Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Thinkin’ Ink.

March 3rd, 2009 by

Ink. If you stop to think about it, ink is the stock and trade of tattooing. Without the ink the machine is just a fancy hand-held sewing machine without the thread. It might be good for scarification, but that’s about it.

As you know, the ‘ol Doc is all about the safety and health of our beloved art. It’s the only illustrative art form where the canvas is alive, so it stands to reason the artist should care about the collector’s health and safety. If your artist isn’t concerned about your health and safety, run! Odds are you are either dealing with a scratcher, or someone who is more concerned with his pocket than the art, or you.

Back to inks. The market is literally flooded with inks. Some of which I personally wouldn’t touch with a twenty foot pole. There are Black light inks, Chromatic inks, Primary inks, and there are a few out there who are so dissatisfied with common color that they are seeking to do everything from Radio Tracking inks to Photochromatic inks.

Now, knowing how much the tattoo community likes to push the envelope it’s not hard to envision several strange types of inks hitting the market that could have questionable risks associated with them. Remember this shit is literally being injected into your hide and if your going to be a guinea pig, at least hook up with a science lab and get paid for it.

As such here are a few things you should consider before getting all hot and bothered about a new type of ink.

How long has the ink been on the market?
How long has your artist been using the particular brand of ink?
Has there been any health risk notices about the ink?
Have any of the artist’s customers had an allergic reaction to a kind of ink?
Is the ink made by a trusted manufacturer?
Has there been any recalls on the ink due to adverse reactions?

I know, all of this sounds like common sense, but as a wise man once said; “The problem with common sense is it isn’t so common.”

For myself, I always used Pelican for black and I still think it’s the best choice. For color I used Spaulding and Rogers. I never had a bad reaction from any tattoo that I did. Maybe I was just lucky, but I don’t think so.

This isn’t to say that these are the only good inks out there, but it pays to be cautious when dealing with an ink that is either brand new to the market, or questionable in it’s applications.

It’s your body. It’s your tattoo. Know what your getting.

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