Ave, E. Providence, RI
401-435-3393. From: Jesse Leigh Parent <jesster@WPI.EDU>
Needles autoclaved (required by RI law). New needles/ink for
every customer. Cash, VISA and MC; walk-ins welcome.
ARTIST REVIEW--CHRIS BORGE <>: All-around great
tattoo artist. Specializes in tribal; probably the best in the shop.
SKOTT GREENE: Great for custom to a greater extent. Doing them since
Dec '92, already very adept; the one to see about great custom
designs. (Trained as an airbrush artist)
JOHN MONEZ: no longer permanent artist as of 9/94 but still comes in
occasionally as fill in.
DEAN II: Formerly of Artistic Tattoo of Providence, RI
Note: Don L. no longer works out of Electric Ink as of 11/93.

--==*-< >-*==--


Body Art Tattoo and Piercing Studio, 178 Main St., Burlington
Ph: 802-863-7870
Reviewed 2/98 by Aron Chamberland <>
Shop Review: Very clean and sanitary, great tribal artwork and all
around relaxing atmoshere. Artist have their own private rooms. All
artists make you feel very comfortable they're also willing to work
with to design your own custom work.
Artist Review--Shamus: Shamus was my artist. He was so great on my
first tattoo, it was my main reason for coming back to him. He's been
Tattooing for over 20 years. He tells you exactly what he's going to
do and when it's happening he is very soothing if he feels you are
nervous. Shamus is very generous and has a couple artist interning
right now.

--==*-< >-*==--


Body Art Tattoos, 8 Chalmers Ct, Berryville
Ph: 540-955-0111
Reviewed 1/98 by David Meeks <>
Shop Review: Friendly environment, autoclave sterilization, privacy if
you want it, and a nice neighborhood.
Artist Review--Tom Painter: He is very friendly and clean he gets too
know all of his clients. He will work with you so you get what you
came for. Member of the APT, and he's been tattooing for i think 17

--==*-< >-*==--


Thinkin Ink Studio of Tattoo, 508 Race Street, Fairmont
Ph: 304-366-1279
Reviewed 2/98 by Jason Cooper <>
Shop Review: Shop is well-lighted, clean, and a no-smoking
environment. If you or the tattoo you're getting requires privacy, the
artist's areas can accomodate that need. No wall flash - all art is in
books or laminated pages.  Room for 5 people to browse at one time.
Artist Review--Dan: Dan is a well-mannered and talented artist.  He is
currently working on a Physics degree (part-time).  He has worked at
Thinkin Ink for four years under the guidance of Youngen.  His
chairside manners are excellent with good conversation.  He is also
willing to discuss designs and custom peices which he prefers over


--==*-< >-*==--


UNIVERSAL TATTOO, 613 Johnson St., Victoria, BC. Ph: 604-995-0313
C$100/ hour with free touch-ups if needed. Cash only
Reviewed 4/96 by: Zack McDonald <>
SHOP REVIEW: Lobby floor newly renovated! Shop looks like a skater shop
by the flash and decor. Work cubicles are private if you desire. There
is an autoclave for each artist, and are well used. New needles, ink, &
gloves, with a fresh pair of gloves when anything unclean is handled.
The artists tattoo areas are never less than spotless.
ARTIST REVIEW--JEFF SLAUENWHITE: Specializes in black & grey work. A
fairly new tattooist, 3 years professionally. Apprenticed with Geof
Briggs. Sense of humor and professional attitude blend together
beautifully at chairside. Everything I have by him is custom, and they
turned out great. I even brought my mother to him for a birthday tattoo.
I'd recommend him to anyone.

--==*-< >-*==--


BLUE DRAGON TATTOO, 253 Wellington, London, 519-434-4706
Reviewer: Lance "Lydia Awards" Bailey <>
Busiest shop in town, does a lot of flash work. Found them either
pretty grumpy/opinionated or at times friendly.

NIGHTHAWK TATTOO AND GALLERY, 82 Norfolk St. Guelph, Ontario
Canada N1H 4J2; ph. 519/767-0801. Payment with cash only. Sanitary;
work area curtained off.
Reviewer: Johanna Botari <>
SHOP REVIEW: Pleasant environment, nice lounge, lots of cushions--
Welcoming to the curious and the enthusiast. Actual art gallery for
local artists. Info on local arts scene, health authorityinfo on safe
sex (free condoms!)/drugs/crisis services distributed by shop. Customer
oriented, regardless of customer.
ARTIST REVIEW--LAURIE STEWART: Specializes in wildlife/nature. 4 years
on her own, fine art background. Pleasant and comfortable manner.
Patient, spends much time w/ customers working out exactly thedesign(s)
they want. Apprenticed ~1yr with another local, whosestudio she left due
to lack of sanitation and manners, and willnot discuss beyond that. Note
of interest: No art on herself.

REAL TATTOOS BY ZAP, 1043 Second Avenue East (at Rear), Owen Sound
Ontario, Canada N4K 2H8 Ph: 519/371-8088
Rate: $120.00 Canadian per hour, cash only
Reviewed 6/96 by: Kenneth Thomson <>
SHOP REVIEW: In a bright new building with two rooms for privacy. At
Zap's request, shop has been checked out by the local Health Board . He
wears gloves and use new needles.
ARTIST REVIEW--AL "ZAP" ZIMMERMAN: Tribal, oriental, traditional, custom
work. Has been in the field for 10 yrs, and has a background in
college-level design. Loves a tattooing challenge (e.g. coverup) and
will talk about the fine points of tattooing with anyone. Takes pride in
his work. Portfolio available for perusal. Especially likes custom work.

TATTOO ART BY GEORGE LEWIS. 244 King St S, Waterloo, Ont.
N2J 1R4 (519) 576-8054. Visa/Mastercard accepted.
According to their card: Ultra modern; sterile conditions; modern
designs--fine line; cover-up work; custom work; lifetime guarantee.
Appts only. Also does pierces.
Reviewer: Judy Carr <>
Artists: George Lewis, Ken Lewis, Todd Evans.
Tho' I don't know much about 'good' or 'bad' tattoos, believe mine are
very well done!

TATTOOS BY GYPSY <does not list address>, 519-453-0822
Reviewer: Lance "Lydia Awards" Bailey <>
Tony is pretty young & is a design artist. I've created some really
nice work w/ him starting w/ my rough sketches. but his work is pretty
uneven; can be really good or really bad.

TATTOOS UNLIMITED, 847 Dufferrin, 519-672-8025
Reviewer: Lance "Lydia Awards" Bailey <>
Al Newcombe has been tattooing in London for a looong time. His work is
mostly flash, can create stencils from your artwork. His work tends to
have a '50s feel--the stuff you see on ex-seamen.

--==*-< >-*==--


TATOUAGE ARTISTIQUE, 1962 Ontario E, Montreal, 514/529-TATU.
CAN$100 / hr (~US$65). Cash only
Reviewed 6/95 by: Mark Reynolds <>
SHOP REVIEW: Wide selection of flash, but apparently do a lot of custom
and cover-up work (they have photos of some very nice work). Often has
visiting guest artists. 'Hospital' type sterilization with an autoclave
and always single-use needles. They pull the tubes &needle bars from
'claved bags and assemble the machine in front of you. Very clean, and
very reassuring.
ARTIST REVIEWS--KEITH STEWART (owner): Tattooing 20 yrs, apprenticed
at Pt. St. Charles Tattoos for 13+ years before opening own shop in
Montreal. Organizer/sponsor of the Montreal Int'l Tattoo Expo for 2
years. Member of NTA, APT ,etc. Reserved but approachable.
RANDY STEWART (Keith's son): Tattooing 5+ years, apprenticed with
father. Laid back & easy going, but meticulous. While he was working on
me I asked him to 'add a bit of this color here, leave this area
untouched', etc., he complied without making me feel like a pain. That
may be common among tattoo artists, but I'm easily impressed by true



NEW WAVE TATTOO, 157 Sydney Road, Muswell Hill, London N10 2NL.
Tel: 0181-444 8779. Hours: 10:30 to 5:30, works on appointment only,
except Saturdays when its first-come first-served. 10 pounds sterling
deposit with all appointment bookings.
ARTIST REVIEW--Reviewed 11/95 by: Anna Beint <>
LAL HARDY: I'm absolutely delighted with my tat, a custom job (just
took in a picture and told him how I wanted it to look). He sent me
the design for approval, also telling me how long it would take and
how much it would cost before I had to commit myself to an
appointment. Reviewer: Andy Richardson <>
LAL HARDY: Has been tattooing for 17 yrs altogether with 14 yrs at the
current studio. He has won many awards (I counted at least 4 from just
the last 3 months) and is probably the best known artist in London if
not the UK. His walls are covered with certificates from associations
from all around the world. He said that he enjoys Celtic work
especially, but really just likes working with customers on their own
designs and meeting people who come in for whatever reason. A very
cool bloke who knows his stuff.
MARTIN CLARK: Has been tattooing for 4 years and is a trained graphic
artist (also does airbrushing and pencil art). Again, although he does
not have any style, he particularly enjoys black and white work and
fantasy/gothic stuff (my description).
Both prefer to do custom work. I have gotten all my stuff here, as this
is the friendliest studio that I have found so far. Lal organises the
Dunstable Tat Expo every year, is billed as the friendliest expo in the
world. There are no charges for consultation or drawing out of ideas.
They do not work on drunks, and do not tattoo hands, necks or faces.
They'll do touch ups or repairs on their work for free. I was very
impressed with how down to earth they both are.

DENNIS COCKEL, Walkers' Court London W1 (a small side street in Soho).
Reviewer: Andy Richardson <>
Tattooed myself and a girlfriend about four years ago and we are both
very satisfied.

MARK AND ANDY, Kensington Market, London W8.
Reviewer: Andy Richardson <>
Their designs were drawn by several artists over many years, claim to
do award winning custom work & my opinion is they are good. The parlor
is on the basement of the market building; doesn't have anyname (as I
remember); not listed on yellow pages.

SAINT'S PARLOR, Portobello Road, London
Reviewer: Andy Richardson <>
Warning: He had some photos of tattoos he had done that at first looked
ordinary, but if you look more closely, you can see he has *redrawn*
parts of the design on the photo afterwards by pen. At least I wouldn't
trust on a tattooist who does that!

INTO YOU, 144 St Johns Street, London EC1V 4UA, 071 253 5085
Reviewer: Dan Chalmers <>.
Dave Stanford <> reports that as of 4/97,
tattoo artists are Alex Binnie, Curly and Myles. Piercing also
available. The studio hours are 12:00 noon to 7:00pm Tuesday to Friday
and noon to 6:00pm Saturday.
ARTIST REVIEW--ALEX BINNIE (tribal/abstract): Alex may be known to
those in the US as he has traveled to various shops here. He does mostly
tribal and abstract stuff.
Piercer: Cushla Adamson.


T.A.T.S., 160 Oxford Road, Reading, Berks, RG1 7PJ, 01734 598616
Rate: ^\50 (aprox), Cash/Cheque (with card)
Reviewed 6/96 by David Thompson <>
SHOP REVIEW: Clean and friendly, not traditional 'dive'. Easy to get to:
Close to town centre and on a main bus route. Inside, there are plenty
of designs and photos to get a feel for Ian's work, including award
winners "Mad Hatter's Tea Party" and the Gorrilas back piece. Work is
done in a seperate room for privacy.
ARTIST REVIEW--IAN OF READING: Internationally well-known. Involved in
arranging tattoo expos (e.g. Dunstable). Freehand control of line/colour
brilliant. Incredible photo-realistic work. Can interpret original
designs with flair, discusses ideas thoroughly. If you go, make sure to
say you heard of him through the 'net, and David sent you!


TERRY'S TATTOO STUDIO, 23 Ghisholm, Glasgow G1 5HA, UK Tel 0141/552-5740.
Reviewer: Andy Richardson <>
Three artists in 1992: Terry, Stuart, & Steven--Quite popular. The
ready-made designs were nice & my boyfriend is very satisfied w/ his
tattoo. A first-timer can feel comfortable, since it looks like an
ordinary shop w/ show window & quite large, light waiting room for


(ACID SHOP) STUDIO TATTOO. ul. Ogrodowa 20, 61-820 Poznan,
Poland Phone: 522-851. Hours: 11:00am-9:00pm.
Needles sterilized via pressurized steamer (120C)
Reviewer: Ulf Nagel <>
ARTIST REVIEW--SLAWEK SLAVOMIR: Has been tattooing since 1990, when
Poland & Russia were introduced to a free market economy. The only other
person in Poland who has been tattooing longer (6 years)is in Gdansk.
Slawek is yet to refine a specialization. He recently won an award at a
German tattoo convention.


TATTOO DEMON, Turnergasse 15, A-1150, Vienna; ph. 0043-1-893 38 06
Payment with cash only. Rate equivalent to $100/hr.
Reviewer: Herbert Paulis <>
SHOP REVIEW: New needles and colors on every customer, otherwise sterile
equipment. Artists also use doctor's gloves. There is a private tattoo
room and two public tattoo places where artists can be watched during
work. Shop is placed in a fair residental district in the middle of
Vienna, next to a park. Apart from Berni two permanently employed and
frequently several guest artists.
ARTIST REVIEW--BERNI LUTHER (Travellin' Berni): Specializes in big
pieces, cover-up work. Berni is a terrific artist who does also a
tremendous job at designing unique pieces for a customer. His needle
work is famous esp. for his shadowing techniques. Appointment is
absolutely necessary, commonly several months in advance. Although a
great artist, he is sometimes very rude to his customers and misses
appointments. Still worth the trouble if you get an appointment!


TATTOOING BY HORI WAKA, Green Haitsu (sic--"Heights") Asakusa
601, 2-19-9, Nishiasakusa, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 111, Japan.
Horiwaka uses both traditional Japanese , as well as the gun.

OCEANIA--New Zealand

Living Canvas Tattoo Studio, 77c Briggs Rd., Christchurch
Reviewed 6/98 by Amy Simmons <>
SHOP REVIEW: Appeared very sanitary. Autoclave used (+ new
needles/ink). No smoking/eating/drinking in the separate room used for
tattooing. Complete privacy - ALWAYS, no matter where on your body you
are getting the tattoo. Appointments not always necessary, except for
genital tattoos where appointments must be made. Does not offer
ARTIST REVIEW--Korrina: Owns the shop and has won quite a few
awards. Very friendly, helpful and approachable - answered all my
questions in a friendly & professional manner, and was great at
helping me to relax before having the tattoo done. I provided the
drawing of the design I wanted, and she did it almost exactly as I had
drawn it. I was very satisfied with the result. Offers a free
follow-up appointment to make sure the tattoo is healing properly.

--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--

This ends "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 5/9--Artist List." This should
be followed by "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 6/9--Care of new tattoos."

REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 6/9--Care of new tattoos

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Newsgroups: rec.arts.bodyart,news.answers,rec.answers
Subject: REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 6/9--Care of new tattoos
Followup-To: rec.arts.bodyart
Date: 16 Jul 1998 02:43:22 GMT
Organization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
Expires: August 15, 1998
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Summary: This posting contains a bibliography of various sources
     available on the topic of tattoos. Anyone who wishes to read/post 
     to the RAB newsgroup, or obtain tattoos should read this first.
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Archive-name: bodyart/tattoo-faq/part6
Last-modified: May 26, 1998
Posting-frequency: Monthly

 --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--
| * * * *  |
|  4 STAR  |
|   SITE!  |

This FAQ is maintained by Stan Schwarz <>

If you are reading this file using a web browser, and the file you are
looking at is from, click on the other archive
sites to access the FAQs instead. Ohio State's site is no longer
maintained, and continues to provide outdated versions of FAQs.

You can retrieve a copy of the FAQ via anonymous ftp from the MIT FTP
server:  <>.

The FAQs are also available on thw World Wide Web at

The rec.arts.bodyart Tattoo FAQ is broken up into 9 parts:
 2/9--Getting a tattoo
 5/9--Artist list
 6/9--Care of new tattoos <---YOU ARE READING THIS FILE
 7/9--General care/removal
 8/9--Misc. info



This file is structured as a traditional FAQ in the form of questions
and answers. Questions answered in this file:

Rec.arts.bodyart FAQ Part 6/9: Care of your new tattoo:
  General advice from a medical doctor
  What are some bad things for your new tattoo?
     Sauna or steamroom
     Preparation-H hemorrhoidal ointment
  How do I care for my new tattoo?
     Suggested Method #1: The Minimal Moisturizer Method
     Suggested Method #2: The Pat-with-Listerine Method
     Suggested Method #3: The Wait-24-Hours-to-Take-Off-Dressing Method
     Suggested Method #4: The Coconut-Oil-Itch-Relief Method
     Suggested Method #5: The Huck Spalding Method
     Suggested Method #6: The Noxzema Method

Under the Berne Convention, this document is Copyright (c) 1997 by Lani
Teshima-Miller, all rights reserved. Permission is granted for it to be
reproduced electronically on any system connected to the various
networks which make up the Internet, Usenet, and FidoNet so long as it
is reproduced in its entirety, unedited, and with this copyright notice
intact. Web sites are included. Individual copies may also be printed
for personal use.



The contributor for this question is Dr. Kai Kristensen
<>, a pathologist recently retired lab director (after
almost 30 years) of an internationally reknown medical center in La
Jolla, California. While his professional expertise is not specifically
in bodyart, Kai is a bodyart enthusiast:

After the session, the best treatment is simply that which one would
give a bad sunburn. For the first few hours (or overnight) leave on the
protective dressing supplied. After removing that dressing, clean gently
with soap and water and apply a thin film of antibiotic ointment
(Bacitracin or any of the triple antibiotic ointments available over the
counter). That can be repeated during the day for comfort and sticky
clothing. The process is repeated the second and third days. After that,
keeing the area clean on a daily basis and (if you wish) lightly
lubricated with some vaseline to minimize crusting also helps minimize
the itch. Plastic surgeons keep wounds clean and moist for least scar
formation. Do not go swimming for the first day or two after tattooing.


1. "Vaseline makes a tattoo faded". The ink is underneath the epidermis 
   and the outer layer of dermis. There's NO WAY that vaseline can get 
   down through the epidermis to draw out any of the ink.

2. "Swimming makes a tattoo faded". For the same reason as the above, 
   pool chlorine does not get to the ink to fade it. Common sense 
   precautions include not swimming in a public pool with a raw sore, 
   such as a new tattoo while oozing or completely raw. After the first 
   2 days, the surface over the tattoo is impervious and (from personal 
   experience as well as science background) it is OK to swim.




Once it is healed, there is very little that will screw up a tattoo. The
one exception is prolonged exposure to sunlight. (the other is scarring,
but that is patently obvious).


Well, unfortunately it is. The newer inks are better at resisting fading
but whatever you do, if you spend lots of time in bright sunlight your
tats will fade (over a lifetime, not over a week). Best to try and keep
them out of bright sunlight. No one wants to become a cave dweller just
to keep their tats looking good, so just use some common sense. Think of
your tat as an investment--slather on that sunblock so it doesn't turn
into a dark blob.

Our culture has erroneously labeled the tan as healthy. Did you know
that your tan is your skin's way of dealing with the damage caused by
the sun? It's like the formation of a scab when you have a cut. You will
pay for your years of sun exposure when you are in your 40s and 50s.
Leathery, wrinkled, dry skin with freckles and liver spots. Melanoma.
Skin cancer. Regular visits to the dermatologist. Like I say, "There's
no such thing as a healthy tan!" Take it from a Hawaii local! I've seen
my share of melanoma here, and they're not even from surfers or beach

Some people have gotten angry at me about this, telling me that they
have a seasonal disorder that requires them to get some sun. A little
bit of sun is okay (and it gives you a dose of Vitamin D). But all you
need is a few minutes' worth.

Tanning booths are not good for you! They are not regulated by the FDA,
and the staff that work at these salons have been known to give out
patently false information. Many salon operators will suggest dosages
far exceeding industry recommendations, and the FDA would actually
prefer that these booths be banned altogether. Do not believe the salon
operators who tell you there is NO damage caused by their UV rays. There
are indications that tanning booths emit rays that cause the type of
damage that only shows up years later, when it is difficult to fault any
one operator. Their industry motto is "tan safe." There is no such thing
as a SAFE tan, folks. Sorry.

skin can get below the outermost surface of the skin (that's why skin
cancers are promoted by excess suntanning).

The following is information about suncare and sunblock, as well as some
specific brand recommendations by RAB readers:
o Try to use products that do not clog your pores. If your sunblock 
  makes you break out or feel itchy, this may be the cause.
o Avoid sunblock containing PABA, apparently found to be carcinogenic.
o "SPF" stands for Sun Protection Factor. If you can normally stay out 
  for ten minutes without getting sunburnt, then an SPF 2 should protect
  you for 20 minutes, an SPF 6 for an hour, and so on. HOWEVER, this 
  does *NOT* mean an SPF 30 will let you stay out for five hours with 
  just one coat. Keep your exposure limited to the minimum amounts,
  and always use an extra strong sunblock with at least SPF 30 for your
o "Waterproof" and "sweatproof" sunblocks protect you while in the 
  water. However, reflections from the water add to your exposure. Make 
  sure you use a high SPF number, and always re-apply your sunblock when
  coming out of the water.
o Sunblock is not just for the beach! Make it a habit to carry one with 
  you during the sunnier months so you can protect your tattoo always! 
  The Watermelon Stick from the Body Shop is nice and portable, but in a
  pinch, a tube of lip balm (Blistik, etc.) will work, as long as it has
  an SPF. Dab a bit on your tattoo whenever you will be outside.

Products recommended by some RABbits:
o Banana Boat for Kids - SPF 50.
o Banana Boat's SPF 50, for Extra Sesitive Skin
o "Deep Cover" Super Sunblock, advertised in some tattoo magazines 
  (distributed by Deep Cover in Long Beach, CA)
o The Body Shop's Watermelon Stick
o Bullfrog Moisturizing Formula - The Body Lotion (not the Gel Formula).
o Neutrogena's Senisitive Skin SPF 17
o Schering-Plough's "Shade Sunblock" in various SPFs.


We have heard stories of tattoo artists recommending the use of
Preparation-H in the healing of new tattoos. Preparation-H is a product
marketed for the relief of hemorrhoidal tissue in the US, and comes in
both cream and suppository form (I assume artists don't recommend the

Dr. Jeff Herndon <JHERNDON@Gems.VCU.EDU>, resident assistant professor
at the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth
University's Medical College, says Preparation-H should *NOT* be used
for tattoos:

 According to the 1995 Drug Facts & Comparisons (Olin, et al., Facts and
 Comparisons Inc.: St Louis, 1995; p 540-541) the list of ingredients 
 for Preparation-H are as follows:
 - Live yeast cell derivative supplying 2000 units of skin respiratory 
   factor per ounce
 - 3% shark liver oil
 - 1:10000 phenyl mercuric nitrate
  Facts and Comparisons goes on to say that shark liver oil (similar to 
 cod liver oil) is used primarily as a carrier of the active ingredients
 and as a protectant, forming a physical barrier on the skin. While this
 may be helpful in the healing of hemorroids, it provides no benefit and
 perhaps impedes the healing of new tattoos.
  Furthermore, while phenylmercuric nitrate may have antiseptic 
 properties (similar to mercurichrome or tincture of iodine; neither of 
 which should be used on fresh tattoos) it possesses very little anti-
 infective properties when compared to traditional antibacterial agents 
 (neosporin, baccitracin, etc.). Its use in such low quantities in 
 Preperation-H is possibly as a preservative (Facts and Comparisons, 
 1995, p. 540). 
  The active ingredient of Preparation-H is the skin respiratory factor 
 and this does nothing to relieve the itching and/or swelling associated
 with a new tattoo. In fact, it is best to simply keep the area moist 
 and clean and to avoid picking the scabs or 'onion skin peel' that 
 develop--and refrain from using Preparation-H. Not only will it NOT 
 help your tattoo, it will actually probably do more harm than good. The
 product was developed for hemorrhoidal tissue only.

Jeff adds simply: "I just can't figure why you'd want to spread yeast
cells on a tattoo."



The artist that did your tattoo will have something very definite to say
about the care of your new tattoo, and it is probably a good idea to
listen to him/her. Many shops will have an information sheet listing
care instructions.

The information provided in this section may or may not be the same
method your artist offers. Regardless, there are three things to
remember about caring for your new tattoo:
o Moiturize it
o Don't overmoisturize it
o And whatever you do, Don't pick your onion peel scabs!

Basically, as long as you follow these three points, you will be okay.
However as people get more tattoos, they begin trying out slightly
different methods. I have included several examples, and not all of them
will work on everybody. Some people will find that they are allergic to
some products. For example, I have always had a problem with Noxzema
skin cream, which makes me break out with water-filled pimple-like
things on my skin.

How do you know which method is best for you? It depends on the type of
skin you have, and how sensitive it is. I suggest you try a patch test
on your skin for a week or so to see if you react to the ingredients.

Having said that, I have personally discovered a very nice "new tattoo
kit" that I now use whenever I go to get a tattoo. And the added benefit
was that I discovered this "kit" in a sample size travel set, which I
can easily pack in my travel bag.

The set that I now use is the Johnson's baby product line. The kit
includes baby powder, baby shampoo, diaper rash ointment, baby lotion,
baby bath, and a bonus (in this case, a baby bib). I don't need the baby
bib, and the shampoo is just an added bonus for me. However, this is how
I use the kit, especially when I'm getting the tattoo in another city:

Baby powder: I sprinkle a liberal amount on the hotel bed sheets to
prevent my skin from sticking to the sheet.
Baby bath: A fruity-smelling liquid soap, it's very mild and has minimal
lathering. I pour a bit on my hand, rub into a light lather and wash the
tattoo this way. It rinses off very easily with non-pressurized water,
minimizing the risk of losing scabs.
Baby lotion: The Johnson's brand feels non-greasy. *MY* skin does not
like a layer of oily lotion, and until this, I used to pay lots of money
for oil-free Oil of Olay (is that a contradiction in terms?). Goes on
very lightly but keeps the skin moist.
Diaper rash ointment: Zinc oxide-based, I use this thick, non- greasy
ointment on certain "contact spots" of my tattoo that may rub against
clothes (i.e. bra strap, waist band).

I've found this travel kit selling for $2-$3 (US), and the small sizes
work out just right for a smaller tattoo (no larger than 
8"x8". You *MIGHT* smell like a clean baby, though!

Other people will recommend different ointments and lotions. Some people
swear by Tea Tree Oil (toner) from the Body Shop for its healing
qualities. Others like A&D Ointment (marketed for diaper rash, I find it
somewhat greasy), and the cheapest is probably regular Vaseline
Intensive Care. If you live in a dry area and you're prone to use a lot
of lotion anyway, the last one, in a large pump bottle, may be your best

This section lists treatments to give you an idea of the breadth of
suggestions offered. These have been given "titles" using some unique
facet of the method, and is thus named only for the sake of convenience.
These methods are NOT actually called these. Each set of instructions is
followed by commentary. Special thanks to Lance Bailey
<> for this section.


Ancient Art puts a heap of vaseline on the new tattoo and then bandages
up the whole thing, they give you these instructions:

Tattoo Care Instructions:
 1. Remove bandaid in 18 hrs.
 2. Wash tattoo immediately, with soap and water
    When washing off the tattoo, there should be old ink & some body
    fluids. At this state there is little that can harm the tattoo.
 3. When skin feels like normal wet skin, pat dry.
 4. Put nothing on the tattoo for 3 days.
 5. From the 4th day, apply the *tiniest* amount of lotion possible once
    a day to keep it from drying out completely; gently work it in.
    (Mike suggests a drop for a 1"x4" piece).
 6. Do not get the tattoo wet; moisture is your enemy.
 7. Do not permit sun on tattoo.
 8. Do not get the tattoo wet; moisture is your enemy.
 9. Scabbing may or may not occur. Scabbing is normal. Do not pick scab.
10. Do not get the tattoo wet; moisture is your enemy.

His strongest advice: "MOISTURE IS THE TATTOO'S ENEMY".
On using Vaseline:  Neosporin is Vaseline-based, & doesn't hurt.
On using Neosporin: Not really neccessary, but it doesn't hurt.
Strong warning:  Never let the shower directly hit the tattoo.

This procedure is how I healed the four I got at Ancient Art and they
seem to be the slowest to heal. After 2.5 weeks, they still have scabs.

Lance Bailey says: I used to go to great lengths to keep my tattoos
moist while healing. But now, looking at the ink I healed then, and
other art which is not much older but healed without all the moisture, I
see that the ones where I kept it real moist to prevent any scabs are a
lot fainter--grey where the others are still black. I quite literally
drew a lot of the ink out of the piece. Yes, it is important to keep the
tattoo from drying out, but a scab is part of the normal healing
process, and trying to fool mother nature is risking trouble. Your
mileage will of course vary.


 1. Change your bandage within two hours, wash hands before touching
 2. Clean tattoo with soap and water, pat w/ Listerine for a few 
 3. Apply Polysporin Ointment & bandage. Repeat this process 4 times a
    day until tattoo is healed.

This is how I healed the first four or five tattoos. The theory is
thatby keeping it covered with ointment, you don't form a scab -- and no
scab means no scab problems. UNFORTUNATELY, this method also draws out a
lot of the ink and can result in a pretty pale tattoo. sigh. I would not
recommend this method for a good final result, although it can heal up a
tattoo in as little as a four days if you use Vitamin E and Polysporin.


 1. Remove bandage after 24 hours while you are showering.
 2. Use a mild soap then pat dry
 3. Allow tattoo to dry for 24 hours.
 4. Apply supplied healing lotion 4 times a day. Do not use anything 
    else on tattoo then the supplied cream.
 5. When using the healing cream, use it sparingly, you want to moisten
    your tattoo, not soak it.
 6. Do not soak your tattoo in the bath for 2 weeks.
 7. Do not swim in chlorinated water for 2 weeks
 8. Do not tan your tattoo for 2 weeks
 9. If your tattoo does happen to scab, do not pick.

Roland at Joker's Wild (no longer there) also recommended protecting the
new tattoo from the shower. Since all of mine are on the lower leg, he
suggested putting a bag over it which is a bit of a pain, but probably
worth it.

This is how I healed the 3" X 6" piece on the front of my shin with
theexception that I washed it gently at least twice a day to clean off
oldointment. I am very pleased with the result.


For effortless healing of your new tattoo please follow these directions

 1. VERY IMPORTANT. Leave sterile dressing covering tattooed area for
    a minimum of 2 hours.
 2. If desired, dressing can remain on tattoo for a maximum of 24 hours.
 3. After removing dressing (non-stick), gently wash tattooed area with 
    soap, pat dry with a clean towel.
 4. Apply Polysporin twice daily until healed. Usually 3-6 days.
 5. Refrain from picking or scratching tattoo during the healing 
    process. Damaging the light scab formation will result in poor 
    colors in your tattoo. If tattoo irritates, apply a slight smear of 
    pure coconut oil.

I have never tried this method; the owner of Blue Dragon and I don't
seem to get along. Pity because one of my favorite artists now works


 1. Bandage(*) should stay on for at least two hours.
 2. Remove bandage, rinse gently with cold weather and blot dry.
 3. Apply Bacitracin ointment 4 x a day and blot out the excess.
 4. Keep tattoo fresh and open to the air. Do not bandage.
 5. For the first week, avoid swimming or long soaking in the water.
 6. For the first month, avoid too much exposure to the sun.
 7. Do not pick or scratch scabs
 8. Itching is relieved by slapping or alcohol.
 9. Keep tattoo covered with loose clothing.

* Bandaging Summary
 1. After tattooing clean whole area w/ green soap & white paper towel.
 2. Spray it with alcohol and hold a paper towel on it.
 3. apply film of Bacitracin ointment.
 4. Cover with bandage or Handi-Wrap and securely tape it on.

I have yet to try this method, but have seen a few tattoos which have
been bandaged with handi-wrap and they turned out just fine. (Huck
writes that the handi-wrap stops people from peeling off the bandage in
the first few hours to show friends.)


This method is recommended by Suzanne at Creative Tattoo (Ann Arbor,

 1. Remove bandage after 4 - 5 hours.
 2. Wash gently with soap or water.
 3. Do *not* scrub or soak until completely healed (usually a week). 
    Showering, however, is OK.
 4. Usually neccessary to re-bandage.
 5. Keep tattoo OUT OF THE SUN or tanning booths while healing. Once 
    healed, ALWAYS use sunscreen on colors.
 6. We reommend Noxema Medicated Skin Lotion twice a day to aid healing 
    & comfort. DO NOT USE Vaseline, oils, anything greasy, or anything 
    with cortisone. Oils block your skin from contact with air, 
    inhibiting healing
 7. Tattoo "peels" in 4-7 days. Do not pick or scratch!

"Your tattoo was applied with sterile equipment and procedure, and with
non-toxic colors. We guarantee the workmanship. Healing and caring of
your tattoo is YOUR responsibility."

This is how I healed a 3-inch band around my right ankle. While the
healing was more like 2 weeks, I also protected it from the shower with
a bag. For the last few tattoos I noticed that after I stop covering it
in the shower (after about 2 weeks), the tattoo seems to speed up in
healing. I suspect that this might be either timing (it was ready to
heal), or the action of the shower helps to knock of any dead skin thus
promoting better healing. 

I only used a wee bit of Noxzema twice a day, leaving the art "moist and
glistening" but with no "smears of white cream." Am very happy with this
method. The cream really does help the itching and the final result is a
good deep black. 

 --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--

This ends "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 6/9--Care of new tattoos." This
should be followed by "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 7/9--General

REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 7/9--General care/removal

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From: (Stan)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.bodyart,news.answers,rec.answers
Subject: REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 7/9--General care/removal
Followup-To: rec.arts.bodyart
Date: 16 Jul 1998 02:44:17 GMT
Organization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
Expires: August 15, 1998
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Summary: This posting contains a bibliography of various sources
     available on the topic of tattoos. Anyone who wishes to read/post to the
     RAB newsgroup, or obtain tattoos should read this first.
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Archive-name: bodyart/tattoo-faq/part7
Last-modified: May 26, 1998
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 --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--
| * * * *  |
|  4 STAR  |
|   SITE!  |

This FAQ is maintained by Stan Schwarz <>

If you are reading this file using a web browser, and the file you are
looking at is from, click on the other archive
sites to access the FAQs instead. Ohio State's site is no longer
maintained, and continues to provide outdated versions of FAQs.

You can retrieve a copy of the FAQ via anonymous ftp from the MIT FTP
server:  <>.

The FAQs are also available on the World Wide Web at

The rec.arts.bodyart Tattoo FAQ is broken up into 9 parts:
 2/9--Getting a tattoo
 5/9--Artist list
 6/9--Care of new tattoos
 7/9--General care/removal <--YOU ARE READING THIS FILE
 8/9--Misc. info



This file is structured as a traditional FAQ in the form of questions
and answers. Questions answered in this file:

Rec.arts.bodyart FAQ Part 7/9: Old tattoos--care/removal
  How does weight gain/loss affect a tattoo?
  How does lifting weights affect a tattoo?
  How does pregnancy affect a tattoo near the abdomen?
  Can a tattoo be removed?
     Get it reworked--cover-up
     Get it reworked--touch-up
     Get it removed--Tissue Expansion
     Get it removed--Sal Abration
     Get it removed--Staged Excision
     Get it removed--medical lasers
  Innovative Government Incentive Program for Tattoo Removal
  One person's decision toward tattoo removal

Under the Berne Convention, this document is Copyright (c) 1997 by Lani
Teshima-Miller, all rights reserved. Permission is granted for it to be
reproduced electronically on any system connected to the various
networks which make up the Internet, Usenet, and FidoNet so long as it
is reproduced in its entirety, unedited, and with this copyright notice
intact. Web sites are included. Individual copies may also be printed
for personal use.



Tattoos can definitely be affected by stretch marks. Whether you will or
won't get stretch marks is apparently determined genetically, so
placement is a consideration if you are planning on getting pregnant. I
know for a fact that stretch marks can ruin a tattoo, because I have a
very small tattoo that now looks more like a blob because of a large
stretch mark running through the middle of it. Luckily, this was a
home-brewed job (the kind done with India ink and a pin wrapped in
thread) so I was never particularly attached to the artwork. :-}

If your skin stretches from weight gain and then shrinks back up without
losing its elasticity (the loss of elasticity is what results in stretch
marks), then I would expect that there wouldn't be much distortion of 
the tattoo, maybe none at all.

Or, put the tattoo someplace that won't get stretched so much, like the
chest area above the breasts. My upper stomach didn't stretch much,
either, but the lower abdominal skin did stretch quite a lot. (I've seen
stretch marks on hips, thighs and arms as well--probably  related to
muscle gain from weight lifting as well as general fattening/thinning.)


For most people, the amount of muscle gain is nowhere near as quick or
as dramatic as what you would see with the stretching of skin on a
pregnant person. For this reason, you don't really have to worry about
your tattoo changing shape when you start lifting weights. I don't know
what would happen though, if you decide you want to be the next Mr.
Universe and you currently weigh 90 pounds.


If you are planning on getting pregnant, you should be very cautious
about the placement of any tattoo near the abdominal area. Not only will
the tattoo stretch during pregnancy--there is no guarantee that the
tattoo will go back to its original shape after the birth of your baby.

Be particularly wary of getting any tattoo where the shape is important,
such as with symmetrical tribal pieces, or Celtic knots. Even geometric
patterns such as a circle could end up looking like an oval (or worse,
an irregular blob). A more "giving" image, such as that of clouds, might
suit you better.

There are two options you might want to consider: a) Do not get any
tattoos around the abdominal area at all, but limit your ink to other
parts of your torso; b) Put off getting your abdominal tattoos until
after you have had your children.

Obviously, this involves some level of family planning.



There are several methods for "removing" a tattoo, listed below. However
with all of these methods, you either still end up with a tattoo (albeit
a better-looking one), a scar, or a skinnier wallet. In other words, it
is much easier to *get* a tattoo in the first place than to get rid of
one. If you are considering getting a new tattoo, think carefully before
you do--or you may end up re-reading this section.

*IMPORTANT*  Most health insurance companies do not cover tattoo removal
in their coverage. The removal of a small tattoo (2-inch square) could
end up costing you over $1,000--and there are "hidden costs" to the
concept of tattoo removal. The bottom line is, TATTOO REMOVAL IS VERY
EXPENSIVE. This means that it is extra-important for you to consider
CAREFULLY and spend a long time considering getting one in the first


There are different ways to get cover-up work, depending on the
situation. A name can be tastefully camouflaged with a small design,
making the name impossible to read. If it's the entire thing you want
covered, it could be covered with another design. It is easier to cover
a lighter color with a darker color, although oftentimes the original
work is done in a dark color.

This means not just a good tattooist, but a really good artist; what
they'll have to do is find a way to work the existing tattoo into a new
design that will cover and disguise what's there. If you don't believe
that good cover-up work can do magic, take a look at some of the
before-after photos in some of the tattoo magazines. The artists know
how to work with form and shape, to where the new tattoo looks nothing
like the old one.

An example of BAD cover-up is an artist who simply blacks out whatever
was there before. I've seen big black rectangles where names used to
be!! You don't believe me? Go look at a picture of actor Johnny Depp's
left shoulder, where he used to have his "Winona Forever" tattoo from
his old Winona Ryder days. He's gotten himself a big black solid
triangle worked over it. Argh! [I've been told this triangle was
supposed to be just that; not a cover-up. I *still* think it looks ugly
and like a bad cover-up job.]

The main idea is to check with the individual artist. If they've done
significant cover-up work, they should have before and after photos of
it in their book, where you can see where the work occurred.

--The people at Tattoo City can do it (see their entry under 5.1 US West
Coast: California: San Francisco).


With the advances in technology, technique and the availability of new,
brighter colors in the past few years, faded or blurred tattoos can look
brighter and sharper than when they were new.

Some touch-up work makes the tattoo significantly better looking than it
ever was, actually improving on the original tattoo.


The tissue expansion method is where a balloon is inserted and inflated
under the skin to slowly stretch the flesh. The tattoo is then cut out
and the newly stretched skin covers its place. This is a popular method
for removing smaller tattoos and leaves only a straight-line surgical


Sal abrasion involves rubbing the image with salt and "sanding" it out.


The staged excision method actually cuts the image out, a small portion
at a time.

Both the sal abrasion and staged excision methods result in more

Also, homemade tattoos can be more difficult to remove because while the
concentration of ink may not be as great as in a professional tattoo, it
often goes deeper into the skin (you may want to consider cover-up work
in this case).

Monese Christensen ( recounts a rather sad story
about her sister, who, on a whim without finding a good artist, got a
tattoo she regretted enough to try to get it removed. "The saline
expansion took about 4 months. The insertion of the saline bag was major
surgery. They put her out. And put her out again to remove the tattoo
and bag. The surgery was not covered under insurance for cosmetic
reasons and it came to $5,000." Note that for six months Monese's sister
had a big lump of extra skin growing on her back and she looked like
Quasimodo. This, I believe, for a tattoo about 2" x 2".


There are a number of new laser methods for tattoo removal, although
they tend to be costly and are usually not covered by medical insurance
plans. Of the three forms of medical lasers currently available (the CO2
laser, the Q-stitched ruby laser and the Tatulazr), the new Tatulazr has
been deemed one of the most effective ways to remove blue-black tattoos.

According to Dr. Richard Fitzpatrick of Dermatology Associates of San
Diego County (who is the clinical investigator for the Tatulazr), the
Tatulazr delivers pulses of energy that are selectively absorbed by the
pigment granules of the tattoo. He says that the Tatulazr's wavelength
causes less absorption of the laser light by the normal skin, resulting
in less risk of scarring. The longer wavelength allows more energy to
reach the target tattoo pigment, resulting in greater removal success.
In addition, the wavelength allows for deeper penetration into the skin,
which means fewer treatments may be required for complete tattoo

For the name of a physicial in your area who uses the Tatulazr, call the
Candela Laser Corp. at 1-800-733-8550 Ext. 444 (or write to them at 530
Boston Post Rd., Wayland, MA 01778).



The following, brought to my attention by Mike <>, is a
copy of an FDA alert dated September 1992  against the method of
chemical tattoo removal being marketed by Tatex,  Inc. based in
Pickering, Ontario (Canada) and marketed in the US out of Las Vegas,
Nevada. I have no reason to doubt Mike's intentions in forwarding this
alert to me. From what Mike tells me, it's possible that Tatex is a weak
acid or peroxide formula that eats away at your skin. He says he
believes the FDA alert is due to their not having completed necessary
tests. The following is the alert in its entirety. I'll let the readers
decide for themselves whether this stuff is appropriate or not.
(Reformatted for ease of readability.)

* * * * *

FDA IA#66-11,   REVISED 9/21/92
TYPE OF ALERT: Automatic Detention
PRODUCT:       Tattoo Removers
PROBLEM:       New Drug without a New Drug Application (NDA) (DRND)
COUNTRY:       All
CHARGE:    "The article is subject to refusal of admission pursuant to
            Section 801(a)(3) in that it appears to be a new drug within
            the meaning of Section 201(p) without an approved new drug
            application [Unapproved New Drug, Section 505(a)]."
          Three complaints of injury have implicated this drug as the
          source of acute inflammation, cellulitis and secondary
          infection of the skin.  All of the complaints indicated that
          the tattoo remover was received through the mail from the
          Atlanta Co., Pickering, Ontario, Canada.
          The product was received in small plastic vials labeled in
          part, "Tatex Tattoo Remover*** 2 1/2 cc accompanied by
          labeling entitled, "Instructions for use of the Tatex Tattoo
          Although there has been no recent detention activity of the
          Tatex brand tattoo remover, the alert remains in effect
          because of the possibility of entry which may be attempted for
          similar products from other foreign manufacturers.
INSTRUCTIONS: Detain products which claim to be tattoo removers. Notify
              CDER/OTC Labeling Branch at 301-295-8063 when detentions of
              these products are made.
KEYWORDS: Tattoo remover, New Drug, Tatex Tattoo Remover, skin, 
PREPARED BY  : Linda A. Wisniowski, DIOP, 301-443-6553


          IN JUVENILES

In a news conference held in April '94, San Jose Mayor Susan Hammer
announced a new program that would help young people to remove unwanted
tattoos. $15,000 from the San Jose BEST anti-gang grant program will pay
for the tattoo removal from about 100 people. Hammer said she will seek
additional funding.

"I want to send a message to every young person troubled by the presence
of a tattoo," Hammer said. "This program is about you and about your
dream." The service is being provided by plastic surgeon Josh Korman,
who is donating his time.

John Lawrence, a former gang member who sported elaborate ``sleeve''
tattoos on his forearms as well as smaller ones on an eyebrow, a cheek
and on his neck, said he hopes removing them will smooth the way for him
in job interviews. The 18-year-old Lawrence said he got his first tattoo
when he was about 13. "I  wanted to advertise," Lawrence said, "to let
everybody know who I was and where I was from."

If all went as planned, the youths were to have begun treatment in May.



The following is a personal account by Cindy Browning
<>, of her decision to have her tattoos
removed professionally.


I started getting tats at 24 with a very small shoulder piece. I dated
and ended up marrying a self-professed (now professional) tattoo artist,
and got more pieces, all blackwork. The marriage ended, and I was left
with a lot of tat work; some good but most, painful reminders.

I had heard of tat removal, but these rumors were usually prefaced by
"It hurts a lot, worse than the tat, it doesn't always work, and it's
incredibly expensive." I saw the results of a removal on a friend of
mine--she had a racist symbol on her hand, and her mom sent her to have
it removed for around $500. (being married to the artist, none of my
tats had cost anything--you get what you pay for.)

I decided to go with cover-up work. Got several pieces from '89-91,
blackwork and color, all by recognized professionals I knew. Some of the
nicest ones I got were around my ankles--Egyptian-themed pieces from
historical sources, a tribal tiger head from a book catalogue. My job
was extremely unconventional--a retail store manager specializing in
jewelry, minerals, and the occult. Located in a very hip, trendy area of
Washington D.C., celebrities walked in regularly. The store owner
encouraged us to be interesting-looking, and tats fit with the
fashion-forward clothes that we wore.

I left my job abruptly in '91, and used my computer skills to enter the
extremely rigid, conservative world of government consulting. At first
it was easy to cover up with black hose, long sleeves, and blazers, but
this became increasingly constrictive. I began dreaming of wearing
shorts, white hose, sleeveless shirts, bathing suits, anything, without
being a one-woman free tattoo show. My life changed. My rock & roll
friends were bored with my stories of work, not impressed that I was
earning money, driving a new car and living on my own instead of in
grimy group houses.

New friends made judgments about me once they found out I had tattoos.
Romance was difficult--there was always the "I have......tattoos"
conversation to go through. There are surprising numbers of
unenlightened men out there who think you are a) sleazy b) ready for sex
at ANY time c) perverted d) into "pain" e) gross f) all of the above if
you have tats. I think I met all of them in the D.C. area.

One approached me on the mall on July 4th when I was celebrating freedom
in my own personal way by wearing a tank top. He ran his slimy finger
down my tattooed upper arm and said, "Pretty" in a Hannibal Lecter
voice. I ran away. I think it was then that I began my soul-searching,
before searching for doctors who could effectively remove tattoos,
starting with my ankle pieces. My search was futile. I met at least one
dermatologist who was really nice 'til I took off my shirt, at which
point I believe she thought I was a candidate for Psychotic Monthly.

I did eventually meet a man who said he didn't care if I had tats, but
had none of his own. But those T-shirt aphorisms you read about
non-tattooed people are true. We were driving past a boutique one night,
and there was a velvet sheath dress in the window, cut up to here and
down to there. He looked at me sadly and said how he wished I could wear
it. I said, "Huh?" as I am not overweight by any means. I then realized
what he really meant, that he wished I did not look like the missing 5th
member of the Cycle Sluts from Hell in the dress. Groan.

I did so well that I was offered a new position and a promotion at a new
office in San Antonio. I grabbed it. Upon arriving and perusing the
local rock & roll paper, I saw an ad that read "Married to Mary Lou but
still have Debbie on your arm?", advertising the Laser Institute of San
Antonio. I called, made an appointment, and went as soon as I could. The
doctor (Dr. Marc Taylor) was very friendly, if a bit surprised by my tat
work, but said he could help me. I saw a short video that showed results
that looked miraculous. He warned that scarring could occur, and with
professional tats, several treatments were necessary, scarring one's
pocketbook as well.

But I didn't care. All I could see was a rainbow, with white stockings
and shorts and sandals at the end. Let me tell you, not wearing shorts
in Texas in the summer makes you look like un-American. And I have no
wish to look like someone's dad, or the Captain of the Love Boat, with
dorky ankle socks.

Now, you might say that individualism is prized in Texas. But after
years of having tattoos, I stopped caring about what others think, and
am concerned with my own comfort level.

So far I have had one treatment. It went on for about 20 minutes, and
felt somewhat like getting a tattoo, but more like a rubber band
snapping on my skin. The machine is about 2 feet high and has a probe on
a mechanical arm coming out of it, sort of like a dental drill. There's
a pen-shaped attachment on the end, and a plastic shield (to keep the
laser from shooting all over the room). The doctor, the attendant nurse
and I all had to wear eye protection. The pen attachment shoots out
little bursts of light, accompanied by an unpleasant crackling noise.

The initial consultation was $45.00, and each 15-minute treatment is
$195.00 (with incremental amounts added for every additional minute. It
was $240 for 19 minutes. Aftercare is exactly the same as that for a
tattoo, with 6-8 weeks between treatments. The results from my first
treatment; there are areas where the tats have completely disappeared,
although I was advised that this might not happen on every try.

 --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--

This ends "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 7/9--General care/removal." This
should be followed by "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 8/9--Miscellaneous

REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 8/9--Misc. info

Message-ID: <REPOST-23961.268737793.6ojpff$>
From: (Stan)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.bodyart,news.answers,rec.answers
Subject: REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 8/9--Misc. info
Followup-To: rec.arts.bodyart
Date: 16 Jul 1998 02:45:03 GMT
Organization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
Expires: August 15, 1998
X-Original-Message-ID: <6ojpff$>
Summary: This posting contains a bibliography of various sources 
         available on the topic of tattoos. Anyone who wishes to 
         read/post to the RAB newsgroup, or obtain tattoos should 
         read this first.
X-Comments: DtR Repost: The following Usenet article was cancelled,
X-Comments: more than likely by someone other than the original poster.
X-Comments: Please see the end of this posting for a copy of the cancel.
X-Comments: Dave the Resurrector can be contacted at

Archive-name: bodyart/tattoo-faq/part8
Last-modified: May 26, 1998
Posting-frequency: Monthly

 --==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--==*-< >-*==--
| * * * *  |
|  4 STAR  |
|   SITE!  |

This FAQ is maintained by Stan Schwarz <>

If you are reading this file using a web browser, and the file you are
looking at is from, click on the other archive
sites to access the FAQs instead. Ohio State's site is no longer
maintained, and continues to provide outdated versions of FAQs.

You can retrieve a copy of the FAQ via anonymous ftp from the MIT FTP
server:  <>.

The FAQs are also available on the World Wide Web at

The rec.arts.bodyart Tattoo FAQ is broken up into 9 parts:
 2/9--Getting a tattoo
 5/9--Artist list
 6/9--Care of new tattoos
 7/9--General care/removal
 8/9--Misc. info <---YOU ARE READING THIS FILE



This file is structured as a traditional FAQ in the form of questions
and answers. Questions answered in this file:

Rec.arts.bodyart FAQ Part 8/9: Misc. tattoo info:
  Ink colors
  Where can I get a Japanese "irezumi" tattoo?
  When did tattooing start?
  How does a modern tattoo gun work?
  How long do I have to wait before I can donate blood?
  Tattoos and allergies
  How do I temporarily cover up a tattoo?
  How do I become a tattoo artist?
  The dark side of tattooing
     "Rape by tattoo"
     Fulfilling unrequited feelings with tattoos
     Getting tattooed in a BDSM scene or relationship
     "Property of" tattoos
     "Culture vultures"
  U.S. laws regulating tattooing

Under the Berne Convention, this document is Copyright (c) 1997 by Lani
Teshima-Miller, all rights reserved. Permission is granted for it to be
reproduced electronically on any system connected to the various
networks which make up the Internet, Usenet, and FidoNet so long as it
is reproduced in its entirety, unedited, and with this copyright notice
intact. Web sites are included. Individual copies may also be printed
for personal use.


Subject:  INK COLORS 


Much has been discussed about these inks. One person who has had
experience using this is Ed Hardy (owner of San Francisco's Tattoo
City). This is what he told the FAQ maintainer:
"On this black light pigment, the fluorescent stuff...I don't know too
 much about it. I got some from a friend in Japan about 10 years ago and
 was using it for a while. It's not a true pigment as far as I know; 
 it's an analyn dye that's precipitated on some kind of microscopic 
 plastic particles or something. I've got tattoos that I've had for 
 about 10 years, and have never caused me any trouble. I've got sun on 
 them and everything. I don't think that the pigment is real strong. I 
 don't use this stuff anymore and I don't know where people can obtain 
 it. I know it's been in the news but we don't really mess with it's very difficult to put in the skin."

Having been given this information, I have deleted the rest of my
previous text here (which was unsubstantiated and thirdhand). If anyone
can point me to first-hand information, please contact me.


Fluorescent ink is not the same as glow-in-the-dark ink. Fluorescent
colors are what people usually refer to as "neon." Consider that
highlighter markers and bright Post-It notes are fluorescent. Thus
"fluorescent" and "glow-in'the-dark" are not one and the same, and the
terms are not interchangeable.

Most artists do not use fluorescent inks, but Karl MacRae tells me Eddie
Deutche at Tattoo City (San Francisco) has used them.

[Note: Deutche is no longer at Tattoo City but has his own shop, 
 222 Tattoo, in San Francisco.]


There are a lot more colors available now than just "Popeye green and
red." Just about every color imaginable can be obtained for your design.
If your artist does not have a pre-mixed color, s/he will mix the colors
on the spot for you. It is not an exaggeration to say that you could
specify your design by Pantone color, especially since many artists have
fine arts degrees and are familiar with the various Pantone shades
[Pantone shades are used by professional artists and are standard
numbered colored].


While there are some metallic inks available, these are very rare and a
general answer to this question is a simple "no." If you have a design
that needs to look metallic, a good artist can use other colors to make
it look metallic without actually using gold or silver ink.

My understanding is that artists shy away from metallic colors because
of their toxic properties under the skin.


Most artists use white ink to highlight certain parts of your tattoo
design. However, white ink is a special color that requires your artist
to work closely with you. The effect of white ink differs greatly among
clients, and its visibility and retention on the skin has much to do
with the natural coloration of your skin.

White ink seems to work best on very light-skinned people.
Unfortunately, this means people with dark skin would not able to get a
white ink tattoo on their skin to have a "photo negative effect" that
looks like a negative of a dark colored tattoo on light skin. This is
because the ink sits under your skin, and the layer of skin over the ink
is tinted with your natural skin color. So if you have very dark skin,
the white will be overwhelmed with your natural melanin.

Those who have very light skin however, may use white ink exclusively to
get tattoo designs that are very difficult to discern at first glance.
This might be an interesting option for ankle or wrist tattoos, or other
areas where a regular non-white tattoo would show up too easily and
possibly cause problems for the wearer.



Japanese "irezumi" tattoos are often associated with laborers (primarily
fire fighters and carpenters) and yakuza members, who stereotypically
also lack the tips of one or two digits on their hands (to signify a
failed order and to show loyalty--see the movie, _Black Rain_ with
Michael Douglas for an example). An excellent book to to see examples of
traditional Japanese bodysuits is _The Japanese tattoo_ by Sandi Fellman
(New York :  Abbeville Press,  1986. 112 p.). For those interested in
getting work of this magnitude done however, the general answer is "ya
can't gets one." This is not only because of the time or costs
involved--there is a sense of the spiritual and of propriety with the
artists, who do not advertise their services in the Yellow Pages.

Your best bet as a "gaijin" (foreigner) is to find a Western artist who
specializes in oriental artwork. As trends go, the young Japanese are
now interested in tattoos of Elvis and Chevies, anyway--the grass is
greener on the other side, I guess.

If you can manage to attend the larger tattoo conventions, some of the 
Japanese artists now travel the U.S. convention circuit regularly.


One word of warning about getting Japanese or Chinese characters--make
sure that the artist who does this understands the importance of the
shape and form of the letters. Unlike the roman alphabet, the essence of
the Oriental characters is in the proper execution of form. The artist
will have to know where the "brush strokes" of the calligraphy start
and end (since stroke order also counts), as well as how angular some
corners should be, etc. The worst thing would be to sport a Japanese
kanji character that looks like some zygotes. How to tell if the
characters are formed properly? It would help if you know how to read
kanji or if you have Asian friends--otherwise, go with a reputable
artist who is known for it. Beware: I read Japanese, and most of the 
kanji flash I've seen in shops are embarrassing to look at.

Brendan Mahoney <> adds:
Even were I to consider getting a kanji tattoo, mere copying just
doesn't cut it (no pun intended). Chinese, like Japanese, has printing
(e.g in books), hand printing (which can be very artisitic) and various
forms of cursive (extremely artistic), not to mention styles--something
like fonts--within each of the forms or writing. The most important
aspect of fine cursive (aside from form and proportion) is what the
Chinese call "flying white," that is, the white streaks created from
moving the brush so rapidly. Creating a tatoo like that would require 
considerable shading skill in addition to appreciation for the flying
white itself.



Paraphrased from the Globe and Mail (Toronto's National Newpaper):
 "A 4,000 year old man has been found in Italy near the Austrian border,
(originally it was reported he was in Austria, but both countries now
agree he is in Italy.)  Carbon dating will take a few months, but
artifacts found near him strongly suggest that  he is over 4,000 years
old...He is also tattooed...a small  cross is behind one knee and above
his kidneys there are a series of lines, about 15 cm long."

Now I knew that the Egyptians tattooed each other, but that was only
3,000 years ago. I wonder how much further back this custom goes?

From "Tattoo You" by Steve Wind (Off Duty Hawaii Magazine, October '92):
 "The first Western references to tattoos didn't come until 1771, when
Captain Cook brought the word to Europe after seeing the artform in
Tahiti. Tattoos were associated with the lower class and criminal
elements in Britain and America until the early 1900s when, drawn by a
sense of freedom, decadence and sexual liberation, upper classes began
wearing them as well."

The word "tattoo" apparently comes from the Tahitian word "tatau," which
was onomonopoetic for the sound their tattooing instrument made. The
word was brought back by Captain Cook.



I'd like to thank Fred Jewell <>, who did this entire
section, except the diagram [which took me some time], and the needle
arrangements, which is by Jesster. Please note that this information
is not for the purpose of teaching people how to tattoo, but to
assist in the public in becoming a more well-informed customer.

The tattoo machine (gun, as a misnomer) is really a basic doorbell
circuit (you know--you push a button and somewhere in the kitchen this
little arm bangs the hell out of a bell thingie). For you techies out
there it's a DC coil and spring point(s) machine. Both doorbell and tat
machine were invented before household current was available.

                /  \
                \  /  <--rabbit ear w/ a screw in it
              _/ /____
            / /_/     \
           | (   )---\ \
           |  --- ---\\ \
            \/ /_____ \\ \   __     __
           (  )     \ \\ \ /  \   /  \ <--mechanism
             ^ ------------    |  |    | <-contact points
armature   (| |________________|---\___|
bar ->      | | _/  \_||_/  \_        / <-This whole thing is the base
            | | [XXXX]||[XXXX]__    __ \
coils (X)-> | | |XXXX|--|XXXX|   \ /  \ \
            | | |XXXX|--|XXXX|   / \__/ |
            | | |XXXX|--|XXXX|  /   || /
            =========================== <-rubber bands
          ___| |___|__|__|__|__/ |___((_//
         / //\                       |\-
        | // |    ___________________|
         \// /___/
          ---  |
          |XXXXX|  <--sanitary tube
            \  /
             | |
             | |
             | |
             | |
             | |
             \_| <---needles

It is essentially in 3 sections: The base, the mechanism, and the
sanitary tube. The base really is the bulk of the metal; a rabbit ear
with a screw in it, bent at 90 degrees to hold coils. In the front
there's a round hole to hold the sanitary tube.

Some people think the base looks like the handle of a gun. The base
houses the mechanism, which consists of two coils of wire wrapped around
an iron core.

At the top of the mechanism is a set of silver contact "points" (like
the end of a wire); one usually on a spring mechanism, the other either
the end, or on the end of a screw.

The spring connects to the base and a bar, which is connected to the
needle arm (90 degrees offset). The needle arm is connected to the
needles (which are soldered onto the bar), and moves up and down inside
the sanitary tube.

The coils connect to a DC power supply (between 6 - 12VDC), via a spring
coiled U-cable. The U-cable is called a "clip cord," designed to move
easily between machines but also stay in place and not fall out and
spark all over the place. The springs hold the cable in/onto the

One side of the coils is connected to the power supply, the other end to
the point on the screw on the bunny ear, which is insulated from the
base. Through the points, the current flows via the coils and the base
of the machine. This causes the coils to become electromagnetic. The
electro-magnet pulls down the bar, which does two things: pulls down the
needles, and opens the points. The points being open turn off the
magnet. The spring assembly brings back the bar, which causes the
needles to move up *AND* make contact with the points. This causes the
whole cycle to happen again making the needles go up and down.

Most machines have a large capacitor across the coils/points, which
keeps the points from arcing and pitting, and wearing out so quickly. A
capacitor is a device that holds energy kind of like a battery, but
charges and discharges much faster (parts of a second rather than 3 or 4
hours). The capacitor charges while the points are open, so when they
close, the difference in voltage across them is nill. The points are
really an automatic switch controlled by the spring to turn the thing
off and on quickly. In old cars where there were points there was a
condenser (aka capacitor) for the same reason.

The sanitary tube sucks up the ink in capillary fashion, and the needles
load up as long as there's ink in the small portion of the tube.It's
called "sanitary" because of the cutout at the bottom of the tube, which
can be rinsed out.

My understanding is that there are three layers of skin: Scaly layer,
epidermis, and dermis. Tattoo machines are adjusted to penetrate into
the dermis layer but NOT *through* it (below it is the fat layer of the

When the needles go into the sanitary tube they have a layer of ink on
and between them. The needles make little holes in the skin, and the ink
is deposited into the holes. This is why the skin has to be stretched so
blobs of ink don't stay. Otherwise, the skin will latch onto the
needles, grab the ink from them and generally make a mess.

Ink just put into the scaly layer would be replaced quickly and fade
away. While ink into the epidermis will stay, my conjecture is thatthe
dermis makes for more ink and perhaps a more vivid image.

Machines are really of two types: Liners, and shaders. They areexactly
the same, but are set up differently. The gap for a liner isaround the
thickness of a dime, and a shader is the thickness of a nickel.

Liner needles are usually arranged on the bar in a circular pattern.
Shader needles are usually straight (like a comb), although Spaulding &
Rogers sells a 15-needle round shader. The needles are small sewing
machine needles, usually made of stainless steel. Liners are in 1, 3, 4,
5, & 7-needle combinations, set in a round configuration. Note: There
can really be any number of them but these seem to be most common.

Shader needles are in a straight row and usually are in groups of 4, 6,
7, 9 needles. The sanitary tubes are designed especially for the
combination of needles, so there's a special tube for each different
number of needles in a needle bar assembly

The following needle diagrams are from Jesse "Jesster" Parent

   o is a needle 
   . is a cut down needle (shorter & no point)


Single needle     3-needle     5-needle
     o               o            o o
    . .             o o            o
                                  o o


4-needle           6-needle
   oooo             oooooo

8-needle shaders are grouped so that 7 needles form a circle with 1 in
the middle. There are also 14-needle shaders.

8-needle     Magnums:
   o         5-needle       7-needle
  o o          o o            o o o
 o o o        o o o          o o o o
  o o

Shaders are mounted on flat needle bars while liners are mounted on
round bars

There are two other types of machines. Spaulding & Rogers revolution
(don't know of an artist that uses this one), which is a DC motor that
turns a cam that raises and lowers the needle bar assembly through a
sanitary tube. The other is something that I have never seen (even in
pictures) but they are used in prison and are made of tape recorder
motors, and for the life of me I don't know how they work.


The following information is provided by Uncle Bud <>:

Tattoo needles do not dullen with age, but instead become sharper by the
repetitive honing motion they experience in the tattoo gun (machine).
This happens because the metal of the sanitary tube rubs against the
needles, and the softer metal (the needles) will wear. The problem with
these sharpened needles is that they sharpen into flat razor-like edges,
and begin cutting the skin instead of piercing small holes.

Since a tattoo is created by the conical shape of the needle
transferring pigment into the skin with the aid of a wetting agent, the
needle's shape is as important as its sharpness. Pigment does not
transfer into the skin as efficiently when the shape is altered, and can
also lead to scarring.

Another problem with needles is the occurrence of burs or barbs when the
needles hit the side or bottom of the pigment caps.
While it is possible to use the same set of needles for more than eight
hours (on the same client, of course), correct needle configuration,
setup, and alignment of the needle and machine are very critical.



The standard question they always ask at blood banks is whether you've
had a piercing or tattoo within the last 12 months. A lot of discussion
has been made over RAB about some centers allowing for exceptions and
whatnot, but it looks like the general concensus is that you have to
wait 12 months. I assume this is to wait out any incidence of hepatitis
or HIV.

Jonathan Allan ( says the Mayo Clinic in Rochester,
MN won't take you if you have had:
 1. Sex w/ another male since 1977 (male to male);
 2. Sex w/ someone from the subtropic islands or sub-Saharan Africa
    since 1977;
 3. Sex for money or drugs EVER; 
 4. Sex w/ someone who had sex w/ one of the above EVER;
 5. ANY piercing or tattoo in the last 12 months.



Josephine Valencia <>, on allergies to certain inks:
The red reaction affects approximately 1 in every 100,000 to 300,000
people. It is characcterized by itching and sometimes swelling depending
on how severe the case. This usually happens 3 to 5 years after the
tattoo, although cases have been reported as early as a few months and
as late as 20 years.

Remedies usually involve OTC lotion or in more severe cases, medication
prescribed by a dermotoligist. No one seems to know what causes it and
is associated usually only with the color red.

About 20 (?) years ago most red pigments contained mercury and the red
reaction was much more common. It was widely believed that mercury was
the cause. Mercury is no longer used in tattoo inks. Red reaction
incidences decreased dramaticlly but were not eliminated.

Dr. Kai Kristensen <>, on other causes for allergic
reactions: Anything that the needles must go through to drive the ink
into the dermis can be carried with the ink into the skin--and some
people are blessed with a high degree of reaction to foreign material.

Most tattoo artists use a petroleum jelly based ointment as a lubricant
on the surface of the skin and tattoo through that layer. In some
persons, driving any of that into the skin sets up a foreign body
reaction with lumps and itching (me, for one). If that is the case,
persuade your artist to tattoo "dry" without the ointment. It is
perfectly satisfactory and no harder on the tattooer or tattooee. I
personally cannot see the need for the "grease" layer as an added
possibility for forein body reactions. [Ed.-Note that some artists use
plain petroleum jelly, while others use vitamin-enhanced products.]



If you are going to a job interview or some other event that requires
you to conceal your tattoos (and clothing is not an option), there are
two cosmetic products recommended:
1. Joe Blasco's line of theatrical cosmetics
2. Dermablend cover-up make-up, which is used by people who have
vitiligo (Michael Jackson's mysterious melanin-loss disease), scars,
birthmarks and tattoos.

For Blasco products, check with your local theater supply store (or your
local theater--they might be able to supply you, or refer you to their
direct number). Dermablend is available at cosmetic counters.



Depending on how it's asked, this question probably receives the most
amount of flames when posted to RAB. The general concensus is that there
is only "one way" to do it, and that is to apprentice, period. There is
far more to be learned about the art and business of tattooing than what
can be obtained simply from a book (e.g. customer service, etiquette,
running a business, dealing with emergencies).

Ever seen _Karate Kid_ where the boy learns his skills through mundane,
seemingly unrelated things like waxing a car? Spending eight months to a
year under a well-established artist's wings can help you to really
learn what's involved in being a professional tattooist, as well as in
how to run your own small business. Just as you would never consider
becoming a professional masseuse or an acupuncturist without proper
training, neither should you try to become a professional tattooist
without the proper training.

Unfortunately, many people consider "proper training" to mean "good at
drawing and used a tattoo machine." If you are a good illustrator, it
simply means you might have a better chance at finding an artist willing
to be your mentor.

The hardest part of becoming an apprentice is in finding an artist who
will take you seriously and let you work in the shop. Having a portfolio
of illustrations will certainly help. You will also end up knocking on a
lot of doors. Not every artist will want to have an apprentice, since
that means extra work for them. To prove your commitment, you may be
asked to put time in without any monetary compensation at all for a
while. And for many months, all you will do might be answering the phone
and mopping the floor. But remember that that is all part of your
training! Wax in, wax out! Expect to devote at least two to three years
to this form of training.

Currently, the only shop in the country I am aware of that runs any sort
of organized apprenticeship program is Notorious Ed's Tattoos in Austin,
Texas. There, individuals with absolutely no background in art or
tattooing can walk off the street and go through their tattoo
apprenticeship program and turn into an income-generating professional
tattooist in eight months. The tuition is set up such that it comes out
of the gross profits you generate at their shop once you are tattooing.
This means it takes a serious commitment because you will be there for
up to two years. However if you are ready to take the opportunity to be
a professional tattooist, it is no different than going to a vocational
school for two years. In 1998 they will be working with the state of
Texas to try to obtain accreditation for their program. When this is
approved, apprentices will be able to take out federal student loans and
use their GI bill. Visit Notorious Ed's web site at for more information.

Lastly, think very carefully about your consequences should you decide
not to go with the apprentice route:
o You may have difficulty becoming an established artist.
o You may have difficulty finding people you can work on.
o You may end up with a bad reputation for bad work.
o You may not learn how to run a business, and end up having to
  declare bankruptcy. happy you're not trying to become a master sushi chef: They take
*12 YEARS* to attain (and it takes five years just to get the privilege
of cooking the rice).



While the bulk of this FAQ looks at tattoos and tattooing very
positively, I need to address the fact that tattooing can be used in
harmful, negative ways. If you have ever been forced to get a tattoo you
did not want, or had someone else take your idea or identity, this
section will be of particular interest to you. Particular thanks to
Michelle DeLio <> for assistance in this section.


"Rape by tattoo" by its definition means that someone violated you in a
personal way by using a tattoo as a weapon. This could be done in two
ways. One could be that you were forced to receive a tattoo you did not
want. The movie, _Tattoo_, carries this theme to the extreme, with an
obsessed tattoo artist kidnapping a professional model (Maude Adams) and
tattooing her while she is unconscious. The movie in fact, was boycotted
by some women's groups when it was first released.

While genital penetration may not be involved, involuntary tattooing is
an unpleasant experience for the recipient, and is very symbolic of the
use of a penetrating weapon to mark an indelible stain on the victim's

The second could happen when someone chooses to tattoo your name on
their body without your full permission and cooperation. Some may think,
"What's the problem? You should be flattered," However, those who have
had this happen to them have noted a profound sense of loss, that part
of their identity or soul was stolen from them. In one particular case,
a man surprised his girlfriend with a tattoo of her name on him, and
with it began the start of a stalking relationship that terrified her
for years in an obsessive/possessive situation involving domestic abuse.

I am hereby urging the strongest recommendation in the entire FAQ: If
you want the name of your loved one tattooed on your body or your loved
one wants one of your name, 150% open-hearted, voluntary permission must
be given by both parties as a prerequisite. (Exceptions made for names
of the deceased, or of famous people). There should be no "convincing"
or "talking into" involved. If there is the slightest hesitation, please
do not do this.

Those who wish to have their loved one represented in a tattoo should
instead use a symbolic object.


There are some lonely people in this world who enjoy inflicting pain on
their bodies (NOT to say all those who enjoy it are lonely!), or have
wish fulfillment dreams that they try to make come true with tattoos.
Michelle Delio tells the following story:

"Back when he was first starting out, Shotsie Gorman says a girl came
into shop--kind of shy and awkward--wanted a name tattooed around her
nipple. Shotsie tried to back off, feeling weird about this, but the
shop owner insisted.

"So Shotsie does the tattoo. He's almost finished when he says, 'Well
you and Xxxxxxxxxxx must have a really special relationship for you to
be getting this kind of tattoo, right?' The girl replies, 'He doesn't
even know I exist.' Shotsie said this made him physically ill. That was
the start of his personal ban on doing names/slogans, because he says
there's too much weirdness connected with it."


There are a couple of concerns with tattooing in the BDSM context.
First, there are many sanitation concerns with regard to tattooing, and
just as with piercing (either play piercing or "real" piercing) during a
scene, it is imperative that all sterilization procedures are correctly
followed. And because of the permanency of tattoos, things such as
designs, locations, and placement should be fully agreed upon prior to
the start of a scene. While this may take some of the spontaneity out of
things, it is a very important step that should not be omitted.
Recipients of the tattooing in a scene should be fully aware during the
procedure, and be able to safe-word out if the scene is not comfortable
for them.

Second (and within the frame of the "dark side" theme of this section)
there are some tops who extend the relationship with their bottoms
beyond scenes, and in some instances, bottoms may feel that they have no
choice but to be tattooed (or pierced, branded, etc.) by order of their

While persons may enlarge their relationship boundaries beyond the
actual scenes, it is important to make sure that such permanent things
as tattoos are still fully agreed upon. Just as safe words exist, a
bottom should still be feel comfortable when it comes to a decision to
receive a tattoo as part of the relationship.

The bottom should always have the final say in such matters, if only for
the fact that the relationship may not always last, and because body
modification affects people at very deep levels.


There are (primarily) women who have "Property of ______" tattooed on
their buttocks to show that they are "owned" by their partner. This has
been traditional with bikers. Some women have "Property of [name of the
club]" tattooed on themselves after they pass some sort of initiation
(which could be having sex with every member of the club) so they could
join the club (although many times, they join the club as a "hood
ornament" and not as full-fledged members with the same rank and status
of men).

Treating women as property is both degrading and insulting. It is also a
sad fact that some women feel that they are not worth as much without
this stamp of approval. Do women in these situations have the capacity
to know what "true consent" is?

Michelle DeLio tells the tale of one such woman, who broke up with one
man and married another: "As a sort of wedding present to her, they
dragged the girl to the local tattooist and they inked 'CANCELED' on her
butt in big black block letters, like a meat stamp (over her old
'Property of' tattoo)."


The popularity of primitive designs has led to people searching
anthropology books for cultural images for their tattoos. It is a very
bad idea to use sacred images of a culture to which you do not belong.
Using clan symbols, shields and other such images merely for visual
effect is nothing short of robbing the soul of a culture. On the other
hand, tattoos *inspired* by native iconography is both exciting and
respectful. Otherwise, make sure you can lay claim to the image by
checking your geneaology.

Also, remember that some cultures have an extensive tattoo history.
Beyond the images themselves, some tattoos, like the Maori moko, are
considered sacred and limited only to those who are allowed to wear
them. For the Maori, a foreigner who wears a moko without understanding
its significance, or receiving the proper blessings, is nothing short of
cultural robbery.

This topic was a very hot thread in RAB during the fall of 1995. There
were several differing opinions, but here are the general highlights:
o The use of icons and symbols is a real sore point for people of a 
  culture that considers the symbols sacred. Examples: Family crests, 
  patterns indicating geneaological lineage, and religious symbols.
o Many cultural images are not sacred or religious. These should be 
  available for use by those from other cultures.
o Many symbols of one culture are actually adaptations from other 
  cultures. From this standpoint, some people feel that the use of 
  cultural symbols should be okay.

Perhaps a compromise or middle ground is best in this situation. If you
are interested in a tattoo from another culture, it is suggested you:
o First check to see if the image is sacred, and whether "foreigners" 
  are allowed to wear the image. After all, if you desire to wear the 
  image because you respect it or the culture, the last thing you want 
  to do is offend the very people you look up to.
o If the wearing of the image requires some sort of blessing from a
  person from that culture, do some research as to how this could be
o Even if the image is not sacred, you should check with a person native
  to that culture to make sure the image looks correct. Example: 
  Japanese kanji characters.
o Above all, be respectful. Do a little research. If you find an image
  you like, try to learn a little bit about the culture and the image.
  Make sure you are not offending anyone with the tattoo idea you have.



Where available, I have included the information about the laws
regarding tattooing for that state. Note that some states leave this up
to the cities or municipalities. This information should only be used
for unofficial information purposes, and may change by each legislative
session--for accurate and up-to-date information regarding the laws of
your area, contact a professional tattoo shop or the department of
public health.

The laws regarding tattooing differ as greatly as there are states in
the U.S. While a handful serve as model states for regulations, most are
completely unregulated, with the exception of some laws on the minimum
allowable age. There is no federal legislation regarding tattooing.

To complicate things however, many states leave these regulations up to
the cities, counties and municipalities. In addition, changes or
amendments to existing laws crop up regularly.

BrYan Westbrook <> researched US laws by
contacting all 50 states. His exhaustive work is greatly appreciated,
and is posted at the beginning section of each US state. Unless
otherwise noted, the information is current as of 1994. If YOUR state
changes its laws, please contact me.

The 11 states in the forefront of regulation are: Alaska, Arkansas,
Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota,
Texas, and West Virginia.

The 34 states that are not regulated are: Alabama, Arizona, California,
Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana,
Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana,
Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North
Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia,
Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The four states that ban tattooing altogether are: Massachusetts,
Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Vermont.

(If you only counted 49 states, you're right--the oddball is the state
of Florida, which has some unique laws.)

Regulations help promote professionalism, and discourage "scratchers."
This is important when considering disease transmission (HIV and
Hepatitis-B in particular). If you think this is a frivolous issue,
consider that Massachusetts, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Vermont have
banned tattooing altogether.

If state legislators try to introduce regulations on tattooing, make
sure they follow in the lines of the 11 states, which cover points such
Artist requirements: Training, knowledge of sanitation, washing of
 hands and use of barrier gloves for every new client 
Facility requirements: Clean work area, availability of running water 
Equipment requirements: Autoclave, disposable needles, covered waste 
Procedural requirements: Customers needing to be sober, use of signed
consent forms

The following are the actual requirements for the state of Hawaii. The
others with regulations follow in a similar vein:

o Building must be clean, in good repair, have adequate lighting
o Adequate ventilation required
o Tattoo establishments many not be used for any non-tatoo related 
o Toilets must be provided for customers
o Work area must be separate from the rest of the business, or at 
  least separated upon request
Artist Hygiene
o Artists should always wash their hands before every tattoo.
o Separate sink (away from the toilet facilities) must be 
  available for artists to wash their hands
o Artists must dry their hands with single use paper towels or 
  some sort of mechanical (air) dryer
o Artists with communicable diseases may not tattoo
o Food, drink, and smoking not allowed in the work area
o Smoking prohibited
o May not tattoo in exchange for sex
o Immersion in a germicidal solution as an alternative to 
  autoclaving allowed
o Use of defective, dull, or rusty equipment is banned
o Disposable single-use ink containers must be used, and with any 
  unused ink must be discarded after every customer
o All dyes must be approved
o Minimum number of needles and tubes must be kept on hand
o Only sterilized or disposable razors allowed
o Covered waste containers required
o Special storage cabinets for tattooing materials required
o Tattooing materials may not be stored in the restroom.
o Facial tattoos may only be done by licensed physicians
o Injection of chemicals into the skin by tattoo artists to remove 
  tattoos is illegal
o Customers must be sober
o Signed consent forms required
o Parental consent forms required for minors
o Artists must keep records on every customer for at least 2 years
o Oral care instructions required
o Acetate stencils must be sanitized

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This ends "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 8/9--Misc. info." This should be
followed by "rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 9/9--Bibliography."

REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 9/9--Bibliography

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From: (Stan)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.bodyart,news.answers,rec.answers
Subject: REPOST: rec.arts.bodyart: Tattoo FAQ 9/9--Bibliography
Followup-To: rec.arts.bodyart
Date: 16 Jul 1998 02:46:12 GMT
Organization: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
Expires: August 15, 1998
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Summary: This posting contains a bibliography of various sources 
         available on the topic of tattoos. Anyone wishing to read/post
         to the RAB newsgroup, or obtain tattoos should read this first.
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| * * * *  |
|  4 STAR  |
|   SITE!  |

This FAQ is maintained by Stan Schwarz <>

If you are reading this file using a web browser, and the file you are
looking at is from, click on the other archive
sites to access the FAQs instead. Ohio State's site is no longer
maintained, and continues to provide outdated versions of FAQs.

You can retrieve a copy of the FAQ via anonymous ftp from the MIT FTP
server:  <>.

The FAQs are also available on the World Wide Web at

The rec.arts.bodyart Tattoo FAQ is broken up into 9 parts:
 2/9--Getting a tattoo
 5/9--Artist list
 6/9--Care of new tattoos
 7/9--General care/removal
 8/9--Misc. info
 9/9--Bibliography<---YOU ARE READING THIS FILE


This file is structured as a traditional FAQ in the form of questions
and answers. Questions answered in this file:

Rec.arts.bodyart FAQ Part 9/9: Bibliography
  - Are there references about tattoos I could look up?
  - Tattoos in movies and videos
  - Print references:
    Magazine and journal articles about tattoos/bodyart
    Books about tattoos/bodyart (reviews where available)
      Celtic tattoo bibliography, by Pat Fish
  - Tattoo organizations
  - Tattoo magazines

Under the Berne Convention, this document is Copyright (c) 1997 by Lani
Teshima-Miller, all rights reserved. Permission is granted for it to be
reproduced electronically on any system connected to the various
networks which make up the Internet, Usenet, and FidoNet so long as it
is reproduced in its entirety, unedited, and with this copyright notice
intact. Web sites are included. Individual copies may also be printed
for personal use.


When I first started looking around for references about tattoos, all I
found were scholarly journal articles about how juvenile delinquents and
prisoners had tattoos, or how tattoos were an indicator for psychosis. I
*knew* there had to be more stuff out there. However, a quick look
through the Lexis/Nexis online (fee-based) database revealed *thousands*
of RECENT citations on bodyart. When a mainstream comic strip like
"Cathy" mentions a navel ring, you are apt to get a lot of forgettable

I eventually plan to pare this list down to a quality annotated
bibliography. I also plan to include in this bibliography a listing of
sources that you could use for ideas on various designs.



This is not a comprehensive list, and does not include videos that are
produced for tattoo conventions; but rather, easily accessible movies
and videos where tattoos are used in some significant form. This
wonderful movie bibliography was compiled by Carl Shapiro
(carl@lvsun.COM) unless otherwise noted:

Tattoos play minor, but sometimes interesting, roles in these movies:

"Blues Brothers". John Belushi, Dan Akroyd
 Reviewer: Ray Hamel (
 -The brothers have their names tatooed on their knuckles.

"Cape Fear" (1991). Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte.
 -A tattooed psychopath preys on a Southern lawyer and his family.

"Double Exposure" (1987). Mark Hennessy, Scott King.
 -2 photographers turn sleuth after taking a picture of a tattooed

"The Jigsaw Murders" (1989). Chad Everett, Michelle Johnson.
 -A police detective and a doctor solve a gruesome mystery with a puzzle
and tattoo as clues.

"Lethal Weapon" Mel Gibson
 Reviewer: A.D.C.Elly (
 -The cops recognise that one of the men they're after is a "Special
Forces" man because a little boy saw his tattoo (which matches the one
Riggs got when he was Special Forces).

"Man Against the Mob: The Chinatown Murders" (1989). George Peppard, 
 Ursula Andress.
 -Odd tattoos on corpses lead a detective to a Los Angeles nightclub.

"Night of the Hunter" (1991). Richard Chamberlain, Diana Scarwid.
 -A crook's family is prey to a preacher who has "LOVE" and "HATE"
knuckle tattoos.

"Night of the Hunter" (1955). Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters
 -Original (and much better) version of above. Mitchum is fantastic;
very scary.

"Once were warriors" (1994). Rena Owen, Temuera Morrison, Mamaengaroa
 - Hailed by critics everywhere, this independent New Zealand film
released by Communicado film distributed by Fine Line Features, tells a
bittersweet tale of a Maori family renched apart by alcoholism and
abuse. At the core is Beth Heke, whose desire to save her family serves
as the center of this tale. Authentic native Maori tattoos seen
throughout the film.

"The Phoenix" (1992). Jamie Summers, E.Z. Rider.
 -Tattoo master seeks perfect canvas.

"Poison Ivy" has a scene about it
 Reviewer: Abu (

"Raising Arizona". Nicholas Cage.
 Reviewer: Todd Liebenow (
 -Cage's character has a tatoo of a Woody Woodpecker head on his arm. At
the end of the movie when he's fighting the lone biker of the apoclypse
we find out that the biker has the same tatoo. However, we never find
out what all this means.

"Romper Stomper" (1993). Distributed by Seon Films, made by
 Film Victoria.
 Reviewer: Pierre Honeyman (
A love story among tattooed skinheads, there are some very good tattoos
in this movies, although the racist content may offend some viewers. The
movie is not about racism.

"Sonny Boy" * (1990). David Carradine, Paul L. Smith.
 -A demented brute and his hairy tattooed wife lose control of their
wild child, bred to kill.

 "Tales from the Crypt"
 Contributor: Abu (
 -There's an episode with Tia Carrera about a guy whose tattoo
gets...under his skin.

"Tattoo Chase" (1989). F. Richards Ford, Michael Gregory.
 -An heir has 60 days to find the treasure-map tattoo on one of his
father's global girlfriends.

"The Tattooed Stranger" (1950). John Miles, Patricia White.
 -A New York police detective tracks down a killer using a tattoo clue. 

They play major roles in these movies:

"Charles Gatewood's Tattoo San Francisco" (1988). San Francisco, CA :
Flash Video. 60 min.
Review: Short segments on tattoo enthusiasts and artists in the Bay
Area. Vyvyn Lazonga and Dick Tome are interviewed, as well as others. If
you liked the cover of _Modern Primitives_, its model is interviewed in
here as well. Production quality (lighting, editing, etc.) will not win
any Academy Awards, but the information contained is interesting.
Definitely worth renting, though probably not worth buying.

"The Illustrated Man" (1969). Rod Steiger, Claire Bloom.
 -Wonderful adaptation of Ray Bradbury's novel about a man whose body
tattoos depict actual events, all shown in flashback and flash-forward.

"Irezumi" (Spirit of Tattoo) (1985). Masayo Utsonomiya, Tomisaburo 
 Wakayama, Yuhsuke Takita, Masaki Kyomoto, Harue Kyo, Naomi 
 Shiraishi, Taiji, Tonoyama.
 -In this exquisitely beautiful Japanese film, a young woman consents to
her lover's wish to have her tattooed, and fulfills the cycle of the
tattoo master's life.
Notes from Lani: I got quite a bit more out of this movie because I
didn't need the subtitles. Some of the Japanese nuances and symbolism is
lost to a Western audience. Some of the more important points to note
while watching this film:
The seasons are one of the most common themes in Japanese literature,
much like the use of colors to represent themes in Western literature.
Examples in this film:
-Both the master's ex-wife and son had names that started with "Haru."
In Japanese, this means "Spring." The importance of this is obvious--he
had both of them earlier in life, when he was still in his spring.
-On the other hand, the continuous references to snow refer to the
closing of his life: the snow storm in the first scene in the movie; of
his telling the main character that "snowflakes would look good on your
back;" the symbol of the Japanese snow flake that leads to the
unraveling of his life; and the snowflake books.
Other symbols and themes liberally sprinkled through the film:
-Harutsune, the son, serves as a perfect amalgamation of the
parents--his backpiece is done by his mother, while his full front piece
is done by the father.
-The theme of empowerment and independence is once again present here,
as in Tanizaki Jun'ichiro's _Shisei_, the short story about the young
woman who gets a large spider on her back.
-The theme of the complete cycle is repeated throughout:
 --The change of the seasons representing the cycle of life and death
(reminiscent of _Charlotte's Web_)
 --The woman is urged to get a tattoo by the master's wife.
 --The cycle after death is complete upon the last prick.

"Signatures of the soul, tattooing" (1984). Peter Fonda. Producer Geoff
Steven. New York, NY : Filmakers Library
 -Peter Fonda explores the social history of tattooing, both 
 primitive and modern, discussing its use as ornament, badge, and
personal statement. Practitioners of the art from the Pacific Islands,
California, and Japan discuss the aesthetics of the art.

"Tattoo" Maude Adams
 -A tattoo artist obsessed with a professional model abducts her and
tattoos her entire body.




Publications Ltd (who produce Body Art magazine, and supply jewelery)
moved (ages ago) to: PO Box 32, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR29 5RD

"Career-oriented Women with Tattoos" by Armstrong, Myrna L. 
 _Image--the journal of nursing scholarship_. Wint '91 v 23 n 4 p 215

"Memorial Decoration: Women, Tattooing, and the Meanings of Body
Alteration" by Sanders, Clinton. _Michigan quarterly review_. Wint 1991
v 30 n 1 p 146
Summary: Sanders is one of a very few academicians writing about body
modifications. This article is the only one I've encountered that deals
specifically with the psychology of women tattoo enthusiasts, whose
reasons for getting inked differ from those of their male counterparts.

"Trends: Tattoos go mainstream." _Newsweek_. Jan 07 91 v 117 n 1 p 60
Summary: A short article focusing on a couple of tattoo enthusiasts who
do not fit the stereotype, including a French man working on his full
back piece. Good introduction to the change in 

"Nonmainstream body modification: genital piercing, burning, and
cutting" by Myers, James. _Journal of contemporary ethnography_. Oct 01
1992 v 21 n 3 p 267.
Summary: One of the few papers that is both academic and informational.
Begins with a definition of "body modification" and discusses various
non-tattooing bodmods. Key players including Fakir, Jim Ward & Raellyn
are mentioned. Gauntlet illustration of genital pierces available. Some
sense of "outsider peeking in;" author specifies the fact that he is a
heterosexual male anthropologist (he is an anthro prof at Cal State


Some books may no longer be in print--check your library for a copy, or
request an InterLibrary Loan. Not all tattoo magazines are reviewed here
(a serials cataloger's nightmare--new titles cropping up all the time,
issues ceasing publication for no reason, etc.)

Carson, Richard D. Never Get a Tattoo. Rogers, Novle, illustrator.
(Illus.). 144p. 1990. Paper. $8.95. (ISBN 0-06-096509-6, PL).
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

DeMichele, William. The Illustrated Woman: Photographs by William
DeMichele. Pref. by Gorman, Shotsie. (Illus.). 128p. 1992. $65.00. (ISBN
0-9631708-0-5); Paper. $34.95. (ISBN 0-9631708-1-3). Proteus Press, Inc.
Special Edition $150. Protective slipcase for hard cover book: $15.00.
Review: This 11"x13" book is a unique photo collection of tattooed
women. In the International tattoo community this book is already a
collector's item, it's a valuable addition to anyone who buys fine
photographic books

Fellman, Sandi. The Japanese Tattoo. (Illus.). 120p. 04/1988. Paper.
$24.95. (ISBN 0-89659-798-9). Abbeville Press, Inc.

Gell, Alfred. Wrapping in Images: Tattooing in Polynesia. (Oxford
Studies in the Anthropology of Cultural Forms). (Illus.). 364p. 1993.
$95.00. (ISBN 0-19-827869-1, 14144). Oxford University Press, Inc.

Handy, Willowdean C. Tattooing in the Marquesas. (BMB). 1974. Repr. of
1922 ed. $15.00. (ISBN 0-527-02104-0). Kraus Reprint.

Hardy, Donald E. Art from the Heart. (Tattootime Ser.: No. 5). 1993.
Paper. $20.00. (ISBN 0-945367-09-0). Hardy Marks Publications.
To order: P.O. Box 90520, Honolulu HI 96835, phone: 808-737-7033
or email Francesca Passalacqua <>.

Hardy, Donald E. Dragon Tattoo Design. (Illus.). 96p. 1988. $50.00.
(ISBN 0-945367-01-5). Hardy Marks Publications.

Hardy, Donald E. Eye Tattooed America. 116p. 06/1993. Paper. $20.00.
(ISBN 0-945367-12-0). Hardy Marks Publications.

Hardy, Donald E., editor. Life & Death Tattoos. rev. ed. (Tattootime
Ser.). (Illus.). 96p. 1989. Paperback text edition. $15.00. (ISBN
0-945367-05-8). Hardy Marks Publications.

Hardy, Donald E., editor. Music & Sea Tattoos. rev. ed. (Tattootime
Ser.). (Illus.). 96p. (Orig.). 1988. Paperback text edition. $15.00.
(ISBN 0-945367-04-X). Hardy Marks Publications.

Hardy, Donald E., editor. New Tribalism. rev. ed. (Tattootime Ser.).
(Illus.). 64p. (Orig.). 1988. Paperback text edition. $10.00. (ISBN
0-945367-02-3). Hardy Marks Publications.

Hardy, Donald E. Sailor Jerry Collins: American Tattoo Master. 1994.
Paper. $30.00. (ISBN 0-945367-11-2). Hardy Marks Publications.

Hardy, Donald E. The Tattoo Coloring Book, Vol. 1. (Illus.). 36p.
(Orig.). 1990. Paperback text edition. $14.95. (ISBN 0-685-44854-1). T C
B Imprints, Unlimited.

Hardy, Donald E. Tattoo Flash. (Illus.). 74p. (Orig.). 1990. Paperback
text edition. $80.00. (ISBN 0-945367-06-6). Hardy Marks Publications.

Hardy, Donald E., editor. Tattoo Magic. rev. ed. (Tattootime Ser.).
(Illus.). 64p. (Orig.). 1988. Paperback text edition. $10.00. (ISBN
0-945367-03-1). Hardy Marks Publications.

Krakow, Amy. The Total Tattoo Book. (Orig.). 1994. Paper. (ISBN
0-446-67001-4). Warner Books, Inc.

Mascia-Lees, Frances E. & Sharpe, Patricia., editors. Tattoo, Torture,
Mutilation & Adornment: The Denaturalization of the Body in Culture &
Text. (SUNY Series, The Body in Culture, History, & Religion). 172p.
1992. $44.50. (ISBN 0-7914-1065-X); Paper. $14.95. (ISBN 0-7914-1066-8).
State University of New York Press. Warning: This book has a very
negative attitude towards body modification, and has very little to do
with tattooing. Note from the FAQ maintainer (Stan Schwarz):
"This book is the only book I have ever thrown in the trash."

Maginnes, Al. Outside a Tattoo Booth. Zarucchi, Roy, editor. Page,
Carolyn, editor. Page, Carolyn, illustrator. (Chapbook Ser.). (Illus.).
28p. (Orig.). 1991. Paper. $5.00. (ISBN 1-879205-16-5). Nightshade

Morse, Albert L. The Tattooists. Walsh, John A., editor. (Illus.). 1977.
$79.95. (ISBN 0-918320-01-1). Morse, Albert L.

Richie, Donald. The Japanese Tattoo. Buruma, Ian, photographer.
(Illus.). 120p. 1990. $22.50. (ISBN 0-8348-0228-7). Weatherhill, Inc.

Rosen, Jerry. Tattoo Interview. 1992. $14.95. (ISBN 0-86719-387-5). Last
Gasp Eco-Funnies, Inc.

Sanders, Clinton R. Customizing the Body: The Art & Culture of
Tattooing. (Illus.). 224p. 1989. $29.95. (ISBN 0-87722-575-3). Temple
University Press.
Review: One of the only academically recognized books without an agenda
against tattooing.

Schwartz, Paul. The Tattoo Buyer's Guide: A Complete & Candid Guide to
Getting a Great Tattoo. (Illus.). 57p. (Orig.). 1993. Paper. $6.95.
(ISBN 0-9635778-0-8). Alter Ego Press.

Spaulding, Huck. Tattooing A to Z: A Guide to Successful Tattooing.
Naydan, Ted, illustrator. (Illus.). 141p. 1988. $45.00. (ISBN
0-929719-00-X). Spaulding & Rogers Manufacturing, Inc.

Stine, Megan. Tattoo Mania: The Newest Craze in Wearable Art. Juv (gr.
1-3) 1993. Paper. $5.99. (ISBN 0-553-48144-4). Bantam Books, Inc.

Thompson, Earl. Tattoo. 704p. 1991. Paper. $6.95. (ISBN 0-88184-727-5).
Carroll & Graf Publishers.

Wroblewski, Chris. Skin Shows: The Art of Tattoo. (Illus.). 118p. 1991.
Paper. $19.95. (ISBN 0-86369-272-9, W H Allen UK). Carol Publishing

Wroblewski, Chris. Skin Shows II: The Art of Tattoo. (Illus.). 130p.
Paper. $19.95. (ISBN 0-86369-517-5, W H Allen UK). Carol Publishing

Wroblewski, Chris. Tattooed Women. (Illus.). 128p. 1992. Paper. $19.95.
(ISBN 0-86369-524-8, W H Allen UK). Carol Publishing Group.

Marks of civilization : artistic transformations of the human body.
Arnold Rubin, editor. 279p. 1988. Museum of Cultural History, University
of California, Los Angeles. Bibliography: p. 265-276. 

Modern Primitives. V. Vale and Andrea Juno, editors. (Illus.) [216]p.
1989. Paper. Index. #12 in the Re/Search series. Orders: SASE to
Re/Search Publications, 20 Romolo #B, San Francisco, CA  94133.
Review: If you are interested in bodyart as a whole beyond tattoos, this
is the one book that you should have in your reference collection. The
book is a collection of interviews and write-ups about a very wide
spectrum, including the opener on Fakir Musafar (he is THE bodyart god,
IMHO), sword swallowing, Polynesian tattoos, pierces, cuttings, etc. The
section on body piercing complements Ardvark's FAQ, and has
illustrations on exactly WHERE those darned genital pierces are supposed
to go. Important note: This book is not for the faint-at-heart. Some of
the information and text contained are very graphic--an assumption can
be made that those wanting to read the book are already USED to small
tattoos and nipple pierces. There is a graphic photo of a bifurcated
penis, for example. You have been duly warned.

Richter, Stefan. Tattoo. (Illus.). 158p. 1985. Quartet.

Richie, Donald. The Japanese tattoo. Ian Buruma, photos. (Illus.). 115p.
1980. Weatherhill

Robley, Horatio Gordon. Moko; or, Maori tattooing. (Illus.). 216p. 1987.
Southern Reprints.

Stewart, Samuel. Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos: A Social History of the
Tattoo with Gangs, Sailors, and Street-Corner Punks. (1950-1965).
Review by Lance Bailey (
  Instead of a well-written mature examination of tattoos and society,
we instead find Steward's full of misconceptions, incorrect facts and a
dedication to link tattoos and gay sex.
  Presented as a formal study, Stewart claims that "it is perhaps the
only volume on tattooing not dependent on tattoo photographs to boost
sales." He however commits one of the writer's worst crimes by talking
down to the reader.
  The book is sprinkled liberally with street slang instead of the
language of a serious study. Worse, however is the gross inaccuracies in
the book. Two examples:
1: Through out the book Steward presents himself, or rather his
pseudonym Phil Sparrow, as the best tattooist in Chicago whilst he
practised there. His comments on tattoos become amusing in this light
and on "Famous tattoos" he comments: "The second of the legendary
tattoos is a 'pack of hounds chasing a fox down across a person's back,'
with the fox disapearing in the a convenient burrow...At any rate,
although thousands of persons have said they have seen such a tattoo, it
is hardly reasonable that I should never have seen one in 18 years and
over a hundred persons." Well, Mr Sparrow should pick up a copy of "Art,
sex, and symbol:  the mystery of tatooing (1986)" which has several
pictures of tattoos on that very theme.
2: In his section on tattooing the drunk, he says he did not mind
working on someone who'd had a few drinks for courage, but the truly
intoxicated should not be tattooed because "a drunk cannot sit
still...he is very likely to get sick suddenly... [and] the choice of
design selected was regretted as soon as they became sober. Steward
seems to be completely ignorant of the fact that alcohol is an
anti-coagulant and a single beer can make someone bleed like a stuck


           BY PAT FISH <>. 

New York, Dover Publications [1973]  159 p. illus. 31 cm. Reprint of the
1951 ed. published by W. MacLellan, Glasgow. ISBN: 0486229238
Review: Lavishly illustrated with line drawings and photographs. This is
the grand original that has inspired the Celtic revival and is an
excellent start for understanding the creation of knotworks and braids.
Not an easy method to master, but the best single resource book

CELTIC KNOTWORK, by Ian Mackintosh Bain
Constable 1986, 115 p., 8"x10", paper. ISBN 0-09-469810-4
If his father's work confuses you (above), take heart and try this. He
teaches a method for creating knotworks in a grid that is surely close
to the method used in the past. 
[Currently available as: Celtic knotwork / Iain Bain. New York :
Sterling Pub. Co., 1992. 115 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm. ISBN:
0806986387 : $14.95]

ISBN 0-09-471820-2, Constable 1993, 88 pages, 8"x10", paperbound
The definitive text for learning how to create and reproduce the
interlocking key geometric patterns. 
[May be available as: Celtic key patterns / Iain Bain. New York:Sterling
Pub. Co., c1994. xi, 88 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm. ISBN: 0806907401
: $14.95]

THE LINDISFARNE GOSPEL, introduction by Janet Backhouse
ISBN 0-7148-2461-5, Department of Manuscripts, British Library
illuminated pages reproduced in color, paperbound
The second most influential of the ancient manuscripts from the 9th
century .Beautiful inspiration, not possible to trace patterns because
they are so tiny, but colors are vivid.

New York : Dover Publications, c1982.  32 p. : col. ill. ; 31 cm. ISBN:
0486243451 (pbk.)
Review: An inspirational source, provides a reality check on the scale
and intricacy of the original 9th century masterpiece. Much too
miniscule in scale to be of use for tracing out patterns, but awe
inspiring to study. Of particular use for coloring ideas.

New York : Dover, 1991.  44 p. : chiefly ill. ; 28 cm. ISBN: 0486267180
(pbk.) : $3.95
Excellent flash source.Many knotwork and zoomorphic designs.

New York : Dover, 1993.  16 p. : chiefly ill. ; 28 cm. ISBN 048627456X
Possible flash source. They lend themselves well to reproduction on a
large scale, heavy black linework very well composed.

New York : Dover . 48 p. : 65 transfer patterns, 28 cm. ISBN 0486260593
Excellent flash source. Armbands, knotworks, zoomorphics, all ready to
go as stencils on tissue paper. 

THE ART OF CELTIA, by Courtney Davis
London : Blandford, 1993.  128 p. :ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm. ISBN:
Evocative use of traditional Celtic artforms in superb artwork.
Discussions of symbolism and the historic signifigance of the designs.
Very inspiring.

CELTIC MANDALAS, by Courtney Davis, with text by Helena Paterson
London : Blandford, 1994, 96 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 29 cm. ISBN
0713723890 (pbk.)
Beautiful use of Celtic motifs in symbolic art, discussions of Celtic
mythology and zodiac signs.

CELTIC BORDERS AND DECORATION, by Courtney Davis, text by Helena
London : Blandford ; New York, NY : Distributed in the United States by
Sterling Pub. Co., 1992.  95 p. : ill. ; 28 cm. ISBN: 0713723300
Wonderful guide to bands, braids, and designs suitable for expansion
into armbands, anklets etc.

London ; New York : Blandford : Distributed in the United States by
Sterling Publishing Co, 1988. [128] p. : chiefly ill. (some col.) ; 26
cm. ISBN: 0713719826
The ONLY negative thing I can say about this inspirational work is that
it will raise the expectations of tattoo clients too high for what can
reasonably be accomplished in the skin format. Any of these designs
could translate, but many only at backpiece scale. For the use of color
examples alone it stands out as a must-have in any Celtic art library.

THE BOOK OF CONQUESTS, by Jim Fitzpatrick
Dutton : 1978. ISBN 0525475117 (pbk.)
Beautiful use of Celtic design motifs in service of storytelling,
bringing the tales of the Old Ones alive. Possibly also available: NUADA

Jennifer Laing
London : Thames and Hudson, c1992.  216 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 21 cm.
ISBN: 0500202567
More of a text for historical grounding.

159 CELTIC DESIGNS, by Amy Lusebrink
New York : Dover, 1988. 48 p. : chiefly ill. ; 28 cm. ISBN 0486276880
Excellent flash source. Unfortunately rather poorly drawn, most would
have to be re-drawn for precision before being used as a tattoo stencil.

Thames & Hudson , 258 illustrations. ISBN 0500276293 (pbk.)
If you want to begin to draw your own braids, this is the text.

New York : Thames and Hudson, 1991.  159 p. : ill. ; 21 cm. ISBN:
0500276307 : $14.95
Even more esoterica. For those who would be druids.

New York : Thames and Hudson, 1992.  160 p. : ill. ; 21 cm. ISBN:
0500276625 : $14.95
Known as zoomorphics, a guide to the twisty beasties.

New York : Thames and Hudson, 1993.  160 p. : ill. ; 21 cm. ISBN:
0500277052 (pbk.)
The spiral forms a vital part of Celtic design, and this book explains
the symbolism and methods for incorporation.

New York : Thames and Hudson, 1992.  160 p. : ill. ; 21 cm. 
ISBN: 0500276854 : $14.95
Insights into the creation of manuscript iluminations. Many stand alone
for lovely initials or monograms.

New York : Thames and Hudson, 1994, c1993. 160 p. : ill. ; 21 cm. ISBN:
0500277478 (pbk.)
Guide to the geometric patterns also known as key patterns.

Mercier, 1992. 103 p., 11 cm., ISBN 0853424039,  (pbk).
Presents a systemized method of construction for most forms of Celtic
decoration. Examines the various motifs and expands on them, guiding the
reader to develop their own variations. Highly reccomended resource.

New York : Dover, 1995.  16 p. : chiefly ill. ISBN 0486284190 (pbk.)
90 full-color pressure sensitive seals and designs. Mostly letters of
alphabets, useful for monograms and such.

New York : Dover, 1992. ISBN 0486270416 (pbk.)
A pleasant alternative for lettering styles.

New York : Dover 1990.  64 p. : chiefly ill. (77 illustrations,
one-sided for clipart use) ; 28 cm. ISBN 0486265188 (pbk.)
Mostly useful for print advertising, letterhead, etc., but also a good
source for clear simple braids.

New York : Dover, 1995.  4 p. : chiefly ill. (4 black-and-white pressure
sensitive stickers) ;8 cm. ISBN 0486284085 (pbk.)
A possible source for a few animal patterns.

Mercier, 1990, 152 p. ; 28 cm., ISBN 0853429413
Very thorough photographic record of Irish high crosses with many
examples of stone carving and guides to interpretation of the symbolism.

Shire, 1989. ISBN 0747800030
Good quality photographs of many major surviving high crosses, examples
of Celtic designs in stonecarving.

Bonanza Books, Unabridged replication of the original 1933 edition, ISBN
0517460009 (pbk.)
Encyclopedic reference for knots, the base for Celtic knotwork braids
and illuminations. 

New York : Dover, 1979.  48 p. : chiefly ill. ; 28 cm. ISBN 0486237966
Simplistic but nice. Not much that would be useful as flash.

New York : Dover, 1987. 64 p. : chiefly ill. ; 28 cm. ISBN 0486254119, 
Over 300 designs in charted grids for use on needlepoint, embroidery,
knitting. Probably not useful as flash.

New York : Dover 1990. 64 p. : chiefly ill. (130 designs) ; 28 cm. ISBN
0486264270, (pbk.)
Excellent design source for patterns so perfectly reproducible as bold
blackwork they qualify as Celtic Tribal. 

New York : Dover, 1992. 64 p. : chiefly ill. (61 ill.) ; 28 cm. ISBN
0486272389 (pbk.)
Less useful than CELTIC STENCIL DESIGNS but has a few nice patterns. All
bold blackwork.

New York : Dover, 1994.  16 p. : chiefly ill. ISBN 0486283097 (pbk.)
A treasure of designs! For the $1 price you get elegant, clearly drawn,
immediately useful flash. Gets the BEST BUY award.

New York : Dover, 1994.  6 p. : chiefly ill. ISBN 0486279448 (pbk.)
Every bookmark an armband design. Will require re-drawing from colored

THE BOOK OF KELLS, by described by Sir Edward Sullivan
Studio Editions Ltd, Facsimile reprint of 1920 edition, ISBN 1851700358
A guide to knowing what you are seeing in the intricate pages of the
Book of Kells. 

New York : Dover. 128 p. ISBN 0486253406 (pbk.)
Unabridged republication of the original 1983 British Museum Edition,
407 illustrations. Overview survey, not particularly useful as an art



Alliance of Professional Tattooists

APT, Inc. P.O. Box 1735 Glen Burnie, MD 21060. 410/768-1963
5 levels of membership:
 1. Patron: $20.00 Open to anyone who supports goals of A.P.T.
 2. Supporting: $50.00 A collector of tattoos or a member in an 
    academic research field.
 3. Associate/Non-Artist: $125.00 Closely allied with the tattoo 
    community (publishers, photographers, suppliers or managers, 
    office staff of tattoo studios. [Attending Preventing Disease 
    Transmission in Tattooing (PDTT) course recommended.]
 4. Associate/Artist: $125.00 Currently apprenticing with a 
    professional tattooist or self taught with a professional 
    sponsor. [Attending PDTT course required.]
 5. Professional: $150.00 Full time occupation as a tattooist 
    with three (3) years minimum experience in an established 
    location. Must provide trade and business references.

Self-supporting APT does not initiate legislation, nor does it accept
fees or grants from government agencies.

Empire State Tattoo Club of America (ESTCA)

 PO Box 1374, Mt. Vernon, NY, NY, 10550. 914/664-9894, Fax 668-5200.
Founded: 1974, membership: 1000
International organization of tattoo artists and individuals with
tattoos. Works to increase public awareness of tattoo art. Sponsors
competitions and bestows awards. List of tattoo artists. Affiliated with
Professional Tattoo Artists Guild.

National Tattoo Association (NTA)

465 Business Park Ln., Allentown, PA 18103-9120, 215/433-7261 Fax
Officer: Florence Makofske, Sec.-Treas.
Founded: 1974, membership: 1000, budget: $46,000
AKA: National Tattoo Club of the World (changed 1984)
Tattoo artists and enthusiasts. Promotes tattooing as a viable
contemporary art form; seeks to upgrade standards and practices of
tattooing. Offers advice on selecting a tattoo artist and studio. Holds
seminars for tattoo artists to improve skills and learn better hygienic
practices. Sponsors competitions and bestows awards; maintains
charitable program for children; operates museum and biographical
archives. Lists of members and tattoo studios. 
Publications: National Tattoo Association--Newsletter, bimonthly. Price
included in membership dues. Circulation: 1000. Conventions: Annual
(with exhibits).

Professional Tattoo Artists Guild (PTAG)

27 Mt. Vernon Ave., PO Box 1374, Mt. Vernon, NY 10550. 914/668-2300 Fax
Officer: Joe Kaplan, Pres.
Membership: 2000
Professional tattoo artists.

Tattoo Club of America (TCA)

c/o Spider Webb's Studio, Captains Cove Seaport, 1 Bastwick Ave.,
Bridgeport, CT 06605. PH: (203) 335-3992
Officer: Joe O'Sullivan, Sec.
Founded: 1970, membership: 45,000, budget: $25,000
Tattoo artists and individuals worldwide who have been tattooed. Seeks
to promote the art of tattooing and make it more acceptable to the
public. Bestows annual Mr. and Miss Tattoo awards; sponsors speakers'
bureau; maintains hall of fame. Maintains library and museum of antique
tattoo designs and memorabilia.
Publications: Newsletter, quarterly.
Conventions: Annual conference and symposium (with exhibits) - always
March, New York City.



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