Good tattoos aren’t cheap, and cheap tattoos aren’t good

We all love a bargain, and finding a gem in an op-shop now and again is fantastic. New Zealand isn’t exactly the cheapest place to live, and for anyone making minimum wage, the less we pay, the better off we are.

But tattoos are different.

Never make price the deciding factor

If you’re seriously considering a tattoo, then put the price out of your mind. If price is your main concern, then you’re not serious about it.

Figure out what kind of tattoo you want first, where it’s going to go and how big you want it. Then find a respectable, experienced tattoo artist.

Talk with them about your ideas, and what you want as a finished product. Think about what you want ten years from now.

Now ask about the price.

If it’s outside of your budget, either explain that to the artist and figure something else out, or simply wait until you’ve saved up enough.

The cost of something isn’t the same as the price

If you make the mistake of going cheap, then you may regret it for the rest of your life.

Let’s just say you’ve gone to see a tattoo artist, explained what you wanted, and they have quoted you something that’s a couple hundred more bucks than you were expecting. The smart thing to do is to save up and come back another day.

The dumb thing to do is go to someone who’ll do it cheaper.

People who tend to do tattoos ‘cheaper’ are usually not only less skilled than professional tattoo artists, but a lot more dangerous.

There will always be someone who’s bought a tattoo gun off Trade Me and thinks they know what they’re doing. Without the proper training in Health &Safety, or their premises meeting hygiene standards, a tattoo from someone like this is just asking for trouble.

Even forgetting about the risk of disease such as Hepatitis from previously used needles, there’s a very real threat of your tattoo becoming infected.

Not to mention the fact you might end up like this bell-end.

The latest tattoo ink colours from Sunset

Sunset tattoo are now in the tattoo ink supply business! And what a range we have for you tattoo artists out there!

We are proud to be an official distributor of the world-famous Eternal Ink.

Made from organic pigments, de-ionized water and hamamelis water, this bright coloured ink is free of animal by-products and even suitable for vegans.

They arrive sealed in a medical grade bottle, ensuring hygiene, and the ink pigments are regularly tested and comply with all health and safety regulations.

Eternal Ink is not tested on animals, so there’s no guilty conscious tagging along with every purchase. Check out our sister site Tattoo Station for all your tattoo supply needs, including the incredible Eternal Ink.

Amazing colour sets

The amazing Liz Cook created this palette of colours. The set features a vibrant collection of rich violets and some eye-catching greens.

Chucks Seasonal Spectrum Series features an assortment of colours found throughout the seasons. You'll love the colourful range of warm and cool hues. 

Detroit put a nation on wheels and rolled us through a lifetime of memories. The Motor City Ink Set is a flashback to Detroit speed. Here are 12 hues inspired by vintage sheet metal fantasies, high gloss paint and all the reckless joys of a fine ride.

Designed by tattoo artist Halo, the Eternal Ink Halo Fifth Dimension ink set collects 12 opaque hues of intense light Use the hues straight from the bottle as complementary or as high-value tints to quickly provide additional pop and impact to your art!

The Eternal Ink portrait series has been designed to give depth and contrast to portrait work. With warm and cool tones, this set blends a perfect assortment of colours for portrait and pin-up work.

Myke Chambers' art is instantly recognizable with rich, saturated hues and strong symbolic images inked in his unmistakable style. Presented here are 12 of Chambers' favorite hues mixed perfectly to Eternal inks high standards.

The NZ Tattoo & Art Festival 2017

The biggest tattoo event in Australasia is back for the 7th year! The New Zealand Tattoo & Art Festival will be held at the TSB Stadium in New Plymouth on the 25 & 26 November 2017, and of course the team at Sunset will be there!

The best artists in every style of tattooing are coming to New Plymouth to tattoo you! Tattoo appointments can be made by contacting the artists direct - once announced, make sure you include the following in your email, size of tattoo, placement on body, any reference pics you have & your budget, lots artists will also be doing walk up tattoos all weekend long.

The Festival

In only six short years, the festival has become Australasia’s biggest tattoo show, with over 250 artists and models attending. As usual, the standard of the artists attending is world class, with the likes of Ryan Ashley Malarkey, Tommy Helm, and Dan Smith coming over from the USA.

Entertainment highlights include Head Like A Hole live on Saturday night, 3 shows a day from FMX superstar Levi Sherwood, BMX, live performances from U.K fire dancer Cervena Fox & aerialist Venus Starr.

Buy your tickets now and make sure you get a place at the biggest tattoo festival in New Zealand!

By buying through Ticketek now, you can save money rather than paying at the gate. An adult 2-day pass is only $45, 10 bucks cheaper than paying on the day.

An adult day pass is $30, compared to 35 on the day, and kids 14 and under are free.

If you’re heading to New Plymouth for the festival, pre-book with one of our artists today! Simply email info@sunsettattoo.co.nz

Upcoming guest artists at Sunset

Here at Sunset Tattoo, we’re constantly joining forces with renowned tattoo artists from not only New Zealand, but from around the world.

Sunset artists

Tom started Sunset with his wife, well-known Kiwi tattoo artist Misery, and not only have they built up one of Auckland’s finest tattoo studios, but they’ve also gathered some of the best artists in the industry.

As well as home-grown talent, working for Sunset, we also have the exceptional Ten Tigers Tattoo working here in the studio with us. Capilli Tupou is an artist specialising in old school traditional style tattooing. As a New Zealander of Maori (Te Rarawa) and American Samoan heritage, Capilli brings his own unique Polynesian slant to the style.

Capilli’s work has been admired both within New Zealand and abroad, allowing him to work at some of the best studios around the world. Here in Auckland he has worked with Sacred Heart Tattoo and Two Hands Tattoo.

Guests at Sunset

Continuing our desire to work with the best artists around, we have some very special guests dropping into the studio over the next few months.

Ryan Ussher

Ryan Ussher from Sydney will be guest spotting at the Sunset studio on November 20th. Drawing inspiration from traditional Japanese tattooing, the ukiyo-e period and the colourful western world, Ryan’s tattooing is applied with heavy contrast, movement and clarity that aims to be noticed from across the street.

Makoto Horimatsu

We are very excited to announce Makoto Horimatsu is returning to Sunset after visiting us last year. Makoto will be guest spotting at the studio in late November, so contact us now if you would like to go on a waiting list to get a booking!

Hailing from Japan, Kokura is one of the finest tattoo artists in the industry and we are truly honoured to have him join us.

Nicklas Wong

The very talented Nicklas Wong will be guest spotting at the studio August 1st - 5th. Contact the studio for bookings!

What’s happening this July for Sunset Tattoo

Sunset join in with this year’s First Thursday!

Ten Tigers Tattoo and Sunset Tattoo are joining in with this winters’ First Thursday!

On Thursday 6th July, between 4pm -9pm, we will be taking walk-ins only! Come along to the studio and see the loads of flash designs at special prices ready to be tattooed!

History of First Thursday

On the first Thursday of two months a year, K Road will come alive with visual artists, performance artists, fashion shows, live music, installations, photographers, musicians, DJs. If you live in Auckland or just visiting for the summer, come be a part of the collaboration!

First Thursdays on K-Road had its humble beginnings in the iconic St Kevin's Arcade in December 2009. Our first event showcased nine visual artists, dance performances and DJ's.

Since then there have been 10 successful First Thursdays events along K'Road, showcasing thousands of local artists and attracting crowds in the thousands.

Theme for this month

This First Thursday we invite you to the 'Mad Hatters Tea Party', a trip down the rabbit hole with Alice and the gang into the eclectic and quirky world of K Road.

We would love to see K' Road celebrate in its own way, drawing influence from Lewis Carroll's weird and wonderful journey, Alice in Wonderland.  An evening of revelry and good times await in the country's most bohemian district, so don't be late for this very important date!

Make A Booking At Sunset

If you can’t make it for the First Thursday, and instead would like to request a booking or consultation, you can send us an email, call us, or pop into the studio.

If you have reference photos to show us please be sure to attach them to your email or print them off if you are coming into the studio.

Please note that some of our tattoo artists are booked up for weeks so it pays to book in advance if you have a specific date in mind that you want to be tattooed on. As for consultations, they usually take around 10-20 minutes and are free of charge.

Sunset now sell their own tattoo supplies!

Sunset Tattoo are excited to bring you our new sister site: Tattoo Station.

If you’re looking for great deals on high-quality tattoo products and equipment, then look no further. We only sell the very best of everything, all at an unbeatable price.

The very best in tattoo supplies

After years of buying tattoo supplies at huge mark-ups from people who don't even tattoo, we became frustrated and decided to do it ourselves. This new range of products is for tattoo artists, by tattoo artists. We know the difference between quality tattoo equipment and the cheap, nasty stuff, and we make sure you don’t get the latter.

Tattoo aftercare products

Tattoo Aftercare is an essential part of the tattooing process, and we like to make sure it’s getting done right. From basic health reasons (don’t pick at it) to aesthetic reasons (moisturise to keep the colours bright), there are do’s and don’ts to follow once you get a tattoo. Follow them and everything should be fine.

Protat Tattoo Aftercare Cream

At Sunset, we suggest Protat Aftercare Cream. Protat are the world’s first tattoo aftercare company. By using chemists from their development team and overseas they are constantly researching new ingredients, with natural products receiving special attention.

Each Protat product has been precisely formulated with highly experienced members of the tattoo and piercing profession. New developments by Protat can only benefit the industry and enhance respect for body art practitioners everywhere. Protat Premium After Care cream has been designed to be the primary product in the Protat range. It utilises the technology of the Soothing After Care Cream with the added ingredients.

So there you have it, our new venture into the tattoo supply business. Please take a look at our new site, Tattoo Station, and if you have any questions about tattoo supplies for your studio, don’t hesitate to contact us.

3 tips for getting a tattoo if you’re dark skinned

While there’s plenty of advice out there for white people getting tattoos, there’s not much for those with a higher melanin content.

People from African, Indian and Pacifica backgrounds are often forgotten about when it comes to information about getting a tattoo.

We’ve put together this short article to explain a couple of things about getting ink when you’ve got darker skin.

Make a consultation first

Good advice for anyone getting a tattoo, regardless of skin colour. Talking to your tattoo artist before going under the needle is always a good idea.

By booking a consultation, you can get a better feeling of what’s possible and understand the limitations involved.

If you have darker skin, your initial idea might not be plausible, or won’t come out as you’re expecting. Talk to your artist first, they are the ones with the experience, and can help you make the right choice.

Avoid lighter colours

Despite what bullshit you may read on the internet, there are NO special inks for dark skin. Tattoo ink isn’t made for skin types, but the quality of the ink can vary widely.

Tattoo ink is generally translucent, so the skin underneath will show through. This means, the darker your skin, then less lighter-colours will show.

Black or grey ink usually works best on darker skin, evidenced by this cool MF.

Genetics can affect scar tissue

If you're of African ancestry, your skin may be prone to keloids, which is an overgrowth of scar tissue.

Knowing whether or not you are prone to keloids can help before getting a tattoo, as your artist may need to use different techniques to limit the scar tissue, including reducing power to the tattoo gun, and not going over the same area twice.

 

Call us today at Sunset Tattoo, and we can help you with your first tattoo.

Meet the Sunset Tattoo Artists

From humble beginnings just a few years ago, Sunset has grown into one of Auckland’s most thriving and respected tattoo studios.

Tom McMillan opened Sunset with his wife, well known NZ artist, Misery only 3 short years ago, and now Sunset has taken on more artists on a permanent basis, along with special guests popping in from time to time.

Tom McMillan

Tom Tom opened Sunset Tattoo in 2014 working around the world as well as in some of New Zealand's best tattoo studios. He has been tattooing for over 10 years and focuses on specializing in his own unique take on western traditional and Japanese tattoo styles. Tom switches easily between large-scale full body tattoos to palm size one-shot tattoos, and is always on the look out for new, original design challenges.

Tristan Marler

Tristan is of Te Rarawa descent, from the Hokianga in the far North. He is trained in Whakairo Rakau (traditional wood carving). He has been blending his knowledge of carving and Maori art over to the art of Tattooing. Tristan specializes in Ta Moko, Blackwork, pattern work, geometric and dot-work tattoo styles.

Thomas Clark

Thomas has been a full time Ta Moko artist for the past 12 years. Thomas is a well-respected Māori artist whose formal training and applied practice allows him to cross several artistic disciplines – Tā Moko (Traditional Markings on Skin), Kirituhi (Applied Skin Design), Rauangi (Abstract Painting), Whakairo Uku (Clay Sculpture).

Mash Primrose

Mash specialises in bold western traditional tattooing with his own unique take.  His tattoos are perfect for anyone looking to get a traditional tattoo with a modern stylish twist. 

Jacob Cross 

Jacob is fast becoming one of New Zealand's best known Traditional tattooers. His no-nonsense, bright, bold, traditional style has its roots firmly in American and European tattoo history. 

 

If you would like an awesome tattoo by one of our friendly and talented artists, please don't hesitate to contact us today.

3 reasons not to copy someone else’s tattoo

For anyone wanting their first tattoo, it’s very tempting to see one you like and simply copy it, but this isn’t necessarily the best thing to do.

There are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t copy someone else’s design, and we’ve put together the top three for you in this short article.

It’s personal to someone else

Maybe the best reason not to copy someone else’s tattoo design is simply this; it’s not yours.

We don’t mean you didn’t create it, so you can’t use it (more on that later), we mean it’s nothing to do with you, and everything to do with someone else.

If someone has that design on their skin, it’s probably going to mean something to them on a personal level. It may have been specially designed to remind them of a person or a memory, so you taking it not only degrades that memory, but doesn’t fit with you and your life.

Find a design that suits you, that’s personal to you, and this way it’s yours.

It’s an insult to the tattooist

It’s one thing to sit down with an artist and design a tattoo, or even bring one in you’ve designed yourself. It’s quite another to bring a design in another artist has created and demand that.

It’s insulting to the tattoo artist. It’s like bringing a packed lunch into a restaurant and wondering why the chef is pissed at you.

Any tattoo artist worth their salt can create a design for you, so asking them to copy someone else’s is a big faux pas.

It’s intellectual property theft

This is more a moral issue, although sometimes it can be a legal one.

Stealing someone else’s design is no different than stealing their novel. It’s their creativity in a physical, material form, and it should be respected.

Copying their work is not only morally wrong, but disrespectful to the original artist. And it may also get you into legal trouble.

Stay clear of all these problems by simply designing your own tattoo or using your artists previous designs.

If you would like an original tattoo, then come see us here at Sunset.

FAQ about tattoos and Sunset

How do I get myself an awesome tattoo from Sunset?

The best way is to email us on info@sunsettattoo.co.nz or call the shop (09)3763423. We are happy to help with any questions you might have. If you are after a custom tattoo, designed by one of our artists, you can send us a description of what you are looking to get done, and we can pair you with the right artist for the style you are looking for. From there usually you can come in for a free consultation. At the consultation we can help you with making your concept into a great tattoo. If you already have an existing image that you would like to get tattooed, just send an image of it to us and we should be able to quote it for you. 

What kind of styles do you specialise in?

Our artists specialise in most styles of tattooing including Western Traditional, Japanese, Black and grey, lettering, Maori Tamoko, and Pacifica tattooing. We most definitely welcome enquiries of all styles and all sizes. 

Where are you located?

We are located in the heart of the city at 4a Cross Street Auckland 1010, which runs parallel to Karangahape Road and sits between Mercury Lane and Upper Queen Street.

Do I need to make an appointment?

We strive to have a tattoo artist available for walk in's at all time. A lot of our artists have designs ready to go and we love walk in's. Some of our artists have longer waiting periods than others, and do custom tattoos that can take a bit longer to design. 

How old do you need to be to get tattooed?

You need to be 18 years of age with proof of Identification to get tattooed. Parental consent for under 18 year olds is  NOT acceptable. And don't even try to fake it- we're not a bar.

What is the minimum price for a tattoo?

Our minimum charge is $100.00. This cost covers our minimum sterile set up, supplies, as well as wages for the artist. We strive to always have the highest possible quality supplies, tools, and utmost cleanliness, hygiene, and professional skill, and this is what the minimum cost is covering.

How much does a tattoo cost?

Cost depends on the time it will take to do your tattoo. The best way to get a quote is to come in to the shop in person or email us and we can give you an idea of price. Tattoos that can be done in one session can be quoted by the piece, and ongoing larger tattoos are charged by our hourly rate.

What is your hourly rate?

Tattoos are generally priced at an hourly rate of $175 per hour. Larger works are best booked in for a half-day session (3 hours) at $500 or a full day session (6 hours) at $950

*We feel it is very important to note that we get this question a lot! Hourly rates are often irrelevant. If you are looking for a cheap hourly rate, you are most likely looking for a bad or inexperienced tattoo artist. And an inexperienced tattoo artist is often a SLOW one, and can end up costing you MORE. Or you might end up with one that might give you a tattoo you end up regretting. Generally, the best tattoo artists in New Zealand will have a fairly similar rate, and your best bet is to pick an artist whose work you love and whose skill you trust. A busy artist has no reason to overcharge, and prefers to have happy customers who are return customers. A great tattoo artist usually simply loves their job and wants the best for their clients. 

How much do consultations cost?

Consultations are free and take place at 10.30am or 6.15pm Tuesday-Saturday.

Do I need to pay a deposit for my tattoo appointment and how much?

Usually we take a deposit of $50-$150 depending on the time involved in the project. Deposits are always cashed out at the end of the project. Deposits are non- refundable. If you need to cancel or move your appointment and give us more than 48 hours notice we will keep the deposit as shop credit for you.

Why do I need to pay a deposit?

Deposits are there to protect the artists from no-shows and last minute cancellations. They are a way of ensuring that the job will happen and that the client is serious. If you don't show up to your appointment your artist does not get paid. Failure to notify us within 48 hours or more than 3 reschedules will result in the loss of your deposit and the need to pay a new one to secure a new time.

Shop hours:

We are open from Tuesday through to Saturday from 10am till 6pm. Often our artist work after hours by appointment.

Things to remember before your appointment: 

Be on time for your appointment. It's best if you've had a good nights sleep and eaten something substantial before getting tattooed. The healthier you feel the better the experience will be. 

Aftercare: 

Remove bandage after two hours, wash well with warm soapy water and pat dry with a clean towel.
Air dry and apply a small amount of our recommended Protat after care cream. Repeat twice a day for fourteen days.
Please do not soak in water, do not swim in the sea or swimming pool, do not expose your tattoo to the sun until completely healed.
Do not itch, scratch or pick your tattoo. Keep clean at all times.

Human history and tattoos

Tattoos are nothing new. They’re not even old.

They’re ancient.

Humans have been tattooing themselves literally since before the dawn of civilisation. Think back to Biblical times with Jesus. Now keep going. Double that time frame to the building of the pyramids… and keep going.

In fact, double that again.

We’re heading back to a time when we had to worry about sabretooth tigers.

Timeline of Tattoos

10,000BC: We’re back in the Palaeolithic period, when tattooing for spiritual purposes is thought to have begun. We’re not certain, but it is believed tattoos were a way to ward off “evil spirits” and sickness.

3300BC: In 1991, two hikers in the Alps came across Ötzi the Iceman, a mummified Neolithic man. This 5,000 year old murder victim had over 50 tattoos!

1045BC-256BC: Tattoos in China during the Zhou Dynasty were associated with criminals, gangsters and bandits, with criminals often tattooed to warn others of their deceitful/dangerous past.

Samoa: The traditional method of Samoan tattooing has been carried out for 2000 years.

Maori: Moko tattoos of the past 1000 years differ from Polynesian tattoos in that the lines of the pattern are carved into the flesh rather than pricked into the skin.

1770s: Many of the global sailors exploring the planet along with the likes of Captain Cook, bring home tattoos from the pacific. This starts the long tradition and association of sailors and tattoos.

1876: Thomas Edison designs and patent an “electric pen”. In 1891 Samuel O’Reilly modifies the design to inject ink under the skin, and creates the first tattoo gun.

1898: An estimated one in five members of the British gentry was tattooed.

2010: The Ministry of Health releases guidelines on traditional tattooing to protect against infections, hepatitis and HIV.

2017: One in three Kiwis under the ages of 30 have a tattoo.

 

If you’re interested in getting a tattoo, Sunset tattoo studio in Auckland are the guys to call.

Tattoo ink in New Zealand

Surprisingly, the tattoo industry here in New Zealand isn’t regulated.

There are guidelines to follow of course, but actually following them is completely voluntary.

As long as all Health and Safety regulations are met, a tattoo artist here can get ink from anywhere in the world, and no one checks what’s in it.

We have some of the highest rates of tattooing in the world, with one in three Kiwis under 30 sporting ink.

Kiwi tattooists are expecting New Zealand laws to change soon when it comes to ink, as the European Chemicals Agency just published a list of potentially toxic chemicals used in some tattoos.

The Australian model

Tattoo artists in Australia are required to have a licence before inking someone, with breaches resulting in jail time, something New Zealand may soon copy.

And while there are plenty of reputable tattoo studios in the country, there are also far too many “home jobs”. Getting a tattoo in your mate’s garage because he was good at art in school is never a good idea.

Sunset Studio tattoo ink

Here at Sunset, we are proud to be an official distributor of the world-famous Eternal Ink.

Made from organic pigments, deionized water and hamamelis water, this bright coloured ink is free of animal by-products and even suitable for vegans.

They arrive sealed in a medical grade bottle, ensuring hygiene, and the ink pigments are regularly tested and comply with all health and safety regulations.

Eternal Ink is not tested on animals, so there’s no guilty conscious tagging along with every purchase.

Come to Sunset for your tattoo supplies

Not only do we use Eternal Ink, we also sell it. Through our sister site, Tattoo Studio, we offer the best selection of top-quality tattoo supplies at the most reasonable prices to the professional tattoo artists of New Zealand.

Eternal Ink are very picky about who they let sell their high-quality products. We are the only distributors in Auckland given this privilege and we take it seriously.

Contact us today if you’d like to order some of the finest tattoo ink at the cheapest prices, or head on over to Tattoo Station and take a look at the other tattoo supplies we offer.

 

 

May the 4th be with you!

It’s Star Wars day! And to celebrate, we’ve collected some of the coolest Star Wars tattoos we could find on the interwebs. All credit of course goes to the original artists, but if you want your own Star Wars tattoo, we’ll be happy to do one for you!

Darth Vader

Let’s start with the man himself. There are few cooler bad guys in all of fiction than Darth Vader, so who better to have by your side?

 

Darth Maul

The only thing good to come out of the Phantom Menace was this bad-ass. Darth Maul didn’t say much, but he made up for it with some kick ass backflips and to this day is the only person in the universe to kill Liam Neeson.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Everyone’s favourite father figure, an Obi-Wan Kenobi tattoo is a perfect substitute for the real thing not showing up as a ghost when the plot needs him to.

Han Solo

The galaxy’s most loveable rogue, who shoots first and asks questions later. Warning: A Han Solo tattoo may result in you smelling like a scruffy looking nerf-herder.

Boba Fett

A fan favourite, Boba Fett was for years the embodiment of cool - until someone pointed out he’s actually pretty crap. He only gets into one fight, and gets his ass kicked by a blind Han Solo.

Yoda

Yoda represents the Force, the balance between Dark and Light. He’s the very definition of calm, control and patience. That was until George Lucas had him jump around with a lightsabre in the prequels.

Princess Leia

The Galaxy’s greatest feminist, Princess Leia was chewing bubble gum and kicking ass from the start. And she ran out of bubble gum in the first five minutes of A New Hope.

R2D2

Beep beep, woop.

The Death Star

And of course the Death Star. There are few things more recognisable in the Sci-fi universe than the Death Star. With the power to destroy entire planets, one thing is for certain; that’s no moon.

If any of these awesome tattoos have given you an idea for one yourself, please don't hesitate to contact us today and we'll talk through your options.

Sunset get our tattoo supplies from Tattoo Station

Here at Sunset, we've been in the tattoo business for a long time. We know the difference between quality and cheap knock-offs. That's why we only get out supplies from Tattoo Station.

TATTOO STATION

Our sister company, Tattoo Station, started from humble beginnings, and is quickly becoming one of New Zealand’s finest tattoo supply companies, and all in an incredibly short period of time.

Sunset started as somewhere we could create artwork, in many different media, without stress or pressure, and in two short years we are now attracting some of the best tattoo artists in New Zealand, and overseas.

This studio may only be a few of years old, but we’ve all been in this business a long time, and after years of buying tattoo supplies at huge mark-ups from people who don't even tattoo, we became frustrated and decided to do it ourselves.

That’s when Tattoo Station was born.

CUT OUT THE MIDDLEMAN

Tattoo Station is a tattoo supply store for tattoo artists, by tattoo artists.

Forget the companies making a fortune off our backs; we’re bypassing them altogether.

We design and make our own tattoo supplies, and with combined decades of experience in the industry, we know exactly what works and what doesn’t.

We supply some of the highest quality needles in the world with our Botan range, along with one of the best aftercare creams available on the market, Protat.

Add to that the usual tattoo studio essentials, and we’ve got you covered for all your tattoo supply needs here in New Zealand.

Forget ordering from overseas, along with their huge mark-ups. Stay in Aotearoa, support Kiwi business, and save money and time while doing it.

Three Amazing Facts about tattoos

How much do you know about tattoos? Well, we are willing to bet you didn’t know this!

Check out these three amazing facts about tattoos to impress (or bore) your friends with the next time you’re at a party.

Thomas Edison invented the tattoo gun

Well, sort of. Thomas Edison is known as America’s greatest inventor, having over 1000 patents to his name, including the lightbulb, the motion picture camera and the phonograph. Although anyone who knows anything about Edison knows he was a thieving bastard. One of “his” inventions was a stencil-pens machine – basically an electric pen designed to duplicate writing. In 1891, Samuel O’Reilly discovered that Edison’s machine could be modified and used to inject ink under the skin, and later patented a tube and needle system to go along with it. Thus, stealing his idea (ha ha) and inventing the first tattoo machine.

It’s harder to remove tattoos on people who smoke

Tattoo removal is an expensive and sometimes painful treatment, which doesn’t really get rid of tattoos 100%. Tattoos are harder to remove from feet and legs than other parts of the body for some reason, but it’s even worse news if you’re a smoker. Research shows that people who smoke have a 70% less chance of getting a tattoo removed in 10 treatments.  

Even Barbie has a Tattoo

Everyone knows Barbie, but did you know Barbie is inked up? Toy maker Mattel had introduced the Butterfly Art Barbie in 1999, which featured a butterfly tattoo on the doll’s stomach. Temporary tattoos were also provided for the doll’s owners. However, it was discontinued after parents complained it was a “bad influence” on impressionable young girls.

Chicano tattoos – Symbolism and history

Chicano style tattoos are a very influential style, popular in America. The word Chicano is a chosen identity of some Mexcian Americans in the USA.

Characterised by black and grey colour, fine lines, detail and soft shading, Chicano style was made famous by Mexican gangs originating in LA, but most Chicano designs were created in prison.

Chicano symbols

Chicano tattoos are very meaningful and represent many different aspects of life, especially family, culture, and memories.

Usually incorporating realistic portraits, family, lost loved ones, girls, cars, low riders, clowns, guns, masks, celebrities and people from Spanish history.

Religion is also a large part of the Chicano style, with photo-realistic images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, crosses and praying hands all common.

The Eagle is also very common in Chicano tattoos, appearing not only on the Mexican flag, but as a symbol in Aztec culture.

Perhaps the most recognisable influence of Chicano style is the Mexican “Day of the Dead”. La Dia de los Muertos is a traditional time in Mexico to honour and remember those who have passed, and many tattoos around the world are now based on this event.

 

Chicano Tattoo History

The Chicano style tattoos first showed up in the Pachuco gang in the 1940’s, mostly consisting of the Pachuco cross tattoo between the thumb and index finger. Portraits of loved ones or religious icons were also a popular tattoo for Chicanos, but it wasn’t until the 1960’s until the Chicano style became popular outside the gang.

The most accessible ink in prison was simply black, so black and grey tattoos became popular in this style. It was during the 70’s and 80’s that the style was developed and refined on the streets of Los Angeles.

Today the Chicano style is popular all over the world, and if done right, can blow people away with their skill and beauty.

Say hello to the Navy’s first Moko tattoo

The changing face of New Zealand’s Royal Navy is a Maori one.

After two decades of service, Rawiri Barriball is the first person to have been given clearance to wear a full-face Maori tattoo.

Barriball had to apply under special Navy law first for approval, which was granted in December.

“I've always felt I was going get it, I just wanted to achieve a few things first, my own goals, and one of them was doing 20 years' service." He says.

People’s reaction

The tattoo is striking, and took Rawiri’s brother aprox 10 hours to complete.

But Rawiri noticed how people reacted differently to him almost immediately.

“When I left my brother's house, straight away you can see the reaction of people. Even body language, which I was prepared for, but the way people talk to you, it changes," he said.

“I guess with my job being a seaman combat specialist… We're face to face with people that we're trying to help different parts of the world, if they see something as in moko they might be a bit intimidated I guess."

Barriball hoped his moko would help breakdown the stigma around facial tattoos.

"I know there's a bad rap with people having moko... the more people that get it the more it will be accepted," he said. 

"It's not something you should be scared of - I'm just like any other human being."

See Sunset for a Maori tattoo

If you’re interested in getting a Maori tattoo design, then you should come see Tristan at Sunset Tattoo.

Tristan is of Te Rarawa descent, from the Hokianga in the far north. He graduated from the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts institute in 2014 with a diploma in Whakairo Rakau (traditional wood carving). Not long before Tristan graduated, he approached Tom about learning the craft of tattooing and bringing his knowledge of carving and Maori art over to the medium

Tristan is now tattooing full time with Sunset, and specializes in Ta Moko, Blackwork, pattern work, geometric and dot-work tattoo styles.

Don't forget about our new tattoo supply website!

If you’re searching online for tattoo supplies, then our new sister site, Tattoo Station is now up and running.

Sunset Tattoo is excited to bring you great deals on high-quality tattoo products and equipment.

Top of the range tattoo supplies

After years of buying tattoo supplies at huge mark-ups from people who don't even tattoo, we became frustrated and decided to do it ourselves. This new range of products is for tattoo artists, by tattoo artists. We know the difference between quality tattoo equipment and the cheap, nasty stuff, and we make sure you don’t get the latter.

Tattoo aftercare products

Tattoo Aftercare is an essential part of the tattooing process, and we like to make sure it’s getting done right. From basic health reasons (don’t pick at it) to aesthetic reasons (moisturise to keep the colours bright), there are do’s and don’ts to follow once you get a tattoo. Follow them and everything should be fine.

Protat Tattoo Aftercare Cream

At Sunset, we suggest Protat Aftercare Cream. Protat are the world’s first tattoo aftercare company. By using chemists from their development team and overseas they are constantly researching new ingredients, with natural products receiving special attention.

Each Protat product has been precisely formulated with highly experienced members of the tattoo and piercing profession. New developments by Protat can only benefit the industry and enhance respect for body art practitioners everywhere. Protat Premium After Care cream has been designed to be the primary product in the Protat range. It utilises the technology of the Soothing After Care Cream with the added ingredients.

So there you have it, our new venture into the tattoo supply business. Please take a look at our new site, Tattoo Station, and if you have any questions about tattoo supplies for your studio, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Why do tattoos always fade with time?

Everyone knows tattoos fade over time, it's just part and parcel of having ink, but have you ever wondered why they fade? Surely once you're tattooed then that should be that? And if tattoos do fade, then why don't they disappear completely over time? Well, get ready for a science lesson...

Getting under your skin

Basically, your skin is made up of two separate layers, an outer and inner layer. The outer layer is called the epidermis, and this layer heals itself easily. New skin cells grow underneath and over 3-4 weeks will gradually move up to the surface, replacing old skin. This is why you can get a scratch, but it's gone a couple of weeks later. 

The bottom layer, the dermis, is different. It's usually protected by the epidermis, so doesn't need to replenish itself every month. It is in this layer where a tattoo is injected, and because the dermis doesn't regenerate like the outer layer, the ink stays where it is. 

Why tattoos eventually fade

Ok, that explains why the ink stays where it is, but this doesn't explain why tattoos fade over time. Well, it comes down to the actual microscopic ink particles in your blood. They come in all different sizes, and some are bigger than others. Don't forget, this ink is a foreign body, and your white blood cells see it as a threat. They'll attack the ink particles and those small enough will be "eaten" by your white blood cells and removed from the body via the liver. You'll literally piss out your tattoo. As for the bigger particles, the white blood cells can't destroy those, so they stay in your body.

This is why tattoos fade over time. Some of the ink is taken by your body's natural immune system, and the rest is left, meaning it fades over time as the ink is broken down.

Your tattoo fades because there is literally less ink than there used to be!

If you're got some old tattoos that need a touch up, then give us a call. We'll be happy to restore your ink to its former glory.

Sunset are now official licensed distributors of Eternal Ink!

Sunset Tattoo Studio are proud to announce we are now official distributors of Eternal Ink, and are now selling it through our tattoo supply site, Tattoo Station.

Eternal Ink

Founded by Terry “Tramp” Welker in 1980, Eternal Tattoo Supply is a leader in the tattoo industry.

Eternal’s focus has always been on the art of tattooing and finding continuously better ways to support tattoo artists in their efforts to design long-lasting, high-quality tattoos.

The brand has grown to include Eternal Tattoo Ink, Welker Brand Tattoo Machines, and a variety of tattoo supplies, including tattoo needles, tubes and grips, latex gloves, stencil and art supplies, tattoo videos and books, and other tools of the tattooing trade.

Benefits of Eternal Ink

The rise of counterfeit tattoo ink has increase worldwide in recent years.

Eternal Ink has been a well-known brand of the highest quality for nearly 40 years.

Made from organic pigments, deionized water and hamamelis water, this bright coloured ink is free of animal by-products and is vegan.

Supplied in a medical grade sealed bottle, ensuring its longevity before and after opening, the ink pigments are regularly evaluated for testing and comply with all health and safety regulations.

Eternal Ink is not tested on animals. Although a Gorilla with a tattoo would be awesome.

Come to Sunset for your tattoo supplies

We offer the best selection of top-quality tattoo supplies at the most reasonable prices to the professional tattoo artists of New Zealand.

Eternal Ink are very picky about who they let sell their high-quality products. We are the only distributors in Auckland given this privilege and we take it seriously.

Contact us today if you’d like to order some of the finest tattoo ink at the cheapest prices, or head on over to Tattoo Station and take a look at the other tattoo supplies we offer.