Looking back on a succesful year 2015…

By Tatto-Liz, founder of and spokes person for Independent Tattooers in Denmark (established 2012)..

Starting the year with approx 200 independent tattooers, apprentices, helpers and other people of the trade, Independent Tattooers slowly grew up to 330 members as per today…. Our estimated goal was 300 and surpassing this number with 10% just shows how the trade needed a network for tattooers.

Independent Tattooers is part of the Danish Standard Comittee working to set up a hygiene standard for tattooers in Denmark. This is part of the EU Standardization originally suggested by Andy Schmidt, Germany and DOT (Deutche Organizierte Tatowierer). A merging of the German, English and Dutch standards already implemented in these 3 countries with the in put from 27 other EU countries will be presented approximately in 2017/2018, and will become an EU-Standard for our industry. The EU commitee consists of both doctors, academics, health personal and a small group of professionel tattooists. And for our 1st meeting we ran through 60 issues to be discussed and the results was presented in Berlin at the following meeting.

Starting of with 25 engaged artists for our 2nd Hygiejne Course at lovely Islands Brygge with instructors from Sweden, TPE, Tattoo and Piercing Education – we ignitiated a new year offering to our members trying to lift knowledge and education hygiene-wise to another level. The consumers have starting to focus more on the studios who can actually state and present a certain level, a great step in the right direction.

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In April Independents Tattooers participate at the ECTP (European Congres of Tattoo and Pigment Research) in Bruges. Along with many artist, Andy Schmidt, DE, Mario Barth, USA, Terry Welker, USA,  Steven and Jorge, UK, Kari Kjelskau, N,  Zandra and Jens Bergström we had this 2.nd congress at the main hospital in Bruges among Dermatologists, Academics, Analysists etc. We had 3 days of congress with the results of the past two years studies in a wide range of tattoo related issues. Ink, Complications, each countries laws including an Indian Dermatologist from Bangalore Main Hospital speaking about the traditional tattooing among Indian women causing a lot of spread of syfillis desease due to lack of hygiene. Getting back to Denmark the information was shared in our network to the benefit of all members.

Being invited to participate with our network operating an information booth at the Copenhagen International Tattoo Convention was a great oportunity to launch our campaign towards artists and first time clients with important advices. We were also invited to have the press interviews in order to inform the Danish consumers about the mutual awareness within our trade on hygiene. And having a local company Wet-Wipe A/S sponsoring wet-wipes for all working artists, during the week, we implemented newer and safer products and brought the knowledge of this product to the artists.

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Private Photo:Hosting the 3rd Hygiene Course during summer, July 5th in 32 degrees showed the dedication of the participants. For the whole day sweating and learning at the same time proved that the Danish artists is taking their job very serious.

In September we had the honor once again, to get an invitation from the organizors of the Tattoo Comventions, to participate at the 3rd Freetown Tattoo Convention. A smaller but really cozy conventions where we had various Independent Tattoers in our informations booth, spreading the word of our non-profit network.

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At the 2nd meeting in the DS Danish Standard Commitee in October, Independents tattooers presented both our campaign towards tattooers and 1st time clients and our new audit model with is based on the Danish Standards were received very well and are kept there as documentation for our work. And Danish Standards members of the commitee greeted the model welcome. The new techniques among the increasing use of transparent dressings, patches, plaster (band-aids) among the tattooers, internationally, was presented by Independent Tattooers as an issue to be implemented and discussed in the EU-work, as we are talking future laws and orders for our trade.

As a consequence of this increasing and positive use, changing the aftercare procedures, we have, on behalf of the Independent Tattooers i Denmark. Suggested to make an international and or national study based of this change in our trade. The response to the comment from Professor Jørgen Serup, DK that though the use of this transparent dressing, patches, plaster (band-aid) has a really efficient effect on wound healing and widely used at the hospitals all over, and that he was concerned by the extra chemistry in the skin, the response was that tattooers often must retattoo after a certain amount of time, due to the wrong after care treatment by client with the result of loss of colour in the tattoo or other curcumstances which at the end gives the same amount in the skin in order to achieve a satisfactory result for the tattoo. At the hospital work, the changing from ointment to using the transparent dressing, patches, band aid after tattooing procedures at the plastic surgery field, has cut down numbers of 2. Visit for the patients, saving a lot of money and personal – as well as getting the patients through their reconstructions etc quicker.

Furthermore at the meeting in Danish Standard Commitee we brought up our wonder why a lot of the results given on the ECTP congress was not emphasized to the Danish Government and actions taken for informations campaigns as our own campaing, which we had tried to get financed by different organisations and by the Health Department without any success at all. The information from the Congress if spread nationally AND internationally would and could make a huge difference in lowering the number of complications in tattoos, a number which we still lack statistics and is non-recognisable among the old school tattooartist with 15+ years of experience… The risk of getting the tattoo infected while using this new type of dressing for 5 – 7 days, would lower and avoid so many problems for the client. And of course the savings in the health sector could be remarkable.

Finally at the Nordic Ink Tattoo Convention in Frederikshavn, North of the Mainland, Jutland, more Independent Tattooers  brought the information booth and sat up an info-both as part of their own tattoo-booth. More Independent Tattooers went to help out sharing the knowledge about our network, advices, handing out campaign flyers and small talked with visitors and artists. Another great way to meet and greet collegues.

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The vision of Independent Tattooers is first of all, to reach out to all tattooers in Denmark, their apprentices and helpers, in order to get the news, bad or good as fast as possible. If you don’ t have a network how could you possible obtain new about banned ink, bad products, good inventions etc.

In the work with our government a delegation of 9 Independent Tattooers along with our marketing expert we visited the Ministry of Health on May 5th by an invitation from the Minister of Health Nick Hækkerup. Just to have a small talk and discussion to enlighten a bit of the problems for the trade. Furthermore handing over our recommendations for a new and more efficient law instead of the existing law which was totally ignored by the artists.

We have set up a new model, the audit model according to Danish Standards Insta 800 and DS-2451-10. Quality control and Hygiene control in our studios at the same level as the hospitals small surgery room, ambulatories and clinics, dental clinics and institutions. 12 studios signed up to be within the first rounds of this auditing/accrediting model and being the first in Denmark getting certified just as in hospitals, carried out by a Consulting Company, Glad Consulting, who also audit and accredit the Danish Region Hospitals. The proto type of the model was carried out at Tatto-Liz studio and the studio passed with excellence with level 5 and 4 , where only 4 and 3 is required for this type of ”clinics” – a great succes that will be offered voluntarilyy at first – later on, it is our suggestion to the politicians to implement this model in a new and better law for the Tattooers in Denmark.

Independent Tattooers have reached out to all the political parties, all their representatives within Departments of Cultural, Tax and Environment, to take our suggestions into consideration in all means when trying to set up regulations for our trade. We strongly recommended this cooperation as a new rule made without the trade is clearly going to fail as the existing law about volunteerly registrations of tattooers never got any effect or attention.


Photo by Liz Kierstein:

During the year there has been a lot of debating, commenting, interesting articles, warnings of banned ink and a lot of other communication in our network. We can look back on a Year with a lot of dedicated Independent Tattooers using our net work exactly what it was supposed for… creating a positive, constructive and friendly network. Every debate, every post, every comment has been gratefully observed, as this shows the success of establishing a networks as Independent Tattooers.

2015 was also the year when we finally got our website www.dput.dk . An ongoing work to list all our members in different categories along with all our great ”Honorary International Members”. Artists from around the world whom we cooperate with – A valuable relation in order to exchange information, theories etc. Denmark being a little behind, profits from all the work already done in both Norway and Sweden – and we are very thankful for the permission to use the documents and material from both NTU, Norwegian Tattoo Union and SRT, Swedish Registered Tattooers.

For the 2016 we host our 5th and 6th Hygiene courses 21.02.2016 in Copenhagen and 15.05.2016 in Billund Centret, Jutland (Mainland). Trying to reach out to as many artists all over the country – making it easier for everybody to spend a day among fellow artists and getting more and new routines for better hygiene and  basic knowledge.

Independent Artists second most important vision is also to create a tattoo safe Denmark – And spreading the importance of everybodys awareness of avoiding complications for our clients, the consumers.

We thank all our sponsors: Deleted Tattoo, DK, Eternal INK, USA, Glad Consulting, DK, Lansky Supply, DK, MediaZink, DK, Supply Divison,DK, Tattoo & Piercing Education, SE and Wet-Wipe A/S for your support during the Year.

Thanking everybody for a succesful 2015 and wishing You a greater 2016.

On behalf of Independent Tattooers in Denmark

Tatto-Liz, Copenhagen, Denmark

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