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Video:How to Use a Tattoo Machine

with Jonathon Stewart

Learning how to properly use a tattoo gun requires both training and skill. Here, learn how it's done.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Use a Tattoo Machine

Tattooing is an art and requires considerable skill and practice. That's why using a tattoo gun, also known as a tattoo machine, is something that's best left up to the experts, especially since you must be a licensed professional to use one.
<h3>Information About How to Use a Tattoo Gun</h3>
Squire Strahan of Trilogy Tattoos in Brandon, Florida is here to show you how to do it.Let's start with the basics of a tattoo machine or iron. First off, it's not really a gun. That makes it sounds like punishment when what it really does is create incredible art. It's actually a hand-held device that allows the artist to embed indelible ink into the skin with a needle.While the original tattoo machines relied on rotary technology, today's devices use electromagnets.
<h3>Facts About Tattoo Guns</h3>
There are a number of features on a tattoo machine to point out. The machine has a power supply and a foot switch. This runs all the power and voltage to the machine so you can control the rate of ink that flows through the needle attached to the machine as you create the tattoo. The machine also has features that help the artist maintain control over needle depth, force of application for the ink, and the speed at which the tattoo is created. Other features are based on whether it is a long stroke or short stroke machine, which adds features related to width, length, stiffness, tension and angles that that artist can create.To get the best quality from the tattoo machine, it's all about the person using it.
<h3>More Information About How to Use a Tattoo Gun</h3>
There is a significant amount of time that must go into using these machines. A tattoo artist needs to get accustomed to how the ink flows through the machine and how to use it as a tool to draw, blend, color and shade the design into the piece of art that the customer imagined. Beyond skill and mastery of the machine, patience and focus are key traits that a machine just can't produce.
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It certainly does take practice to master how to use tattoo machines, especially when creating tattoos that just have black ink versus those that incorporate a number of color pigments. The machine is actually more than just one device. There are machines that handle lines, shading, and color and saturation. The liner machine lays the ink onto the skin in a single pass to create the dominant lines of the tattoo. This is typically the first step where an artist will either freehand or use a stencil. Then there is a shader machine that creates black shades or variants to sculpt lines. The color/saturation machine adds color and is used to blend. If you are interested in learning how to use a tattoo machine, you can learn from a licensed tattoo artist under an apprenticeship. You'll generally have to pay for the apprenticeship, but this will prepare you for a new career where you can turn your artistic endeavors into a satisfying lifeline.
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I'm Jonathon Stewart, with About.com.

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