Is Your Shop Sanitary?

Nine times out of ten when a person goes to get a tattoo, they are looking for two things.

  1. Is the tattoo artist qualified and is their work clean looking?
  2. Cost- Is the tattoo of desire overpriced? Where is the best deal?

The issue in looking for the best deals is that many are not necessarily looking into the cleanliness of the shop and how business is run there. With having to be at an A inspection grade to keep as shop open, there are a variety of things to look at before setting up your next appointment. Below is a list of signs to look out for when choosing an appropriate and clean shop…

  1. Medical Equipment
    • The use of needles is an obvious idea when it comes to tattoos, but making sure your shop uses fresh ones for every single customer is essential to prevent any sort of cross-contamination and disease spreading.
    • Gauze, is the shop fully stocked? Do they use fresh and clean for every person? These are all things to look for even though it seems silly.
    • Cleaning supplies…green soap sound familiar? Maybe witch hazel? Always make sure your artist has a supply that is plentiful!
  2. Uncluttered
    • Look around and see that their workshops are free from any loose and unnecessary equipment that could cause distractions or contaminations
  3. Disposal
    • Looking and making sure that they are properly disposing of needles and contaminated napkins is always necessary
  4. Overall Upkeep of Shop
    • Take a peak around. Anything seem off? Leaks? Mold? Bugs? If you’re saying yes to any of these than it is more than evident that their inspection is either way out of date, or there is something else going on that you want no part of

It may seem silly to hesitate and look around the potential shop, but trust me it is worth it. The price may seem right, the artist may, but if the shop isn’t at top quality standards than start looking else where. Nothing is worse than putting your body in harms way for a tattoo and it may be an extra few weeks that you would have to wait…but that wait will be worth it.

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Villain Arts Tattoo Expo- Wildwood, NJ Aug. 12, 2016

A few months ago I was able to take my first trip down in South Jersey to explore what a tattoo expo was all about. Villain Arts hosts tattoo expositions every few months in a new city and new state about six times a year and luckily they hosted one in Wildwood, NJ which isn’t too too far from where I live.

I first heard about it from my friend who decided that she had wanted to get a watercolor elephant tattoo on her upper thigh and after researching artists she came across one in particular named Kate Tietz. Tietz is originally from Signaw, Michigan and travels around the country to participate in tattoo competitions and expositions for most of the year. It just so happened that she was going to be in Wildwood and after being invited I decided why not?

After about 3 to 4 hours of work in a large convention hall, my friend’s elephant was delicately done and the results were incredible!

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Done with Eternal Ink if anyone was wondering.

Another part of the experience that I loved was seeing all of the different artists from around the country that came out to support this organization and to show off their best talent. Below I have some pictures of the booklets that the artists were using to showcase their works. If they had a free spot there was a chance of being tattooed, if not one had to wait until the next day. It was a beautiful 3 day event!

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“Oh that’s what I had for breakfast!”

To start this off, my mother is my biggest inspiration, my superhero, and the most loving woman I know. In all honesty she is the reason I am still here on this planet today with all of the support she has given me personally from growing up as a little girl, to watching my family fall apart, to trying to put myself at the top in high school, to now putting myself through college while working a full time job; she has always had my back and been by my side through it all.

With that being said, obviously I wanted to make one of my tattoos 100% about her and all that she has done for me, but to make the situation just a little bit more sentimental, I promised her we could get matching ones for her birthday (though it was 8 months ago…better late than never!) Both of us know it sounds crazy but we got matching pineapples.

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Growing up my mother always decorated my house in primitive, country antiques and one of the biggest was pineapple….they were everywhere. As many do not know, pineapples are the colonial sign of welcome and that is where she fell in love with them. Now when trying to think of something that we could get, I thought of the first object that came to mind when I thought of my mother and immediately it went straight towards the yellow and green fruit. After many months of debating on designs and raising the money…we went to the tattoo shop. Below is a side by side as mine is on my right arm and hers falls on to her ankle.

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Below are going to be some pictures of the process of us going back to back on getting our tattoos. We of course went to my favorite shop, Electric Tattoo in Asbury Park, NJ and the artist of choice was Rich Heller who did an incredible job on both!

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This is Rich Heller putting up with another pre-tattoo photo from me

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This was the shading process of my tattoo when I was getting very irritated in the arm

Overall I am thrilled with how both turned out and the healing process is going smoothly on both parts! I am more than happy to have a tattoo in constant reminder of my best friend, my super hero, and most importantly my mother.

P.S. Rich Heller had pineapple for breakfast that same morning

The Little Lady

As I have mentioned previously, my friends and their support for my adventure and their love of tattoos is what keeps me going throughout this entire process. The other week one of my good friends won I guess you can call it an Instagram contest off of an artist I have mentioned before named Hans Ryan of Fast Times in Belmar, NJ. He posted a picture of a sketch of a woman’s face that was decorated with a floral head crown that if you contacted him via Direct Message and struck the best deal with him, you would be the only one with this custom tattoo. After seeing it, she had to message him and somehow struck such a cheap deal on such a beautiful piece. Below are pictures of her getting the tattoo, the mid process, and the finished product…

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The catch with the tattoo was that she gave full creative responsibility to Hans. He chose the coloring and how he wanted the shade the entire piece in how he envisioned it. Her sister and I were both in the room and he constantly asked us what we though would look good. Originally the flowers were to be different tones of reds and pinks but after really looking at the product we all came into conclusion that the roses should be a white, skin tone color because as he put it, “sometimes less is more”, and I can not disagree with that.

Overall the piece is beautiful and of course done with Eternal Ink that I have reviewed in previous posts. This tattoo is about 2 weeks old now and she is actually almost done healing after keeping her, “Little Lady”, moisturized, clean, and taking as much care of her as possible.