Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Keep On Thinkin’

October 14th, 2010 by

The individuality that accompanies a tattoo is not something that can be disputed.  People make the choices that they make to have the tattoo that they want and they get it done whether other people like it or not.  What you get inked on to your body is your decision, but as we’ve all seen time and time again, sometimes that decision isn’t always well thought out and results in a person later disliking the individuality that their tattoo once represented to them.

Time and time again I’ve wrote about the need to understand where you’re getting tattooed, who’s doing your tattoo and how important your tattoo is to you.  What it all boils down to is that it doesn’t matter if you want a portrait or a back piece or an armband.  That’s your choice, but it is important that you take the time to respect what it means to have a tattoo and to comprehend that this isn’t something that should be done on a whim or as a passing fancy to keep up with the latest trend.  Tattoos are meaningful and permanent.

Which is why I am pretty much all for a programme that is currently taking place in Welland, Ontario, Canada.  Think Before You Ink is a sort of travelling circus of tattoo testimonials, live music and educational information about the tattoo process.  The programme is run by Dr. Craig Kuhn and for the last two years it has been visiting various schools in the Niagara area, and talking to kids in the 7th and 8th grade about tattoos.  Though the programme initially had its start in high schools, Dr. Kuhn and his team soon discovered that many high school students were already tattooed and so, they took their spectacle to younger children.

‘They’ve been visiting schools throughout the Niagara area over the past two years in hopes of educating youth on the history of the art form and precautions that should be taken if they plan on getting a tattoo.’

Some might accuse Dr. Kuhn of propagating paranoia amongst school children and attempting to turn kids off of tattoos from an early age.  But that isn’t the case at all.  This is exactly the sort of thing that helps everyone in the tattoo community.  The more that the people getting tattoos understand the options available to them in terms of where to get tattoos and the tattoo experience in general, the less we’ll see of the uneducated assumptions and abuses of tattoo as an art form.  If you want a new generation of people to view tattoos in a different light than the previous generations, which have done their part to build up negative stereotypes around tattoos, then Think Before You Ink is definitely a step in the right direction.  Another thing that I really like about this programme is that Dr. Kuhn encourages the people he speaks to to call Niagara Region public health to learn about the tattoo shop they’ve chosen and to discover when the shop was last inspected.

Programmes like these should be copied all over the world, as far as I’m concerned.  They can be altered to include tattoo artists and doctors side by side, as well as so many other additions.  The possibilities are endless.  Hopefully this sort of thing will catch on and we’ll start seeing more Think Before You Ink programmes very soon.

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