There are such folk known as tattoo scratchers, the infamous scoundrels who scar and distort the image of the tattoo industry. They give the art form a bad image and destroy its artistic integrity. The scratcher is a thief and a liar. Sadly, the scratcher survives and strives on.
For those who are new to this game, a scratcher is someone who taught themselves the art of tattooing without a professional mentor. In order to be recognized as a reputable tattoo artist one must start their career with an apprenticeship under an established tattoo artist. The culture of tattooing is based upon one artist handing down “the torch” to another artist who gains his/her worthiness after studying tediously under another artist.
Scratchers do not follow this cultural norm. Scratchers gained their name because their tattoos often look more like ink t hat has been scratched into the skin. They reinforce the stigmas of tattooing and essentially threaten the industry.
Scratchers are random people who may be artistically inclined, but they have no idea how to transfer the art onto skin and have failed to respect the basis of the art process. Scratchers often work out of their homes and charge near to nothing for their work which usually ends up causing more harm than good.
There are thousands of scratchers who tarnish the art by tattooing underage children and are involved in the exchanging of drugs and/or other illicit (and morally wrong) behavior. One of the main problems with scratchers is the health risks they pose. Most of them do not care about sterilization and are not very tedious about the sanity of their equipment.
Scratchers have filthy techniques that don’t prevent cross contamination. Their lack of training and lifestyle hosts a hoard of pathogens. Scratchers appeal to naive tattoo enthusiast because they offer their services for cheap fees. They live in their unsterile homes fostering disease in carpets, their kitchen, counter tops, and expose all infectious germs to their family members and children.
Trained tattoo artists know better than to keep biohazardous materials around humans, let alone children. Many professional tattoo artists do not necessarily hate “scratchers.” They don’t dislike the individual who’s doing it or the person they are. What they care about is what scratchers do. They tarnish the reputation of tattooing as an art form and give it a negative connotation.
Perhaps part of the danger of present scratchers and scratchers of the future is the lack of regulation on tattooing supplies. Scratchers are able to maintain the necessary tattooing equipment simply by going online.
You can buy ink, needles, motors, hoses, pedals, tubes, and anything else with a click of a button from your home in the boonies. In many states, people can report a scratcher to the health department for violation of state laws and regulations that require a series of permits and authorizations.
The scratcher may be heavily fined, with all of their equipment confiscated, but that might not be good enough. States may need to tighten their grip when it comes to unlicensed scratchers who go around infecting people. They work very literally, like a virus! A few thousand dollars is not going to stop someone from purchasing another tattoo kit with ink, a few stencils, and their ready hand.
If you value your health and well-being, consider how terrible contracting hepatitis or AIDS would be, especially should it be attained from these unsafe environments and practices.