Top 5 Tattoo Myths

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Top 5 Tattoo Myths

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Tattoos have been around as long as humans have been able to put ink in skin. Almost as long as that there have been myths and stories about the tattoo world and how tattoos are made. Today we look at the top 5 tattoo myths of the 21st century!

Every Tattoo I See Online is Real

In the days of Photoshop, not everything is what it seems

The internet has given us the ability to share with the world, but that comes with consequences. It's too easy to be able to create realistic looking ‘fake' tattoos with Photoshop. Clients approach artists with obvious Photoshop work and want it replicated. We can use technology to enhance the tattoo experience, but the limits of tattooing as an art still apply.

None of the “tattoos” are real

This is what a “real” version looks like

Expectations have exploded recently and for the most part the industry has answered. A new generation of tattoo enthusiasts have driven tattoos to be trendy and not taboo. This has pushed the limits to tattoos like hyper-realistic quarter sized portraits. As an artist, it is our responsibility to explain to the client that some things will not work as a tattoo. As a client, it is your responsibility to be open to professional advice and do your research ahead of time.

Tattoos Fade Over Time

They become less bright, but not because they are fading

With a fresh tattoo, the tattoo is at its peak saturation and brightness. The crispy line work and swollen, red flesh makes a tattoo look ‘better' than when its healed . Tattoo artists use fresh tattoos and the best lighting to showcase their work. That is fine, but make sure to do a little investigation of a tattoo artist’s healed work too. Once a tattoo settles in the skin, it’s spreads a bit and, if done right, stands the test of time. It is always great to take this into consideration when you seek out artwork. Fine line and novelty tattoos tend to not age well and lack serious luster once they heal.

The reason that people believe that a tattoo “fades” over time is because of how the skin works. Your skin is in constant shed and repair mode and replaces itself every 7 years. Your tattoo ink does not move so as you grow new skin over it, the transparency becomes less and less. The more time and layers of skin that grow over the tattoo, the more “dull” it becomes. If you were to remove the skin over the tattoo, it would be as bright as the day you got it. When you are “touching” up a tattoo you are actually getting a new tattoo over the old one, not replacing any ink.

Think about a tattoo as a piece of fine art. When it's first painted that art is vibrant and clean. The artist will then preserve it by painting a layer of varnish on it. As the painting ages and the varnish gets exposed to sunlight, it yellows and becomes opaque. This gives the painting a dull and blurry look. When you remove the varnish, the original painting is as bright as the first day. Tattoos are the painting and your skin is the varnish.

Tatted? No Career for You!

Maybe in 1965, but in 2019 it's a bit more nuanced

In the professional world tattoos on the hands, neck or face can still be considered taboo. A tattoo does change how people view you though and several tattoos like sleeves will multiply that. If your tattoos will affect your capacity to get a job depends on a lot of things. Successful people in a lot of professions have a lot of tattoos, even full sleeves and neck tattoos. I’ve even seen politicians with face tattoos running for office. There still is a grey area, but for the most part, tattoos in the work force are at most an inconvenience. Police officers in many areas, for instance, must have no visible tattoos in uniform. This article shows a Chicago officer who has several face tattoos and felt forced to retire. The comments on his picture included “He looks like a thug”. Here is a doctor with two full sleeves, who removes hand and face tattoos for free. Depending on where you want to work, it may not be the best idea to get facial or other hard to hide tattoos. In general, tattoos should not be a hiring or firing factor in most careers. If you are an artist, musician or creator then the sky is the limit for tattoos and body modification in general. Go nuts, hell, show nuts. It's 2019!

This may not be the best look to join the police academy

Everyone Regrets Their Tattoos

If you got your girlfriend's in high school name, of course you do!

Tattoos are forever. Fleeting love interests and infatuations with a subject are not. When people regret their tattoos it's not because they have a tattoo, it's the subject matter they hate. People with full sleeves and body suits don't regret their tattoos. Post Malone may look back at his choices in his 20's when he is 80 and may have some regrets though. It's about recognizing what you love at your core that you want to see forever. A child's name, a lost loved one or a favorite pet is never a regret. That one scene from Lost season 3? You may want to rethink that one. As a tattoo artist it is my job to steer people in the right direction and give my opinion on placement. I tend to look at a person's age and current tattoo collection before I will do a face tattoo. At the end of the day a tattoo artist's goal is to bring the client's vision to life. So, if you walk into a shop adamant that you need a picket fence on your cheek, someone will do it. Be smart, take your time and take into consideration the permanence of a tattoo before you commit. Especially on your face, hands and neck, select these with the upmost care.

Tattoo ‘Guns' Are Loud

Some of them are, some of them are whisper quiet

A traditional ‘Coil' tattoo machine

A ‘Rotary' tattoo machine

There are two main types of tattoo machines: a coil tattoo machine, and a rotary tattoo machine. The signature buzz of the tattoo machine is a coil machine. The biggest difference is how the two machines work. A coil machine sends an electric signal to two wound copper coils. These coils make an electromagnetic field that sends the needle into the skin. A nanosecond later a spring attached to coil breaks the field and the needles retract. This making and breaking of the electromagnetic field is what causes that “buzz”. A rotary tattoo machine has a small electric motor inside of a pen like device. The needle attaches to a rotor, think airplane propeller, that rotates inside the pen. This circular motion drives the needle into the skin with a uniform, steady motion. The first tattoo machine created was a rotary modeled after Edison's electric pen. The coil machine was easier to recreate for the D.I.Y. crowd and inside prisons, so that's what took over.

That's a look at the top 5 myths of tattoos in 2019! We hope you enjoyed this article, if you would like to learn more about tattoos, tatooing as an art form or anything else Jake Steele Check out the blog!


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