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.

Sunset Tattoo welcomes Spanish artist Miguel!

Sunset Tattoo are honoured to announce we’ll be having a new guest artist joining us in April.

M13tattoo, otherwise known as Miguel, is a Spanish artist who has been tattooing for almost 3 decades.

Miguel is a well-travelled man, and has been on the road tattooing thousands of people since 1996!

His travels have seen him in dozens of countries, but now he’s here in New Zealand and we’re lucky enough to have him at Sunset.

Miguel’s Script Style

Miguel is an expert in script tattoos, and is top of his field with Chicago Style.

The script style of tattoo lettering is designed to imitate polished handwriting in a cursive style.

Tattoo script is often delicate and can be difficult to produce for an artists who isn’t especially experienced.

Much like calligraphy, tattooing script takes a lot of practice and a fluidity that doesn’t always come natural.

This is where Miguel’s 30 years of practice come in handy.

The Great Auckland Flash Party

Miguel happens to be here at the same time we’re having our second Great Auckland Flash Party!

On Friday 7th and Saturday 8th of April, we’ll be taking walk-in’s from the street. You can walk in, pick a tattoo off the wall, and we’ll do it at a reduced price.

Or book ahead with your favourite artist. Some of these guys are booked months ahead or live in different cities so it’s a great opportunity to get an affordable one-off tattoo.

Every time we do this it gets more fun, bigger, and better. Get in quick or miss out!

You can check out Miguel’s work here, or hit him up on Instagram and Facebook.

The Great Auckland Flash Party 2017

The Great Auckland Flash Party is back for another year!

Last year was such a roaring success, we’ve made this year even bigger and better. This year we are absolutely stoked with our amazing line-up of some of the best traditional tattoo artists and leading innovators in the NZ tattoo scene.

How does it work?

Same as last year - We bring together some of New Zealand’s best Tattoo artists for two days of tattoo madness.

Each artist will put a variety of fresh new line drawings up in the shop over the coming weeks, with special one-time only, lower than usual pricing!

You can walk in on the day, pick a design, and get it done, or pre-book with your chosen artist by emailing olwen@sunsettattoo.co.nz.

Who’s going to be there?

We have some of the very best tattoo artists ready and willing to give you a design you’ll love for ever. Sunset’s own resident artists Fabian Bidart and Tom McMillan will of course be there, along with our new colleague  Capilli Tupou from Ten Tigers Tattoo.

This year we’re turning it up to eleven, with guest artists like the amazing Matt Jordan (@mattjordantattoo), Sam Carter, Rohan Skilton (@deathorglory666tattoo) and James McKenna (@j__mckenna) to name but a few.

Shut up and take my money!

Tattoos will range from around $100-$300. Some of these artists are booked months ahead or live in different cities so it’s a great opportunity to get an affordable one off tattoo from one of your favourite artists.

Every time we do this it gets more fun, bigger, and better. Get in quick or miss out!

All artist are taking limited bookings each morning. Contact the studio if you would like to secure a time! 

Tattoo supplies: For tattoo artists, by tattoo artists

After years of working in the tattoo industry, we got sick of having to pay the middle man for all our supplies. That’s why we’ve started selling our own, cutting out the ‘businessman’ in the middle, and bringing high-quality tattoo supplies to the studios right here in New Zealand at reduced cost.

We are excited to announce our new range of tattoo supplies and aftercare products. Our new sister site, Tattoo Station is now up and running, bringing you unbelievable deals on high-quality tattoo products and equipment.

BOTAN PREMIUM NEEDLES

Botan Premium Tattoo Needles are the best possible quality tattoo needles available in New Zealand today. Developed by us right here at Sunset Tattoo, these incredible tattoo needles give the absolute best result no matter what style you are working in.

PREMIUM CUSTOM DISPOSABLE TUBES

We have been running our tattoo studio completely with disposable tubes for the past few years, and during those years we have tested every disposable tattoo tube on the market that we could find. Many tubes lacked proper ink flow, felt bad to use, or would fall apart easily. After years of testing, we have found the best possible tubes, with the best ink flow and the sturdiest construction. They are simple, but they do the job better, making colours brighter, with amazing ink flow.

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.

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.

Why a cheap tattoo can turn out to be the most expensive

Ok, we get it. Everyone loves a bargain. And there’s certainly nothing like finding a gem in an op-shop now and again. Living in a consumerist society, we’re trained to find the cheapest price for things, and the less we pay, the better off we are.

But tattoos are different.

Never choose a tattoo on price

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.

Sometimes the cost is more than financial

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 it’ll probably look completely shit.

 

Remember, good tattoos aren’t cheap, and cheap tattoos aren’t good.

Sunset welcomes Capilli Tupou and Ten Tigers Tattoo!

Sunset Tattoo is stoked to announce that the world famous Capilli Tupou will be working with us from now on.

Capilli has been working in New Zealand and all over the world for the past decade and will be running his own brand new studio from inside the Sunset Tattoo building!

Ten Tigers Tattoo

Welcome Ten Tigers Tattoo! Over the next year Capilli will be hosting plenty of amazing international guests, right here in Cross Street. Ten Tigers guarantees a clean environment, friendly atmosphere and quality workmanship. 

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.

Seeking a career change where he could use his creative abilities, Capilli began tattooing in 2008 and found himself a place with Two Hands Tattoo.

In 2011, Capilli took up an opportunity to join Sacred Tattoo , before returning to Two Hands Tattoo in late 2015.

A renowned and respected tattoo artist

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.

It is our genuine pleasure to welcome him to Sunset, and we look forward to seeing some of his amazing work in the coming months.

If you would like to make a booking with Capilli, you can contact him by clicking here. Or if you’d like to make a booking here at Sunset, you can contact us by clicking here.

We are happy to help with any questions you might have. If you are after a custom tattoo, please send us a description of what you are looking to get done, and we can pair you with the right artist. From there we can book you in for a free consultation. 

If you already have an existing image that you would like to get tattooed, just send it through to us and we should be able to quote it for you.

Sunset Tattoo are heading to Tauranga this month!

The New Zealand International tattoo expo will be held in Tauranga on the 18th and 19th of February this year, and Sunset Tattoo will of course be attending.

Fabian, Mash and TomTom will be heading down to the Bay of Plenty to show off their skills and catch some sunshine.

NZ International Tattoo & Art Expo

The New Zealand International Tattoo & Art Expo is a lively and interesting experience.

Now in its seventh year, the expo continues to outdo itself. This year featuring an even more impressive line-up of artists and performers at Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre, Tauranga.

Top of the must-see list for many will be our Ink Masters travelling all the way from the USA. We have Kamil, Tatu Baby & Jime, and over 150 tattoo artists from all around the world, including the very best New Zealand tattoo talent, will also be present over the weekend.

Other attractions not to be missed this year include: Tiki Tane, plus the ever popular Miss Tattoo NZ, NZ vs Australia 4 man HMB (Historical Medieval Battles), a fashion show, and aerial silk contortionists.

We have a selection of store to browse in our Market Place and a some of your best local NZ chefs with a series of food trucks.

Don’t miss out on this must-see event for anyone interested in having a good time, surrounded by the unique and quirky! Be sure to book your tickets now to secure a space for your friends and family today.

Sunset Artists at the Expo

Fabian, Mash and Tom will be there, each specialising in their own styles.

Originally from Chile, Fabian is experienced in western traditional tattoos. Mash also specialises in western traditional, but adds his own unique twist. Tom, the founder of Sunset, is skilled in Japanese style tattoos.

All our artists have years of experience, and are open to discussing anything you would like designed. Contact the studio now to make your booking.

Tattoo Myths Busted (Part two)

Following on from last week’s article about tattoo myths, here’s part two. How many of these do you believe?

Myth: You can’t donate blood after getting a tattoo

You can absolutely donate blood after getting a tattoo, but there is of course a waiting period. It differs from country to country, but here in New Zealand, you can give blood six months after getting a tattoo. We recommend donating- you can save someone’s life, and maybe someday someone will save yours.

Myth: Anyone who can draw can tattoo

This one always gets us. Remember that one kid in class who was amazing at drawing, but pretty dumb at everything else? He could draw Eddie from Iron Maiden and it looked AWESOME, so one day his friend decides he wants a tattoo. “I’ll do it for free!” Bad idea. Just because someone can draw, doesn’t mean they can tattoo. Without the proper training, equipment, health & safety knowledge or technical ability, all you’re going to end up with is a mess that will need to be covered up by a professional anyway. Don’t even think about it.

Myth: Black ink tattoos will turn blue over time

While this may have been true 50 years ago, the advancements in tattooing ink have made sure it doesn’t happen today. That old, faded blue tattoo your uncle has isn’t a true representation of tattoos in the modern world. With the latest tattoo supplies, your new ink will look awesome for years to come!

Myth: You should take a painkiller before getting a tattoo

This sounds like a good idea, but it’s not. A lot of painkillers have anticoagulant properties, which will thin your blood and make it difficult to clot. This in turn means you’ll bleed more, and that brings its own problems, such as a higher risk of infection. Popping a couple of aspirin before going to get your tattoo may seem like the sensible thing to do, but please don’t.

 

 

Tattoo Myths Busted (Part one)

For those who would never dream of getting one, a tattoo can seem like something dangerous, rebellious or even crazy. Of course, if these people would simply sit and talk with anyone who has a tattoo, they would soon realise they are just normal, everyday people.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths about tattoos. Some of these myths go back hundreds of years, but others appear along with new technology or cultural watersheds. In this article, we bust a few of the most common tattoo myths.

Myth: Only gang members have tattoos

Oh please, do we even have to debunk this one? Especially here in New Zealand? We have perhaps the most tattoos per capita in the world, and obviously not everyone is a gang member! And yes, it’s true gang members are notorious for their tattoos, but that doesn’t mean everyone with a tattoo is in a gang. That’s like saying both Hitler and Stalin had moustaches, so everyone with a moustache is an evil dictator!

Myth: Tattoos only hurt if you’re a wimp

Ask any 'tough guy' if his tattoos hurt, and you’ll probably get a “Of course not!” in response. Maybe even a “I fell asleep during mine!”. Here’s the thing- pain is subjective. What hurts one person may not hurt another. People have different sensitivity, especially when it comes to skin. And of course, WHERE you get a tattoo is also a huge factor in how painful it will be. It’s true some people feel nothing, but it’s also true others scream the studio down. You just don’t know which one you’ll be until you go!

Myth: Getting a tattoo can be a health risk

Ok, let’s be clear here; anything can be dangerous if not done correctly. Tattoos are no exception, but as for the myth that you’re risking catching Hepatitis or HIV, well the statistics don’t agree. Licensed tattoo studios must undergo strict health and safety checks by the council, and for this reason, there has NEVER been a single documented case of HIV transmission from a tattoo in New Zealand.

 

So how many of these myths about tattoos did you believe? Check back next week for part two of our bullshit-o-meter!

Interesting facts about Japanese Tattoos

Did you know that in some Japanese bath houses, anyone with a tattoo is refused entry? Seems a bit harsh, even for a conservative country like Japan, but the reason goes back hundreds of years…

Irezumi is the name given to tattooing in Japan, and refers to many different forms of traditional Japanese tattoos, or modern forms inspired or derived from them. Just to confuse things, the word can be written AND spoken in several different ways, and also translate into several different words, although the most common is literally “insert ink”.

Japanese tattoos date back thousands of years, but their meaning and role in society fluctuates with different time periods. It was around the Kofun period (300-600 AD) that tattoos began to take on negative associations. Criminals were tattooed as a form of punishment, so others would know they had committed a crime.

Tattoo fads came and went over the next thousand years, but the stigma lingered, and at the beginning of the Meiji period, tattoos were outlawed altogether. Of course, when you outlaw anything, you only drive it underground, so tattoos were now officially the cool thing to have, and as Japan opened up to the West, many came to seek the skills of traditional Japanese Tattoo Artists.

The connotations with criminality still persisted, with many associating tattoos with the Yakuza, Japan’s infamous mafia. This gave tattoos in Japan a stigma which is still seen today in the bath houses and other Japanese businesses. Japanese tattoos were legalised again after the war, but even today, a tattoo studio is hard to find. It is estimated there are around 300 tattoo artists in Japan; an incredibly small percentage considering its 127 million population.

If you’re interested in Japanese tattoos, then come see Tom at Sunset Studios. He's spent years studying Japanese tattoos and is always up for a chat about any design ideas you have.

Sunset Tattoo are proud to launch our new website: Tattoo Station

Sunset Tattoo are excited to announce our new range of tattoo supplies and aftercare products. Our new sister site, Tattoo Station is now up and running, bringing you great deals on high-quality tattoo products and equipment.

 

High Quality 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

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.

Celebrate 2017 with your first tattoo!

New Year, new you! maybe you got some cash for Christmas from Granny, or maybe you've finally turned 18. People get tattoos for different reasons, but no matter what your motives, it always pays to do your research beforehand. There’s a few things you need to be aware of before getting your first tattoo. Things like...

Avoiding alcohol before and after

Having a wee drink before you get your first tattoo may seem like a good idea, just to give you that little bit of Dutch courage, but don’t be tempted. Alcohol is an anti-coagulant, which means it thins the blood. This thinning makes you bleed more during the tattooing, making it more difficult for the ink to settle properly. This can skew your new design, and make the recovery process take longer. Alcohol of course also impairs your judgment, so getting drunk before going into a tattoo parlour is never a good idea for obvious reasons.

Aftercare is everything!

Getting a tattoo isn’t like getting an injection; it’s not over once you leave the room. The next few days are extremely important for the healing process. You may have seen people with cling wrap around a new tattoo, but this isn’t a good idea. Your skin needs oxygen to breathe and heal itself, and wrapping it in plastic turns it into a bacterial playground, which can lead to infection. Clean and moisturise the tattoo the week after getting it, and you should be fine. Ask your Sunset tattooist about our range of aftercare creams.

Choose your tattoo wisely

Many people have foreign words or symbols tattooed on their bodies, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Chinese, Japanese or Arabic characters can look amazing, but make sure you know what they translate as. No matter how good they look, if you’re new ink means “Roundabout ahead” then you’re going to look like a bit of a dick in any language.

Come see us at Sunset Tattoo and we’ll make your first tattoo something special that you’ll never regret. 

Merry Christmas from Sunset Tattoo!

Merry Christmas from everyone here at Sunset Tattoo Studio! Tis the season to be jolly and what better way than to treat yourself with some new ink! or even better, treat someone else! 

To keep with the festive spirit, here's three mind-blowing facts about tattoos you can whip out around the Christmas dinner table to impress Grandma.

TATTOOS AND THE LAW

You’d think that because it’s your body, you can do what you want with it, right? Guess again. Tattoos have a long and complicated history with the Law, all over the globe. Tattoos in Japan were illegal during parts of the 19th and 20th Centuries, and even today are banned from many public sectors, such as bath houses or Government jobs. And it’s not just a history lesson. New York City banned tattoos between 1961 and 1997, due to health concerns. Even today in turkey, tattoos are banned by law.

PRISON TATTOOS

While tattoos can be a form of expression, rebelliousness, or even just a drunken mistake, some tattoos are a lot more serious. Prison tattoos are fraught with symbolism and meaning. From the Yakuza in Japan, to White Supremacist groups in the States, tattoos are a way to tell a story, or to tell others who or what you represent. Tattooing in American prisons is strictly forbidden, but of course that doesn’t stop it from happening. The tattooing equipment can be anything from modified ballpoint pens, to guitar strings.

BATTLE OF THE SEXES

Did you know more women have tattoos than men? A recent survey (admittedly in America), showed that 59% of people tattooed were women, compared to 41% of men. Women may be more adventurous when it comes to getting a tattoo, but they also tend to regret it more than men, with a higher percentage opting for tattoo removal. This is due to the fact that women tend to add more significance to their ink, usually having a deeper meaning for them.

So there you go, three simple, yet incredible facts about tattoos. If you’re interested in getting your first, or fiftieth tattoo, come see us here at Sunset Studios. Call us today to book an appointment, or if you've any questions.

Te Moko - The art of Maori tattoos

The styles and methods of tattooing in 21st century New Zealand are extremely diverse. From traditional Maori and Pacifica styles, through to modern Anime, the style is varied, but tattooing first began in New Zealand with Ta Moko.

 

The early days of Te Moko

It’s impossible to establish when Ta Moko started as there are no written records pre-colonisation, as there was no formal Maori written language. Instead, historians have had to rely on archaeologists and the accounts of the first European settlers. Excavated sites have found tattooing tools dating back to the very earliest settlers, with some of the tools the same as the ones used in Samoa. Although the patterns and designs vary throughout the Pacific when it comes to tattoos, the technique of rhythmically tapping a bone chisel, lashed to a small wooden shaft remains the same.

Some of the earliest accounts of tattooing in New Zealand were by Sydney Parkinson. Parkinson was Captain James Cook’s artist on board the Endeavour, when it landed in Poverty Bay in 1769. He sketched and painted local Maori displaying their Moko, and described in detail the different styles and patterns he witnessed.

The Explorers noticed that Maori women were not as extensively tattooed as the men. Their upper lips were outlined, usually in dark blue, and their nostrils were also very finely incised. The chin moko was always the most popular, and continued to be practiced even into the 1970s.

Telling a story through tattoos

Ta Moko facial tattoos aren’t just for decoration, they also tell a story. A person’s ancestry is indicated on each side of the face. The left side is generally (but not always, depending on the tribe) the father's side, while the right-hand side indicates the mother's ancestry. If one side of a person's ancestry was not of rank, that side of the face would have no Moko design. Likewise if, in the centre forehead area there is no Moko design, this means the wearer either has no rank, or has not inherited rank.

Talk to Tristan

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.

Pregnant and want a tattoo? Read this first

There are two common questions revolving around tattoos and pregnancy. One; Should I get a tattoo while pregnant? and two; what will happen to my tattoos when I become pregnant? It’s a bit of a grey area, but we’ll try our best to answer them here.

I'm pregnant - can I get a tattoo?

Well, that’s not really the right question. Of course you CAN get a tattoo, but SHOULD you get a tattoo is more pertinent. While there is no solid scientific evidence to say what happens, the overwhelming consensus is that pregnant women should avoid getting a tattoo. There’s always a worry of Hepatitis or HIV, and while in reality this is practically impossible, the concern never truly goes away.

The main reason not to get a tattoo while pregnant is the chemicals in the ink. We know they may not have an effect on an adult, but we can’t tell for sure what effects they may have on a wee foetus. And when dealing with unborn children, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Any expectant mother will have no problem waiting a few months to a new tattoo.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY TATTOOS DURING PREGNANCY?

Ladies, that tattoo across your abdomen may look cool now, but if you’re planning on having kids, you can expect to it change dramatically in the process. Your skin is going to change so much while pregnant, it will have an irreversible impact on the ink, which not even retouching will correct. Distortion and discolouration are the two big aspects you should know about, although there are precautions you can take. Moisturise regularly to improve the skin’s elasticity, making sure whatever oils or creams you use are safe for the baby.

At the end of the day, every woman is different, and each person’s skin will react differently to pregnancy. Those who are blessed with good skin might not even notice a difference in their tattoos a few weeks after giving birth. Others may have stretch marks that turn that portrait of Jesus into Sloth from the Goonies. Either way, you’re probably going to be too busy changing dirty nappies to worry about it!