Dawn Cooke Explains Why the Tattoo Community Doesn’t Respect Tattoo Reality TV Shows

March 7th, 2014 by Kevin -


Earlier this week, Dawn Cooke of the Huffington Post published an article 10 Reasons the Tattoo Community Doesn’t Respect Tattoo Reality TV Shows, and I think she has a lot of great points. I encourage you to go read the article, but to give you a taste – here’s the top five reasons she listed. Dawn goes into more detail, and like I said earlier, I think she did a stellar job with this piece. I might not agree with all ten items on this list, but I think overall she speaks the truth.

Just to reinforce how ridiculous the world of tattoo reality TV is, I decided to post a video below Dawn’s five reasons. Hopefully we won’t see this on TV anytime soon, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be shocked if we did.

  1. These shows and people who make them are missing the point altogether.
  2. They have no idea about the richness of history that is continually being shaped and unearthed regarding tattoo culture nor do they seem to have any genuine interest in it. 
  3. They mindlessly exploit the culture on a whole that most of us in the trenches hold sacred. 
  4. They claim to be reality yet at every casting interview you are directed about what to say and how to say it. 
  5. Producers and casting agents don’t do their homework

What if…with Cheyenne Randall

February 27th, 2014 by Kevin -


Until about 15 minutes ago, I thought Yahoo.com was dead. Seriously. I’ve seen people using Yahoo e-mail, but I had no idea the website was still being updated. Then I clicked this article about an amazing artist named Cheyenne Randall.

Cheyenne Randall takes pictures of celebrities and adds tattoos to them. Sure, some of you are rolling your eyes but I think it’s fun and interesting to think about. To see more of Cheyenne Randall’s work, follow him on Instagram and his Tumblr.

Artwork by Cheyenne RandallArtwork by Cheyenne RandallArtwork by Cheyenne RandallArtwork by Cheyenne Randall

BBC News Calls for tougher action on unlicensed tattoo parlours

February 10th, 2014 by Kevin -


Tonight on BBC One East Midlands, there will be a story about the increased popularity in tattooing. According to this brief promotional article, BBC cites that ten years ago, there were 300 licensed tattoo parlours in Britain. Now, there are more than 1,500.

The BBC contacted the Department of Health, and discussed the problem of unregulated tattoo artists. According to the BBC, the Health Department responded back that further laws are not the answer. It believes the solution is for artists, the industry and training bodies to work together to agree standards of good practice.

I’m excited to see this full piece once it’s available online. I hope it generates enough attention to make people talk, make the government talk, and raise awareness. Who knows, with the BBC speaking up in Britain, maybe we’ll see other major news sources speaking up? I would love to see CNN speak up, but unfortunately I don’t think that will happen.

The media loves Mr. X

January 4th, 2014 by Kevin -


Last month we posted this video featuring Mr. X, also known as Duncan X. Since we’ve posted the video, it’s become a ‘Staff Favorite’ on Vimeo, and it’s receiving national attention. The Atlantic featured a short interviewed Alex Nicholson, the mastermind behind the short video.

The Atlantic: How did you come up with the idea for the film?

Alex Nicholson: It was a combination of things really, summed up by one event really: I once saw Duncan walking down the street. Fifty percent of the people walking past almost got whiplash from turning around to look/stare at him. I was wondering what was going through their heads. I have been getting tattooed by him for a number of years and the way he speaks, his manner and personality all smack of a man who wouldn’t make people walk into lampposts if they knew him in this way.

TA: Do you personally have a connection to tattoo art?

AN: Only in the way that I have tattoos really. Duncan once said in an interview (paraphrasing here) that getting a tattoo was like getting a (actually very cheap considering) work of art that you can’t give away. That resonates nicely with me.

TA: What’s the process for digitally removing and then re-illustrating tattoos?

AN: Well I have to heap praise on my make-up artist (the lovely and talented Denise Kum) here who relentlessly edged out his many tattoos during the course of the day. We put them back on (when they animate) digitally. The process of removing the tattoos was a mind blowing process that I’d probably get killed for talking about in detail.

While it’s an interesting interview, I think the fact that The Atlantic published an interview about a short tattoo film is far more interesting. It says a lot about the world we live in, and how comfortable people are with tattoos.

French tattoo artists fight coloured ink ban

December 12th, 2013 by Kevin -


Did you know the government in France is discussing the idea of banning colored inks? It’s been a few weeks since the last hearing, but the last proposal would ban all colored (or coloured) inks with the exception of black, white, grey and specific shades of blue and green.

Thankfully the SNAT (Syndicate of National Artists Tattooers) has been fighting this and appealing to the government. SNAT continues to update their website and their Facebook with the latest news.

Tattoo by Mikael de Poissy

Tattoo by Mikael de Poissy in Poissy, France

Help Juan Salgado get into the Puma Garage

December 2nd, 2013 by Kevin -


I think it’s safe to say everyone knows how talented Juan Salgado is. What most people don’t know, is that Juan has been spending quite a bit of time working on graffiti lately, and he’s pretty damn good at that too.

Juan is so good, there’s a chance he’s going to paint the Puma garage. He’s one of ten finalists that you can vote for, which you can do right here. Just follow that link and click the red ‘Like’ button below the picture.

Graffiti by Juan Salgado

Keeping the Midwest in mind

November 18th, 2013 by Kevin -


Tim Beck of Freedom Ink Tattoo Co. posted this picture of his neighborhood over the weekend. Like many people, Tim lives in the Midwest and was affected by the severe weather over the weekend.

We’re asking everyone to keep Tim and all of the victims in their thoughts, and send good vibes their way. If you’re interested in doing more to helping the victims out, you can make donations to The Red Cross and the Salvation Army. The American Red Cross and Salvation Army are offering aid to help victims who have been affected in the tornado-battered region.

If any artists or tattoo shop are fund raisers for events like this, please share them with us. We would love to help spread the word.

Washington, Illinois