Tattoo News Review
The recent tattoo news was a blend of serious, sweet and silly. Here's the run down:
Ten days ago, NY Governor Cuomo signed legislation that requires tattoo studios and body piercing studios "to use single use needles and inks, to obtain consent forms from customers, and to maintain customer consent forms for a period of not less than seven years." The new law takes effect in 120 days from the signing. In our Needles & Sins Facebook group, Ricky Wong posted this Daily News article on the law, which elicited some great comments. Jœl B Van Goor joked, "I've been using the same needle since 2006 and I ain't about to change it now," and Lawrence Mascia made me giggle when he wrote, "Here I was thinking I was special when my tattoo artist would spit on the needle before hand to clean it." More seriously, Paul Roe noted that it does not state "sterile" inks and offers definitions open to misinterpretation. Pat Fish also shared:
The pre-sterilized single use needle set-ups, great, got that. But the single-use packaging of INK is the big threat. Over the years several suppliers have tried marketing inks this way, without great success, since the tiny caps of pre-packaged ink were prohibitively expensive. It is all about lawyers wanting documentation of the products used so they have someone to go after if there is a problem with healing. If this really does go into effect it will set an industry-threatening precedent.Personally -- and setting aside that not all lawyers are evil (ahem!) -- I think it's a poorly drafted bill, which was likely crafted without serious consultation from the tattoo industry. Regulations protecting the safety of tattoo clients are necessary and important, but they should reflect the realities of tattoo practice & industry standards and not be pushed through because of some knee-jerk reaction to misinformed health scares, or anger that some politician's daughter got a Snoop Dog tribute tattoo, or because a manufacturer can bank on it. The tattoo community needs to remind politicians of our voting power and resources, and that partnering with the industry on laws impacting it should be a necessity and not a courtesy.
On a lighter note, Paul shared this great piece on 83-year-old Doc Price of Plymouth, England, who will be judging the Plymouth Herald's Best Tattoo contest. Doc told the Herald that he believes himself to be the oldest living tattoo artist in the country and has tattooed more than 40 acres of human skin during his lifetime. He also shares some stories like a time when a disturbed British Intelligence worker entered his shop with a loaded weapon wanting a scar tattoo on his face, or his laugh over the Kanji tattoo that read "Windows 7" instead of a girlfriend's name on an unsuspecting tourist.
In a piece that hit close to home, a woman with vitiligo -- a chronic skin condition that causes the loss of skin color in blotches -- gets a tattoo to address stares & bullying. I actually have vitiligo on my face and hands, but because I have very fair skin, the loss of pigment isn't as pronounced as with those who have darker skin tones. Still, I was teased as a kid, and as an adult, it was suggested to me that I could have those white patches of skin tattooed to match my normal skin coloring. But, like Tifanny Posterar (another Brooklyn girl), I've embraced what I was born with and prefer to tattoo myself as a way to celebrate, rather than to hide. Tiffany has taken it further by getting the words "It's called vitiligo" tattooed across her forearm to educate those on the disease. More of her story in the article.
Quick & dirty links:
* Ricky & Pinky's tattoo parlour: 40 years of inking Hong Kong. Some great photos, including the top pic above.
* OC Weekly profiles Jess Yen of My Tattoo.
* "The 17 coolest tattoo artists you need to follow on Instagram." A good list. Although there are hundreds I'd add.
* Marine Corps to update its tattoo policy after review.
* Three held in Kuwait for illegal tattoo center.
* Will Smith Tattooed Suicide Squad Co-Star Joel Kinnaman.
* Photos from the 2015 Seattle Tattoo Expo.
* Men lose girlfriends after getting penis tattoos on their thighs. And I'll just leave it at that!