A tattoo is a permanent marking made by inserting ink into the layers of skin to change the pigment for decorative or other reasons. The word, "Irezumi," simply means, "insertion of ink," and could mean tattoos using Tebori, or Western style machine, (Or for that matter, any method of tattoing using insertion of ink). Tattoo enthusiasts may refer to tattoos as, "Tats," "Ink," "Art," or, "Work," and to tattooists as, "Artists". Tattoos have served as rites of passage, marks of status and rank, symbols of religious and spiritual devotion, decorations for bravery, sexual lures and marks of fertility, pledges of love, punishment, amulets and talismans, protection, and as the marks of outcasts, slaves and convicts. Pet dogs and cats are often tattooed with a serial number (usually in the ear, or on the inner thigh) via which their owners can be identified. When used as a form of cosmetics, tattooing includes permanent makeup, and hiding or neutralizing skin discolorations.
Medical tattoos are used to ensure instruments are properly located for repeated application of radiotherapy and for the areola in some forms of breast reconstruction.
Tattoos have experienced a resurgence in popularity in many parts of the world, particularly in North America, Japan, and Europe.
In many traditional cultures tattooing has also enjoyed a resurgence, partially in deference to cultural heritage. A poll conducted online in July 2003 estimated that 16% of all adults in the United States have at least one tattoo. In Japan, tattoos are strongly associated with the Yakuza, particularly full body tattoos done the traditional Japanese way ("Tebori").
Tattoos can have additional negative associations for women; Although derogatory slang phrases are sometimes used to describe a tattoo on a woman's lower back, it remains one of the most popular spots for a tattoo for females. Tattooing involves the placement of pigment into the skin's dermis, the layer of connective tissue underlying the epidermis.
The most common method of tattooing in modern times is the electric tattoo machine, which inserts ink into the skin via a group of needles that are soldered onto a bar, which is attached to an oscillating unit. Prices for this service vary widely globally and locally, depending on the complexity of the tattoo, the skill and expertise of the artist, the attitude of the customer, the costs of running a business, the economics of supply and demand, etc.
The modern electric tattoo machine is far removed from the machine invented by Samuel O'Reilly in 1891.
A technique often used for home-made tattoos is "stick and poke": The tip of a sewing needle is wrapped in ink-soaked thread, leaving only the point protruding, and keeping this simple instrument saturated with ink as the skin is pricked over and over, creating a design. According to George Orwell, coal miners could develop characteristic tattoos owing to coal dust getting into wounds. Early tattoo inks were obtained directly from nature and were extremely limited in pigment variety.
A wide range of dyes and pigments can be used in tattoos, from inorganic materials like titanium dioxide and iron oxides to carbon black, azo dyes, and acridine, quinoline, phthalocyanine and naphthol derivates, dyes made from ash, and other mixtures.
The properly equipped tattoo studio will use biohazard containers for objects that have come into contact with blood or bodily fluids, sharps containers for old needles, and an autoclave for sterilizing tools. Proper hygiene requires a body modification artist to wash his or her hands before starting to prepare a client for the stencil, between clients, and at any other time where cross contamination can occur. Before the tattooing begins the client is asked to approve the final position of the applied stencil. For example, according to the health department in Oregon and Hawaii, tattoo artists in these states are required to take and pass a test ascertaining their knowledge of health and safety precautions, as well as the current state regulations.
Tattoo artists, and people with tattoos, vary widely in their preferred methods of caring for new tattoos. General consensus for care advises against removing the scab that forms on a new tattoo, and avoiding exposing one's tattoo to the sun for extended periods; both of these can contribute to fading of the image. Ultimately, the amount of ink that remains in the skin throughout the healing process determines, in large part, how robust the final tattoo will look. Tattoo removal is most commonly performed using lasers that react with the ink in the tattoo, and break it down. Also worth considering is the fact that some of the pigments used (especially Yellow #7) are known to break down into toxic chemicals in the body when attacked by light.
The current record for the most studio tattoos in a 24 hour period goes to Oliver Peck of Dallas, TX. Because it requires breaking the skin barrier, tattooing may carry health risks, including infection and allergic reactions. Modern western tattooers reduce such risks by following universal precautions, working with single-use items, and sterilizing their equipment after each use. Since tattoo instruments come in contact with blood and bodily fluids, diseases may be transmitted if the instruments are used on more than one person without being sterilized.
Infections that could be transmitted via the use of unsterilized tattoo equipment include surface infections of the skin, herpes simplex virus, tetanus, staph (Infected Tattoo), fungal infections, some forms of hepatitis, and HIV.
Allergic reactions to tattoo pigments are uncommon except for certain brands of red and green. For those who are allergic to latex, many artists are using non-latex or will use non-latex gloves if asked. There is also a small risk of anaphylactic shock (hypersensitive reaction) in those who are susceptible, but the chance of a health risk is small.
Modern tattooing inks are carbon based pigments that have uses outside of commercial tattoo applications. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS plastic) ground down to an average diameter of slightly less than 1 micrometer is used as the colorant in the brighter tattoo pigments.
There has been concern expressed about the interaction between magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures and tattoo pigments, some of which contain trace metals.
However, research by Shellock and Crues reports adverse reactions to MRI and tattoos in a very small number of cases. Temporary tattoos are popular with models and children as they involve no permanent alteration of the skin but produce a similar appearance that can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
Henna tattoos, also known as Mehndi, and silver nitrate stains that appear when exposed to ultraviolet light, can take up to two weeks to fade from the skin.
Gustafson, Mark: „Inscripta in fronte - Penal Tattooing in Late Antiquity“, in Classical Antiquity, April 1997, Vol. SEKPRESS: Online School Of Body Art [11] Oldest educational resource for body art on the Internet. If you are reading this message, Please click this link to reload this page.(Do not use your browser's "Refresh" button).
If you see this message, your web browser doesn't support JavaScript or JavaScript is disabled. Versatile, highly workable formula is non-fading and dries to an opaque, semi-gloss finish. Through the Newegg EggXpert Review Program, Newegg invites its best reviewers, known as EggXperts, to post opinions about new and pre-release products to help their fellow customers make informed buying decisions.Click here for more details.
Ink is available in a variety of types, not all of which are suitable for fine-art drawing.
This is your standard Indian Ink or Encre de Chine, made from carbon black, with a Shellac medium which provides its water resistance and glossy sheen. This rather oddly named ink is a non-waterproof ink made from Chinese ink sticks of Lamp Black.
Tattoos on humans are a type of decorative body modification, while tattoos on animals are most commonly used for identification or branding.
The symbolism and impact of tattoos varies in different places and cultures, sometimes with unintended consequences.


The best known example is the ka-tzetnik identification system for Jews in part of the concentration camps during the Holocaust. Pets, show animals, thoroughbred horses and livestock are sometimes tattooed with identification and other marks.
The growth in tattoo culture has seen an influx of new artists into the industry, many of whom have technical and fine art training. The decoration of blues singer Janis Joplin with a wristlet and a small heart on her left breast, by the San Francisco tattoo artist Lyle Tuttle, is taken as a seminal moment in the popular acceptance of tattoos as art.[1] As seen in the 2007 movie Eastern Promises, body art again features heavily, showcasing the ink-embroidered torso of a Russian Mobster.
Historically, a decline in traditional tribal tattooing in Europe occurred with the spread of Christianity.
The highest incidence of tattoos was found among the gay, lesbian and bisexual population (31%) and among Americans ages 25 to 29 years (36%) and 30 to 39 years (28%).
Certain public Japanese bathhouses (sento) and gymnasiums often openly ban those bearing large or graphic tattoos in an attempt to prevent Yakuza from entering.
Insofar as this cultural or subculture use of tattoos predates the widespread popularity of tattoos in the general population, tattoos are still associated with criminality. The prevalence of women in the tattoo industry itself, along with larger numbers of women wearing tattoos, has changed negative perceptions. After initial injection, pigment is dispersed throughout a homogenized damaged layer down through the epidermis and upper dermis, in both of which the presence of foreign material activates the immune system's phagocytes to engulf the pigment particles. Some cultures create tattooed marks by hand-tapping the ink into the skin using sharpened sticks or animal bones or, in modern times, needles. The unit rapidly and repeatedly drives the needles in and out of the skin, usually 80 to 150 times a second. O'Reilly's machine was based on the rotary technology of the electric engraving device invented by Thomas Edison. The purpose of the thread is to keep the point of the needle coated in ink, increasing the quantity of ink that penetrates the skin. Today, an almost unlimited number of colors and shades of tattoo ink are mass-produced and sold to parlors worldwide. The current trend for tattoo pigment favors Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS plastic) as seen by the widespread popularity of Intenze, Millennium and other ABS pigmented brands. Certain jurisdictions also require studios by law to have a sink in the work area supplied with both hot and cold water. After approval is given the artist will open new, sterile needle packages in front of the client, and always use new, sterile or sterile disposable instruments and supplies, and fresh ink for each session (loaded into disposable ink caps which are discarded after each client).
Performing a tattoo in Oregon state without a proper and current license or in an unlicensed facility is considered a felony offense.[9] Tattooing was legalized in New York City, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma between 2002 and 2006. Some artists recommend keeping a new tattoo wrapped for the first twenty-four hours, while others suggest removing temporary bandaging after two hours or less.
Complete removal, however, may not be possible (although many doctors and laser practitioners make the claim that upwards of 95% removal is possible with the newest lasers, especially with black and darker colored inks), and the expense and pain of removing them typically will be greater than the expense and pain of applying them. The broken-down ink is then absorbed by the body, mimicking the natural fading that time or sun exposure would create. This is especially a concern if these tattoos are exposed to UV light or laser removal; the resulting degradation products end up migrating to the kidneys and liver.
Previously, the reality star Katherine Von Drachenberg, also known as Kat Von D, star of the reality TV show "LA Ink" on TLC was the record holder. In the United States, for example, the Red Cross prohibits a person who has received a tattoo from donating blood for 12 months (FDA 2000), unless the procedure was done in a state-regulated and licensed studio, using sterile technique.[6]. Many jurisdictions require that tattooists have bloodborne pathogen training, such as is provided through the Red Cross and OSHA. However, infection from tattooing in clean and modern tattoo studios employing single-use needles is rare. Allegedly, the magnetic fields produced by MRI machines could interact with these metal particles, potentially causing burns or distortions in the image. Wagle and Smith also documented an isolated case of Tattoo-Induced Skin Burn During MR Imaging.
Amateurs will often use drawing inks such as Higgins, Pelikan or India ink, but these inks often contain impurities and toxins which can lead to illness or infection.
The most common style is a type of body sticker similar to a decal, which is typically transferred to the skin using water.
Temporary airbrush tattoos (TATs) are applied by covering the skin with a stencil and spraying the skin with ink. Artistic Transformations of the Human Body, Los Angeles – UCLA Museum of Cultural History 1988.
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Make sure you choose a pigmented lightfast ink, not a dye-based illustrator's ink which fades over time.
You'll find sets with stones, brushes and sticks at many art shops as well as Asian importers. One thing I do know about fountain pens is that you mustn't use shellac-based waterproof inks in them, as they clog the pen - sometimes permanently. In Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand, the yantra tattoo is used for protection against evil and to increase luck. Such tattoos are often performed by a veterinarian and in most cases the animals are anesthetized during the process.
Coupled with advancements in tattoo pigments and the on going refinement of the equipment used for tattooing, this has led to an improvement in the quality of tattoos being produced.
Tattoos are generally considered an important part of the culture of the Russian Mafia - see 5. As healing proceeds, the damaged epidermis flakes away (eliminating surface pigment) while deeper in the skin granulation tissue forms, which is later converted to connective tissue by collagen growth.
Traditional Japanese tattoos (Horimono) are still "hand-poked," that is, the ink is inserted beneath the skin using non-electrical, hand-made and hand held tools with needles of sharpened bamboo or steel.
A small one of simple design might take fifteen minutes, whereas an elaborate sleeve tattoo or back piece requires multiple sessions of several hours each.
Inks can be improvised from a number of sources such as coal, ashes or shoe polish, but Higgins "Black Magic" waterproof ink is the brand most commonly cited by collectors of so called "India ink" or "stick and poke" tattoos in the US today. Similarly, a traumatic tattoo occurs when a substance such as asphalt is rubbed into a wound as the result of some kind of accident or trauma. In some states and countries it is illegal to tattoo a minor even with parental consent, and it is usually not allowed to tattoo impaired persons, people with contraindicated skin conditions, those who are pregnant or nursing, those incapable of consent due to mental incapacity or those under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Also, all areas which may be touched with contaminated gloves will be wrapped in clear plastic to prevent cross-contamination.
While specific requirements to become a tattooist vary between jurisdictions, many mandate only formal training in bloodborne pathogens, and cross contamination. Many tattooists advise against allowing too much contact with hot tub or pool water, or soaking in a tub for the first two weeks. Various products may be recommended for application to the skin, ranging from those intended for the treatment of cuts, burns and scrapes, to cocoa butter, lanolin, A&D or Aquaphor. This technique often requires many repeated visits to remove even a small tattoo, and may result in permanent scarring. Laser removal of traumatic tattoos may similarly be complicated depending on the substance of the pigmenting material. An artfully done cover-up may render the old tattoo completely invisible, though this will depend largely on the size, style, colors and techniques used on the old tattoo.


Her tattoos were of the LA Ink logo while the current record holder's artwork consists of the number thirteen. Not all states have a licensing program, meaning that people who receive tattoos in those states are subject to the 12-month deferral regardless of the hygienic standards of the studio. In amateur tattoos, such as those applied in prisons, however, there is an elevated risk of infection. Such reactions are quite rare, however, and some artists will recommend performing a test patch. The first known study to characterize the composition of these pigments was started in 2005 at Northern Arizona University (Finley-Jones and Wagner). The television show MythBusters tested the theory, and found no interaction between tattoo inks and MRI.
The person in the case had a dark, concentrated, loop-shaped tattoo, which the authors speculate could have acted as an RF (radio frequency) pick-up; they also note that this is the first such case they encountered in "thousands of MRI studies". A more watery consistency than true Indian ink, the pen doesn't hold as much, and it bleeds more on fibrous paper. These are intense, pigmented color inks, with excellent lightfastness (less so for the Violet and Magenta). I used to enjoy tinkering with archaic paint mediums, though generally it's not a past-time I recomend, given that commercial inks are so reliable.
Tattooing was widespread among Polynesian peoples and among certain tribal groups in the Philippines, Borneo, Mentawai Islands, Africa, North America, South America, Mesoamerica, Europe, Japan, Cambodia, New Zealand and China. In Marquesan, tatu." The first closest known usage of the word in English was recorded in the diary of Captain James Cook in 1769 during his voyage to the Marquesas Islands. For example, in the period of early contact between Maori and Europeans, Maori chiefs sometimes drew their moko (facial tattoo) on documents in place of a signature. Branding is used for similar reasons and is often performed without anesthesia, but is different from tattooing as no ink or dye is inserted during the process. Sometimes called "prison tattoos" these tattoos are also popular with gutterpunks, and others associated with the modern hobo subculture, who frequently tattoo visible parts of their bodies, including their hands and faces. These are particularly difficult to remove as they tend to be spread across several different layers of skin, and scarring or permanent discoloration is almost unavoidable depending on the location.
The technical name is BIOMETRIX System-1000, and is marketed under the name "Chameleon Tattoo Ink". This is to prevent the tattoo ink from washing out or fading due to over-hydration and avoid infection from exposure to bacteria and chlorine.
Oil based ointments are almost always recommended to be used in very thin layers due to their inability to evaporate and therefore over-hydrate the already perforated skin.
The newer Q-switched lasers are said by the National Institute of Health to result in scarring only rarely, however, and are usually used only after a topical anesthetic has been applied.
Some shops and artists use laser removal machines to break down and lighten undesired tattoos to make coverage with a new tattoo easier. To address this problem, a program was introduced in Canada as of the summer of 2005 that provides legal tattooing in prisons, both to reduce health risks and to provide inmates with a marketable skill. The FDA expects local authorities to legislate and test tattoo pigments and inks made for the use of permanent cosmetics. ABS colorants produce extremely vivid tattoos that are less likely to fade or blur than the traditional pigments, but ABS tattoo pigment is also harder to remove because it is so much less reactive to lasers. Originally inserted as a prize in bubble gum packages, they consisted of a poor quality ink transfer that would easily come off with water or rubbing. Indian ink can be thinned with distilled water (tap water will make it separate), but I prefer watercolor for washes.
My bottle of W&N Indian Ink has the standard screw cap, but this one-ounce bottle at Blick comes with a built-in eyedropper - great for adding controlled amounts to a wash. For these reasons, it's a good idea to try this ink out on a sample of your paper to test its performance and get used to its slightly different handling.
They flow well from pen or brush and can be used anywhere you'd use watercolor - ideal for all art and craft work. However if you're one of those who enjoy doing things the hard way, or are a history-reenactment fan needing an extra bit of authenticity for your SCA event, Evan is your man. Despite some taboos surrounding tattooing, the art continues to be popular in many parts of the world. Even today, tattoos are sometimes used by forensic pathologists to help them identify burned, putrefied, or mutilated bodies. A decline often occurred in other cultures following European efforts to convert aboriginal and indigenous people to Western religious and cultural practices that held tattooing to be a "pagan" or "heathen" activity. The tattoo artist must wash not only his or her hands, but they must also wash the area that will be tattooed.
The first twin coil machine, the predecessor of the modern configuration, was invented by another Englishman, Alfred Charles South of London, in 1899. In addition, tattooing of the gingiva from implantation of amalgam particles during dental filling placement and removal is possible and not uncommon. In contrast, other artists suggest that a new tattoo be bathed in very hot water early and often.
Pre-laser tattoo removal methods include dermabrasion, salabrasion (scrubbing the skin with salt), cryosurgery, and excision which is sometimes still used along with skin grafts for larger tattoos. The NIH recognizes five types of tattoo; amateur, professional, cosmetic, medical, and traumatic (or natural).
Since tattoo ink is translucent, covering up a previous tattoo necessitates darker tones in the new tattoo to effectively hide the older, unwanted piece. In California, the state prohibits certain ingredients and pursues companies who fail to notify the consumer of the contents of tattoo pigments.
Today's vegetable dye temporaries can look extremely realistic and adhere up to 3 weeks due to a layer of glue similar to that found on an adhesive bandage.
It can be nice to actually emphasise the natural variations that are possible with this ink, for a soft and organic quality in the work. Tattoo pigment is buried deep enough in the skin that even severe burns will often not destroy a tattoo. Within some traditional indigenous cultures, tattooing takes place within the context of a rite of passage between adolescence and adulthood.
Gloves must be worn at all times and the wound must be wiped frequently with a wet disposable towel of some kind. A common example of such accidental tattoos is the result of a deliberate or accidental stabbing with a pencil or pen, leaving graphite or ink beneath the skin.
Although opinions about these products vary, there is near total agreement that either alone or in addition to some other product, soap and warm water work well to keep a tattoo clean and free from infection.[1]However, salt water can cause a fresh wound to sting as well as leave it vulnerable to infections and fading. Recently, the state of California sued nine pigment and ink manufacturers, requiring them to more adequately label their products. According to the American Chemical society, homemade tattoos, in which metallic inks have been used in larger quantities, cause these reactions. Because of this, many members of today's military will have their identification tags tattooed onto their ribs; these are known as "meat tags". There are several types of Q-switched lasers, and each is effective at removing a different range of the color spectrum.



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