This article was requested by a great artist
by the name of Nick Morte, and it is also about
a topic very close to my heart, when it comes
to modern tattooing.

What I will be talking about today, is the lack
and in some countries, almost total absence
of state regulations and legislation when it
comes to tattooing.

The way it is right now, in the western world
in countries like Denmark, Germany and the UK.
Tattooing is left to itself, without really seeing
any regulation or legislation regarding it.
Indeed most legislation that is put forward
regarding tattoos, is about who and what
you can’t tattoo. There is just about nothing
getting done, in regards to putting forward
regulation to protect the industry and its

See one of the main problems I have noticed myself,
Well as hearing many tattoo artists talk about.
The fact that anybody can just setup shop and buy
some tattoo gear and in fact scam anyone, who wouldn’t
know better, into getting a very bad tattoo done by them.

Another place where regulation is needed, is to help
make the industry of tattoo ink safer, for example by
regulating what tattoo inks  can be imported into a
given country, so that dangerous inks can’t be used on
unknowing clients. There is no shortage of problems
that can occur, when an individual gets a tattoo done
with sub-par tattoo ink, made to save money, instead
of making a great and safe tattoo.

We could continue listing problems from now and till
the cows come home, but here comes the kicker for me.
One of the main things I believe would do wonders all
over Europe and  the rest of the world with tattooing:
As a tattoo sociologist, which I talked about in my masters
degree thesis, I believe that if governments started recognizing
tattooing as a proper trade, there would be no limit to how
tattooing could be improved.
In regards to regulation that could be done,
as well as the systems that could be implemented,
to make sure more artists keep proper hygiene,
have the right inks and get the proper training
(through apprenticeships), required to create great
and safe tattoos.

Regulation, if the done right with the artists,
for example by creating a genuine education
(through apprenticeships), to become a tattoo
artist. This would mean that there would be
some form of registration of the people, who
go through an apprenticeship, through the
legal road. This sort of registration could then
be used, to create regulations, prohibiting people
who are not legally a tattoo-artist, from buying
tattoo equipment.
Of course this wouldn’t stop things like scratching
completely, but it would help to further legitimize
and secure the real tattoo studios, and their
business. It might even help change the stigma,
at least in regards to tattooed people and legal
tattoo artists.

I indeed I think, if tattooing got recognized, it would
be a short walk from there, towards working together
with the artists even further. Which would lead to
creating more regulations, that would help secure the
Industry, as well as making in safer for the clients.
This could be by imposing some sort of “smiley” system
in regards to hygiene, like they have for restaurants.
As well as implementing personal to check up on
Tattoo studios, to make sure they keep their work-
environment up to standard.

Another thing which could be done, through recognizing
tattooing as a proper craft, would be securing more
funds to secure more apprenticeships for upcoming artists.
This could in turn, make sure that these new young
artists, learn the proper hygiene and methods;
from what ink to use, to how you treat a client.
All working to make the industry safer and improving
it at the same time.

And in the end, all these changes that could be done,
through more regulation, created by working with
the artists and the industry, instead of against it.
would also work towards improving the stigma,
in regards to tattooed people and the industry.

Now I realize that I have talked a lot about legislation
In this article as well, but I hope people will see,
that the main focus here was on regulation and the
recognition of the tattoo craft.
Legislation is a topic in and off itself, which I would
gladly talk about in another post.

But I hope you all will enjoy this article too and
than you to Nick Morte, for requesting it.
You can check out nick at Lucky 7 Tattoo in Oslo.
As well as finding him on Instagram @nickmorte

Else keeping looking around on
and coming back for more Tattoo-logia!

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Have a great time people and stay awesome!