To whom it may concern,
It has recently come to my attention the some if not all of your Dick Blick stores may be selling tattoo pigment along with tattoo supplies in the future. Having learned this, I am quite concerned. Tattooing is a profession in which an individual undergoes an apprenticeship for at least 2 years. In that time, he or she is taught the proper, safe way to tattoo. They learn all aspects of tattooing. The history, technical aspects, cross contaminations precautions, proper sterilization techniques, and proper set up and break down of their work stations among many other areas of the trade.
Professional tattooers tend to purchase their supplies, i.e. machines, pigments, needles, tubes etc. from reputable, trusted suppliers who limit their sale to professionals only. This is done to protect the public from what is known in the industry as a "Scratcher". A "Scratcher" is someone who choses not to learn the safe practices that are constantly evolving. These people scar, disfigure and spread infection and disease to unsuspecting "clients". These people usually tattoo in their homes. They buy their supplies on auction sites or from unrepeatable suppliers from over seas who care only about making money.
As you may or may not know, many true professional tattooer do in fact purchase their art supplies from Dick Blick. I myself spend quite a bit of money there myself. Having said that, we as a whole do not need you to provide tattoo supplies of any kind to myself or any other professional tattooer. We have plenty of sources as it is. By making these items readily available to the general public, my fear is that it will make it even easier for the average person off the street to acquire said items. Thus, potentially spreading disease and infection.
This may sound irrational to you but it is a very serious problem these days. With the advent of many tattoo related television show on the air, people, mostly teens feel they can do what they see. They can not. Please help us as a whole to fight this problem our industry faces by not retailing ANY tattoo related goods.
I thank you for your time and consideration in reading this letter.
Al Brodeur, Tattooer, 15 years