You can be a good tattoo artist. It depends on you

Tattooing today has taken on a whole new meaning than it has, let’s say, just ten years ago. It’s growing by leaps and bounds, and will continue to grow. Statistics say that in the United States, better than one out of every ten persons has a tattoo. This breaks down to one out of every five men and one out of every fifteen women. With the population rising as it is now, more people than ever are going to want to be tattooed. Somebody has to put those tattoos on. There are a lot of great tattooists out there, and there is room for more. Let’s hope this site meets its goal by turning you out as one of them. If You read, study and practice the things outlined in this site, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t be a good tattoo artist. If you are real serious, you must be devoted to the art. After all, what you get out of it depends on what you put into it.

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Advices for taking care of the tatttoos

Do not pick any scabs, no matter how tempting. Let them fall off naturally. Even if it is just hanging there, do not touch it. The part that is not hanging there is still healing and if picked, it will bleed, making a faded spot that will stand out. They have got to take it easy on a fresh tattoo.
New tattoos itch while they are healing. Hitting the tattoo with a quick slap will usually stop the itching. Sometimes wiping it with a little rubbing alcohol will relieve it.

It must be explained that a new tattoo will look flaky and gross looking for the first week. After the scab falls off, there is going to be a white scaly layer on top of the tattoo. This is dead skin and it will peel off in a couple of days. Sometimes by rubbing a little Vitamin E on it, will improve its looks.
Sunlight is not too great for a tattoo and exposure should be avoided for a few months, if possible. You want the color in it to remain bright and sunlight will bleach it out. Black tattoos are all right in the sun, but colored ones are a little more touchy and need to be babied. A high number sunscreen may help, but some lotions containing PABA may aggravate the tattoo. Color tattoos must settle in, and the sun just helps to age them very quickly.

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The Customer and the Fresh Tattoo

The customer should remove the bandage in about two hours and rinse it in cold water to remove whatever blood there is and gently blot it dry. Two hours is about the average time it takes for blood to start clotting and scabbing. If it has not clotted by that time, the cold water will close up the pores in the skin and hold the rest of the ink in. It is the cleaning process while it is healing that makes a tattoo look nice and sharp. Tell them to rinse it off with their hands. A washcloth or towel could really feel rough and it might start it to bleed, which you do not want to happen. It should then be blotted dry with a clean paper towel. No wiping or scrubbing, just blotting. The towel should be a white one, unscented and have no designs on it. Some people are allergic to the scent and dye in the towels. They should use the smooth side of the paper towel to keep from irritating it as little as possible. Fresh tattoos are very sensitive. When it is rinsed off, apply a little Bacitracin to keep it from drying out too much. (If it is a black tattoo, a little rub of alcohol on it first, before the ointment, will keep it clean and sharp. Black tattoos heal faster than colored ones.) The ointment should then be blotted dry after a fifteen minute wait. Again, use the smooth side of a white unscented paper towel. The tattoo will absorb as much ointment as it needs in that amount of time. If they don’t blot it dry, the excess ointment will collect unwanted bacteria. Blotting up a tattoo means blotting it dry to the touch. If you feel your hand over it and it slides across, there is too much ointment on it. If it is rough or crusty, the ointment was not on long enough.
Don’t keep it covered with a bandage. A tattoo is on the skin and it must be exposed to air to breathe, which speeds up healing. The only exception is when straps or certain articles of clothing rub against it. Tight clothing should be avoided and clean loose fitting clothes should be worn until the tattoo heals.
The ointment and blotting treatments are to be applied four times a day. Make sure that this is understood. As a tattoo heals, it feels smooth and velvety. A tattoo has healed when a scab falls off by itself. A black tattoo heals in about four days and a colored one takes about a full week.
Water is the worst thing for a healing tattoo to be exposed to. When in the shower, the customer should cover it up with a good layer of ointment. This will act as a protective barrier. Don’t get water on it until the scab falls off. Try not to put it directly under the water and work around it. When a scab gets too soaked with water, it swells up and peels off too early, messing things up. Drill these procedures into the customer. It only takes a few days of good care and they will get a great looking tattoo, if done right. When not done right, it will look faded, weak and not very bright. It will be worth it to them to take good care of it, because they are going to have the tattoo for the rest of their life.

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Problems with your Tattoo Machine

If you are going along and all of a sudden your machine quits, first check to see if it is your machine or your power pack. To do this, try your other machine to see if it will work. If it is your machine and you can’t fix it on the spot, you can always put your needle bar and tube on your other machine and reset the point gap as a last resort to finish the tattoo.
If your machine won’t run at all, it is either a short or an open in your circuit. First check to make sure your points are clean. If there is something caught between them, it will break the circuit. Hold the armature bar down with your thumb to open the contact and blow hard on the points. If this doesn’t clean them, try pulling a small strip of paper through the points while they are closed. If this doesn’t work, try pulling a strip of emery cloth through them, grit side up, then grit side down. Then blow to get any grit out. If this works, you will probably want to readjust the point setting slightly to get it buzzing “just right” again.
Another area that shouldn’t be overlooked is weak coils. If your machine won’t run at all, or has very little power, it could be your coils. If your coils are bad, you can replace them by taking out the two screws in the bottom of the frame, being careful to note which washers go where, under the coils. Replace with new coils. When you melt the solder to disconnect the old coils, reattach your new coil wires at the same time. If your machine has a capacitor on it, you may want to replace it too, at the same time.
If your machine just up and quits on you all at once, or won’t run when you take it out, look for any loose or broken wires or connections. The tattoo machine is really quite simple, with few adjustments and fewer moving parts. Due to the constant vibration of the machine, you have to constantly fool with it, readjusting and tightening this and that. Daily maintenance is the key.

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Machines and Power Sources for tattooing

It is often said that a machine is no better than the person operating it. This can also be applied to tattoo machines. A tattooist must have confidence with his machines and must learn to run them properly, not have them run him.
Tattoo machines may vary in appearance but they all run basically the same, and perform the same function, driving a needle up and down very fast, perforating the skin and driving ink in as the operator steers it along while leaving a trail behind. This is done when the machine is connected into a power source and turned on, a full electrical circuit runs through it. When this happens, the two coils become magnetized (an electric magnet) and attract the metal armature bar down to it. As the armature bar moves down, the needles move down. When this happens, the contact points separate from each other, causing a break in the electrical circuit. As soon as this happens, the machine stops, the coils become unmagnetized and the armature bar springs back up. This makes the needle go back up. When it springs back up, the contact points touch each other and make a circuit again, and this starts the process all over. The machine becomes magnetized and unmagnetized and the needles go up and down. This happens extremely fast, too fast for the eye to follow. All that can be heard is a buzzing, as the circuits separate and contact again.

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