Black Book

Tattoo Shading Techniques

A Guide for Students of Body Modification By Richard LeMay m_hattertattoos hotmail.com I have decided to distribute this publication free of cost for the better learning of my fellow artists. I have worked on this book for two years with no monetary gain and ask that you may distribute this as much as you like as long as the information is not changed. This book is to help you and many others, please respect that idea and my hard work. Don't change the information. You may feel free to contact...

The Shit Talking Game

This is the very reason you never want to talk bad about another shop or artist. Most clients go to the shop that happens to have an opening that day. To them it really does not matter who tattoos them. Since most client travel between shops a lot of them like to play games with the tattoo artists. Tattoo artist have a known history of trash talking the competition, every one knows and will play on this. Some will say that Such and such said he will do the same tattoo...

The bad Guys

Now that you have an idea of what it takes, let's start learning. The most important thing you have to know is sterilization. What kills germs, and what doesn't Tattooing is 90 sterilization and technical ability while only 10 art. The health department doesn't want you to know this but they really don't care if you can't draw a stick figure. As long as you're screwing up people and not spreading disease they could care less. These are the basic Diseases and Bacteria you have to guard against...

Tattoo Artist Code

No drugs or alcohol, keep a clear head. If you want a mate, keep a good relationship. You can't think level headed if you're fighting with your significant other. Live your reputation No bars, No clubs, what people see of you is who you are to them. Be a part of your community. You must show respect at all times. Be polite to everyone, answer questions no matter how childish they may seem. Help a stranger at least once a day. Respect your self. Dress well, not grungy. Clean clothes, well kept...

Clients and Competition

The next thing you need to know is about your clients. First, above all else, cover your ass. If you're tattooing then you need a good waiver sheet. If you go to your local health department, in the Environmental Services office you can request a copy of the body piercing and tattoo studio health regulations. Another thing I would like to add is keep good records. In the end, if something happens, it will save your ass. Also, be nice to your sanitarian. Keep your records filed in order by name...

History and Basic Information

Tattooing the skin is the oldest profession in the world. The Japanese, Aztecs, Mayans, Aborigines, and the Africans all had tattoos. The oldest recorded human to date is referred to as the ice man. He was found under what was left of an iceberg near the Austrian border in Italy. Carbon dating places the ice man around 5,300 years old. This was a cultural surprise because he had a few tattoos. Before his discovery, it was popular belief that the oldest culture to tattoo was Egyptians over 3,000...

Is It Ok To Mix Baby Oil With Tattoo

What makes a tattoo tick Let's look at pigments. Tattoo pigments use to be made from natural chemical and dies. A lot of the older inks were harmful to humans, but we used them anyway. The pigments changed over the last few years into healthier chemicals made for human skin. To understand where pigments are now we have to know where they came from first. Jail house black was the ink that you see in all the old prison tattoos, the ones that turned green over the years. A lot of guys I know still...

Skin Preparation and Pattern Placement

Skin preparation is the first step in tattooing that has interaction with the client. The first thing you will need to do is wash and dry your hands, then apply gloves. Always keep a small box of gloves other then latex because some clients will be allergic to latex. You tattoo supplies should have already set up properly, going by the guide above, before the client ever enters the room. Before you ever sit the client down you should have already found out what they wanted and where. You need...

Pattern Application

How you apply the tattoo pattern will directly affect the over all outcome of your finished tattoo. If it's not dark enough you will loose most of it during the tattoo process and have to free hand the rest. The main thing to remember about your tattoo pattern is that where ever you place the pattern will be the location of the tattoo for the entire life of your client. Take time and consideration while placing the pattern. You have a location and you have a pattern by this point. Now you have...

Mag Use Tattoing

A mag is a tattoo needle with two rows, one on top of the other. They're stacked as you would stack soda cans laying on there side, four on the bottom and three on top for a seven mag. The two rows are spread apart more than a round so the pigment dispersal is a little smoother. It would be like comparing a fine point pen to a magic marker. The little detailed stuff is for the pen while the magic marker is for larger jobs. The mags are made by soldering your needles in a row and laid out flat....

Needles and Tubes

Needles come in many shapes and sizes, and each does something different. Tattoo needles are really two pieces, a needle head and a needle bar. The needle head is the part that sits down at the end of your tube and punctures the skin, while the needle bar is a needle shaft that has a circle bent into it called a needle loop or eye loop. This is where the needle attaches to the machine. A common misconception of a tattoo needle is that they are hollow like a hypodermic needle from a shot. This...

Tattoo Meanings

Wolf Tattoo Meaning

Over the years tattoos have become little more than decaling the human skin. Most people get a tattoo and spent there whole life never knowing the true meaning. Others are confused on the meanings of tattoos and get something that might have a completely different definition. Tattooing has been a part of every culture known to date, and each culture has its own meanings for different images. Here is a list of tattoo images that have meanings you may be surprised of. There are so many images to...

Liner or Shader

Need to put a grommet on the armature nipple. Black is the best color because you can see it best as it moves. Barely loosen your set screw. Make sure it's still tight enough so that you have to use a little bit of pressure to turn the contact screw. If it's too loose then when you turn on the machine the contact screw will unscrew its self and you'll have to start over every time you let go of it. Now, hold the machine sideways so your looking at the coils and the armature bar is standing...

Tattoo Aftercare and the Healing process

After the tattoo is complete you may want to bandage the tattoo. Basic First Aid teaches us that denying a wound of oxygen will dramatically slow the healing time. Since the invention of the plastic wrap, people have been putting it on there tattoos. Don't do this. What is a green house A green house is a building with a frame and glass so the sun can get in and make things grow. Your giving people a bacteria farm by putting plastic wrap on a tattoo. Light can get in and heat up the tattoo...

Tattoo Sterilization

Sterilization means by definition, that you make any object, including surfaces, free of germs or bacteria. Technically this is impossible. There are so many germs out there that as soon as something touches the air it is contaminated. Something only remains sterile if you never remove it from a sterilized packaging even then it's only good for about three months. If you autoclave sterilize something and leave it alone, after a period of time it becomes un-sterile again. What this means for you...

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How The Chlamydia Affects The Body

Hepatitis is a viral disease that affects the liver. It is mainly characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the liver. Acute Hepatitis is when it last for six months and chronic is when it last for much longer. Any Infection of the liver or inflammation of the liver is known as hepatitis, but the ones we need to be worried about are specific viruses that affect the liver differently. Some of the symptoms of liver failure are muscle and joint aches, fever, vomiting, loss of...

Starting a Tattoo

How Far Should Tattoo Needle Stick Out

Lining a tattoo is one of the more difficult things to do properly. Most artists just assume you tattoo over the purple. This is true but it's like saying you just step on the gas and clutch to drive a standard transmition vehicle. To properly line a tattoo you have to choose your weapon of choice. Lining will most often be a five round or an eight round. Look at the original picture and see if the line work is a thick line or a thin one. Thinner lines need a five while thinker takes an eight....

Machine Tuning

Setup Machine Tattoo With Nickel

Machine tuning is hands down the most important thing you will need to know about machines themselves. I can't tell you how many times I have heard someone say, I don't need to know how to tune a machine. I just use it out of the box and its fine. This kills me. If you are going to operate any kind of tool you need to know how to do so properly. The theory behind tuning your machine is to get the machine running as smooth as possible. The less vibration the easier operation will be. If you want...

Advanced Tattoo Technique

Realism Tattoo

There is nothing better than taking a talent and honing it into something better then you ever thought you could. In this section I want to cover a few advanced techniques to better help you become a true artist. The problem is never seeing it inside your head, just putting it on skin. One of the best ways to improve your skill is to set up in your color work. Custom colors will defiantly make your mark in the tattoo field. Tattoo pigments mix very well together. Play with different color...

The Tattoo Setup

The set up of a tattoo should be very ritualistic. Every thing you do should be the same every time you tattoo. This way you always know where everything is and where everything is not. If something is missing you know exactly what. Here is the best way I have figured out over the years feel free to come up with what is most comfortable for you. This is a list of what you need for every tattoo. 2. 2 hand sized plastic spray bottles 3. Three non-locking plastic baggies 5. One wooden tongue...

Glycerin

Tattoo Bold Lining

Glycerin is the grey wash artist's best friend. You can purchase 100 pure glycerin form any pharmacy. It's used in many, many, many things so it should be easy to find. Pure glycerin is way too harsh to use, so you will need a separate spray bottle for this. You want to mix the glycerin 50 with water. It's very thick so you will need to shake it very well to get the proper mix. Once mixed use this mixture instead of water to do your grey washing with. It's much thicker than water so you have...

Bugpin Needles For Tattoo Advantages

Tattooing With Flat Needles

In the tattooing industry, the individual needles are referred to as pins. There are a few different types of pins, and each configuration again, does something different. The needles used in tattoo originated from bug pins, sewing machine needles, and beading needles. Each of these of these types have different tips and sharpness. The most common metal used for tattooing is 304 stainless steel wire with a diameter of .33mm to .36mm and an average length of 30mm, each type can be polished or...

Lining and Shading

Fruit And Vegetable Tattoos Pictures

Lining isn't as easy as you may think. You need to put a lot of time and consideration into lining. Lining is not a race. Usually the lining of a tattoo will take you longer than shading or coloring it. Now that your machine is set up you can attach the clip cord. It doesn't matter which way. Run the machine and check the tuning. You may have to do some last minute adjustments, but your machine should have been tuned before hand. While running the machine, check to see if the needle tip is...

Grey Wash and Color Shading Basics

There are two sides to shading a tattoo, the technical side and the artistic side. The artistic side takes many years of practice, which I suggest you study art books that cover pencil shading, color blending, color matching, and light reflection. The best way you can practice art is by repetition. Look at every thing, and then try to draw it. Pay attention to lighting. One rule of shadowing is that in light reflection the shadowed part of the image will be in the direct opposite position of...

Steel Wool Inside The Tattoo Coils

Tattoo Coil Tape

To understand a tattoo machine better let's break it down to nothing. The first things you need to look at are the coils. The tattoo machines heart is the coils. They are nothing more then electro-magnetic coils. A steel shaft wrapped with usually .022 gauge copper wire that has a thin nylon coating on them. The electricity flowing through the wire around the coils pulls the particles of the metal shaft into alignment causing a magnetic field. The steel shaft is solid with the exception of a...

Solid Color and Black

The first tattoos you will be doing when you are ready will be tribal and solid color work. For the most part, you're going to be lining with an eight or a five. The idea of solid color is like the sponge I explained earlier. The longer you hold the sponge in the water the more it will get wet. The only problem is a tattoo needle can damage the skin to the point of scarring if you're in the same spot too long. Scar tissue gets is characteristics from having a lack of elasticity like normal...

Other Supplies

Tattoo Tracing Gel

During a tattoo you will be using a few other supplies. Green soap is the most common chemical of tattooing. If you hear someone talk about the smell of a tattoo, that's it. You can order green soap from any tattoo supply company but I have never found it in a medical supply store. Green soap is an anti-bacterial soap that comes in a gallon jug and is very concentrated. Go down to your local buy everything store, in the back of the health and beauty section you will find hand sized plastic...

Frames

Armature Bar Tattoo

Machine frames are made out of cast iron, copper, brass, bronze, stainless steel, and aluminum. Each weighs differently and each has a different level of electrical conductivity which affects the strength of your machine. The weight of your machine will come from the frame so you need to decide what kind of machine you will be running. Cast iron frames are molten metal poured into a cast for the shape. Cast iron machines are made of one piece while machines that the side arm is attached with...