3 Fundamental Tattooing Techniques


There are 3 fundamental tattooing techniques that must be mastered by every tattoo artist.

A tattoo artist who performs these tattooing techniques with a high degree of skill makes a permanent tattoo something that the tattoo owner can be proud of. Each technique requires a thorough understanding of the tools and supplies used by a tattoo artist.

Let’s get started…

Tattooing Technique #1 – Creating a Tattoo Stencil

Tattoo stencils are used to apply the basic lines of the tattoo design to the skin before using a tattoo gun to apply the tattoo. Even the most experienced tattooists begin with a stencil rather than attempting to apply a freehand design. Since the skin is stretched by the tattooist while the tattoo is applied, working without a stencil could result in a distorted finished tattoo.

Many tattoo artists use carbon paper to copy a tattoo design onto another piece of paper. The carbon paper is placed under the piece of paper with the tattoo design, inky side down. A piece of clean paper is then placed under the carbon paper.

All 3 layers should be secured with staples or paper clips before tracing the design with ballpoint pen.

One of the most important tattooing techniques related to creating a stencil with carbon paper is to remember that the image of the design that is laid against the skin will be reversed.

Once the design is traced over, it will appear correctly on the skin when the stencil is removed. Instead of using carbon paper, some tattoo artists use an artist’s light table to create a stencil. A stencil created with a light table will face in the right direction. The original drawing is laid face down on the light table and the design shows through and can be traced directly onto another piece of paper.

Tattooing Technique #2 – Applying the Tattoo Stencil

Once a stencil has been created, it can be applied to the skin of the client.

Before the stencil is applied, the skin must be shaved smooth and cleaned with antiseptic. A disposable razor should be used and then discarded, since it could transfer germs or minute amounts of blood to other clients. One of the most common tattooing techniques for applying a stencil is to use roll-on deodorant to transfer the design. The deodorant is applied to the skin, then the stencil is positioned on the deodorant and pressure is applied all over the design. When the paper stencil is peeled away, the tattoo design will have transferred onto the skin.

If the position of the tattoo is not correct, the stencil can be removed from the skin with alcohol and applied again.

Like the razor, the roll-on deodorant should only come into contact with the skin of a single client. Some tattoo artists buy small travel-size deodorant and dispose of it after one use. Another option is to use a clean tongue depressor to transfer deodorant from the roll-on applicator to the skin, and then dispose of the tongue depressor.

Tattooing Technique #3 – Outlining the Tattoo

Once the tattoo design has been stenciled onto the skin and both client and tattooist agree on the placement, it’s time to begin the tattoo outline. Being able to create a tattoo outline is one of the most basic tattooing techniques. The majority of tattoo designs begin with an outline.

Starting from the bottom of the design is the best approach, to avoid either smearing the freshly applied ink or wiping off parts of the stencil.

In order to vary the effect of the outline, different size needles can be used to produce lines with different thicknesses. While an expert tattoo artist has an intuitive feeling for which lines should be thick and which thin, a beginner tattooist may want to experiment with line thicknesses on a paper copy of the tattoo design before picking up the tattoo gun.

When applying ink to a tattoo outline, the client’s skin should be stretched taut by the tattoo artist so that the needles will move smoothly across the skin. When the tattoo needles are dipped into ink, enough ink should be loaded to allow a continuous line to be drawn. While the outline is being applied, excess ink and blood are frequently wiped away by the tattooist. After taking a break from outlining to reapply ink to the needles, lighter pressure should be used when continuing the line to avoid dropping a blob of ink or creating visible joins.

The three tattooing techniques described here are fundamental to the art of tattooing.

They should be practiced again and again by a novice tattooist until they become second nature. Once the fundamental techniques have been mastered, a tattooist can focus on developing a unique personal style and becoming a true tattoo artist.


5 Things I Learned From Ken Robinson


Education expert Sir Ken Robinson is more than a New York Times bestselling author. He is a dynamic public speaker and leader in the development in creativity and innovation. Now a professor emeritus of education at the University of Warwick in the UK, he has received honorary degrees from five different universities as well as numerous awards. Over the course of his prolific career he has been a strong advocate of creativity and arts in educational systems throughout the world.

After viewing Ken Robinson’s talk at the prestigious TED conference in 2006, I couldn’t help but marvel at his astute perceptions on the educational system of yesterday, today and tomorrow. What exactly did I take away from his speech? The following five points sum up how as Robinson puts it, “our schools are killing the creativity in our children”.

1. We Are All Innately Creative Beings:

The key to unlocking creativity, as Ken Robinson puts it, is to accept the fact that sometimes as thinkers and innovators, we will be wrong. Unfortunately, most adults are stifled by a fear of being wrong. This fear is instilled in us at a young age and follows us into adult life. Preschool children do not share this worry and therefore have no trouble tapping into their creativity. When asked a question, young children will eagerly volunteer a multitude of creative answers. It is not until they are repeatedly told they are wrong that they begin to be cautious about volunteering. Creative people accept failure as part of the innovative process. Thomas Edison tested his version of the electric bulb over 3000 times before getting it right, yet he didn’t see it as failure. When asked about it, he merely said that he didn’t fail 3000 times, but found 3000 “ways it didn’t work”. This is the kind of mentality it takes to succeed in innovation – and in life, for that matter.

2. Intelligence is Diverse, Dynamic and Distinct:

We know that each individual demonstrates their intelligence in uniquely different ways. A system that focuses on merely one path, one way of doing, undervalues those that don’t fit the mold. In his talk, Ken Robinson brought up the story of dancer, choreographer Gillian Lynne who, as a girl, struggled in the typical school system. She just couldn’t keep still. After discovering dance, she flourished and went on to have a fabulous career as a dancer and choreographer. Today’s teachers and doctors would have assessed her with ADHD and given her medication to calm down! Her talent would never have been recognized. How sad that we stigmatize other forms of intelligence that don’t measure up to the current norm. Too many talented children are falling through the cracks because their unique gifts don’t fit the mold in today’s education system. We need to widen the scope of how we teach our children so all of them realize their full potential!

3. We Are Educating for a Different Era:

As public education was developed to meet the needs of the industrial revolution, subjects that were the most useful for training the work force were prioritized. The majority of jobs during the industrial revolution did not require creative thinking. Still today, we have an educational system with a primary focus on math, sciences and standardized testing. Left-brain dominance is preferred. A system that tends to push creativity aside. Schools, more often than not, teach kids that there is only one answer to a question. When we are taught to believe there is only one answer, we see the world as binary – right and wrong. When we begin to see the world this way, if a teacher asks a question and students do not know the answer, they will not open their mouth. As a result, children tend to lose their willingness to try new things and come up with their own independent ideas. We should be encouraging the opposite. We need to change our education system to meet the demands of the current job market, where innovation is a prized commodity.

4. We Need to Adopt A New System If Our Children Are To Flourish:

As Ken Robinson explained, our educational system has, “mined our minds” for a commodity. We enacted this system for a purpose in the past, but it has become outmoded and needs to be revamped. The world of tomorrow with its ever-growing population, increased global instability and fragile environment, will need highly creative people. We need people who can predict emerging trends, propose solutions to new issues, and stay calm in a challenging, ever changing world. The system that is currently in place will only stifle the creativity and ingenuity of tomorrow’s leaders and innovators.

5. “Academic Inflation” and Global Competition:

More people than ever are getting degrees across the globe. In 30 years time, a Bachelor’s degree will be almost worthless. To have a career, you will need a masters or doctorate. Already we see college graduates returning home to live with mom and dad with no career prospects. So how do we ensure that our children stand out from the well-educated crowd? Inevitably, we have to rethink our definition of intelligence if our children are going to make it in this increasing competitive world. Only if we nurture their creativity will they stand a chance.

Transforming our educational system is not just desirable, but critical. Embracing all forms of intelligence will prepare us for an unpredictable, ever-changing future. Continuing on the same path, with an outdated system in place, will mean throwing away talent and undiscovered potential. Nurturing undiscovered potential and talent is one of my favourite things about working with young people. What a life-changing gift to give to another human being. I for one, am not prepared to let more and more kids fail in life because they don’t fit the mold… Are you?


Are Bose 601 Speakers Really the Best?


For anyone who loves music and crisp, clear sound, the name Bose probably means much more than “speaker company”. In fact, Bose has long been known to produce the best speakers on the market. The revolutionary technology that Bose speakers use started in their 601 series, and more than 20 years later that product still stands up against some of the best sound engineering in the world. But are they really the best speakers ever? Well, the short answer is yes, and no.

In 1982 when they were first released to the market, Bose 601 speakers were cutting edge technology, providing the most crystal clear sound and smooth base available. While the series is discontinued, the quality of these speakers puts most widely available brands to shame. Their durability is unquestionable, with many of the original models still in perfect working order. And although they are highly sought after, there are many places online where you can bid on or purchase these beautiful vintage models. The directional technology incorporated into these speakers means that they will stand up against much of today’s competition. And with the crystal clear sound, durability, and revolutionary sound disbursement features, these were a truly unique offering in the marketplace.

However, there are some down-sides to the Bose 601 series speakers. First, this system will require a quality amplifier to work properly. You’ll never be able to hear the full potential of these speakers without it. Second, if you plan on using these speakers with a surround sound system, you’ll need to purchase other Bose products to make it work, including the VSC-10 center channel, and a pair of Bose 161 speakers. Third, some say that while the cases were very attractive and modern in 1982, they light cherry or graphite grey finishes don’t work as well with today’s home décor, so you may need to paint the cabinets to suit your taste. Finally, while they are widely available online at auction sites like eBay, they are still not “common” and therefore can be a bit pricey, when you add in shipping costs and any fees (if you are importing them to or from another country.

All in all, if you can find a set of Bose601 Series speakers, you might go through a little bit more trouble to find them than just going to your local electronics store – but the reason for their lasting popularity will be obvious the minute you switch on the power!


Learning Management System Basics


A Learning Management System (LMS) can provide tremendous benefits both for the training department and for the organization in general. There are numerous choices for LMS providers, as well as functionalities, so an LMS implementation project can become quite confusing. Just what are the LMS basics and how can a system help your organization?

To start with, let’s discuss what an LMS really is. In basic terms, the LMS is a system that helps you deliver and manage training in numerous formats. One of the first misconceptions about an LMS is that it is used solely for the delivery of online courses. While this is an important component, it is not the only reason to use an LMS. The LMS consists of a few separate parts. First, the management system consists of the tracking and reporting of the organization and individual learning activities. Second, the content authoring system (or LCMS) allows the training department to create and or upload its own in-house or purchased learning content and courses, and the third part is the content and courses themselves.

Why would an organization need an LMS? The tracking feature of most LMS systems is worthwhile in itself. Individuals, their managers, and organizational management can track who has completed what courses for advancement, certifications, compliance, and even human resources concerns. Plus, the record, if backed up properly, will always exist. The LMS tracking can also assist in measurement of training effectiveness by managing evaluations, course completions, and course attendance – this is a tremendous benefit that renders manual tracking obsolete. The LMS content delivery system can deliver training to diverse populations in any Inter- or Intranet accessible location and can even serve as a knowledge repository for policies, procedures, and quick reference guides. The LMS can serve as an “educational counselor” for individual associates, keeping track of their career path and showing them what courses they need to complete in order to move to the next career level.

Along those lines, managers can coach employee development using the information from the LMS. For example, if an employee wants to advance or has specific issues in specific subject areas, the manager can locate appropriate training courses or content and put them in the employee’s learning plan. The manager can also pull transcripts to make sure that learning has been a part of the employee’s development, especially when performance evaluation time arrives. The easiest functions for employees include looking up classroom courses, registering for them, and setting reminders to attend.

Training content is also not limited to employees. Some organizations use their LMS to deliver content to multiple locations as well as partners, clients, and vendors. Access to content is dependent on a pre-assigned security level, so keeping people in the correct subject areas is relatively simple.

There are some potential opportunities to be found with an LMS. Some “vanilla” systems may require extensive customization to suit each organization. When choosing an LMS, it is absolutely necessary to analyze your organization’s business and determine what functions you really need. Customizations can become quite expensive. In addition, choosing a course library is also a potential opportunity. There are many choices out there, from general to specific, so it’s again important to determine what types of content your organization needs before purchasing a library. Along with course libraries comes the ability to create or upload in-house content. Be sure to look at the options for this before selecting a system. Some LMS providers have highly functional content management systems that would allow content designers, instructors, or even subject matter experts to create content that is branded and suitable for immediate delivery. Other systems may require that a graphics designer create the course in a format that is compatible to the LMS and upload it, which creates an extra step between content design and deployment.

But along with potential opportunity comes tremendous benefit to the organization. First, automated tracking and delivery creates efficiency, cost savings, and better reporting. This tracking also makes it easy to cover compliance related bases or to prove that employees received a certain type of training. The self-management features of the LMS, such as career paths and transcripts, can create upward mobility for the employee population as well as higher retention for the organization. Many LMS providers offer a “testing engine” which allows for all testing to occur online, whether the employee attended class online or in a classroom. And some LMS providers even offer the ability for online course participants to collaborate virtually, another great way to engage learners and encourage them to network with their peers across the organization.

Now that you have an idea of the Learning Management System basics, you can select providers that best suit your organization’s needs – and lessen the fear of ultimately making a choice.