Northern Michigan is home to a handful of tattoo shops for those wanting to add to their inked body art collection.
Although tattoos and the art of tattooing have a lengthy history, they’ve changed through the years based on styles, laws, safety and more.
The News-Review recently spoke with a local tattoo artist and discussed how the world of tattooing has changed over the past decade, safety considerations and possible red flags first-timers or seasoned tattoo veterans should look out for.
“It used to be that tattooing was left up to individual counties with some only having rudimentary safety regulations,” said Lakeview Tattoo artist Brandon Spiye.
Spiye has more than a decade of tattoo experience and has worked throughout Northern Michigan, with his work now proudly displayed on hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
It was around the time Spiye considered opening up his own shop that Michigan enacted Public Act 375. This 2010 law set forth a number of requirements and regulations for tattooing.
“The act is really a good thing,” he said.
“Through that, facilities have to be licensed and inspected yearly for compliance. Inspections include needing to have proper lighting, floors that can be easily mopped, cabinets that close of pests, sinks near workers, containers for sharp objects, sterilizing solutions for cleaning and more.”
The act further states “individuals shall not tattoo, brand, microblade, or perform body piercing on another individual unless that tattooing, branding, microblading, or body piercing occurs at a body art facility licensed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.”
The act also states that owners or operators of a body art facility are required to apply for a body art facility license through the department.
“Our inspector has talked to us about the future and that he would like individuals to also be licensed as well as their facility,” Spiye said. “I don’t think that’s…