Friday, April 21, 2017

Pinterest Do's & Don'ts

Being in the tattoo world in 2017 we are all too familiar with Pinterest. Although there are many ideas that spark inspiration for our clients on there, Pinterest ideas also have things that just flat out won’t work as a tattoo. Here are some Pinterest no-no’s for you! 

Beware of the tiny ones. 

We have clients on a regular basis bringing in photos they found on Pinterest of the dreaded detailed lion on the finger tattoo, or extremely tiny, dainty script pieces. It is almost unbelievable that an artist can pack such detail into such a tiny space, right? 

The thing people don’t realize when they see these microscopic script tattoos or extremely detailed finger tattoos, is that they are looking at images posted almost immediately after the tattoo was done. The aging of the tattoo is what people often forget to take into account. That includes uneducated tattoo artists! 

Those tiny little letters? Weeks, months and years down the road that script will become more and more illegible, blobbing out into a not so cute mess that you are left to look at. That awesome detailed lion on the finger? You can expect the same as hands and fingers already heal rough, so add a ton of detail packed into a tiny space that won’t heal nicely and you’re left with a jacked up tattoo. 

When your artist tells you that the piece cannot be done that small, understand that he is not trying to pass you off. He is trying to make sure that you love your tattoos 10 years down the road as much as you loved them that first day. 

Beware of the Photoshopped ones. 

There are so many tattoos floating around Pinterest that are completely misleading…because they aren’t real. Here are a couple examples for you! 

Metallic tattoos. We get plenty of people bringing in images of the shimmery, shiny metallic-looking tattoo photos found on Pinterest. These are temporary tats you are seeing! Although awesome artists can find many great ways to add that beautiful detail into your tattoo design, they cannot make your tattooed skin shine and glisten in the sun, its still skin. 

Super-detailed finger and ear tattoos. These are literally EVERYWHERE. A lot of the time these tiny little gems are created and posted specifying that they are indeed, temporary tattoos. But you get the re-posters and board creators who will post it as a real tattoo just to gain more interest. 

White ink tattoos. Your artist should tell you what to expect with tattoos that only have white ink used, but we can tell you that it isn’t going to be a brilliant, bright white popping off of your skin. Don’t be fooled! People will Photoshop these into what they wished they looked like, and more people will get white ink tattoos with that false expectation in mind. 

Last, but not least…TRENDING NOW. 

Not that they can’t be done….but do you really want a tattoo that hundreds, if not thousands of people already have? Tattoo trends come in waves, and when a new one hits it hits hard, with people coming in every single day wanting the exact tattoo as the 5 other people who saw it on Pinterest that day. The point is, if you’re going to use Pinterest to find that next tattoo, utilize it to spark an idea and work with an artist to come up with something unique for both you and the artist who’s doing it! 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tattoos and Pain Management

It’s no secret, tattoos kind of hurt! And that pain felt varies depending on many factors. Pain tolerance differs from person to person. What was excruciating for one may have been easy breezy for another! Where you are putting your tattoo will change the intensity of the pain or discomfort felt as some areas are just more sensitive to be tattooed on. Areas that have no fat or where the skin is stretched across bone tend to be more sensitive, like the ribs and spine vs. areas like the outer part of your upper arm, which most people seem to get through with minimal discomfort. 

So what can you do to get yourself through the more difficult sittings? We have a few suggestions for you! 

Jared Preslar tattooing his apprentice
First and foremost it is important to realize that you are in control of your body movements, tension, and of course mindset. People tend to forget what a big difference the whole “mind over matter” thing will make in situations like this. Although it may be uncomfortable, keeping yourself calm and as relaxed as possible is so important. Not only for YOUR tattoo experience, but for the tattoo artist who is trying to give you an awesome tattoo! 

The more you allow yourself to focus on the pain the more uncomfortable you are going to be and the slower the clock will tick as you are waiting for it to be done. And when you tense up or wiggle around it makes it extremely difficult for your tattoo artist to do their job. Keeping yourself in a good state of mind and mentally getting yourself through it will make a big difference in your experience, we promise! People with low pain tolerance even meditate in longer, difficult sittings to help themselves through it. 

Bring some support! Bringing a good friend to your tattoo appointment can ease your stress, helping keep you distracted so that you aren’t just focusing on what your artist is doing. But again, it is good to keep your artist in mind during your appointment. 2 people in the room (client and guest) is company, 3 is a crowd! Too many people can be very distracting to your artist while they are focusing on their work. 
Christina Walker

Make sure you are ready to go for your tattoo appointment. This means getting a good night of sleep so you are well-rested and less anxious. Don’t go on a binger the night before, you don’t want the alcohol to thin your blood or put more stress on your body. Eat a good meal, and if it’s a longer appointment bring some snacks! 

Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water, and cut out (or at least cut down) on the caffeine intake. You don’t want to feel all wired and hyped up if you are already nervous and don’t have a high pain tolerance. Oh, and shower! You and your artist will be up close and personal, so good hygiene on your part will make a happy tattoo artist.


Do you Have any tips and tricks that have worked for you? Share them in the comments below!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Lotus Flower: Symbolism and meanings

Although the lotus flower has always been used in tattoos, its popularity has grown significantly in recent years. The lotus flower is a symbol of the stages of enlightenment in Buddhism; representing rebirth, growth and purification of the spirit. 

Tattoo by Jared Preslar
The lotus flower grows from muddy, murky streams and rivers, but then rises above the water to bloom. This is a big part of the flowers symbolism. All humans are born into a world of suffering. The suffering in this world teaches and strengthens us, playing an important role in our growth.

Through this learning and experience, we can overcome the struggles of the mud to break the surface of the water and reach our own spiritual awakening. The lotus flower is all about those who rise from the darkness of the world into a new way of thinking and living!

Different colors of the lotus flower in Buddhism hold different meanings, representing the different spiritual journeys taken on the path to enlightenment by each of us. 

Tattoo by Pineapple
White: Purity of the mind and spirit

 Red: Compassion and love

 Blue: Wisdom and logic 

 Pink: History of Buddha & legends  of Buddha

 Purple: Spirituality and mysticism 

Gold: All achievement of all enlightenment

The stage of growth the lotus flower is in represents a different stage of enlightenment as well.  A closed lotus flower represents the time before a Buddhist follower found Buddha or enlightenment. A lotus flower fully bloomed and open represents full enlightenment and self-awareness.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Bamboo Tattoos

Long before we had tattoo machines and all of the wonderful accessories we have today, people had a much simpler method for tattooing using bamboos. Today this type of tattooing is achieved by attaching very fine needles to the end of a thin piece of bamboo using cotton. The needle is dipped into the ink and then very gently tapped into the skin. 
Although nobody is 100% certain where this method of tattooing originated from, it is believed to have come about during the Khmer period around 3000 years ago. Mummies from the Ibaloi people have been found in the Philippines with bamboo tattoos still visible, decorated with animals and geometric designs. 

Thailand has a very rich history associated with bamboo tattoos. Bamboo tattooing began for them in the Buddhist temples. Many monks would receive religious text bamboo tattoos from grand master monks for protection!  Not only did it offer them protection, but also represented their dedication to their faith.  

Many soldiers would travel to be tattooed by the monks, getting tattoos that represented strength, protection or invisibility. There are even legends stating that Thailand has never been occupied as the Thai soldiers are warrior ghosts who cannot be seen or killed by the enemy due to their protective tattoos.

This form of tattooing continues to carry on throughout time because for many it is more primal and spiritual to be tattooed with this method, carrying deep meaning regarding people’s virtues, blessings and prayers. When monks would do bamboo tattoos they followed a ritual for each one, blessing the stencil, needle and bamboo itself! Once the tattoo was completed a prayer would be whispered over it, bringing protection, happiness, luck and wealth.