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Why Tattooing Is Universal

Maori face paint (Ralph Orlowski/Reuters)

National Geographic photographer explains why many cultures view the body as a blank canvas.

 ORIGINAL ARTICLE FOUND HERE

ASPEN, Colo.—Tattooing, when you think about it, is like smiling: Nearly every culture does it, but not always for the same reason.

In a given society, the motivation for covering oneself in paint, ink, or even scars speaks to what the civilization as a whole holds dear.

Chris Rainier, a photographer for National Geographic and other publications, has traveled the world in search of cultures he describes as having “one foot in the Garden of Eden.” (He was also Ansel Adams’s last assistant). Speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which is organized jointly by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute, he explained how “many cultures around the world believe that the body is a canvas waiting for a story to be told.”

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Should anti-tattoo discrimination be illegal?

Original Article here

A woman on her phone in an office with a large tattoo on her upper arm

Tattoos are more popular than ever, but workers can be dismissed from or denied jobs because of their body modifications. Some want protection under employment law. Should they get it?

You’re perfect for the job. You have all the skills and experience the company is looking for, and you’ve turned up for the interview in your smartest attire.

But there’s a problem.

If you have a tattoo that incurs the displeasure of the boss, you might find any offer of employment is swiftly rescinded.

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*NEW* Photos Added to the Gallery

Tattoos by Drizy

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Bonny Marony’s Tattoo

Gold Coast, Australia

Find him on Instagram: @drizelinink


‘Scratchers:’ They’re illegal and they could be putting your health at risk

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http://video.fox17online.com/Scratchers-continue-to-be-a-problem-in-West-Michigan-26557456

They are called ‘scratchers’ and they are a growing concern for area county health officials. The term refers to tattoo artists practicing without a license, which is illegal in most states including Michigan, and they are usually doing it right out of their own homes.

While the offers they advertise seem like good deals with prices usually much cheaper than professional tattoo shops, Kent County health officials warn they could be putting people’s health at serious risk.

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Army may ease tattoo policy

By Michelle Tan

Army Times

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Tattooed soldiers seeking to trade in their sergeant’s stripes for a lieutenant’s bar may soon see some relief from one of the Army’s most controversial regulations.

The Army is very close to announcing changes to the policy, that will likely relax the rules for soldiers looking to earn a commission.

Army spokesman Paul Prince confirmed a review had taken place and that changes were imminent.

“Specifics about these changes will be published in the forthcoming version of” Army regulations, Prince said.

Army officials are remaining tight-lipped about specific rule changes until the revisions can be published. But it’s likely to be good news for soldiers, many of whom have lambasted the service for not grandfathering enlisted soldiers who want to go officer.

The current version of Army Regulation 670-1, published March 31, includes the following rules:

• No tattoos on the head, face, neck and hands.

• No extremist, indecent, sexist or racist ink.

• No more than four visible tattoos below the elbows and knees. In addition, those tattoos must be smaller than the size of the wearer’s hand.

• Visible band tattoos cannot be more than 2-inches wide,

• Sleeve tattoos are not allowed.

But here was the kicker: While most soldiers were going to be grandfathered, the regulation states that enlisted soldiers with illegal ink cannot request commissioning without a waiver.

The Army said it tightened its tattoo policies in order to maintain a professional look across the force.

The clause angered many soldiers, who took to social media to vent their frustration.

Many felt insulted that they were deemed ineligible to be commissioned because of their appearance, especially if their tattoos honored their fellow soldiers killed in combat.

Staff Sgt. Adam Thorogood of the Kentucky National Guard filed suit July 10 in federal court, seeking to have the new tattoo rules declared unconstitutional. Thorogood, who has 11 tattoos, hopes to become an aviation warrant officer.

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Sgt. Lindsey Urena had a painful experience trying to remove a lizard tattoo on her hand in order to meet Army regs. (Photo: Courtesy of Lindsey Urena)

 

As of July, the Army has granted “approximately 59 exceptions to policy for tattoos” for enlisted soldiers working to become officers or warrant officers, Prince said.

Despite the waiver process apparently working for some soldiers, there remains confusion.

Army Reserve Sgt. Lindsay Urena, a medic, just earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with the sole purpose of seeking a commission and training to become a physician assistant.

Urena had a tattoo of a lizard removed from her right hand – a procedure she said was incredibly painful because the dermatologist she saw tried to remove the tattoo in one sitting. Almost three months later, her hand is still healing.

Now she’s worried because she has a large tattoo of Bumblebee from the “Transformers” on her left forearm.

Her commander wrote a memorandum requesting a waiver on her behalf, Urena said, but the unit is now mobilized, and she doesn’t know where her application stands.

The whole process has been painful and frustrating, she said.

“I am a noncommissioned officer,” Urena said. “I am professional in every aspect of my military career. How is having a tattoo a symbol of being unprofessional? As a medic, does my tattoo prevent me from saving a life, giving medical care of helping my fellow soldiers? Not in the least, so why am I being punished for it?”

Staff Sgt. Alan Lalonde, who has half-sleeve tattoos on his arms, said in an e-mail to Army Times he wished his service would get with the times.

“I wish they would see the generation in which we currently live and adjust slightly to take care of the good ones,” Lalonde said.

 


Girl X Tattoo – Michell G.

By Some Quality Meat

www.somequalitymeat.com

For Some Quality Meat we created a short and playful series about beautiful woman and their tattoo’s. Celebrating femininity and independence. With these shorts we try to depict the essence of and way of live of these beautiful females.
Model: Michelle Goormans
Jewelery: Monocrafft | monocrafft.com
Music by Hippie Sabotage, Stay High.


A Tattoo That Completes a New Breast

 

FINKSBURG, MD. — A tattoo parlor here has become a mecca for an unlikely crowd: women with breast cancer.

Little Vinnie’s Tattoos offers designs ranging from swordfish and skulls to intricate Japanese-style art. But women who have undergone treatment for breast cancer do not typically come for traditional ink. They flock here seeking one thing — a three-dimensional nipple tattoo by the owner, Vinnie Myers.

“Nobody really talks about the areola and nipple area, but it’s so important,” says Kimberly Winters, 44, a human resources benefits administrator from Wooster, Ohio, who underwent a mastectomyand reconstruction of her left breast two years ago. This spring Ms. Winters traveled nearly 400 miles to Finksburg seeking a realistic nipple tattoo from Mr. Myers.

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Word of his skill has spread among women who have undergone surgery for breast cancer. More than 5,000 women have traveled from as far away as India to have their reconstructed breasts tattooed by Mr. Myers.

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Tattoo Artist Brings Dots And Lines To New Heights In Stunning Geometric Ink Designs

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original article here

Imagine this scene:

Sharp waves stretch back for as far as you can see, eating up the horizon in a vast display of stunning movement. Like the peaks and troughs of a chaotic line graph, the seas capture jumping fish as they weave in and out of the thrashes. Careful shading separates the animal bodies as they surface, drenched in the bleeding red pigment of a sunset-flooded landscape.

The description might sound like a recounting of an ancient Japanese print or a sprawling painted canvas, but the words are actually attached to artwork of a different sort. They tell the story of artist Chaim Machlev and his gorgeous tattoos.

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Seattle Tattoo Expo This Weekend!!

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I will be attending the Seattle Tattoo Expo this weekend.  This is one of my favorite shows in the US… So many talented artists… the show is busy, and the city is fun.  If you’re around, please stop by and check it out.  They always have good entertainment, good food, a good bar, cigar lounge, and most importantly… GOOD TATTOOS!  Hope to see you there!

For more information about the show like featured artists and event schedules, visit: www.seattletattooexpo.com

Nicki

TAM

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Women Finding Beauty in Tragedy: p-ink.org

Gugo Tattoo, Sao Paulo, Brazil: www.facebook.com/... [p-ink.org]

Tattoo by: Gugo Tattoo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

 

This year’s P.ink Day will be October 10, 2014.

Last year was a huge success—it was truly a transformative event. Check these amazing pictures

Still, last year was a prototype experience. We learned from it and the plan is to make our next P.ink Day even better.

Friday Jones

Tattoo by: Friday Jones


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Propaganda Podcast: Joe Swanson with Josh Hagan


Scars of a Past Life, Lend a Helping Hand

By Erin Boyle

melissa fusco denver colorado tattoo artist king protea flower copy

Scar coverup by Melissa Fusco.

I think there’s something to be said about searching for an artist you can trust with personal symbols and parts of the self. I stumbled upon Melissa Fusco’s portfolio by pure chance after searching 4 years for artists in a different style; I was instantly swayed. I found her work captivating and unique: her craftsmanship was soft, colorful and organic, and I saw hints of depth and spirituality in her portfolios – these things really clicked for me. I had consulted with many artists over the years, and the request to tattoo over my scars was nothing new to me – I even met some who refused to work on scars. Finding a good fit was important; the artist would, after all, be spending several hours confronted with these scars and whatever it brought up for them. I was looking not just for the quality of an artist’s work but also the personhood of the one applying it, Melissa’s warmth and professionalism really showed through during our consultation process. Though she had no idea of my story at the time, I told her, “but really, who gets out of life unscarred in one way or another”…everybody has their thing…it’s all in what you do with it.

Now, I’m not much for telling soggy and dramatic tales about my life, much the reason why I chose this particular flower for my tattoo – but I’ll get to that later. The Buddha once said, “every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind; the goal is to find it”. I, like many, was blessed with a difficult childhood; abuse and neglect were my reality for much of my childhood and adolescence. Though high achieving, at 17 there came a point where my goals took a backseat and I thought there was only one way out. This thought became not just a memory, but left behind the scars to prove it.

erin boyle beginning scars

Erin Boyle beginning Stencil




Every good story has a twist; mine came a few years later after coming out of an abusive relationship. At that point I looked long and hard at my life, I spent a lot of time healing old wounds and rebuilding the Self. Mindfulness, courage and sacrifice were essential building blocks in my process of change and moving towards doing what I love and loving what I do. I threw away my masks of success and achievement, gave up my fancy title and hefty paycheck, got a second bachelors degree in pre-clinical psych, and began working at a Residential Treatment Center for youth with mental illness. In other words, for mere pennies I worked with teenage boys who liked to break shit, especially your face, and taught them how to give and receive love. This is what makes sense for me; this is what life is about, using our humanity to help others grow.

The paradox of my story is that no matter how much I healed and evolved, I still had my past written on my arms along with the judgment from others about what that means. No amount of success, forgiveness or compassion would ever make that go away. However, life with this tattoo is different. Not just myself, but others see beauty and strength where shame and secrecy once lived. In a way it removes the stigma I once felt. I don’t perceive myself as a victim or a survivor, I see myself as a person with the drive and motivation to create and sustain social justice through guiding others to lead the best possible life they can. As an Art Therapy graduate student en route towards doctoral research, I’ve found that having the permanence of this image in my skin helped ignite this fearless internal integration of my personal and professional lives. It’s closure, it’s dignity, it’s confidence, and in a huge way it is taking ownership of my body while standing grounded in authenticity and unapologetically residing in my own identity and truth.

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Tattoo by Melissa Fusco.

Embedded in the image also lies the memory of the process. To match my initial impressions, Melissa was grounded, focused, caring, calm, gentle, warm, empathic, funny, respectful, edgy, and an incredibly skilled independent female artist in a male dominated field. She made the process personal and relational, and that’s not something I got from any other tattoo artists I reached out to. I don’t know if I would have found another talented artist that I felt as comfortable with during this process, not to mention one who honored the experience. I’m grateful to have found her, and look forward to collaborating on future work.

As a symbol of the self, this phoenix of a flower holds no mythology – only truth. Coming from one of the oldest families of flowers on earth, whenever a wildfire ravages the area the King Protea is the first sign of new life. In fact, wildfires are central to their evolution – just as challenges, failures and setbacks are to ours. As I see it there is no fantasy in real life – our results come from our own hard work…or as Melissa would say, there is “no progress without sacrifice.” I couldn’t say it better myself.

MFUSCO red rocks

 

To see more work by Melissa, or to get in touch with her, go to:

www.missmelis.com


Fresh Ink for the Human Canvas

3-D, Watercolor and Flash Tattoos

 Elizabeth Vogt shows off her watercolor tattoo. CreditRajah Bose for The New York Times

article by: http://www.nytimes.com

If you are thinking about getting a tattoo, or adding another one to the half-dozen or so you already have, the options of what are available may have multiplied since the last time you visited your tattoo parlor.

How about going 3-D?

The Swiss artist H.R. Giger, who died inMay, is known mostly for his creation of the nightmare-inducing character in “Alien,” but he is also the godfather of three-dimensional tattoos. His work spawned a style called biomechanical tattoos, which have an allure that has recently extended beyond sci-fi fans.

“People would get these tubes tattooed on their skin in the ’80s,” said Mark Mahoney, the owner of the Shamrock Social Club in West Hollywood. “So it’s funny that it’s just been starting up again.”

Clients are bringing in photos from “Bodies: The Exhibition,” a museum show dedicated to showcasing the human body. “I just did a cutaway of real muscular imagery on somebody’s shoulder,” Mr. Mahoney said.

Other versions include the illusion of ripped skin and more-approachable styles, such as lifelike animals or objects that appear to be in motion.

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An original watercolor tattoo by an artist in Spokane, Wash.; Corrine Skeen, from Baltimore, has a 3-D butterfly tattoo.

CreditMatt Roth for The New York Times (right)

“The 3-D effect makes it look more organic, like it belongs on my skin,” said Corrine Skeen, 28, a dental hygienist from Baltimore. Last month she chose a 3-D tattoo to memorialize an aunt who died of cancer. “I wanted it to look like there’s a real butterfly sitting on my shoulder.”

Not for the sensitive, 3-D ink requires a large amount of detail and needlework, which can be fairly labor intensive. (Translation: more pain.)

“That stuff is so dense, and it has to have a kind of darkness to it,” Mr. Mahoney said. “So that’s a committed, real tattoo person at that point.”

So far, social media has the largest volume of 3-D inspirations.

“Instagram is a great way to view artists’ portfolios if I’m interested in a new piece,” said Ms. Skeen, who has four tattoos. “So when I saw photos of photorealistic and 3-D effect tattoos, I knew I wanted something like this.”

Despite hyper-realistic tattoos’ growing visibility on social media sites, Jon Mesa, a traveling tattoo artist who has recently worked out of Bang Bang Tattoos and Sacred Tattoo, warns that relying on some of these photos as references can backfire.

“It’s still really cool, but may not have that same shock value that it has on an image in your phone,” Mr. Mesa said.

A couple of other choices are out there for those who want to decorate themselves.

WATERCOLOR-INSPIRED TATTOOS

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An original watercolor-style tattoo by Joey Hamilton of “Ink Master.”

Tattooing has long been regarded by many as an art form, but rarely do ink lovers get to make as literal a parallel than with watercolor tattooing.

The style is derived from a European free-form method of tattooing, Mr. Mesa said. “They are not based on old-school sailor designs or Japanese designs,” he said. “It’s more about expression, movement and color choice rather than just the power of imagery.”

Joey Hamilton, the season-three winner of“Ink Master,” on Spike TV, recently painted a watercolor butterfly on a client’s ribs. “You are trying to make them look like there are little paint runs or splotches of color,” he said. Elizabeth Vogt, 24, from Spokane, Wash., recently chose a watercolor tattoo of a bird for her fourth and largest tattoo. “This particular piece is from an artist that I’ve been following for a while, and it fit the watercolor, aviary theme that I seem to have going in the rest of my ink,” Ms. Vogt said.

In contrast to 3-D tattoos, watercolor tattoos have very little detailing to emulate the imprecise, flowing aesthetic of a painting. But a drawback is their inability to age as well as traditional tattoos. “The color is kind of applied as a wash, so less pigment means less saturation on the skin,” Mr. Mesa said.

FLASH TATTOOS

Designed to look like bracelets, necklaces and beach bling, Flash Tattoosare this summer’s noncommittal style upgrade. Perhaps an answer toTattly, the geek-chic temporary tattoos popular among design and typography devotees, Flash Tattoos are a hit among the surfer set and those with a bohemian flair. With summer music festival season afoot, the jewelry-inspired tattoos were already a crowd favorite at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April. Alessandra Ambrosio and Vanessa Hudgens were among countless bloggers and festivalgoers seen showing off their adornments.

Miranda Burnet, 39, who created the brand, says she was not entirely aware of the attention the festival would bring until her sales spiked right before.

Last July, she introduced Flash Tattoos after becoming inspired while sourcing ideas at her previous job. In Dubai, she noticed the big trend was 24-karat temporary tattoos. Ms. Burnet, a Texas native, said she wanted to create something similar without the hefty price tag.

The waterproof tattoos are sold on the company’s website, flashtat.com, but shops like Planet Blue and Nicole Miller have also made them available on their sites. (Prices range from $20 to $30 for four sheets per pack, and a tattoo usually lasts four to six days.) Straddling tattoo and accessory, two of the nine Flash Tattoo collections are design collaborations with Eileen Lofgren, the owner of the jewelry company Child of Wild, and Rebekah Steen, the blogger behind Goldfish Kiss, a beach lifestyle blog.

The collections are exclusively designed in gold, silver and black, but Ms. Burnet said that she hopes to introduce fluorescent colors later this summer.


FDA: Contaminated tattoo ink causing infections

This is why you SHOULD NOT get tattooed at home or by a scratcher.

Thinking about getting inked? Check the bottle first.

The Food and Drug Administration is warning tattoo parlors, their customers and those buying at-home tattoo kits that not all tattoo ink is safe.

Last month, California company White and Blue Lion Inc. recalled inks in in-home tattoo kits after testing confirmed bacterial contamination in unopened bottles.

At least one skin infection has been linked to the company’s products, and FDA officials say they are aware of other reports of infections linked to tattoo inks with similar packaging.

Infections from tattooing are nothing new. Hepatitis, staph infections and even the superbug known as MRSA have been tied to tattoos. Dirty needles and unsanitary environments are often to blame.

But people getting tattoos can get infections in the skin even in the cleanest conditions. The ink can carry bacteria that can spread through the bloodstream – a process known as sepsis. Symptoms are fever, shaking chills and sweats, and the risk is particularly high for anyone with pre-existing heart or circulatory conditions. Less severe infections may involve bumps on the skin, discharge, redness, swelling, blisters or excessive pain at the site.
And you may not be out of the woods for a while: The FDA says it has received reports of bad reactions to tattoo inks right after tattooing as well as years later.

The FDA says it is concerned that consumers and tattoo artists may have some of the contaminated products from the July recall. White and Blue Lion may have just been one distributor.

Some of the recalled bottles have a multicolored Chinese dragon image with black-and-white lettering, while some are missing manufacturer information. In general, the FDA says those looking to get a tattoo should always ensure that the ink has a brand name and a location of the business that manufactured it.

“What the consumer can do is talk to the tattoo artist and see the ink bottles,” said Linda Katz, director of the FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors.

This isn’t the first outbreak linked to tattoo ink. Reports of infections have increased as tattoos have become more popular in the last decade.

Three years ago, 19 people in Rochester, New York, ended up with bubbly rashes on their new tattoos, linked to contaminated water that was used to dilute the ink.

Permanent tattoos aren’t the only tattoos that carry risk. An FDA alert earlier this year warned that temporary tattoos popular with kids and often found at beaches, boardwalks and other holiday destinations can be dangerous. The main risk is from black henna, an ink that is combined with natural red henna and can include chemicals that can cause dangerous skin reactions.

In that notice to the public, the FDA said regulation differs from state to state and can be lax in some places.

“Depending on where you are, it’s possible no one is checking to make sure the artist is following safe practices or even knows what may be harmful to consumers,” the alert read.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Where Is Bjork…? Part II

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By John Niederkorn

Iceland may be a tiny island-country in an obscure isolated corner of the world, but the hearts and spirits of the Icelandic people are larger and broader than a Viking’s shoulders… Much like this charred volcanic rock of an island, the Icelandic Tattoo convention stands alone in the sea of tattoo conventions. Increasingly, side show gimmicks, music festival atmospheres and sub-par tattooing plague much of tattoo convention circuit today.

 

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You will find none of these things at the Iceland convention… There’s no male strippers, fire-breathers or go-go dancers. You will however find amazing tattooers making some bad-ass tattoos.

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