Tattoo trends only skin deep

By ANDJELKA BOGUNOVIC
bogunova@mtmary.edu

Just like clothing and fashion, the tattoo industry has its own unique pattern of trends. Imagine fluorescent colors of ink only visible beneath black lighting. Glow-in-the-dark tattoo ink is an emerging trend throughout the tattoo industry; however, experts continue to advise a set of precautions for safety and selection.

Calen Curley, a tattoo artist of four years at No Good Tattoos, located in Jackson, Wis., is happy to declare that the former trends of butterflies and Japanese characters have died out.

“As far as women go, the infinity symbol is very popular right now,” Curley said. “The watercolor effect is also gaining quite a bit of popularity.”

As for the tattoo trend that requires black lighting, Carley warned of its limitations.

“Glow-in-the-dark ink does exist; however, there is not much that you can do with it,” Curley said. “Basically it’s a solid fill type scenario. I can’t create an interesting piece of art with it.”

Even though Curley has not personally worked with glow-in-the-dark ink, he called  it a “novelty” and said those he knows who are tattooed with the glow-in-the-dark ink are generally pleased with its effect.

Because this style of ink is so new, some may say its longevity is still unknown.

“I think people end up figuring out that they wasted money on this because how long is it really going to glow?” Curley asked. “How often are they going to be in a black light?”

Terese Nadboralski, a senior at Mount Mary University majoring in occupational therapy, has three tattoos. Nadboralski does not see the appeal of the new ink trend.

“If I put a tattoo on my body, I would like to be able to see it and enjoy it,” Nadboralski said.

Tattoos and Pain

“Are tattoos painful?” seems to be a common question prior to getting a tattoo.

“Pain is very subjective and varies from one person to the next,” Curley said. “I always tell people that the sensation of getting a tattoo is like a burning sensation.”

Tattoo Safety

Photo provided by CALEN CURLEYCalen Curley is one of three artists at No Good Tattoos in Jackson, Wis. Here he works with a tattoo machine in his studio, daubing off some blood with gauze in order to see where the ink has already been applied. Curley also sketches his own designs.

Photo provided by CALEN CURLEY
Calen Curley is one of three artists at No Good Tattoos in Jackson, Wis. Here he works with a tattoo machine in his studio, daubing off some blood
with gauze in order to see where the ink has already been applied. Curley also sketches his own designs.

Some myths claim that tattoo ink can cause hepatitis C and the tattoo machine can spread disease.

Calen said because there are many rules and regulations when it comes to licensed tattooing, people have nothing to fear.

“Look for clearly posted state licenses and health board certificates from recently passed inspections,” Curley said. “Look for general shop cleanliness, read and listen to client reviews if possible, check portfolios, etc. Professionalism is huge.”

Curley said people can, however, develop a staph infection as a result of improper tattoo care, such as touching a fresh tattoo with dirty hands. He said the best way to avoid a staph infection is to follow instructions given to you by your tattoo artist.

“Staphylococcus bacteria is everywhere,” Curley said. “The area where you get your tattoo and the machines we use were made to be sterile.

Artist Selection

Choosing a tattoo artist is similar to buying a used car. You must do your research.

“The biggest mistake that people make when they come through the door is show us something [a sketch of their tattoo] and they immediately want to know a price,” Curley said.

Artists such as Curley use portfolios to showcase their art and style in order to give clientele a perspective aside from pricing.

“You get what you pay for in this business,” Curley said. “If you want a quality tattoo, money should not be a deciding factor … if you come up with a design and sit on it for at least a month or so and you still want it as much as you did in the beginning of the month, chances are you’re going to be okay with it.”

 

No Good Tattoos
W213 N16802 Industrial Dr.
Jackson, WI 53037
262-674-1123
nogoodtattoos@gmail.com

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