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Tattoo Industry Updates From Around The World


Kat Von D’s High Voltage Life Translates Into Her Tattoos And Her New Book

Writing Kat Von D off as being a byproduct of reality TV would be a complete insult. Certainly she became a household name through Miami Ink, and later, her own spin-off L.A. Ink, but what’s kept her such a fascinating part of the public eye is both her realism and her undeniable skill.

Just one look at any of her ink-on-skin creations, and you know she’s earned her spotlight.Which is why it seems so surreal that High Voltage Tattoo, located at the corner of LaBrea and Fountain in West Hollywood, is such an easily accessible spot. Granted, getting in with Von D means putting your name on an endless waiting list, but High Voltage invites walk-ins just like any other tattoo shop. It feels like a place where you’re welcome, no matter if you’re Joe Blow from down the street or a Hollywood A-list star.

So it would make sense that Von D would translate that feeling to her recently released book, also called High Voltage Tattoo. Though she claims it’s not a memoir, it’s so infused with Von D’s personal appreciation of tattoo artistry that it feels like you’re getting an insight into her life – which you kind of are, considering it starts with her influences since childhood.

That, and the book’s overall aesthetic is that of a well-worn journal. Sure, you’re not getting all the nitty gritty details, but there are enough of them that you feel compelled to continue to read on and learn how Von D turned a passion for art into a tattooing business.

But the best part is really getting a peek behind the curtain of what tattooing is all about for a professional. Von D doesn’t just take you through the show and her shop, she discusses the process, pigments and tools, and shares insights on what really goes into creating some of the more intricate and amazing pieces she’s worked on. Plus, you get an insider look at some of the stories of celebs that she’s inked.

Through each aspect of Von D’s empire, it’s clear: there’s no pretention. This is someone who’s committed to the artistry of tattooing – truly, madly, deeply.

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Save Your Back – It’s The Only Flat Canvas You Have

When choosing a new tattoo I would like to propose that you think twice about getting the new piece on your back. Why not a back tattoo? Well there is a difference between a back tattoo, and a tattoo on your back. If you are thinking of getting more tattoos at a later date, you want to save your back since it is the only flat canvas your body provides.

Any tattoo that you get on your upper shoulders or even a tramp stamp will greatly limit any potential back tattoo. Full back tattoos usually run from the shoulders all the way down the back to below the ass cheeks, creating a stunning first impression and since it is a flat canvas the viewer is instantly drawn into the design.

Full back tattoos do however take a lot of time and dedication. Expect to sit anywhere from 20-100 hours depending on the intricacies of the selected tattoo design. Black and grey pieces will of course take much less time then a full color back tattoo, but to each his own.

There is always a chance that your existing tattoo might be able to be worked into a full back piece or even covered up. Certain things are not easy to work around like tribal designs, which may require you to get some laser work done before starting a full back piece.

I myself have made the mistake of getting a tattoo on my back before taking the time to think about what I really wanted there. I still haven’t decided on a back piece design but I can assure you once I do, my existing back tattoo will be covered so I can use the entire canvas.

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More Tattoo Regulations

ALBERT LEA— If you’re interested in going into the tattoo business, you’ll need ink, needles and a steady hand. But in the state of Minnesota a license isn’t required.

Some lawmakers want to change that. They want tattoo artisits to get a certain level of training.

And one local artist wouldn’t mind if regulations got stricter.

Scott Pagliaroli, “With the needles you’re not supposed to use needles and resterilize them, that’s against, I say it should be against every kind of ordinance there is. Your needles should be destroyed, new needles should be use.”

If businesses like Pagliaroli’s already meet or exceed the new rules, tattoo shops would be exempt from the licensing requirement. They would still receive surprise inspections.

Pagliaroli’s says his shop’s ready.

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New JokerTattoo Tribal One Pass Tattoo Ink

New Joker Tattoo Tribal One Pass is specifically designed for tribal tattoo work. You will love this new tattoo ink from


Tattoo Combination

A good option for those wanting a tribal design, yet also wanting some sort of modern design, or for those wanting a strong tattoo which combines various styles, can be to combine both modern and tribal into one tattoo. This can be done with equal emphasis, or with more emphasis on one style and less on the other.

Matter of fact many individuals have taken their existing tattoo’s and have elaborated on them by adding tribal design to the outsides. The tattoo becomes more pronounced and the tribal tattooing can serve as a sort of frame for the older tattoo.

This can be done with a more modern tattoo as well with great results. Take your modern design and envision it surrounded, or framed, by tribal. Have it drawn out to see how they work together. Pick a good design that will work well alongside the tribal design. And be sure to pick a large enough design. Heavy tribal designs can bury designs if there not large enough.

Or your design could be incorporate more tribal so it stands on it’s own, not just acting as an outer frame.

Generally it’s best to incorporate more modern design styles to tribal tattoos. Taking an old school tattoo and adding tribal doesn’t always work, and strays away from the strength of the traditional look. An nude lady old school sailor tat for instance, stands strong on it’s own. Mixing tribal in the mix could be a major mismatch. But you can try experimenting with different traditional styles and see if something does work for you personally.

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Choosing a Tattoo Artist

There are three main concerns when choosing a tattoo artist:

  1. Is he or she any good?
  2. Do you feel comfortable talking to him or her?
  3. Can you afford it?

Is he or she any good?

The only way to tell whether or not an artist is good is to see examples of his or her work. Recommendations are helpful, of course, but the recommendations should carry infinitely more weight if the recommender is proffering a tattooed example of the artist’s work. There are plenty of awesome artists out there who, though you wouldn’t deny their skills, just don’t appeal to you with the style of tats they do. So don’t take anyone else’s word for it – get a look at the artist’s work yourself. Furthermore, and don’t start thinking we’re paranoid, but it’s best to see actual examples of the work on a live person who can tell you who did the work. Anyone can put up a bunch of pictures and claim authorship.

You can meet people and talk to them about their tattoos at tattoo conventions, in the tattoo studios you visit and on the street or at a club, so long as you’re not an idiot about it. People are usually proud of their tattoos, and if you seem genuinely interested a lot of people will be happy to tell you about their ink. Tattoo magazines are also a good source for information. The photo-essays they publish about various artists are likely to be well-researched and legitimate examples of the artists’ work. There are also websites which show examples of artists’ work. The key is to shop around and find someone really capable, because the quality of your tattoo depends so much on the talent of the tattoo artist.

Do you feel comfortable talking to him or her?

This is important for safety reasons, of course, but it’s also important because you have to communicate what you want in a tattoo. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your tattoo artist, it’s not likely that you’ll get what you want. You don’t have to be best buddies with the artist, but you need to be able to talk to him or her without reserve and with some certainty that your desires will be met.

Can you afford it?

As you shop around for a good tattoo artist, you are likely to find several whose work really appeals to you. Whether you can afford them is another matter, but something you must take into account. They will not necessarily live in the same city as you, and even if they do, they might charge a lot of money for their work. Before you get too far into it, you should figure out if it’s really feasible for you to work with a certain artist. You might want to call an artist to get a general idea of what your tattoo would cost — some artists will give you a rough idea over the phone, but some won’t. If the artist lives far away, you’re likely to have to pay for plane fare, a hotel and the cost of the tattoo. Don’t bother getting all worked up about being tattooed by a certain person, and don’t waste either of your time, if you can’t afford to pay all the necessary costs.

The cost of getting a tattoo varies from artist to artist. Popular artists can charge more, while incompetent or inexperienced artists will be cheaper. Artists will usually charge a flat rate for their flash designs, and this will depend on the size and color of the design. You can expect to pay approximately $50 to $100 for a “flash” (a stock piece; see “Styles of tattoos” in section 3) piece of about two square inches. For custom work, artists will usually charge by the hour, but they might negotiate prices with you ahead of time based on how difficult the design is and how long they think it will take. The hourly rate for custom work ranges from $50 to $300. Don’t go for bargains. A cheap tattoo will look cheap. You should try to find an artist who charges between $100 and $150 per hour. If money is no object and you simply must have a popular, expensive artist work on you, then go ahead and spend more.