Archive for February, 2012

Choosing an artist and shop

With the advent of tv shows and Ed Hardy trinkets, the tattoo industry has taken enormous strides in popularity. People who never gave tattoos a second thought are walking into shops and getting their first piece of permanent art.

Also, this has created a multitude of people opening shops and tattooing with no experience or training. This waters down the market and makes it a lot  more difficult for reputable, clean, caring shops to do business and provide safe service for everyone.

PRICE. This is the last thing you should consider when getting a tattoo. There is a sign at our downtown studio that reads, “Good tattoos aren’t cheap…Cheap tattoos aren’y good.” This is 100% accurate! We have high standards and take our industry  very seriously. A lifetime of training, seminars, conventions, make artists who they are. You will pay for their knowledge and talents. Don’t be afraid to pay a  little extra for quality work. It’ll cost you more money in coverups in the future. Saving $20 isn’t worth getting Hep B.

ABILITY. Every artist at every shop has a portfolio. This is how they show examples of their work. Look closely at it before deciding. Everybody has different styles, so choose one you like. Are lines straight? Are colors bright and solid? Does it look like it’s suppose to?
Remember,  YOU are going to live with this forever. Giving your artist a loose idea and letting them use their abilities will give you a better tattoo.

TRUST. The artist should have your best interest in mind. A reputable shop won’t do names. Tattoos are forever. Relationships aren’t. Just because Rhianna has a tattoo on her finger and hands, doesn’t make it a good idea. Listen and let them explain the whys and why-nots of design and placement. Not every tattoo idea is going to look good 3 yrs. from now. Listen to their advice

CLEANLINESS. Ask your artist about sterilization and cross-contamination procedures.The state requires certain guidlines regarding this. Some do the bare minimum and others go beyond state requirements to ensure a safer environment. Look to see if the shop is clean. Ask questions about cleanliness, sterilization. Any shop should be more than happy to answer these questions.

BEING FRIENDLY. Not that everyday is unicorns and rainbows, but your artist and counter staff should be polite and inviting. If your not being treated in this manner or have a ” bad vibe “, maybe that shop isn’t for you. You may be spending a lot of  money there and hello, please, and thank you might be nice to hear from them.

In closing, remember, THIS IS PERMANENT. Any cheap price, dirty shop, unfriendly person, is directly relate to the tattoo you are  going to get. So ask questions, look at reviews and do your homework.

Please call or stop by either of our locations if you have any questions. See you next month. Same bat time. Same bat channel.


Sunday, February 12th, 2012 Industry News 2 Comments

Basic Stretching Information

Stretching or enlarging piercings has been practiced by people all over the world for thousands of years. Today, it has become a very popular form of body modification and can be encountered pretty much everywhere. While almost any piercing can be stretched, I am going to focus this blog post on ear lobe stretching.

Every day I discuss the proper methods and risks involved in expanding lobes, based on what is considered the industry standard. Often improperly referred to as “gauging”, the stretching of ones earlobes should not be entered into lightly, without knowledge, or even worse, going by what your friends say. Each person’s body is different, and while there are suggested timeframes to wait and what aftercare to use, these may not work for everyone.

When you stretch your ears, you separate tissue from its natural state on a microscopic level. These separations or tears are formed in the collagen layer around the circumference of the piercing. These tears take time to heal; in most cases a minimum of 6-8 weeks provided the stretch is cared for properly – 2 or 3 months is often better. If a piercing is stretched too fast or too far, the tears move past the collagen layer which is more likely to form hypertrophic scar tissue. This type of tissue takes much longer to heal and complicates stretching to further sizes.

Many people think there is some sort of magic “point-of-no-return”. They can stretch as fast as they want, to whatever size they want, and their ears will just go back to normal whenever they decide, as long as they don’t go past a certain size. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We measure jewelry in the diameter, but your body will react on circumference. Even in the c smaller sizes it is imperative to wait in order  to avoid doing what could  potentially be irreversible damage. STRETCHING IS NOT A RACE!

A stretch should be preformed and online cialis treated in the same manner as a fresh piercing. This means you need to clean and prep the  skin, and use the appropriate equipment and materials. Tapers are a common method of stretching piercings. These are not jewelry and are not meant to be worn as such. Jewelry needs to be biocompatible and suited for use in both a fresh piercing and a stretch. Plastic or acrylic should NOT be used. This is also the same for organic jewelry such as wood, bone or horn. These types of jewelry should be saved for after the stretch has healed.

Once a stretch is performed, industry standard aftercare is crucial. A stretch is a wound that requires care and attention. Even if your stretched lobe piercing is healed, it is a good idea to massage and condition the area daily. The use of certain types of oils can be highly beneficial. If you have stretched a piercing you know about “the smell”; that is called sebum, and is produced by your body’s sebaceous glads. While perfectly normal, it does tend to have an unpleasant odor. Try out jojoba oil! Not only does it make your lobes feel great, but it displaces sebum. Be sure to check the label, organic generic cialis and unscented is best, and of course check for allergies as well.


If you have questions about stretching stop by and see myself or one of our friendly neighborhood body modifiers!



Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 Artist Posts No Comments