Let’s operate on two assumptions:
1) Necessity is the mother of invention.
2) Freedom of Choice is a basic human right.
Sure, these are old adages. We’ve grown up saying or hearing these phrases while vaguely understanding, on some intuitive or abstract level, that they refer to actual, concrete things. We’re able to grasp the importance of choice in every decision we make and we’ve all experienced the frustration of not having something we needed, when we needed it. But I ask you, can these two ideas actually lend us any demonstrable value? Can they be more than lofty conceptualizations? For John Montgomery, and his partner, Joshua Carlton, the answer is Yes. For John and Josh, these ‘assumptions’ have become tools; tools they’re using to build the foundations of an empire: Alla Prima Ink.
Necessity and Invention
With more than 40 years of tattoo experience between them, John and Joshua were more than qualified when they sat down to discuss the current nature of tattoo inks within the industry. What every tattoo artists needs is a way to consistently create the tones and colors they require - be it traditional and bold, or new and off-the-wall - while maintaining complimentary shading throughout. For John, this meant creating an ink that truly performs. Artists will say “Sure, but all the inks I use get the job done the way I want them to, that’s why I use them.” Keeping this in mind, John and Joshua were quick to identify a more crucial and pressing need within the ink industry: Safety. All ink companies will tout the performance aspect of their product, but how many can simultaneously boast an unparalleled degree of safety? One. Alla Prima Inks mean Safety and Performance.
Freedom and Choice
Pigments, unlike dyes, are powder based and consist of tiny particles suspended in a liquid carrier. Alla Prima proudly offers their namesake line of pigments made the old school way – powder based inks mixed into custom color palettes. For many veteran artists, mixing their own inks is part of the allure of the craft; years of experience render one capable of taking raw pigment powders and combining them in ways to specifically suit the artist’s unique needs. It’s the way a chef will bake a cake from scratch, or a mason will hand dress a stone before laying it down. Experience, attention to detail, perfect technique and flawless execution are the main ingredients to awesome powder based inks. But for a new generation of younger artists, the old school tradition of mixing powders for their color palettes may place second to practicality. Many new artists need a quick color fix of bright and bold, pre-dispersed inks. Enter Arcane Pigments, Alla Prima’s line of pre-dispersed inks in bold, vibrant, eye-popping colors. Whether you’re an old school artist whose heart lies in tradition, or a new school artist who needs brilliant colors NOW, Alla Prima caters to both your needs. How many companies offer artists the freedom to choose between powder based and pre-dispersed inks? One: Alla Prima.
Safety and Performance
All Alla Prima products are acrylic, solvent and PET plastic free because tattoos should be as safe as they are beautiful. The Alla Prima line is a powder based ink, made in the traditional manner and updated with today’s standards and technology. The inks have a nice creamy consistency that go in strong and stay strong. Artists love the tradition behind powder based inks and the way they heal with the solid, bold old school look that maintains its original character years on down the line. Whether it’s the day of completion or 30 years from now, you’re going to look at a tattoo done with Alla Prima Inks and say “Man, that’s a great tattoo.”
The Arcane line of pre-dispersed inks cater well to the new school of tattooing. The colors are bright and vibrant, almost candy like, and offer a palette that new school artists will really love working with. The ink itself is a thinner pigment that goes in bright, clean and heals well. The Arcane line has a high pigment load and the inks are industrially micro-sized to increase the potency of the pigment that the body can hold, resulting in the brightest, most vibrant tattoos imaginable. As with all Alla Prima inks, Arcane Pigments offer a healthier, cleaner product with a quick and bright heal: something every artist strives for.
(John showed me a bottle of ink made by one of his competitors – he shook it up and opened it before putting it under my nose. The effect was similar to shaking a can of spray paint and spraying it into a bag – the odor was overwhelmingly chemical. Shaking up a bottle of Arcane Pigments not only felt thinner, smoother and lighter, but the resulting aroma was drastically different – nothing but the clean, pure scent of alcohol. It was like the difference between a gas station bathroom and a doctor’s office.)
Artists are increasingly playing a role in the supply side of the industry and this not only makes sense, but it’s truly for the greater good of tattooing as a whole. No one knows what it takes to create remarkable products more than the artists that work with them on a daily basis. Having artists like John and Joshua create their own line of state of the art, top of the line inks raises the bar for ink safety and performance throughout the entire industry. Alla Prima Inks and Arcane Pigments are products designed by artists, for artists. Safety, high quality ingredients and unparalleled performance are the foundations that Alla Prima Inks are built upon. John and his artists stand behind their products and use them every day in the shop - and isn’t that the true test of any ink? Its utility? The degree to which it’s utilized speaks volumes about a product, and more and more artists around the world are acknowledging Alla Prima’s commitment to safety and performance by making its line of pigments a staple in their ink arsenal.
Safe, clean, healthy and effective, Alla Prima’s line of Arcane Pigments offer a vast array of colors for artists to choose from. These artists will find comfort in the fact that this amazing array of high-performance inks was designed for them, by artists just like themselves.
Take it from John himself:
“There’s no BS here. We’re just regular guys doing real tattoos. It’s real. We make the best product we can, our tattoo shop is the testing laboratory and that’s the true test. Try it, I know you’ll like it.”