This blog post isn't in anyway making fun of any of the described trends nor am I claiming them to be "New." These trends just snuck in whilst we had our heads down working and have seemed to really have left their mark on some artists. Let's begin...
1. SENSI WRAPS
Or as anyone else would call them, colored self-attaching bandages/gauze have been popular for some time being used to holld plastic wrap on those fresh bloody new tattoos instead of tape. A new use for them is wrap your grips for ergonomic carpel comfort. Some artists choose to fatten their grips with paper towels and then finish the last wrap with SENSI to hold it on. I myself have been doing this for those longer session pieces.
2. FAT LINES
Artists are finally stepping out of the box and switching up line weights on their pieces for more character and depth. Fatter lines are more forgiving if you're tattooing a squirmer but the technique is a little different. Seeing more fat lines daily on the old instafeed.
3. TATTOO AFTERCARE
We all have our particular aftercare ritual including certain balms and lotions for clients. Some use fancy cocoanutty fragranced butters and some use plain old A&D ointment which can both have the same results depending on how properly the tattoo is cared for in general. Lately, tattooers have been using their chosen aftercare to perform the tattoo in place of A&D or vasoline. Works the same except it heals the tattoo while your doing it and makes for better photos due to less swelling and redness, but beware... The nice ones are pricey.
4. ROTARY TATTOO MACHINES
Standard tattoo machines (not tat guns) are magnetic coil based machines much like an old door buzzer with a needle on it. Jailhouse machines were made from pretty much anything, but most commonly rotary motor based items like an electric toothbrush. Modern streamlined versions of these "Rotaries" have surfaced adorned with enough bells and whistles to attract a swarm of zombie newbiles. The upside, they are practically silent and super lightweight. They also offer different styles of operation including interchangeable cartridge and motor systems for variations on the fly. The downside, they are quite pricey for a machine made product ranging in the $500-600's
I remember when I got my first tattoo..then second, third, fourth and so on. I was taught you have to earn the permanence through enduring the pain. No such thing as numbing creams back then or at least I didn't know of any. Now you can have a gel applied to your skin an hour before the tattoo that will numb it for almost 2 hours. Many other lidocaine sprays are available in legal amounts to be applied throughout the tattoo or at the end to extend a persons pain tolerance. For the industry I guess it's a good thing. A traveling tattoo collector could be at a convention for a day and need to sit for the entire piece due to travel restraints. On the downside, you're not earning your permanence.