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This year and going into next year Planet Ink Tattoos has made a commitment to give back to the community. 
We are running specials like Toys for Tats and working with our Partners at Friends to the Forlorn.
Each Planet Ink location has sponsored and adopted a Pitbull from Friends to the Forlorn to help a cause we believe in. The special dog each shop sponsors/adopts is one that may never find a home. 
We believe in our community and we believe in giving back. Whether it be needy children or dogs in need of love. Planet Ink Tattoos is there for them.
Please join us in our quest to help and check out our partners at Friends to the Forlorn and stop by and make a toy donation to ANY Planet Ink Tattoo location.
Whang Od resides in Buscalan, in the province of Kalinga, Phillipines, she is the last remaining Kalinga Mambatok (tattoo artist) in the region. Learning from her father, Whang Od dedicated her life to mastering the millennium old practice after the man she was in love with died when she was 25. It was during the second World War that batok increased in practice, as it was commonly associated with and reserved for warriors - in this case, the headhunters that fought off Japanese and Filipino soldiers aiming to raid and pillage; only an estimated 30 remain to this day.

Using the traditional hand tapping method, Whang Od mixes her ink in a coconut bowl using soot and water to create a thick, dark pigmentation. Using a siit (orange thorn needle) attached to a bamboo stick, Whang Od takes another bamboo stick to tap and hammer the needle into the skin. Often times, a wooden stencil would be used for more intricate and complex patterns. As this method is hand based, the process is much more painful than what the western world has adopted as standard practice; though the exclusivity of the knowledge and privileged application of such a tattoo makes the practice less fashion and more ornamental and identifiable as a status symbol.

Today, Whang Od tattoos out of necessity; she uses the money to buy pigs and hens to feed her village. Word has spread enough that many westerners travel from far away to visit Whang Od and get a one of a kind tattoo. She loves the visitors; Whang Od finds solace and meaning in her artistry. At 92 years old, Whang Od is nearing the twilight of her “career” despite being in good health. Her plan is to educate her sisters granddaughter in order to pass down the tradition and let the meaningful practice live on.

Read this in depth and informative article by Lars Krutek to learn more about traditional batok and Whang Od.

America's core cultural reference books, professional journals, newspapers and magazines recognize tattooing as a well-established art form that, over the last three decades, has undergone dramatic changes. In the 1970s, artists trained in traditional fine art disciplines began to embrace tattooing and brought with them entirely new sorts of sophisticated imagery and technique. Advances in electric needle machines and pigments provided them with new ranges of color, delicacy of detail and aesthetic possibilities. The physical nature of many local tattooing establishments also changed as increasing numbers of operators adopted 

Once a taboo practice largely confined to sailors and street hoodlums, tattooing has evolved into a highly prized fashion product for celebrities and millions of middle-class consumers.
equipment and procedures resembling those of medical clinics -- particularly in areas where tattooing is regulated by government health agencies.
The cultural status of tattooing has steadily evolved from that of an anti-social activity in the 1960s to that of a trendy fashion statement in the 1990s. First adopted and flaunted by influential rock stars like the Rolling Stones in the early 1970s, tattooing had, by the late 1980s, become accepted by ever broader segments of mainstream society. Today, tattoos are routinely seen on rock stars, professional sports figures, ice skating champions, fashion models, movie stars and other public figures who play a significant role in setting the culture's contemporary mores and behavior patterns.

During the last fifteen years, two distinct classes of tattoo business have emerged. The first is the "tattoo parlor" that glories in a sense of urban outlaw culture; advertises itself with garish exterior signage; offers "pictures-off-the-wall" assembly-line service; and often operates with less than optimum sanitary procedures.

The second is the "tattoo art studio" that most frequently features custom, fine art design; the ambiance of an upscale beauty salon; marketing campaigns aimed at middle- and upper middle-class professionals; and "by-appointment" services only. Today's fine art tattoo studio draws the same kind of clientele as a custom jewelry store, fashion boutique, or high-end antique shop.

The market demographics for tattoo services are now skewed heavily toward mainstream customers. Tattooing today is the sixth-fastest-growing retail business in the United States. The single fastest growing demographic group seeking tattoo services is, to the surprise of many, middle-class suburban women.

Tattooing is recognized by government agencies as both an art form and a profession and tattoo-related art work is the subject of museum, gallery and educational institution art shows across the United States.

By Hoag Levins

Tattooing has an integral place in American society.  In recent years, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of American traditional tattoos.  This classic American tattoo style, also known as Americana style, Traditional or Old School (Old Skool), is on the rebound both in the US and in Europe.  Although today’s popular culture places heavy emphasis on contemporary designs and motifs, little attention is given to the history behind the tattoo culture in America.

The Americana style is one of the oldest and most enduring tattoo styles in America today.  Its origins date back to the turn of the 19th century, when body ink was mostly sported by criminals, people in the navy or circus and side show freaks.  This era gave rise to the American tattoo forefathers. 

Although one artist cannot claim credit for single-handedly pioneering the style, a few noteworthy individuals deserve recognition for putting it on the world map.  These individuals include Sam O’Reilly (credited with inventing the first tattoo machine), Cap Coleman and Paul Rogers.  These men were on the scene and setting the foundations of the style well before tattoo icon Norman Keith Collins, aka Sailor Jerry, began plying his craft.

Undoubtedly, Sailor Jerry contributed a great deal to the tattoo industry during his career.  Apart from expanding the tattooist’s pallet by adding new pigments, his analytical approach led to the improvement of the tattooing machine and the introduction of hospital-style sterilization of tattooing equipment. 

Over the past few years, tattooists such as Mike Pike, Bert Krak, Dan Higgs and Ed Hardy have remained faithful to the classic American tattoo style leading to its current popularity worldwide.

Unlike the tribal tattooing style characterized by heavy, black outlines and intricate designs, the Americana style is easily distinguished by simple bold and solid lines with few contrasting colors.  Common motifs include nautical and religious symbols, daggers, skulls, mermaids, women, flowers, anchors, hearts and eagles among others.  These traditional tattoos are now synonymous with simple sophistication and often carry a clear and direct message.

So if you are stumped on which tattoo to get, why not choose an American traditional tattoo design?  It is a choice you are sure not to regret.

By: MaciekV7 May 7, 2013


It comes as no surprise that President Barack Obama commented on his clever plan to dissuade his daughters from getting tattoos as a means of rebellion; the man has proven to be “modern” and in touch with pop culture from music to sports and all things in between.  Recently, our Commander in Chief was interviewed by NBC’s “Today” where he explained certain pre-emptive measures he and the first lady, Michelle Obama, are taking in order to have his two daughters reconsider any future ink decisions.  

The Presidential Couple hatched out a master plan centered around the threat of national embarrassment.  “If you guys ever decide you’re going to get a tattoo, then mommy and me will get the exact same tattoo in the same place.  And we’ll go on YouTube and show it off as a family tattoo” he said, with a sheepish grin on his face.  As they say, fight fire with fire, or in this case, ink.

Obama’s point is obvious; everything the President and his family does is looked at through a microscope and nothing flies under the radar.  If you recall, the daughters of George W. Bush were cited as minors in possession of alcohol on several occasions which only brought negative publicity to an already troubled presidential campaign.  Ultimately, when Sasha and Malia Obama turn 18, it will be their decision and their consequences to deal with, but we will all surely know about it.

Will the Obama daughters test their father and get inked up when they are of age?  Perhaps they’ll one-up the President and get something totally ludacris permanently engraved on their skin for their parents to replicate.  Or will Barack Obama’s intimidation tactics be successful and make the girls reconsider?

From MaciekV7's blog 

Not too long ago, most Americans associated tattoos with sailors, bikers and sideshow artists. But tattoos have become more popular in recent years, and the people who get them are as diverse as the styles and designs they choose. And some people who would never think of tattooing pictures or symbols onto their bodies use permanent makeup -- a type of tattoo -- to emphasize their eyes and lips.

In this article, we'll look at how the tattoo process works and examine the safety and legal issues surrounding it.

Artists create tattoos by injecting ink into a person's skin. To do this, they use an electrically powered tattoo machine that resembles (and sounds like) a dental drill. The machine moves a solid needle up and down to puncture the skin between 50 and 3,000 times per minute. The needle penetrates the skin by about a millimeter and deposits a drop of insoluble ink into the skin with each puncture.

The tattoo machine has remained relatively unchanged since its invention by Samuel O'Reilly in the late 1800s. O'Reilly based his design on the autographic printer, an engraving machine invented by Thomas Edison. Edison created the printer to engrave hard surfaces. O'Reilly modified Edison's machine by changing the tube system and modifying its rotary-driven electromagnetic oscillating unit to enable the machine to drive the needle.

Modern tattoo machines have several basic components: 
  • A sterilized needle
  • A tube system, which draws the ink through the machine
  • An electric motor
  • A foot pedal, like those used on sewing machines, which controls the vertical movement of the needle.
When you look at a person's tattoo, you're seeing the ink through the epidermis, or the outer layer of skin. The ink is actually in the dermis, which is the second layer of the skin. The cells of the dermis are far more stable than the cells of the epidermis, so the tattoo's ink will stay in place, with minor fading and dispersion, for a person's entire life.

Tattoo work by one of our favorite artist in world, Victor Portugal. He works out of Poland and is an amazing tattoo artist. His website is
CHeck him out. Planet Ink Tattoos can respect great art no matter who is doing it!

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