LDS views on tattoos > Info Center > The 5 P's of Tattooing

The 5 P's of Tattooing
LDS views on tattoos

When tattooing it is important to remember the five P’s. Using them as a guide along with proper training, and completion of an apprenticeship will aid you in becoming a fantastic tattoo artist. Please remember that these articles are meant to provide information, and under no circumstance should it replace an apprenticeship under a knowledgeable tattoo artist.

First and foremost is the proper angle. You will need to maintain a forty five degree angle in order for the ink to be placed under the skin. If the angle is too close to ninety degrees (or straight up and down) the ink may seep back out of the puncture wounds you are creating. While on the other hand, too extreme of an angle and the design may end up off of the stencil you have placed.

The second “P” is the proper depth, if you have too much depth you are going to cause more pain to the client, and may cause unnecessary bleeding which could be detrimental to the tattoo. However, if you work too shallow, the ink will fade, and the flesh will end up looking like a cat attacked it instead of a tattoo artist.

Thirdly, we have the proper setup, this will help eliminate any problems that you might face. You will need to practice setting up, and tearing down your machine. Sterilizing the different parts, and learning how it all fits back into place. You will also need to learn how to efficiently set up for a tattoo, getting all of the essentials ready to begin.

Fourth we have the palm placement, using your palm effectively will help in controlling and balancing the machine. Trying to hover your hand over the tattoo will most likely result in squiggly line work, and poor shading, and has a greater risk of fatigue.

Last but certainly not least, we have our fifth P, Practice. All artists will need to practice before preforming a tattoo. Giving a tattoo without practice, will result in a poor tattoo. You will need to practice everything from your drawing skills, to tattooing. I would highly suggest getting practice skin for any apprentice, however it doesn’t hurt to continue throughout your career as an artist.
If you find yourself lacking in a certain area, take it to the fake skin, often times they have straps to attach them to a limb of your choice, this will help familiarize yourself with the awkward angles that the body has.

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