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Tattoo Truth



On July 14, TLC debuted Tattoo School, a TV show about a tattoo school that trains people to tattoo in two weeks and certifies them as tattoo artists. I have been tattooing for 14 years and have never had an apprentice learn this skill any faster than two years, so this is a huge problem and has many, like myself, outraged, insulted and disgusted.

I am part of the boycott that, as of four days ago, was over 65,000 strong. This tattoo school and others like it present a huge health risk that could easily turn into a nationwide epidemic.

Since the tattoo TV shows first began airing, we have noticed a huge influx of “scratchers.” “Scratchers” is the name given to untrained tattooists who should not be tattooing; this includes some in actual studios and some who are in their homes. In Davis County alone, I have seen many cases of MRSA, which is a nasty case of staph and is very resistant to antibiotics. It takes months just for one to learn about the dangers of cross-contamination and for disease prevention to become a consistent work habit.

The Legislature told me they want us to regulate our own industry, which was appalling. Right now, anyone can buy the equipment and open shop in Davis County—yes, that’s right, nothing is needed but a business license and a health-department certificate.

They are regulating the tanning industry harder in Utah than the tattoo industry … why is this? I am not saying we need crazy regulations, but we do not have many at all right now—there is definitely a happy medium.

I have offered my services to the health department many times and would be glad to help them rewrite the regulations.

My point in bringing local problems up in this letter is to provide information about issues we already have to deal with without a show like this. There is no way you can learn much of anything in two weeks!

Jared Preslar
Owner, Lucky Bamboo Tattoo