Tattoo Hostels and the Damage being done

I just talked with a good friend of mine who knows, and had recently talked with one of the leading Gypsy in the SLC area. Let me introduce you to a few of the local Gypsies,

They are; Strap, Jock, Pud and Mofo.

Now don’t get me wrong, these Gypsies are not scratchers like the old school scratchers are. These people are the modern day Scratchers, these dudes are highly skilled, very accomplished Tattooers. They are not run of the mill street shop tattooers. (And they did not buy their Tattools from me).
They appear to be Professional in many ways, but their Business Ethics is way out of balance and they work by the creed of Gypsies. They take advantage of everyone that come their way. Their names have been changed to minimize the publicity they may get from this blog.

Mofo, is a transplanted gypsy, I don’t know where he is from but he is not from Utah, he is only in SLC for a short time, works cheap under the table at the iconic Hostel. Mofo needs to make some traveling money before he moves on to another Tattoo Hostel in the City where the next Con-man-vention is being help.

Pud, is a transplanted local dude who has no respect for any one that I know of. He berates every one in the area trying to make himself feel better. You know this guy, he’s an eccentric foreign made asshole that doesn’t want to help anyone, but wanted to be helped when he got it. He apprenticed at the prime local studio at the time but won’t admit it. He cares about nothing long term, he cares nothing about the harm his business ethics are causing the local market. His only interest, out side his own work, is helping his Gypsy brothers get to the next Con-man-vention.

Jock, is the quiet Guy, at least that is how I know him so far. But he is still a traveling gypsy that is supporting and participating in the con-man-vention and Gypsy circuit. He has no problem working real cheap while at home, and charging inflated prices when he’s working out of town skimming the cream from the local market wherever the con-man-ventions are held. Even though he is quiet, He lives by the creed of the Gypsies.

Strap, is the Guy that is holding everything together and thinks he is solid as a rock. He owns the joint, and the Business license for the Tattoo Hostel is in his name. He won’t tell us if anyone that works in his Hostel is licensed or even holds a Health Permit.
Strap, doesn’t want his Hostel, or the people that work there to listed in any Historical Registry, and actually demands to be anonymous, which, to his dismay is impossible. Being a Professional and being Anonymous, is much like Temporary and Tattoo. They’re are both oxymoron. Professional and Anonymous can’t happen both at the same time. The demand to remain Anonymous is a very good indication that these people are not Professionals in the true sense.
They are professional scratchers that do not want to be recognized in Public. In other words Gypsies that have very little respect for the rest of the Tattoo Profession.

The image is quickly forming, that Strap, and other Tattoo Hostel operators, are forming a tight net CLICK , much like other underground transportation railroads of the past. The Hostel Operators are in contact with other Tattoo Hostel Operators and Con-vention Organizers, they work together making the arraignments for the other travailing Mofo’s of the tattoo profession to get another place (hostel) to work under the table while they wait for the next Con-man-vention.

Not like at the Con-man-ventions, these Gypsies work cheap while at the Hostel. Even though these dudes can do nice work, and they know how to charge 2-3 times the local rate at the Con-man-ventions, they are happy to cut the local Tattooers throats, and do cheap single setting designs while at the hostel. This lowers the local professional standards to those of beginners and scratchers and helps keep the profession wages in perpetual state of recession.

And that is how they lower the standards everywhere. This has been going on for many years, we are just now putting all of the pieces together that forms the Picture of the State the Tattoo Profession is in. This needs to be stopped.

These Hostel operators and Con -Vention organizers have created an unfair business environment that effecting the entire Tattoo Profession, Not just here in the USA, but all around the world.

These guys say some stupid stuff, so I don’t know if they realize what they are doing or what the harm actually is that they are contributing too. But I must assume they do know and understand because they described to my friend too much detail of their operation for them not to understand what they are doing to the local tattoo communities where they live, and the communities where they go to pillage. These dudes are smart enough to know what they are doing.

My BIG question for the rest of the Tattoo Profession is. Are we smart enough to know how to shut these Gypsies down?

We have been in a perpetuate recession/depression for more than 8 years. It is time to do something about it. The only answer there is, is to Boycott these tattoo con-man-ventions. All of them for a couple of years.
Only support those Conventions that are not sponsored by for profit Corporations.

Only support Events that are Sponsored by NOT FOR PROFIT Professional sponsored Conventions. And only thoughs that have more than 80% local Tattoo Artists on the floor.

If you are an Tattoo Enthusiast thinking of getting a new tattoo, Please do not support any Tattoo Studio or Con-ventions that host or otherwise supports these traveling Gypsies. These traveling Gypsies and Con-man-ventions are killing the Tattoo Profession.

Support the Art of Tattooing – Buy Professional – Buy Local
Know your Tattooer

Posted in Convention Benefits, Convention Boycott, Supporting Local Tattooers | Leave a comment

National Tattoo Association – Tattooer wants Seminar Time

Dear Brian, President National Tattoo Association.
And all My NTA Colleagues, Oct. 7, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I sent Flo a request that I be able to get my NTA Membership updated, and a Tattoo Booth and Seminar Time at the next convention in Cincinnati. I don’t know if you are aware of my request, but, because I have not received any response, I am asking you to look into the situation and see if you can help me get what I am requesting.
I don’t think I am being unreasonable in my request, your assistance will be appreciated very much and your courage to support me will be a welcome change to the other Members of the National Tattoo Association.

You can find a copy of my request titled; To all My National Tattoo Association Colleagues – Posted on my blog page at; I posted my letter here, asking the other NTA Members to speak up for me when I realized I wasn’t getting a response from the NTA Leadership.

At this point I don’t believe there is much hope that my request is granted, but I am asking you for a comment on the situation, so I know where I really stand with my opinions. The official National Tattoo Associations opinion on this situation (Gypsies and over population of Conventions) is very important. Knowing what the Official NTA opinion actually is will help develop the strategy needed so the true to the Profession Tattoo Artists can regain a little control of our Profession.

The tattoo profession started into a “Professional Recession” in 2003. Did you know Brian, that in 2003, 18% of all 18-25 year old people in the USA were being tattooed. By 2009, that number had dropped to 8%. That is over a 50% decline in popularity. This is an indication the Professional recession started long before the financial recession started.
The main cause of this decline in popularity in tattooing, is the over abundance of
Con-ventions and the Traveling Gypsies that support these events. Gypsies are to the tattoo profession, what Scratchers are to the local markets. The only way we are going to stop the greed of these people is to talk about it.

Please help me get Seminar time at the Convention in Cincinnati so we can get the situation turned around.

I have described 3 different types of Conventions. See these descriptions at and see for your self that I am not being critical of the National Tattoo Convention, I am actually trying to help you and the NTA become strong like you once was.
I can help if you guys would just let me!

The Tattoo Profession is in a perpetual “Professional” recession until we do something.
Don’t be afraid Brian, to help us do something to get our profession turned in a better direction.

Don’t be afraid, I’ll do all the talking, and you don’t have to agree. Just listen and then figure out what needs to be done. As a group of Professionals, the Members Of the National Tattoo Association deserve to hear this information. And they will, one way or the other. If we work together You, Me, and the National Tattoo Association will be the Leaders in the industry. Other wise the Gypsies will continue to Rule and Destroy.

Hated Worldwide, for a reason, just not the reason everyone believes.
Your Friend,
Kelly Miller

Posted in Convention Benefits, Supporting Local Tattooers | 1 Comment

Tattoos, and Controlling the infection of the Mouth

Dear Colleagues,
I have recently been asked to share a little more information on the problem the tattoo profession has been having for a long time. And that problem is the over stating of infection problems running rampant through out the profession, that do not actually exist.

This problem has been blamed on the selling of tattoo equipment over the counter to any one that wants it. And blamed on the Scratchers that wont/don’t try hard enough to become a good street shop tattooer. Let me tell you, the people taking the heat are not the problem.
There is not an Infection Problem. That is the problem, No problem really exists. Saying the sky is falling when it really isn’t is very stupid, and has hurt the advancement of modern tattooing techniques.

Let me tell you once and for all. Tattoo equipment sellers have never infected anyone. There is not any recognizable Problem with the selling of Tattools…. Grow the fuck up, Get over the fact that your competition can buy Tattools every where. Just do better tattoo work and shut up about infections unless you actually have one. If you have an infection, deal with it.

Infection sometime do happen to freshly tattooed skin. But if you actually know the truth about Blood born Pathogens, and you should know, you will know that infection that do accrue in a person that has been recently tattooed almost exclusively comes from the hygene of the tattooed, not the Tattooer, and especially the Manufacturer/Seller of the Tattools.

In my 30 years of experience, Scratchers do not cause infections any better or any more than professionals do. I would bet that 99% of all tattoo related infections come from the results of inadequate aftercare.
This may be attributed to poor advice from the Tattooer, but that is not the same as blaming the tattoo procedure or the Tattool equipment.

This is a letter I wrote to the Editor of Pain Magazine last year in response to a “Rants and Rave” article Published in the August 2010 issue of Pain Mag. See for more information and a look at the actual article. The article I am responding to, was originally written by Mace Arnold, who was at the time, was a (not very good) representative of Alliance of Professional Tattooing.

The following is unedited, and is in response to the article written by Mace Arnold.

Atten; Mace Arnold and J. Beck,
Re; Rants and Rave article, #99 pain magazine, Aug. 2010

You sure let the worms lose with the rants and rave Comments in issue #99 Aug 2010 by Mace Arnold , Representative for the Alliance of Professional Tattooist, and followed up with some real
thoughtful – thoughtless comments by J. Beck, North Carolina.
The comments by the APT Rep. Mace Arnold on Hepatitis C being spread around Kansas by the – “SCRATCHERS” – was unprofessional, irresponsible, and dereliction of his duty as a representative of the APT and a general Member of the Tattoo Profession. No true to the art professional tattooer should ever bring this much negative attention to the profession with out positive proof consisting of a name and date his allegation occurred. Show me the documented evidence that a Hepatitis C infection actually occurred, and was absolutely traced back to a specific tattooer, or a specific tattooing event.

I say this never happened, and that Mace Arnold is only blowing smoke up every ones ass, just like those other Bigshots did 10-11 years ago, saying the same crap. The people spuing the crap this time, just like last time are just trying to make a bigger deal out of the selling of tattoo equipment than it really is. I say all these rumormongers are really just afraid of the up coming competition. Even if someone did contact Hep C in Kansas, we still need to see the positive proof to make these comments legitimate, including the prosecution results of the tattooer at fault.

Tell me, Mr. Arnold and J. Beck. Besides the operation expense and the permit requirements. Just what is the difference between a “scratcher”, and a tattooer working out of a street shop? NOTHING, is the correct answer. They are both trying to tattoo for fun or money, or both, just like you. Well wait a second, there is several minor differences.

The Street-Shop tattooers I know are arrogant and narrow minded. They are totally afraid to learn anything new, and generally tend to be very limited on imagination and drive, so, generally speaking street shops operators don’t contribute much to the improvement of the profession.

On the other hand; Through my experience selling equipment to all types of people interested in tattooing, I have found it is more likely that the dedicated scratcher that is buying my state of the art equipment is more artistically inclined, and willing to learn new to the industry techniques. Techniques that the common street-shop tattooers (or old timers) don’t have the drive to learn.
So, in my experience, those scratchers you guys are complaining about are the next generation tattoo Masters. And I am sorry to say to you Mr Mace Arnold, you are not a “Master Tattooer,” under any stretch of the word you are not a master. But the people that I have been teaching how to tattoo with my tattool equipment are the new to the industry leaders and next generation Masters. You just wait and see.

If J Beck is talking about the street shops that sell import equipment to both scratchers and other cheap street-shop operators, being responsible for some of the street shop quality work walking the streets, I couldn’t agree with him more.
And when machine manufacturers whose machines sell for several hundred dollars more than the imports, because of high quality craftsmanship and/or present technical abilities other machine can’t provide are not allowed to show their style of equipment at tattoo conventions because some BIG name Tattoo equipment importer has a monopoly on the convention floor, makes it so only the cheap imports are available to the cheap people that buy them.
Cheap is what cheap does. Sell cheap machines and you get cheap work. Cheap Con-men run conventions that allow cheap imports to be sold is one of the biggest problems with all of the con-men running the convention circuit. Mr J Beck is right on this one. Cheap machines should not be sold at professional grade shops, or professional conventions, or any where else. But you, Mr J Beck shouldn’t lump all equipment manufacturers/sellers in the same category as the cheap imports trouble makers. If you do, you won’t see any new techniques, ever, and you’ll prove to be just another cheap impostor like so many others..

And, Not all working tattooers, not working in a licensed shop are bums. Even part time professionals know how to sterilize their equipment and sanitize their work area. I actually know several part time tattooers that tattoo better than both you do. They work from their house and maintain the same type of work environment that you are supposed to keep. I don’t think working out of the house is good business practice and I certainly think they don’t respect the legitimate frame work of local commerce.
And I also don’t think a convention (somewhere) every week is good business for the local professionals, or the over all profession ether, and for the same reasons.

FYI; Con-men take about $500,000.00 out of your local market every convention, without having any local responsibilities. Scratchers and part time professionals never take this much money out of a local market per year, let alone per event.
Gypsies and Con-men of all types are bad for our business, and our way of life. I understand your frustrations Mr J Beck, any time there is disrespectful intruders, they suck, and cause legitimate business people grief.
But you must not let your frustrations over whelm your common sense, we still need to be able to stay legitimate for our own survival. Don’t bring more attention to our selves than is actually needed. Fight the real problems.

Another FYI; I sell equipment to everyone that wants my equipment. is an equal opportunity Supplier, and proud of it. And we are not cheap. We are doing everything we can to help advance real true to the art professional tattoo artists into the future. If I followed ether of you two Dudes advice and refused to sell to people of less experience than my self, I wouldn’t be selling any thing to ether of you, or any other new skool tattooer for that matter.

And further more Mr. J Beck; Every single tattoo supply company in America sells equipment and supplies to every skill level tattooer every day, on a whim. I think it would be very good for the rest of the profession if you actually did what you said you would do, when you said you would not patronize any supplier that sold to scratchers, do what you said you would do, Mr J Beck and quit buying supplies from any of the known suppliers. That way you will have to develop your own line of equipment, or you will have to quit tattooing, which is what I think is most appropriate. And please, J Beck, stop spreading vicious proofless rumors about people spreading infection(s). You are killing us all slowly.

If ether Mr. Arnold or Mr. J. Beck really wants to limit the actual number, or the quality of scratchers in their neighborhood, they should be talking to all of the flash sellers, traveling gypsies, and other con-men infecting the profession over the past 20 plus years. Not the equipment and machine manufactures.

If it weren’t for all the Jack Rudy’s (pieces of flash) on the market, the tattooer down the street from you may not be able to teach themselves what a basic tattoo should look like, or how to do it. And there would be no need for a machine. When Jack Rudy (or anyone else) sells your competition down the street a jackrudy (piece of flash), he is giving your competition a cheap $3.00 lesson in fifteen minutes.

And three attempts later your competition is as good at doing a Jackrudy as Jack Rudy is. Jack Rudy is now your competition. Jack is a damn good tattooer, that is why it is so imperative he not become your close competition, it’s only good business sense.
If, like you say you’re really a 15+ year old tattooer, you should be able to see the grief caused by the jackrudy (piece of flash) sold to the new shop owner that isn’t even a tattooer, that just hired all the first year fucks with a convention purchased import machine. This Dude (any dude) now has enough jackrudys on the wall to compete with all of the established shops and artists that have developed the local area into a respectable area to be tattooed. Both of YOU might be either of these two groups of people. I don’t know.
It is all of the gypsies selling flash, and the self appointed leaders like your self, spuing bullshit, that are the real PROBLEMS in the profession. In the past, most of these problem people were “one and the same”, but, nowadays and with all the internet flash selling going on, there seems to be a separation forming of the people causing the professions grief. We’ll just have to wait and see, but it shouldn’t take to long.

Let me bring you up to date on the situation, with a few facts that I know you are not aware of;
Tattooers Jack Rudy and Gill Montie, and Bob Baxter former Editor of Skin & Ink Magazine held a -private – debate one day in late 1998, and nobody else from the profession was allowed to talk or participate.
Baxter then published an article in the January 1999 issue of Skin & Ink titled,- The Great Supplier Debate. The article was on the merits of selling tattoo equipment to the same type of people Mace Arnold and J Beck condemns.

Both Jack and Gill ( and a lot of their followers) was screaming out loud that scratchers were spreading all kinds of communicable diseases. And that the only way to stop the spread of Hep C and AIDs, was to blame the spread of disease on the selling of equipment. Same story different big mouth(s).

Bob Baxter had an opportunity to save the day and bring this bullshit to a head, and let the rest of the profession in on the problem, and the solution. But Bob was in bed with the screamers, and didn’t have the balls to break away from the click. He was to limp (weak) to do the right thing and support the professional artists. Even though he was very much aware of the grief he was letting happen, and in some cases was actually and knowingly contributing too.

Well, let me tell you what the results of all their screaming was. The local Health Departments all over the country heard what Jack and Gill and the others were saying. And because these two guys were supposed to be the highly respected leaders of the tattoo profession, the health department listened, intently. (You can bet they’re doing the same thing right now).

The Health Departments everywhere started rewriting the local health regulation trying to combat the scourge that Jack and Gill was saying was infecting the tattoo profession. Before Jack and Gill started spruing this bullshit, California did not even have regulations for tattooing. Not that regulations are a bad thing. But after the publication of the great supplier debate published by Skin & Ink, it didn’t take long before it became a Felony, that’s right, a Felony to tattoo in Los Angles County without a permit.
But, after the LA County Health Dept. was asked by the United Tattoo Artists Association to prove what was being said about the dangers of tattooing, the (felony) law was repelled after it became known that there was no (provable) transmission of Hepatitis C or AIDs known to have occurred in Los Angeles County by any tattooer or related event. But, initially the (felony) law was passed on the rumors and hearsay, published in various tattoo trade magazines, particularly in Skin and Inks great supplier debate.
The damage to the profession was done. From that point on every legitimate tattooer every where in the USA has had to deal with an increase in local regulations, and the reputation of the profession to police our selves has been lost for good. The future of the Respectable Profession of Tattooing is compromised every time someone says this type of stupid crap, especially if the person saying this shit, claims to be a Leader in a Professional Association like the Alliance of Professional Tattooers.

I have been aware of the APT since their inception, this type of irresponsible talk, is just another example of a Member of the APT who’s activity enforces my belief that this association (APT) should not be supported by any professional tattooer, young or old. And every tattoo artist whose health Department is revamping the regulation should beware that the APT can become involved in the rewriting of your regulations, even if you’re not aware.It happend to us in Reno.

I say, all true to the art professionals should boycott the up coming APT Convention on the grounds they do not have the best interest in the advancement of the ARTISTS in mind. The motive of the APT seems to be the empowerment of the Association and their Representatives, with a divide and conquer agenda to be the reason for their existence. Not the advancement of ether the Art of tattooing, or the art of Tattooing.

I say Mr. Mace Arnold and J Beck should rethink their position and correct it quickly. Otherwise I think we, the true to the art professionals, should prepare for another overhaul of our Health Regulation.

If these Dudes don’t retract their comments they should be banned from making public comments in all respectable trade magazines.

Please Boycott all APT conventions and help send a message that this kind of talk and rhetoric, and their attitude towards up coming tattooers and machine manufacturers is way out of line and unprofessional in every way.

Thanks for reading this commentary.
Kelly Miller
President – UTAA
Interesting foot notes;
And get this; All the time Jack and Gill and a lot of other gypsies were screaming about the selling of tattoo equipment, they were selling their snake oil (tattoo flash) to the same people they were crying about getting equipment. Who in the fuck sells a jackrudy (piece of flash) to anyone, and then doesn’t expect it to be used by someone to teach themselves how
to tattoo?
And Second; Are all these flash sellers so stupid that they don’t realize these flash buyers need a tattoo machine to do the design. Come on, these people aren’t that stupid, are they?

Another FYI; In the olden days before flash became commercial, flash was traded, or given away as a way to show respect to another tattoo artist. The exchange of artistic ideas was still very effective in helping spread the art around, all the while keeping your style private. It was also a natural way to limit who was able to get into the profession, and who was the respected artist, as the finest artist(s) of the time. Jack Rudy was that person at one time, but he blew it for every one, when he started selling his jackrudys (flash) at conventions.
In fact Jack Rudy has sold so much flash, we renamed “Tattoo Flash” after Jack, from this point
on a piece of common flash is to be known through the tattoo profession a “Jackrudy”, In his Honor, because We have also declared Jack
to be the King Gypsy. For now and ever more.

Raise the common standard of tattooing, Stop buying/selling flash, and the problem(s) solves them self.
Otherwise, learn to live with the problems the selling of flash has created.

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Tattoo Gypsies – Draining the Blood out of the Tattoo Profession

Modern day Vampires are draining the life out of the Tattoo profession. Hundreds of blood money hungry Gypsies are going to converge on a town (maybe your town), and drain the life from your clients and friends through the Blood Money they make/take at these TATTOO JOB FAIR events that are being clocked in the name of Professional Tattoo Conventions.

These Conventioneers design their BLOOD for MONEY Event so the maximum damage is done to the local market. In other words the con-ventions are designed so the Gypsies and Con men make/take the most money possible from the area, with no regard to the financial, opportunity and advertising loss to the local Professionals.

Gypsies have never shown concern for the welfare of local people, it is their greed and disrespectful attitude that makes a gypsy a gypsy. Always has been always will be, Gypsies are Gypsies. If that comment makes you mad, you are probably one of them.

I have talked with a hell of a lot of Convention Organizers and they all have the same response. None show any respect for the Local Professionals. Ya, they sound respectful to the tattooers when they are talking to YOUR face about booth space, but when I talk to them about the same thing, they have an entirely different response.

Believe me, most Conmenvention Organizers have very little respect for the local Professional Tattooers or the local Enthusiasts. Their interest is in the money. These Con men are only interested in taking over yours, mine, and every one elses business opportunities that we spend the rest of the year nurturing.
Almost every Convention organizer I have talked with makes a mockery about the situation and then moves right into an new city and over whelms the most vulnerable markets.

I can name a Hundred examples, but The Salt Lake Tattoo Convention Organized by Cj Starkey, Flaco Productions, is a perfect example of the convention organizers that have Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Already Invested in taking money out of the your local areas and ruining the advertisement opportunities for local Tattooers where these Job Fairs for Gypsies are scheduled to be.
Starkey, for example will devalue your art work by using unauthorized art work for the promotion of his Salt Lake City event.Go to and see for yourself. The Flaco Produced Salt Lake Tattoo Con-vention has been stealing copyrights from artist since the beginning of their event. Even when asked to remove the unauthorized photographs, CJ Starkey refuses to recognize the artists personal property.

Each event will take out of the local tattoo market approximately $350-500.000 dollars, that’s a half a million dollars taken out of the legitimate market, that will not trickle down to the local Professional. All this money will leave town in the pockets of the Gypsies and Con-men. And that does not even include the value of the copyright infringements that happen at unscrupulous events.

If you’re an Enthusiast of Professional Tattooing and believe the convention circuit has over whelmed the market, you can help reduce maybe even eliminate the problem of the Gypsies and Con-men running the tattoo Profession and over whelming your local market by Joining a professional Association. There are several Professional association worthy of supporting, join them as soon as possible.
Support a – NOT FOR PROFIT – PROFESSIONAL TATTOO ASSOCIATION and help reestablish the Camaraderie and dignity that belongs to Professional Tattoo Artists and Craftsmen.
Support only those Tattoo Conventions that are Sponsored by a – not for profit, unbiased – Professional Associations.

Boycotting the Tattoo Con-men-vention Circuit for a couple of years is the next best thing you can do to help the tattoo Artist and Craftsmen regain control of our selves and OUR PROFESSION.

FYI; There are three basic types of conventions;
1 -Small local events put together by the local Tattooers. These localized events are the best for the area and the over all profession. These types of events draws people from out side the area to come into an area where they may not come too otherwise or often. This stimulates the local Market and most of the money, and advertisement and the experience generated stays local.
All of the tattoo work being done at these events, become the walking advertisements necessary for the local tattooers to build their reputations.
These types of Tattoo events can be very good for the local tattooers and the over all profession. These types of events contribute to healthy competition between local tattooers and keeps the Scratchers and Gypsies to a minimum.
Everything is good.

2 -The other type of Tattoo event that can be good for everyone, is something like the event the National Tattoo Association puts on. See Don’t get me wrong. I do not advocate for a “FAMILY” type association convention. I am advocating a Professional environment where Professional Camaraderie actually happens.
When the event is a not for profit and is advertised amongst professionals that are encouraged to bring several companions to the event to show off the tattoo work they have done through out the year, the money comes into the local area where the event is held and the local enthusiasts that get tattooed are diluted by all the outsiders that also get tattooed at these types of events. When the event is over, the local enthusiasts are stimulated and the local market thrives.
Everyone remains friends and the profession grows when the event is in another town the next time. When there are only two or three events per year the profession grows and the art work is impressive. And everyone travels to the show to see the artwork. The Gypsies are not the only people to benefit.

3 – The negative type of Private party JOB FAIR type of convention brings into the area a couple of hundred out of state Skilled semi-skilled tattooers. The Con-organizers then advertises to the local Enthusiasts and everyone else, that only the best Tattooers in the world are going to be there, and the best local Tattooers are usually blocked from participating.
This type of unscrupulous advertising sends a message to the local enthusiasts that the local tattoo talent is not as good as the out of town tattooers, when that is not necessarily true.
This type of hype from the Promoters divides the local professionals. This type of manipulation of the tattoo profession is an unfair business tactic used by con-men to control the Gypsies and overwhelm the local market and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for their pocket.

This tactic of overwhelming of the local talent creates an unfair business environment for the local Professionals and ruins the relationship the local tattooers have worked hard to build with the local Enthusiasts and other Professionals.

This type of Con-vention circuit is destroying the reputation of hundreds of tattooers every year that have spent their entire life Tattooing in their home towns and keeps the rest of the profession in a perpetual financial recession.

The Gypsies that are being encouraged to participate in these conmanvention probably do not understand the harm to the local economy, but then maybe they do, maybe they just don’t care. Either way these types of events leave turmoil and grief and never give back to the local environment What they take out.
If you’re a Gypsy that doesn’t understand the harm you are causing, well, understand you’re causing harm to the entire tattoo profession and stop supporting these types of events. If you need more help understanding the issues, please call me direct, I’ll be happy to talk with you.

These For Profit Tattoo related Events are actually JOB FAIRS that are designed to look like Professional Tattoo Conventions. They are not good for the Tattoo Profession and should be stopped as soon as possible. DO NOT SUPPORT ANY FOR PROFIT EVENTS.

Something is going to change for the better sooner or later. I am trying to help it happen sooner than later. I am asking you to help, me help you, help the Tattoo Profession move in a new and better direction.

Gypsies are to the Tattoo Profession, what Scratchers are to the Local Markets.
Gypsies are the new experienced Scratchers that travel from town to town working both sides of the street. They work your town over, then they go home and work their town over.

Join a Professional Tattoo Association
Support Local Tattooer Artists and Craftsmen.
Buy Professional – Buy Local

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Local Gypsies – Are they in your Hood?

This is the next step in our business plan that is going to promote your Professional Studio and the Artists and Craftsmen that work there. If you are a Utah Tattooer or Tattoo Studio Operator in Utah, you should read this blog and send us your information.

Dear Colleagues.

As we move into the next stage of building this Web site and this Historical List of Professional Tattooers that are currently working in Utah, we are beginning to cut the fat and trim the heard.
After spending the past 2 months and countless hours on the phone trying to verify that those names listed are, in fact, professional Tattooers. We are beginning to separate the verifiable Professional Tattooers Names from the none professional people, and moving those names of people that have requested to be moved from the active Tattoo Artist list to be included with those that are not interested in being recognized as a Professional, or are just simply unknown, but whose names are active on some public record.

Don’t make any mistake here. Even though we are making these two separate lists, only the professional list will eventually be available to the general public. With-in 30 days from today the UNKNOWN category will become accessible only through a Registered Access. Your name will still be available for historical reference. You, just won’t be available to the general publics immediate and unregistered access.

This Site, SMARTTATTOO.COM is intended for the improvement of the over all tattoo profession and the instant benefit of all the Tattooers and Studios that are supporting our effort to improve the local camaraderie of (all) local area Tattooers.

The Tattooers that support this site are through having unscrupulous local operators influence the Local tattoo market (like it has been for several years), without having an equal opportunity for the local Enthusiasts and unbiased Professionals to voice their Professional opinion and support for the local Artists and Craftsmen.

With or without the naysayers and nudggrudgers, We are raising the local Professional Standards. If you are not with us, you can go it alone. The main objectives of this site is to help the serious guy get bigger and better, or help the scratchers and gypsies go away naturally.

Through higher quality expectations and peer pressure we can raise the local professional standards beyond the skill levels of the Scratchers and the low quality parlors. The more, experienced professionals participate, the faster the improvements will happen. And that is why we are asking you to become involved and support this site. Everyone is treated equal, you get to advance on you own merits. If you’re a real professional, you can’t lose.

Teaching the General Public about the dangers of being tattooed by unregistered (gypsies) tattooers, or by any of the Tattooers that we have not been able to completely identify on our list,is essential to rid the local area of the scratchers and gypsies that are afraid to publish their real or full name on this web site

It is not in our Clients best personal interest, or in the publics best interest, or for the good of professional Tattooing to not identify yourself if you are a Professional Tattooer. Not knowing who these Gypsies and scratchers are is more detrimental to our profession than any other situation. Knowing your professional level Colleagues is far more important and beneficial than you might think.

Someone has to teach the Enthusiasts, the Collectors and Potential Clients this information.

And after seeing so many so called professionals who seems to be afraid to reveal their full name, it has becoming more and more obvious that it is becoming more and more necessary to protect our profession and our local Colleagues.
It must be time to reveal to the general public that there is in fact gypsies amongst us, and make it unexpectable for Gypsies to work without the general public knowing who they are.

If you are a shop owner, It is no longer in your best interest, nor the best interest of Professional Tattooing to not reveal who is actually tattooing in your Studio. This information is public record and should be available upon request. Any Studio that will not reveal who works there will not be supported by this Site. Nor will any Tattooer, that will not state their real name, be allowed to participate.

This is a Professional Site dedicated to the advancement of Professional Tattooing.
I have heard people say this site is for Amateurs. I say, put your Name where your mouth is and openly support this site and become Friends with your Colleagues.

Otherwise, hide and watch what happens to the people that do believe in the
Good of the Local Talent. Eventually the good will win.

Support the Art of Tattooing – Buy Professional – Buy Local

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Infection (of the mouth) out of Control

I just read, with disgust, the Blog at

I guess no one read the latest Statement issued by the Alliance of Professional Tattooer in the current issue of PAIN Magazine, where they finally admit that there is not any recorded or verifiable record of any transmission of Hep, or Hiv, or Tuberculous, through professional Tattooing.
Not one case has ever been positively traced to a tattoo procedure. I researched this situation several years ago, and have been saying this ever since.

In 1998 we tried to bring this situation into the light of the entire profession and have an open discussion, but the situation was quickly swept under the rug by every single Trade magazine Editor of the time. Not one Son of Bitch would print the truth, or the whole story.

And now, the Situation is coming back on us with all of the force that ignorance can muster. History is repeating its self, Read The Scarlet Letters, especially the letters covering the Great Supplier Debate ;

Recently, There has been a extraordinary amount of talk about Infections and Control. We have all read many statements that have been made by many influential people and then published by many different Publisher/Editors saying that there is an“epidemic” amount of infection going through the Tattoo profession. I have several letters that were written by tattooers that range from 2 to 10 to 15 to 30 years old year experience claiming they get infected tattoos coming into their shop every week that were infected by other tattooers.

When insecure Tattooers say things like, they have infection coming into their shop every week caused by other local tattooers is not true; This type of harassment of ones competition is the most dangerous and harmful statement a Professional Tattooer can make about the Profession, and is totally irresponsible and immature.

If Professional Tattoo Artists and Craftsmen don’t come to a profession wide consensus on the spreading of false rumors soon, Professional Tattooing will become a Profession at risk of becoming illegal again.

There are two different but very serious scenarios happening.

First, lets mention the solution so everyone can see how easy these problems can be solved.
What is Consensus decision making?
Consensus decision-making is a group decision making process that seeks not only the agreement of most participants but also the resolution or mitigation of minority objections. Consensus is defined by Merriam-Webster as, first, general agreement, and second, group solidarity of belief or sentiment. It has its origin in a Latin word meaning literally feel together. [1] It is used to describe both general agreement and the process of getting to such agreement. Consensus decision-making is thus concerned primarily with that process.

First and most importantly we need to come to a consensus on how the Professionals of different influences, such as the Administrators of the Alliance of Professional Tattoo (aka; APT), and the Leaders of the National Tattoo Association talk to the Enthusiasts and Professionals about infection and Control.

The Truth about the situation needs to be discussed in two places that are Open to the Public. Seminars sponsored by leading Professional Organizations, and Articles published in respectable and respected Trade Magazines.
We need this Publicity because there are some things that are currently being taught in Seminars and published in print that are not accurate. EXAMPLE; Promoting “Plastic sleeves” as Prevention Control, and the promotion of Antibacterial Solutions as common cleaning solutions, are an example of the over promotion of common sense cleaning techniques.

The drum beat about infection(s) being out of control is beginning to overwhelm common sense, and influence the common people who are both our Clients, and the local Health Authorities who have authority over our Health Permits.
If irresponsible people, especially professional Tattooers continue saying these infections exist, when in fact they don’t exist, we will not be allowed to continue to monitor and control our selves, or stay in business without greatly increasing our expense. This increase in expense will not contribute to improving tattoo art, or get rid of the Scratchers these rumors are intended to harm.

Calling the Health Department on the other guy has been going on forever, well at least as long as there has been health regulation. Twenty one years ago this past August, Sue and I were thinking about opening the Susie M’s Fine Tattoo Studio in Salt Lake City. There were only 2 shops in town, ASI and Living Art Studio, Sue and I were friends with them both so we were able to talk with both of them. We knew they disliked each other but we didn’t know to what depths they were stooping to get to each other.
When we went to get the regulations from the Health Department, the Director informed me that he had already submitted the paper work to the City Council asking that they, the HD, have permission to stop issuing health permits for tattoo shops because the Tattoo Shop Owners were using the Health Department inspectors as a weapon. Every chance those guys got, they called the Health Dept. on the other Shop and complained that they had given some one an infection. Of course the Health Dept. had to respond and inspect the other guys shop. And there is was, TIT for TAT.

And now 21 years later. Same scenario, different people, different day, history repeating its self because we can’t talk to each other (until now) and the professional Associations and the Trade magazines are afraid to let us talk.

If we allow this hyperbole to continue and perpetuate, the conundrum we find the profession in today has the potential to blow up and destroy the entire Tattoo Profession as we currently know it.
Over reaction, by any local Health Department any where to this situation, will send us back 50+ years, or maybe into a permanent Ban for the rest of our natural lives. Once Health regs are passed outlawing professional tattooing, you won’t reverse that rule for at least 3 or 4 Generations. Just look at how hard it is get tattooing out of the industrial zone.

If you make your living doing tattoos, Spend just 5 minutes thinking about how it would be having to become an underground tattoo studio operator in order to practice your art or craft.

Right now, Professional Tattooing is a form of -unrestricted – free speech. But tattooing may not be free speech if there becomes to much of a health risk to the People. Even if there is not really a health risk at all, if we continue to allow every one to yell – INFECTION – when there is none, we will undoubtably draw the attention of the Local Health Authorities, and they may stop indorsing health permits on the grounds they need to stop everyone from yelling FIRE/INFECTION when there is none.
The HD have to investigate every untrue rumor. Checking out these rumors and accusations are very expensive, and much like the Fire Department responding to a false alarm. False alarms cost everyone. If we don’t shut up and we create enough fear, Eventually the City/State may say we are a public nuisance and revoke our right to do business.

It is against the law to yell fire when there is none, for a very logical reason! Because the risk of causing harm to the people or the establishment is too great, when there is no need to panic.

We need to apply that same reasoning to all the undue rhetoric about Hep. HIV, Tuberculosis, and Staph infections running out of control in tattoo Studios through out the Profession. These infections are not happening. Not even in the studios that are operated by the inexperienced and want-a-bee tattooers.
Tattooing is just not that dangerous, it is much harder to get an infection than some people wont everyone to believe.

But, if infections are happening in your area/Studio maybe you should look at some common sense that has been applied to many Hospitals and Health Clinics around the World.

It is now common sense amongst cleaning experts that Antibacterial solutions are not the best solution for all cleaning situations.

One should limit using antibacterial cleaners to only the most contaminated surfaces and only on special occasion, like phones, keyboards and occasionally the trash can.
In place of antibacterial cleaners, use common cleaners like Bleach, Alcohol, Soap, Pine sol, Water, and other mild but effective cleaners.

And as far as those plastic covers for machines, clip cords, etc. We need to STOP putting so much emphasis on the use of plastic sleeves. I have argued this situation before three Health Boards and they all agree. Plastic covers are a cleaning technique, they insure almost nothing against the transmission of infection or disease.
They all agree If there is bacteria or virus on your tattoo equipment, no amount of plastic will clean the problem off the surface. Every surface that a tattoo recipient may come in contact with needs to be CLEANED before use. Plastic may be convenient, but it is not the solution and should not be depended on to provide or PROVE the sanitation a professional tattoo environment requires.

If you do not clean your machine, Clip cord, table, power supply controls, drawing tool, ink bottles, phone, Your chair, their chair and anything else that was handled during the course of the tattoo procedure after you remove the plastic sleeve, you are not cleaning your environment.
If you think Plastic Sleeves will protect you and your Client you are absolutely wrong. Plastic sleeves make cleaning the surface under them easier, that’s all. Plastic does not insure a covered surface will not be contaminated.
Cleaning your equipment between and before use has always been the proper method and standard that has protected the Tattoo Profession and our Clientele.
Long before a tattooer ever began using plastic to cover our tattools, we knew how to clean them. A proper Apprenticeship will teach that cleaning happens after and before every tattoo procedure. Plastic is a cleaning tool that may make cleaning easier but does not negate the need to clean the surface under the wrap.

New Skoolers did not invent, nor have they reinvented the Tattoo Profession, they need to stop talking like they did.
Cleaning is still Cleaning and only happens if you do it. If you are having a problem with infections, then you are not doing your job.
And stop telling Enthusiasts what to look for in a professional studio.

But most importantly. Do not Spread false rumors concerning infections and the Tattoo profession just to control or stifle your Competition.
You are killing yourself, and taking us all down with you.

Support the Art of Tattooing – Buy Professional – Buy Local

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