VOICES Age Restraint on Tattoos Equals Disastrous Self Inking Epidemic in the OC

Here is a picture of Matt Tischler who uses proper sanitation methods to tattoo in San Clemente at Wild at Heart tattoo parlor.

During one weekend, two under-aged local San Clemente seniors thought it would be a good idea to try what is referred to as “the stick and poke” method of tattooing. After hearing about how other students were finding directions on YouTube, they went ahead and got directions too. The results were not what these girls expected. The supply list posted on YouTube, consist of household items including: a Pencil, a sewing needle of medium size, a jar lid, a bottle of black ink, thread, a stove or other fire producing device, rubbing alcohol, anti bacterial soap, and unscented lotion. In the state of California a tattoo can only be given to an adult of age 18. So fixing a tattoo can only be done when these girls turn 18. And this could be disastrous Without proper sanitation and artistry skills, which could lead to infection or undesired results for the individual after the process.

“I wish it was better because on one side the line is to thick said Bella La Rosa, San Clemente high school student. Hopefully when my mom sees it, she will let me get it done professionally.”

La Rosa explained that after two weeks she does not like her self-inking of a Libra sign and when her mom finds out, she will get mad, but will most-likely pay for the redo. She will still have to wait a couple months.

“I’m ok with it because my best friend did it for me and makes it more meaningful,” said Sage Ortiz, a San Clemente honors student. “But if I’m going to have this on my body for the rest of my life, than I’ll have to get it cleaned up a bit,”

One lady who observed the inking feels it is a decision that will have life scarring effects when it comes to employment.

“The problem is when it is time to get a job, an employer might think it is a tattoo from jail because it looks unprofessionally done,” said a concerned local by the name of Suzanne Lewis.”It might just be the determining hiring factor against someone.”

According to a tattoo artist at Wild at Heart Studio in San Clemente, the age restraint cannot be lifted no matter what permission slip a parent signs, and mentioned that only in Nevada, the age limit is lowered to 17 years of age.

“I can pick out self made or prison-like tats right away by looking at the lines or shading involved,”said local OC beach tattoo artist Matt Tischler. “ License and paperwork are a huge part of the process because the OC Heath department is so strict.”

Tischler said he charges $125 an hour and has had to fix many tattoos due to stupid mistakes especially when people get one underaged or under the influence of drug and alcohol. The machine, needle and ink set-up are the most important sanitary parts of getting a tattoo. This is something taught thoroughly to professional tattoo artist. The worst thing that could happen during an improperly treated tattoo is a staff infection because it is still considered an open wound seven days after. The average tattoo artist takes two to five years to go through a apprenticeship due to sanitation methods and procedures. Artistry involved also goes past drawling lines that selfie-tatters don’t think about. These skills involve using color that will not show up faded blue later and proper needle size for varying thickness.