Monthly Archives: December 2009

Circle of [Blogging] Friends Award

I was tagged by Matt at Mathias N Oz who was tagged by RG at Dulce Y Peligroso who was tagged by Larry Ohio at Patently Queer who was tagged by Kyle at Out Left who was tagged by Jo at Diary of A Sad Housewife who was tagged by…. It’s a long list. I backtracked for a while.


Upon receiving this “award” I am to mention five things I enjoy or like to do, then pass the award on to five others.

I’m not particularly sure why it matters about what things I enjoy or like for this “award”, but such is the way these things go.

These are five of my favorite things:

Technological convergence. Huh? What’s that you ask, besides some combination of buzzwords? Wikipedia best sums it up as the trend of technologies to merge into new technologies that bring together a myriad of media. Technological convergence of tools leads to devices that are designed specifically to replace a number of different devices. I love this evolutionary process! (Yes, I’m that much of a geek.)

Which leads to my next favorite thing…

Pocketable personal computing devices. Which at this particular moment would be my phone. It’s nice to be able to access the plethora of available information available in the world through a tiny, user-friendly device. I miss having a laptop for some of the larger things I do, but my phone serves me well. For everything else, there’s my desktop workstation.

Not working for “the man”. Technically I guess that’s not true: We all work for the man in one way or another. But I mean directly. Not reporting to someone other than myself has presented me with a new set of challenges and expectations.

(The printer name makes me laugh… click to embiggen.)

Not waking up with an alarm clock. It’s nice to be able to sleep until my body decides to wake me up, instead of an electronic buzzing noise. There are some days I still set it, just to remind myself how horrible it is to wake up in that manner.

Listening to the Husbear sleep. I don’t fall asleep easy, and will often lay there an hour or so listening to the sounds of him breathing. He doesn’t snore like he did before he had his wisdom teeth removed, but he still has moments where I notice the sound of him breathing during the night. Above the sound of the loud fan he has running all the time.

Now I’d like to pass on this “award” to other bloggers whom I appreciate:

All of the bloggers I follow! I appreciate each and every one of you!

See. That’s me. Breaking the chain. Kind of.

Until next time...

Dear Tattooist: How can I find a good tattoo artist?

Java asked:

How can I find a good tattoo artist? How will I know he or she is good? To me, “good” means someone who uses quality ink, needles, etc. Generally, excellence in the safety and quality of the process. I also want an artist who makes good art, spells words correctly in tattoos, etc. How can I be sure before getting a tattoo?

One would think for something that is a permanent alteration to your body, more people would ask this question. Most don’t seem to. I’m glad you have.

Do people you know have tattoos you like? Word-of-mouth is an excellent way to find a great tattooist. What studio and to what tattooist did they go? Did they have a good experience while at the studio?

If you see someone in public with tattoos that you like, politely ask who their tattooist is. Many people with tattoos are happy to promote their tattooist(s).

Most studios and tattooists should have websites with portfolios of their work and pictures of the studio, like my studio does. These will give you an idea of the studio and artist without having to go to each studio.

But please do physically visit different tattoo studios. Do you feel comfortable walking into that studio? Listen to your senses. Does it “look” clean, or is dark and dingy? Does it smell clean, or not-so-fresh? I know this sounds odd, but go visit the restroom. It’s appearance and condition is usually an accurate reflection of the establishment as a whole.

Obviously, the studio is not the same as each tattooist who works in it, but many facets mirror each other.

Ask about the sanitation and sterilization procedures the studio and tattooist follows. Are new sterile needles used with each client? Are all other tools that are involved in the tattooing process either sterilized or disposed of after each client? Non-disposable equipment should be sterilized with an autoclave (an apparatus that uses superheated steam under high pressure to sterilize instruments).

Are studios and tattooists regulated and licensed by your state’s Health Department? If so, you can contact the Health Department about infractions and complaints.

Tattooists should have a photo portfolio of their tattoo work. The portfolio will contain a biased sampling, as a tattooist is obviously only going to put good examples of their work in said portfolio. Also, it’s not possible to know that the tattooist actually did the work in said portfolio. I’ve actually heard of cases where a dishonest tattooist was using other tattooist’s pictures.

What is the style of tattoo you are wanting? Think of all the different styles of art by all the different artists over time. The same is true of tattooists. Not all tattooists tattoo all styles and subject matter. Are there examples of the style of tattoo you want in the tattooist’s portfolio?

What are your impressions of the tattooist? Does he or she “look” clean? Does he or she smell clean, or not-so-fresh? Do you feel comfortable with the tattooist?

How long has the tattooist been tattooing? What styles of tattoo do they enjoy doing? If a tattooist is annoyed because of, or does not have solid answers to any of your questions, that should tell you a few things about the compatibility between you and the tattooist.

You don’t have to be buddies with your tattooist, but you do have to communicate what you want and expect. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your tattooist, it’s not likely that you will get what you want.

There’s a book called The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting a Tattoo. I hate, hate, hate the title! It’s a great resource, and I keep a copy at the studio. You can also Google for “getting my first tattoo“. There are plenty of good resources out there as well.

Hopefully this information will assist you in finding the tattooist that is right for you.

If you have questions about tattoos: tattoos in general, about getting a tattoo, about giving a tattoo, or anything else related to tattoos, just add a comment to my November 6, 2009 post, or send me the question via e-mail from my contact page. I will then dedicate an entire post to answering your question.

Until next time...