By Landon Lewis
On October 21st, 2012 40 professional tattoo artists, body piercers and studio owners convened in Harrisburg, PA for a think tank gathering. The catalyst for the meeting was the auditor general's recent announcement which proposes state legislation for tattoo studios. We were motivated to share ideas, thoughts and concerns about the status of our trade in our state...
The overwhelming consensus was that there is a need for a statewide network of professionals working in tattoo studios. The group has an interest in raising the standard of awareness, practice and advocacy statewide. We support safe and professional tattoo studios and education. Being that we are in an unregulated state and the auditor general's recommendation was quite vague, we are not currently taking a stance on the legislation. But we do see a need for a professional group to act as a state watchdog. A voice of concerned professionals prepared to act, should our state decide to enact new laws. Our goal is NOT to usher in legislation, but to have a coherent voice ready to respond in the event of legislative action.
There was a unanimous decision to start the process of forming a group, and we settled on a temporary name, The Professional Tattoo Studio Safety Coalition of PA. We hope to simplify our moniker over the next few months, and we will be employing a forum for communication, online at www.patattoosafety.com. All decisions were reached through group discussion followed by a show of hands vote. Our chosen course of action was based on a majority, or near majority agreement.
We are planning our second meeting for mid to late November, where we intend to further define and structure our organization. From there we hope to take meetings to other geographical locations across our state, and seek out like-minded professionals interested in joining our efforts. All tattoo artists, piercers and shop owners are welcome at our sessions, as long as you are working in a brick and mortar studio. Any inquiries can be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Landon Lewis, tattooer