NYS Bill S1421-2015

Copy and paste from the change.org petition set up by Bridget Punsalang:


New laws have been passed in NY effective December 12th that will require the used of single use prepackaged ink cups instead of the usual disposable ink caps.



To: Senator Carlucci, NYS Department of Health, Governor Cuomo, Assemblyman Zebrowski and whomever else it may concern,

This petition is regarding the wording on the new tattoo laws that were passed, bill S1421-2015. The wording regarding single use inks is complicated and may lead to completely unnecessary and expensive measures.

The new bill (http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/s1421-2015) defines “SINGLE USE INK” SHALL MEAN A SEALED AND PRE-FILLED PACKAGE OF INK THAT IS ONLY INTENDED FOR A SINGLE USE”

The standard procedure by any properly trained tattoo artist involves purchasing large bottles of inks, and pouring them into small plastic, single use, disposable “ink caps”, just enough for the procedure, which are thrown away during clean up. The original large bottle is to be stored away from the client and the work station, and therefore away from any possibility of contamination.

The way the law reads now, would not work with these proven safe, common-practice procedures. They have single use, prepackaged inks, but they are incredibly expensive and not offered by any of the better quality brands of ink (really just a couple brands), and only available in a limited palette. For many artists, switching to a lesser-quality ink, is just not an option. For permanent makeup pigments (which is very much tattooing as well) there are no brands packaged for single use. These single-use inks, are impractical and unnecessary, since standard precautions are designed to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination.

We would like to propose that better wording would be something that specifies that pigments  are required to be poured into single use disposable receptacles aka ink caps.

Example: “single use ink” shall mean all inks are poured into disposable single use containers, and disposed of after each procedure.

The key to safe tattooing is annual education requirements, teaching artists in the industry to use universal precautions and learn the newest and best practices to prevent cross-contamination and prevent the spread of dangerous infectious diseases. This is already a requirement through federal OSHA laws, which many other states have chosen to reiterate.

Rewrite NYS BILL S1421-2015 before it goes into effect!

From petition organizer Bridget Punsalang:
Clifton Park, NY

Aug 28, 2015 — Huge progress today!! Huge! I spoke to Evan Sullivan who is the legislative director and committee director for Senator Carlucci. They are currently working with the NYS department of health to reword the new regulations as a temporary fix. They’re also going to try to hold the implementation of the new law until it can be amended in January. Myself, Kyle Machattie, and a few other tattoo artists will be in Carlucci’s office Monday morning proposing ideas for rewriting the new law. They will be trying their best to either amend the wording or even change most of the law, as the entire section 2 of the law is vague and misleading, as are major corrections needed in the definition of single use inks. I will update everyone after our appointment on Monday, as this is still very much in the works.

They realize this is a problem, and they are working on fixing it. They appreciate us bringing this too their attention, and want to make it right.

Thank you everyone for the overwhelming support, I will continue to post updates as they come in!

OVxAMS953: The Enigma versus 22 Tattoo Artists

The third and final Amsterdam Tattoo Convention 1995 clip; this one is the roughest with a little more shaky camera than I’m happy with, but ultimately a pretty fun little video. The sound has been removed due to copyrighted music in the background, so enjoy the silence.

I don’t have a complete list of the artists who tattooed Enigma- offhand I spotted:

  • Alex Binnie
  • Horiyoshi 3
  • Permanent Mark
  • Bob Vessels
  • Crazy Ace Daniels
  • Timothy Hoyer (?)

I’m sure Henk made a full list, but….

Creative Mornings w/ Freddy Corbin

Freddy Corbin.
Pretty much any time Freddy sits down to talk about tattooing (or hell, about anything) it’s probably a good idea to drop whatever you’re doing and listen. His arc on Vice’s TATTOO AGE should be required viewing for anyone interested in tattoo culture, his talk with Scott Sylvia on Last Sparrow a great companion chapter.

The folks at Creative Mornings Oakland invited Freddy to talk a little about the tattoo scene and his place in it. Very much worth checking out.

Source: http://creativemornings.com/cities/oak

OVXAMS95: Amsterdam Tattoo Convention 1995 Video Part 2

This excerpt from the 1995 Amsterdam Tattoo Convention video features Paul Booth, Filip Leu, Mike Wilson, Nalla Smith, Joseph Ari Aloi, Chris Trevino, Paul King, Xed Le Head, Alex Binnie, Curly and Juan Puente.

No audio on this one.

There’s still a little more footage from the convention that needs to be finished up, but it’s really shaky and taking a lot of work to make it usable. Fingers crossed.

OVxAMS95: Amsterdam Tattoo Convention Video 1995 Part 1

It’s only taken me 242 months to get the video footage I shot at the 1995 Amsterdam Tattoo Convention digitized and uploaded. That’s a little longer than it takes me to accomplish most of the things in my day-planner, but not by much.

This first clip features Horiyoshi III and family.

I filmed this when I was twenty years old on an 8mm video camera without really knowing how to use it; twenty years later I did my best to take the little clips I shot and put them together into something watchable.

Stay tuned for parts two & three.

Everlasting Jobstoppers in the Age of Entitlement


By the time I sat down at Josh Hoffman’s station to have two tiny stars added to my temples in March of 2010, I was already what most folks would call heavily tattooed. Despite having my hands, palms, neck and throat tattooed and being gainfully employed, Josh felt it was still prudent to remind me that these little stars, small by most standards, were technically on my face and I needed to be sure that I was ready for that sort of public exposure.

Josh and I had known each other for over a decade by that point; he had a pretty accurate take on my character and my ability to deal with potential employment issues and he still made sure to reiterate how important it was to think about the possible effect getting these two tiny tattoos would have on my life. A reminder of the Professional aspect of being a professional tattoo artist.

Five years later and the tattoo scene is still evolving in ways that the old timers would never imagine. More folks than ever are getting tattooed- heavily and more visibly- and with the influx of new clientele comes seasoned artists having to draw a line in the sand with what they’re comfortable tattooing. As commercial artists they should have every right to take a stand when asked to do a design that they feel won’t reflect well on them (see: Drew Grant and the It’s always Sunny tattoo) or that may have negative consequences to the client (see: No, you can’t get a fucking neck tattoo, Jane Marie) without having a spotlight of InternetOutrage(tm) aimed in their direction.

Increasingly, culture bloggers (imagine journalists without degrees or any formal training, then add a liberal portion of entitlement and inflated sense of self importance) are using their readership- 1000% greater numbers than our humble Occult Vibrations- to ‘call out’ artists who had the audacity to say ‘no’ to them, attempting to publicly shame them and take business out of their pocket. It’s a win/win- the sites they work for get great click-bate ad revenue (because we as a tattoo community can’t help but go to the sites and comment) and the writers get further internet exposure which is perfect for an attention seeking personality type.

I had written a pretty wordy response to Jane Marie’s article when I saw the above image on Virginia tattooer Nick Bryant’s Instagram. Suddenly all of my rambling was rendered moot- Nick had said everything I was trying to get at proving yet again that a picture is worth 1000 words.

You can see more of Nick’s work over on his IG: Nick Bryant.
Make sure to FOLLOW him for more awesome.