Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

The Law Cracks Down.

July 27th, 2009 by

Recently while surfing the web for my favorite subject, (tattoos of course), I came across several articles about the sudden crackdown on unlicensed tattoo studios and unlawful practices in licensed studios.

As you may, or may not, recall I recently blogged about East Side Ink in New York allowing singer and tattoo collector Rihanna to tattoo some of her artists there. A big no-no, but I’ll get back to this kind of foolishness in a moment.
cop & clown
The one thing that struck me about these recent articles was that the writers didn’t seem to know the difference between a legitimate tattoo artist and a scratcher. They were even complaining that the law was cracking down on people who were tattooing out of their homes. That is not a tattoo artist, that is a scratcher.

So let’s get our definitions straight. If the person is running an unlicensed shop where a license is required, that’s a scratcher. If they are tattooing out of their home, that’s a scratcher. No, I won’t take that back. Any tattoo artist worth his machine will set up a proper tattoo studio that is separate from his home, even if it is in the same building. If they are tattooing out of their living room, or kitchen, I don’t care what they call themselves….if it acts like a scratcher, it’s a scratcher.

As for violating the health laws in a legit tattoo studio, well that’s a horse of another color. Personally, when I was working there were some things I would never allow in my shop. No, you could not “borrow” my machines to tattoo your boyfriend/girlfriend. No, you could not handle the sterilized tubes, or needles after they were opened. No, you can not smoke while getting a tattoo, (If I couldn’t do it, neither can you.). No, you can not get a tattoo right after I just finished someone in front of you, the station has to be properly cleaned and sanitized first.

Honestly, there are good and bad in any profession and I do tend to get a bit of a harass when it comes to tattooing. Quite simply it’s because I love this art and the people who make it work. Scratchers are, to me, the scum of the Earth, and so called artists who allow filthy conditions, don’t change their needles, or clean their work stations between customers are just as bad. Actually, they are worse. They are supposed to know better, but do it anyway. If you ask me these types deserve to be cracked down on.

Please, gang, always check out your artist. Have him show you the autoclave, show you the spore test, ask to see his license and operating permit. Look at the work area and make certain it is clean and properly maintained. No legitimate artist who gives a half a shit about tattooing is going to care. If anything they will be proud to show off for you.

Peace out! 😉

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