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Product Reviews > View Product Reviews

Tattoo Artist Magazine

Bonus Review: Phat Tat Tattoo Healing Balm

by JasonLambertArtist

October 29, 2005

Product Information

Tattoo magazines generally come in three flavors. You have the bottom feeders, half the pages are crappy newsprint and the rest are full of really atrocious work focusing primarily on showing breasts and bums or "flash" sent in by readers that looks like 3rd graders did it.
A step up from that are the all glossy rags which try to appeal to specific groups like women, men, black people, kids into hardcore music, bikers, etc. These have loads of convention pictures and a profile or two on what are often average fare to good tattooers, but tend to have a huge percentage of crap for every good piece.
Then there are the ones that try to be the top dog, they talk about the history of tattoos, showcase "tattoo-related" art, and generally have a better selection of photos. Unfortunately, the last group become repetitive with each new issue showing the same stuff about Samoan tattoos (ok, we get it, Samoans have painful tattoos. . .) and photos by the same 5 guys who still send work to these mags. The crap to good quotient is still pretty biased in favor of crap.
In the end, all tattoo magazines are primarily marketed to non-tattooers and the questionable methods they use to market their magazine make professionals refrain from supporting them with pictures and articles (and money). What was needed was a publication by someone who knew tattooing inside and out and that would be trusted (and supported) by tattooers. Well we finally got it in the form of Tattoo Artist Magazine.
Where other magazines simply wander the convention floor getting pictures of the same 3 convention groupies who are always there, T.A.M instead visits the really innovative and talented people in their studios and shows the really kick ass stuff that never seems to make its way into the pages of crappy biker rags. These same shitty magazines, on the rare occasions they deign to talk to the lowly artists who are their bread and butter, ask the same 3 boring questions of every artist; "How long you been doin' it? Who are you influenced by? What do you like about tattooing?" Tattoo Artist Magazine, on the other hand, really seems to treat its artists with respect and their questions delve into such diverse areas as personal beliefs, opinions on the state of tattooing, the artist's feelings about other types of art, and technical considerations. In short, each person profiled comes across as a fully formed human whose chosen artistic technique makes sense in light of their personality.
T.A.M does this by being exclusive to the tattoo community. The magazine is sold only to tattoo artists and its $25 price tag (including an excellent CD with piles of extra pictures and video) scares off those not really interested in seeing truly excellent work. Because of this, it is a "safe" outlet and tattooers are happy to show their best tattoos without having to fear a crappy clone of it will appear in next month's issue. Also, the artists seem to feel more open in discussing their profession and opinions without having to have that "mainstream media filter" we all use when talking to a sometimes unsympathetic press. Because it is published by Crash, an established tattoo artist, we as tattooers can feel confident that we wont be getting misquoted and that the pictures will focus on quality work instead of titties.
Almost any other trade has "insider" publications that cater to its core members exclusively, and for a long time (since the end of Don Ed Hardy's "Tattootime" books 10 years ago) professional tattooers haven't had such a beast. Now we do.
T.A.M is expensive, and it takes a long time to come out, but each and every one of its 4 issues thus far has been completely worth it. Every page is obviously created with care and respect, and for the first time in a long time many good tattooers can now feel like sending their pictures into a magazine. It has taken a surprisingly long time for someone to see what was missing and fill that need. Every time I re-read my back issues of T.A.M., the notion that comes to my mind is always "These guys get it".

Bonus Review:

Phat Tat

Tattoo and Piercing toning, healer and conditioner.

Manufacturer: Serf to Surf

MSRP: $6.50 / 10 gram tin.

Review by Adam Sky

Phat TatLet's face it, we tattooers haven't found a way to agree on a universal method of healing the tattoos we do. Common methods of aftercare have usually been modeled after pseudo-medical rationale and maybe a little witchcraft. But let's agree that the faster a tattoo heals, the better the tattoo will look. So put down the Saran-Wrap bandages and Chicken Pads and let's discuss aftercare products.

One thing that's permeated the market in the past few years have been tattoo dedicated healing ointments and salves. It's probably a good thing, considering tattooers have recommended rubbing everything under the sun on to healing tattoos from Preparation H to sperm (no joke)! The purpose of applying something - anything to a healing tattoo is to moisturize the skin to promote a quick heal and diminish the possibility of heavy scabbing which would cause scarring and then color to fall out. The problem with many products available at the local pharmacy is a selection of ointments with too much medicine or moisturizers with too much fragrance and chemical peel exfoliants that will burn and cause skin irritation and reactions.

One excellent healing balm I've discovered is Phat Tat by Serf to Surf. It's an all natural product that promotes an easy heal. The cool and unique thing about Phat Tat that separates it from the pack of other tattoo oriented healing products is the way Phat Tat comes as a balm puck. Simply remove the puck from the tin and dissolve the product into your hands as if you were lathering soap. I liked the puck idea as it reduced the tendency to squeeze out too much product like with common moisturizer dispensers.

Phat Tat is made from all natural sources without preservatives or petroleum products. Phat Tat is blended from 10 natural seed oils, including unrefined shea butter, organic hempseed oil, and perfectly balanced doses of infection fighting tea tree oil and vetiver. Specially formulated tattoo care to heal, strengthen, and moisturize your artwork while reducing peeling.

I like Phat Tat so much that I recommend it to my customers as a fantastic way to promote quick healing and bright colors.

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