Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Washington’s Way

July 1st, 2010 by

Over here in Canada, Thursday marks the arrival of a new tax called the HST.  As with most taxes, it’s completely unnecessary and doesn’t serve the public in the least.  But across the border into the United States, Thursday brings the arrival of a new government sanctioned law that really does serve the public.                           

As of Thursday, July 1st, Washington state will adopt a law that requires tattoo artists to apply for an annual license and tattoo shops must also apply for a license.  The cost of these annual licenses are $250 for tattoo artists and $300 for the tattoo shops.  In addition to this, all Washington state tattoo studios will now be inspected on a 2 year basis.

While these licenses are an expense for tattoo artists, I must admit that I am really glad to see Washington do this.  Aside from regulating and legitimizing all tattoo operations and artists that function in the state, this new law gives more respect to the tattoo industry by acknowledging that it is a professional industry that needs to be licensed, and that the government should be responsible for ensuring that these legitimate businesses are on the up and up.  Without laws such as these, scratchers and other undesireable elements of the tattoo scene are capable of giving a bad name to all the clean and responsible artists out there.  This way, if there is a foul up somewhere along the line, the blame lies strictly with the government institutions whose responsibility it is to ensure that the public are going to have safe and clean environments to be tattooed in.

But for the most part, this law will help to strengthen the understanding that tattooists and their places of business are clean and professional places to be tattooed.  And the faster the general public’s confidence grows with regards to the cleanliness and professionalism of tattoo artists and studios, the faster old lingering stereotypes and misinformation about the art form becomes a thing of the past.

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