NYC tattoo artists are up in arms (sorry) about a new law that will go into effect in December requiring New York tattoo artists to use single-use ink shots. A petition surfaced yesterday regarding the law, which Governor Cuomo believes is necessary to prevent "potentially serious and life threatening health risks." Tattoo artists, however, are firmly against the language being used in the bill regarding the ink requirements, which they believe are completely unnecessary.
We asked tattoo artist Brad Stevens at NY Adorned (one of the best) to explain his concerns, which he describes as "major."
Some tattooers spend their entire career seeking pigments and perfecting recipes for ink. The best inks that are used by the best artists have been time tested for quality and safety. There are many companies that make cheap tattoo supplies and prey on bad tattooers by selling them inferior products. These companies are run by businessmen looking for untapped markets, not knowledgeable tattooers lovingly crafting high quality products for better results.
What sounds fishy about this situation is that "ink shots" sounds like a brand name, or at least a product line of one specific brand. Since this issue surfaced tattooers have been speculating that the manufacturer of this product must have been the one pushing for reform. It's suspicious because I have been tattooing for almost a decade and I obsess over the products I use, and I have never heard of an ink shot.
Cheap, mass produced tattoo inks can contain plastics and many tend to fade or completely fall out of the skin eventually. To put it simply we would be tattooing with inferior products. It would make your tattoo worse. It's like if New York State told Gothamist that they have to build their website with Goecities.
If this goes through you can expect every reputable tattooer to either have a hidden stash of their preferred, time tested ink, or simply decide to take their business out of New York.
The petition can be found here, and is simply requesting the wording of the bill be changed to allow inks from larger bottles "to be poured into single use disposable receptacles, aka ink caps."