Tattoos and body piercing background in Oaxaca, Mexico, through the eyes of a lawyer
All Kaireddyn (Kai) Orta began making his own rudimentary tools for tattooing in 1996, while still in high school here in Oaxaca, Mexico. One day a neighbor saw the use of a shoe box and asked what was in it. Kai showed him the right engine, needles, ink and other accessories. The neighbor was the recipient of the first tattoo Kai. Kai, then we started doing tattoos on his classmates.
Kai had been interested in tattoos (Tatuajes) and piercing (perforación) since childhood. It was natural for him because his father was a professor of history, constantly telling stories about the rituals of indigenous peoples of Mexico. There was no shortage of books in the house with pictures of pre-Hispanic people who used to adorn themselves. Kai ate everything.
But youth throughout Kai, was to see the tattoos of meat a rarity. Besides books and sometimes meet a person tattooed on television, he would only have a real opportunity to actually see people living with tattoos and piercings when they glimpse mainly North American and European tourists go on streets in downtown Oaxaca City, a hotbed of international tourism.
The modern tradition of tattoos and piercings have been established in countries such as Canada, USA, Spain and Britain, long before arriving in Mexico. Just as many performances of new subcultures, it takes up to ten years to take hold in Mexico, especially in remote areas and conservative in the country, like Oaxaca.
The state of Oaxaca has generally been physically isolated from the northern half of the country, and even the rest of the world until the arrival of the Panamerican Highway in the 1940′s. Although the foreign adventurer would make his way to Oaxaca from then until early 1960, was the hippie movement of the late and in the 1970′s that opened south of Mexico to the notion of North America and European cultures-conservatives, including tattoos and piercings below. However, the dominant sentiment of the Mexican bourgeoisie was that their children should be isolated from foreign students, and represented all their sub-culture.
Jump forward to 1990. Change beginning to emerge in Oaxaca. tattoos, piercings and other nontraditional forms of expression began to be perceived as integrate the entire Western world. The display of money and promotion of its magazines pierced and tattooed stars became commonplace. Oaxaca has been read. And that included his legacy, which was subsequently forced to recognize if we do not accept the ritual behavior of their grandchildren (and to a lesser extent, their children) can not be equated to something sneaky, dirty and evil as a mere consequence of or she looks into the hole and paint the body permanently. Many in the youth culture of Oaxaca have been developing their critical thinking skills through higher education, therefore, better able to make informed decisions, stand up for them and celebrate them.
Kai is 30 years. The practice of law was not for him. At the time he had graduated and has a taste for the world of lawyers’ work (less than a year), it had already become an established tattoo artists and body piercing with his own studio, but unless his excavations in course. And besides, most lawyers in Oaxaca do not earn the income level that provides a lifestyle of the middle class, at least by Western standards.
Kai current study, Dermographics in the heart of the city of Oaxaca, is composed of:
• with a long reception desk and computer, filled with tropical fish aquariums, display cases, especially piercing jewelry, a wooden sculpture and masks African plan (and a few Mexican masks), a library full album with drawings and photographs, mainly of tattoos , and two comfortable sofas, where guests can browse the “lists” of peace and tranquility
• Similarly, in the middle of the room adorned with the supply of cases now, of course, full of modern commercial equipment and supplies, and a small laboratory adjacent
• the back room, where chairs and “works”, the table will participate for tattoos and piercings
“Here in Oaxaca, one does not refer to ourselves as” artists “, Kai said.” The United States is much higher acceptance of this art form, and those who are dedicated to the competence, so the United States and other countries like Canada that is acceptable to use the term tattoo artist. “But in Oaxaca, we just see ourselves as tatuador.”
Kai and colleagues attend the twelfth annual Tattoo Festival in Oaxaca, Summer 2010
In an interview with 3 ½ hours at the studio of Kai, his friends and colleagues tatuador Mexico City, Daniel (tuna) Larios and his girlfriend (Angy) Angelica de la Mora was in the shop work and also serve customers , while for some time Kai was running errands.
Tuna is a tatuador in 12 years while Angy started making tattoos a year ago when she started living with tuna. Together, they opened a business called the Toltec capital. Before that Tun had tattoos for customers in other studies. It was presented to trade for having his body tattooed. Angy learned skills Tun.
But to learn to be a tattooist Angy was a natural extension. She has a diploma in Fine Arts from the university in Chihuahua, and has participated in several group exhibitions of traditional art. “But it’s easier to make a living doing tattoos as an artist,” says Angy. Unlike Angy and Kai, most tattooist Mexico do not have advanced training for career options.
Angy tuna and had come to Oaxaca to participate in the twelfth Tattoo Festival, held August 21 and 22, 2010, a few days. Kai is one of three organizers of the festival, and was on the ground floor of the concept when the first festival was held in 1998. “Until this year, the event was called Tattoo Expo,” says Kai. “We decided to change the name to attract more foreigners. But in the early years, we have organized the exhibition so that we can meet to exchange ideas, improve access to modern equipment and supplies and raise awareness of the community in Oaxaca so we hope that there would be greater acceptance of what we were doing. Now, the objectives and functions of the event are much broader and we’re on track to achieve our goals sooner. ”
The success of the State of Oaxaca Tattoo Fest 2010 was evident from the crowd (hundreds of all estimates) and sales. Tuna and Angy them do 11 tattoos on both days. “I was coming to the show for four or five years,” Tuna said, “but this is the first year that I can truly say that it was worth my while, earnings-wise, to come to Oaxaca. You know I had to close my shop in Mexico City to come here. I think this show has finally turned a corner. ”
This year was about thirty cabins, of which about a dozen tattoos, mostly to do. During the visit of one hour on Sunday, during the entire period of each tatuador was busy working – and in many cases, had the audience in the queue waiting for their turn.
Many vendors were from other regions of Mexico to participate. They converged on Oaxaca, not only for tattoos and piercings, but also sells a variety of related materials, including:
• Tattoos and body piercing equipment and supplies;
• CDs, DVDs and posters with all the themes of substitution (Bob Marley and Alice Cooper live in Oaxaca)
• Body piercing and other personal ornaments, wrestling masks, and clothing as painted all u-wait.
The event was much more than a sales opportunity for retailers, however. He gave a chance for those in business to promote their industry, source of the state of the art equipment and supplies imported by other means (like many tatuador not come to Mexico City, very often and most imported machines, needles and paint finish first in Mexico City), and tattoo and piercing entertain collectors, hobbyists and the curious, all under one roof, located Señorial Salon opposite the market in Oaxaca Abastos famous.
As Kai says, seems to be three classes of people in Oaxaca, and presumably in other countries receiving tattoos:
• The colecionista which usually ends up most parts of his body filling, trying to decorate with the widest variety of models as possible, or with a certain class of design or artistic (ie demons, figurines pre -Hispanics, animals, famous faces), often tries to do the work by different tatuador top from various countries and, if possible
• fan who wants some tattoos strategically placed on selected parts of the body
• random person who wants one or two tattoos to express themselves or make some kind of explanation when he saw the tattoo you want if a celebrity friend, or stranger on the street, or chooses to make a special design, the logo of your tattoo favorite team reflects this type of work
It is reminiscent of other hobbies and interests. Human nature remains the same. The first category is an obsession for collecting, as in a class of antique salt and pepper, folk art, weight, and so on. The other is a passion that sets limits, either intentionally or unconsciously, based on personality traits. The third is just selective thinking about it, whatever the product, hold a certain interest, often unstable, but long enough to cause a purchase or two.
In a two-day festival of all is still considered a bit ‘counter-culture in Oaxaca, was as follows:
• Live entertainment seven on everything from rock and reggae, as well as belly dancing and other forms of choreography
• A restaurant makeshift outdoor serving beer, soda, grilled hamburgers and real
• Panel discussions and forums on topics such as methods to advance the reputation of this alternative form of art in Oaxaca and try to allay the concerns of health and safety through the adoption of U.S. standards
Health problems and safety concerns Piercing and Tattoo Shop in Oaxaca, Mexico
Across the United States there are rules of health and safety related tattoos and piercings, not the situation in Oaxaca, but it is a hot topic throughout Mexico tattoo and piercing community. The word “standard” is constantly misused. Tatuador at The Tattoo Fest, and especially Kai, tuna and Angy, makes a point that shows that most of the industry following the U.S. standards for health, safety and hygiene. According to Tun, the United Kingdom has the most comprehensive legislation on tattooing and piercing, which he considers a good thing.
It seems that almost every tatuador are sensitive to the firmness of the authorities, even without specific legislation on tattooing and body piercing. In Oaxaca, the Secretaría de Salud (Ministry of Health) who have carried out random checks of studies, the same as it does in restaurants in Oaxaca. It has the ability to close a restaurant, eating establishment or place comedor. And the same thing for a tattoo studio.
The real or perceived threat of imprisonment may play a positive role in the community of tattoo and piercing. Although the State of Oaxaca inquisitorial Napoleonic code evolves slowly (oral evidence came to Oaxaca in 2007, but only for the most heinous crimes of murder), the Attorney General’s office has always criminals in prison suspected of virtually any rule, law or regulation, when an injury is the result. The absence of specific legislation on piercing tattoo and body, maybe Oaxaca current legal system, the high hand as it seems, plays an important role in the buying public watermark. It certainly seems to keep industry in check.
“We will not run on a small, simple and clear, without parental consent,” said Tun. “And in fact, rather than relying on the written consent of a parent, for me personally, I want to father there in my studio where I work on his son or daughter. ”
I was trained by Kai has a special appreciation of the effects do not guarantee a clean and safe working in his office, and the following health, safety and hygiene procedures in other jurisdictions, “and says, ‘packed needles; devices continuously scarf, gloves and masks, first aid, and related health – hygiene and safety handle, “surgical” work space separate from the share of retail trade, etc. back to his business card lists the measures that should be the recipients of tattoos when leave the study, to reduce and hopefully eliminate the risk of infection or other complication. Other leaflets hand tatuadores list the same or similar precautions must be observed.
According to Tun, may in Mexico may take courses in tattoos and piercings to a small number of different institutions. But they must learn the trade, and are not regulated by the government. Tun views of any inconsistency between the treatment of government dental offices and tattoo studios and piercing, and injustice, “There are many dental clinics around that are much less pure than our study, and if the staff do not follow not the most sanitary practices, and even dentists not exposed to the suspicion and innuendo, as we are. “[At least dentists must have a minimum of awareness of health issues, safety and hygiene .]
Kai, meanwhile, is clearly an expert at his craft. From the beginning, dating from his years of high school, he would still be easy to read and learn before you start working with someone. Would always be in consultation with a doctor, a relative of the family. The doctor was a very valuable resource in terms Kai guide through all the procedures of health and hygiene for each step. Kai has never worked with anyone without tackling the task with a high level of confidence. But, he admits, “never stop learning.”
The economy of tattoos and piercing in Oaxaca
Angy works at the counter, making a pencil sketch of a pinup of the 1950s – with a twist. A young woman came into the studio the day before, they want a tattoo on the leg of an era pin-up girl, but a body part that non-traditional, as in a leg and half of the head can be with bones the skeleton exposed, the rest shapely and feminine. “But with a little meat on her body” like a Mexican and Angy Catrina said, the customer must return today at 16:00
Two men in their twenties come to examine samples of tattoo. They sit and browse through two albums for about 40 minutes, then arrange one to return the next day for a fairly large black tattoo the logo of the Mexican soccer team Pumas. Then two young girls come in search of eyebrow rings and other similar ornaments 250 to 300 pesos.
Kai studio is good business. He receives a minimum fee of 400 pesos for a simple tattoo, tribe, literally “tribal” as they call them, or maybe a letter. It was the same at the minimum load Tattoo Fest: “Of course, some tattoo artists will do a tattoo for every 150 to 200 pesos, but most of us prefer to start with the price at which we can take our time to do a job quality that the customer will decide definitively, and therefore want to go back, show your friends, and so on. I’ve been getting tattoos for some time, and my quality is such that I command you this kind of price, and customer more satisfied. ”
Kai Thon costs and in the same range. Both are happy to work with homework, or daily session. Kai charges from 1000 to 1500 pesos per session, which can lead to quite large, detailed color image. Tuna will make a full backup of between 10,000 and 15,000 pesos. Each has large tattoos, colored complex as 20,000 pesos. This seems to be the maximum price in Oaxaca.
There seems to be a willingness to reinvest their profits in order to ensure a better working environment and upscale amenities. Regarding the latter, in most cases it is simply a question of imported machinery and equipment, commanding a higher price and the fact that opportunities for Mexican-made equipment and supplies are scarce. Therefore, the desire to look abroad for several ranges of diversified products. “Make no mistake,” Tun warns, “there is material of high quality manufactured here in Mexico, but we lack the range of imported goods and of course all that is perceived as better, and thus get a better price “.
The training also appears to be a priority for tatuador. A few years ago Kai went to Guadalajara to take an intensive course. According to Angy, tatuador will be a brief time, the area-specific art or drawing classes to enable them to meet market demand. Most tatuador have no training in art, to take this opportunity to learn something that many aspire. In some cases, rather than diverting a potential customer for lack of specific skills, it is better to invest in learning a new aspect of the business through education.
It ‘s rare to get away tatuador business, but it happens. It is usually the result of an artist can not do quality work based on the design required to find that disgusting. Maybe it’s just the fact that tatuadores often do not meet someone wants the swastika, for example the forearm. “Usually what happens someone comes in and wants a little tattoo, regardless of the finger or arm, and I know that I can not do a good job because the request size, or that a short period of time decreases the quality of the” Kai admits . “So I propose something different, something bigger or a different color or a different part of the body. Sometimes you agree, sometimes goes and sometimes when he calls me down a job.”
“We can all use more business, but it is a specialized trade, we want to increase the ratio to its reputation, so we must all strive to maintain the standards, as well as our personal integrity,” Kai says.
The main reasons that customers do not return, is the lack of additional funds for tattoos or continue the same project, or pain. “Different people have different pain thresholds,” reports the tuna. “The sex of the client is sometimes a pain factor can be expected to be felt, depending on the particular body part. I work in the same body part can affect men differently than women.” Only 50% of the work of tuna is repeat business.
Kai is a priority for the work of men than women. Why men? Men want more tattoos, which results in a strong artistic and greater capacity to produce a masterpiece. “Do not get me wrong, I think more defensively,” I like working women, and just as high quality work, always. ”
Customers represent the largest age group in their early twenties. Otherwise, sometimes the teenager comes with one parent, maybe 20% of applicants were tattoo their thirties, small waterfalls and a lot of elderly customers.
Tips for Americans, Canadians, Europeans and those from distant lands Oaxaca, Want Tattoo
Tun admits that in Mexico there may be two high quality 300 tatuador by tattooists and said the U.S. figures are very different, two percent. It is difficult to accept his figures, which saw more quality tattoos on the body of Oaxaca, and had the opportunity to speak with many tatuador Oaxaca and evaluate their dedication to excellence and their desire raise its reputation for self-improvement. Tun did: “If someone wants a tattoo that I know of another tatuador can do better, I refer to a colleague who builds public confidence, I know that in the dark, I’m on top of my game … ”
The three presidents are tatuador ad idem, when it comes to pass along advice to tourists visiting Oaxaca and want a tattoo:
• Do not rush, take as long as necessary with “tattoo” of talks, looking at his drawings, and explore the surroundings of the studio
• He said that if tatuador a particular specialty, or level of competence in one area over another (ie color, as opposed to black)
• Address any health, hygiene and safety, because while the Department of Health rules and regulations of general application, and random checks of tattoo studios are completed, there is no specific body to police the tattoo industry
• Notwithstanding the foregoing, such as the lion’s share of tatuadores Oaxaca are not in accordance with U.S. history, as the industry wants to increase trade between them to be more mainstream idea among the people of Oaxaca
• Look for instructions on how to mount a tatttoo, from the time after leaving the studio, to reduce if not eliminate completely the risk of complications – either on a flyer or on the back of a business card
• Ask questions, issues and questions until satisfied that the process and the final result will meet or exceed expectations
Tattoo Removal in Mexico
Tuna confirms some of the obvious reasons to try to get a tattoo removed:
• As required by the employer (ie change of workplace)
• to try to secure employment
• the individual was very young when she has a tattoo, and later had a different attitude to this type of body adornment
• The quality of tattoo were bad or questionable from the beginning
• A change of mind in relation to the image or against your body changes that might later perceived as falsification
With the modest sum of quality cosmetic surgery in Oaxaca, showing the tattoo removal in the state of being an attractive option for those seeking a return to a tattoo – free existence. Indeed, in the studio of Kai on the display is a plexiglass support pamplets filled a plastic surgeon in Oaxaca, Dr. Filberto Fajardo, who specializes in laser tattoo removal.