The Goal

Submitted 05.30.23

The Goal

“As tattooing evolves and you're trying to share a technique with a colleague and you said "I was tattooing this person and she's a '3' everybody knows what you're talking about…”

-Shawn Bellina, S8 Tattoo Chemist

We’ve touched this topic a few times already, but having systems and language in place would help with ease of communication between individuals and between sectors of the tattoo industry. A set of symbols or numbers that everyone in the industry understands.

If you want to get more technology into tattoo, the main thing holding it back is a lack of understanding and common terminology. We really need to define some key terms and variables. Once we have a shared language, we can start to create technologies to improve the tattoo experience.

Common Language

“So, if we can define some of these terms and variables then you can look for appropriate technologies to make the experience better...make the outcome better.”

-Shawn Bellina, S8 Tattoo Chemist

There have been many new ideas and technologies coming into the tattoo industry. With new government regulations such as the “EU Pigment Ban” it might be a good time for tattooing to start coming together as a community and form its own industry regulations. 

Making efforts to build these systems for communication like a standardized color palette or a standardized skin tone scale enables tattooers and the industry to analyze, test and properly label tattoo ink. Along with that it increases our ability to push back on such regulations and recapture it ourselves.

Looking outside tattooing

“It's not unlike some of the problems that we're trying to solve in design and in drawing…It's having a common language, so that whenever you say something people read it the same way.”

-Jake Meeks

So what do we do? How do we find this “Common Language” we keep talking about? I think the best examples might be outside the tattoo industry. To start, I think a stellar example would be music. The idea that any trained musician can just walk into a gig and the band leader says “We’re gonna play a II-V-I in b#m” and that person says, “Okay” is the same kind of thing that’s lacking in tattooing. Now music isn’t the only example. We have a wide range of other disciplines we can pull from including chemistry, physics, and art. But, being able to communicate in these terms is exactly the same type of problem we should be trying to solve. Being able to have a language and body of literature not only allows tattooers to communicate more easily, but it could potentially create a better and safer experience for clients as well.

Watch the full episode:

Optimizing Tattoo Colors For Skin Types! Tattoo Physics Part 4 |  Tattoo Overview