BY: Austin Harrington
Local Tattoo Artist is Popularizing the use of Black Light Ink
Chris Blackstone owner of Blackstone Ink is a small shop located off U.S. Highway 92 and Hardwood drive in Acworth, GA has become well know through the use of Black light ink.
Black light ink goes on like a regular tattoo but when it dries it is completely invisible except under a black light. Black light tattoos are a design option that Blackstone Ink offers that no one else in the Kennesaw area offers.
This provides people with tattoos that are acceptable in a working environment. The work that can be done with the ink is not limited ether full sleeves and shading can all be done in black light ink. However, rumors surrounding black light ink suggest it is linked to cancer.
Blackstone said, “Black light ink doesn’t cause cancer. Those are rumors started by artists who are two afraid to use it. Black light ink is 100 percent FDA approved and made in Arizona.”
Blackstone, 33, is the lead tattoo artist and co-owner of Blackstone Ink. Blackstone has been around tattoos all his life starting out when his cousin was a tattoo artist when he was kid.
As he grew up he became more interested in tattoos and learned tattooing from his cousin Devin Thomas. Blackstone has been tattooing for the last seven years and has had his own shop since 2007.
Julia Thompson, the other owner of Blackstone Ink, is in charge of managing the shop. Blackstone believes in being up front with his customers and will match the price of any other shops tattooing in the area.
The store is easily missed if you don’t see its sign posted with the other businesses in the shopping strip. The inside of the shop is spotless and the walls are not covered with pinups and favorite designs, but signatures of all the people who have been tattooed there.
There are four booths in the store each designed with three or four of the artist’s favorite pictures. The most interesting booth is the closed in privacy booth because when the lights go off a black light turns on and invisible tattoos are designed.
Blackstone believes in more than just black light ink. He believes in doing things the right way and the only thing displayed on the wall larger than the signature of past costumers are his licenses from Cobb County Department of Health that say he is a certified tattoo artist.
Blackstone wants people to know that he is a professional and takes tattooing seriously. He doesn’t want the industry to continue to be associated with gangs and violence.
Blackstone not only wants licenses displayed in his shop but wants other shops displaying these as well. Over the last several months he has been engaged in making sure another local tattoo shop Cat’s Meow which was previously unlicensed received a visit from a health inspector and received its license.
Nathan Heinrich, another artist at Blackstone Ink, said, “What Chris is doing is holding tattoo shops to a higher standard that should exist in a company, who is responsible for putting designs on people that last a lifetime.”
Ten Things that you should think about before getting a tattoo, according to tattoo artists Chris Blackstone and Nathan Heinrich
1. Think about the design before getting it. A tattoo should have some meaning or a personal twist unique to the customer. Blackstone said, “A tattoo is meant to be a timeline of people’s lives. Get a tattoo that means something.”
2. Make sure to eat something to build up strength. Tattooing still draws blood and someone who isn’t prepared physically could pass out.
3. Eat some candy or sweets before being tattooed. The sugar makes in the blood makes it less likely the customer will bleed as much.
4. Never get a tattoo off the wall. These designs are cheap and mean nothing to the customer. They are often quick and simple designs that allow artists to make a quick buck.
5. Don’t let your artist talk you out of your idea. Never leave a tattoo shop wondering how you ended up with this design
6. Don’t go to an artist or a shop that isn’t licensed. If they are not licensed they have no credibility and any customer who is unsatisfied with their work can sue them.
7. Know your artist. Talk to your artist. They are designing an image that will be on your body the rest of your life. Make sure you can trust them.
8. Talk to other clients. Find out how they were treated, what they thought of the shop and if they would return.
9. Purchase a lotion or ointment to apply to the tattoo to ease the pain. Make sure the product isn’t petroleum based. Aquaphor is most recommended.
10. Have a list or an understanding of basic tattoo care for after the tattoo. Blackstone Ink provides this list after every tattoo.