Having tattooed for the last 25 years, I’ve seen my fair share of tattoos that have healed badly due to the client simply sleeping in their bed. Usually these tattoos have incurred most of the damage, infection and hard healing from when the client sleeps with their fresh, new tattoo with unseen dangerous elements lurking in their bed. Sleeping is definitely one of the greatest moments during a new tattoo collector’s day to do the most damage to their new artwork. When people sleep, they are for the most part completely unaware of pain or minor discomforts, allowing them to be completely unaware of their new tattoo sticking to sheets, seeping onto the sheets and exposing their skin to possible other irritations to the new tattoo. Some of the most common issues while sleeping with a new tattoo is simply sticking to bedsheets, but it’s what’s on those bedsheets that matters during the healing process.
Sleep has a profound effect on our mental, emotional and physical well being! Sleep is the time the body can undergo repair and detoxification, although it can also be a determining factor in healing up well or not so well. Poor sleep patterns are linked to poor health and slow healing. Those who sleep less than six hours a night have a shorter life expectancy than those who sleep longer and naturally tend to heal slower. Getting enough sleep can also help resist infection, as some studies of healthy young adults have shown that moderate amounts of sleep deprivation reduce the levels of white blood cells which form part of the body’s defense system, preventing the tattoo from healing quickly.
There are many dangers to a new tattoo that your bed presents nightly. On average, most people don’t wash their bed sheets and pillows often enough, providing the perfect environment for dead skin cells to breed, potential infection or cellulitis to begin in a fresh tattoo. Another aspect is that most people don’t consistently shower or wash their hair before they go to bed, possibly having sweat or having been exposed to multiple situations during the day. People also can have their pets or animals sleeping next to them every night which undoubtedly brings animal fur, dander and the often overlooked feces that are on animal paws from the ground or backyard in general, which is simply horrible news for a fresh tattoo. Animal fur and dander can cause cellulitis which in worse than just a mild infection. Dander is an informal term for a material shed from the body of humans and animals, similar to dandruff. It is composed of skin cells which can be a major cause of allergies and skin infections in humans. Cellulitis is a common skin infection that happens when bacteria spread through the skin to deeper tissues. It is caused by bacteria, most often strep or staph and a cellulitis infected area will be warm, red, swollen, and tender and usually needs extra attention and antibiotics to help the tattoo heal properly. Animal and human dander are typically the biggest problems with cellulitis or skin infections in fresh tattoos.
Some tips to help avoid an infection in your new tattoo while sleeping in your bed is to first be sure to wash your sheets before you get any new tattoo. Always wash your tattoo off before bed and immediately when you awake, this will help eliminate any infectious materials that you’ve collected on your skin throughout the day before resting for 6-8 hours. Covering your new tattoo with a breathable, non-stick wrapping right before you lay down is an excellent way to help prevent infection from the beginning, it not only protects your new tattoo from sticking to your clothing or bed sheets, it also creates a barrier between you and your bed and helps keep potentially dangerous elements in the bed off of the new tattoo while the pores in the new tattoo seal up and stop seeping plasma. Remember to always wash the tattoo off and allow it dry with no lotion, etc before wrapping it at night. Wearing a protective piece of loose, breathable clothing also helps create another barrier between your new tattoo and infectious bed elements. Be sure to sleep on the non-tattooed side of your body, A pillow works great to adjust and hold your body part in a position that’s comfortable. Try to keep the body part somewhat elevated above the heart to reduce pressure and swelling on the new tattoo. Always wake up, remove wrapping and wash immediately with anti-bacterial foam wash when you wake up.
The most crucial time for a tattoo to begin the healing process is within the first five days, these are the days when a new tattoo is at the highest risk for an infection from everyday situations. After the first few days of wrapping or being very clean and safe while sleeping with your new tattoo, you can go about your normal routine of antibacterial soap, bactine, non-scented lotions or ointments depending on how you normally heal your tattoos. I personally like to mist my new tattoo with Bactine, it helps the body to heal while it’s trying to do two things. One is to fight any oncoming infection, the second thing is to simply heal and repair the tissue. The Bactine simply reduces your bodies need to dedicate white blood cells to fight infection and allows it to focus more on actually healing. Remember, the first days of how you take care of your new tattoo will determine the healing process and ultimately it’s final look!
By Kevin Miller
Earlier this week, Durb Morrison announced on Instagram that RedTree Tattoo Gallery would be opening a second location in Phoenix, Arizona. In the same announcement, Durb officially stated he would be relocating to Phoenix. This is obviously a huge announcement, as Durb is a leader in the Ohio tattoo scene and the tattoo industry as a whole.
To find out more about this news, we caught up with Durb Morrison and asked him a couple questions.
Tattoo Snob: Let’s start off with the basics Where is original location of Red Tree Tattoo, and when did it open?
Durb Morrison: The RedTree Tattoo Gallery opened in 2012 at in Italian Village connected to the Short North Arts District at 1002 N. 4th St. in Columbus, Ohio
TS: The shop is a little different than your average tattoo shop, can you tell us a little about that and why you chose to have it that way?
Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers. Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Justin Hartman from Urban Art Tattoo in Mesa, Arizona…
Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers. Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Tony Klett of Urban Art…
Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers. Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Timo Sanders from Fifth Estate Tattoo in Gilbert, Arizona…
Here’s a nice video of the Hell City show in Phoenix last month by our friends at Tattoo Snob. Check it out!
By Manny Hernandez
Hey Ladies and Gents,
This is my first blog entry for TAM Blog, and I feel like I should somewhat introduce myself so you guys can feel familiar with me as a blogger and artist. My name is Manuel Hernandez and I work at Urban Art Tattoo in Tempe, Arizona. I’ve been tattooing for four years in the Phoenix area and I figured it would be kind of cool to do something in the perspective of “past vs. present” mainly to look at what is going on in the industry today such as repetitive tattoo designs, Pintrest tattoos, tattoo flash, egos and attitudes, machines, the customer perspective and the appreciation of tattooing itself and what we as artists do for a living.
I’m not doing this to ruffle feathers, or piss anyone off, or to use this as some way to call people out, but more of away to just open up discussions here on the Internet and even in your own shop. For this first blog entry, I want to just open a discussion about how things may or may not have changed in tattooing as far as the old vs. new. For example, the attitudes in tattoo shops. Sometimes, I feel as if this may be the result of so many people wanting to tattoo recently, or maybe it’s just the fact that the new generation of tattooers has been brought up in a different light. I know a lot of what was instilled in me when I was going through my apprenticeship was the ideal of holding tattooing sacred to us– keep the tricks of the trade that we have acquired as privy to ourselves as possible.
Going through a rough apprenticeship definitely helped me to appreciate tattooing as a whole, and admittedly, not want to give away what I learned so easily to people that I feel wouldn’t appreciate it. As of now, there are a lot of people that tell me their apprenticeships weren’t really a trial. It was a fun experience with privileges such as being able to go to their second job, time off for personal endeavors, and things of the like. The idea of having something like tattooing being handed to someone so easily is extremely foreign to me, but I have nothing to say but “That’s awesome! I wish I had that!” But in reality, I wouldn’t change my apprenticeship for the world. It made me who I am today.
So to you guys, I ask this:
Do you guys feel as if the reason that tattooing, as an industry, is so attitude driven because the older and younger generations don’t understand each other? Or is it simply because one had it harder/different/easier than the other?
Do you feel as if the attitudes you catch in a shop are a mixture of both of these things? Or do you think it’s just because there are a lot of shitty people in tattooing? I see bad attitudes from both sides, and I can also understand why. The way I look at it, maybe the younger tattooers have these attitudes because an apprenticeship was more easily obtainable and they feel as if they don’t have to give a shit what other people think because they had to work equally as hard, but in different aspects to become a “tattoo artist.”
Like any argument, there is another side to the story… I do feel that older tattooers dislike younger tattooers for a couple key reasons. I feel as if it’s almost offensive to them, how a younger tattooer will just out right ask for a tip or trick, instead of observing and trying different things out like they had to. I see that all the time especially on the Internet. I personally think it is rude as hell to ask another tattooer you don’t know “Hey bro, what kind of inks/needles/machines/etc. do you use? How’d you do this? How’d you do that?” Because it is something that the receiving end had to experience personally, on a very intimate and experimental level. Trial and error drives our industry, and without the proper amount of respect and appreciation for that fact, a true sentiment for the struggles of our elders cannot be obtained. Oh, and a word to the wise– just because you know what that person uses, doesn’t mean you will tattoo anything like them!
Anyway, I’ll leave that for another blog entry. Back to the nature at hand, this is a double-edged sword and it definitely can be a touchy subject to some. And my question would be: how does everyone else feel about this? Let me know how you look at it, from both sides of the coin. Thanks for reading my entry and I hope you enjoyed it. I will try to keep this going as regularly as possible.
Urban Art Tattoo
Tattoos by Byron Winkelman
Tattoos and Painting by Randy Randerson
Lake Havasu City, AZ
Interview by Brian Seghers
Brian Seghers: If you could go back in time to any era, or to work with somebody, or somewhere, where would you like to go? Have you ever thought about that?
Isaac Fainkujen: Yeah, I think for me the era that’s most interesting is kind of the tattoo renaissance that took place in and around the Bay area in the 70s and the 80s with Ed Hardy, Bob Roberts, Greg Irons, Eddy Deutsche and people like those guys that started to push the boundaries of what was okay and what wasn’t okay to do in a tattoo…
[For more on this event click on expanded page]