January 2019

Spiders Twisted Art Tattoo Studio

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Name: Tex
Shop: Spiders Twisted Art Tattoo Studio
2306 Sudderth Dr
Ruidoso, NM 88345
Contact: (575)973-4794 [email protected]
Social media: Instagram Ruidoso_Tex

I have been tattooing around 12 years, but really started focusing on the art and growing as a professional over the last couple years.

I am a licensed tattoo artist in the state of New Mexico. I am also a Premier Artist for Colours Couture.

Being in a resort town, there isn’t much call for specialties. We all have to be very well-rounded since you never know what is going to walk through the door.

I love the artwork and capabilities of the artists around me. To be able to sit and watch some of the best, and learn different techniques just amazes me.

I am an Authorized Artist for Operation Tattooing Freedom. A foundation that helps veterans get vet2vet counseling for PTSD. We work solely off of the generosity of donations to help veterans in need.

PAIN SHOW: Raleigh Tattoofest

Raleigh Tattoofest
September 21-23, 2018
Raleigh, North Carolina

Nothing goes together better than motorcycles and tattoos — so when the Ray Price Capital City Bikefest and the Raleigh Tattoofest get together, you know it’s a party!

Bikefest, presented by GEICO Motorcycle, has been a southern tradition for 13 years, and Tattoofest, put on by Byron Wallace, the owner of Warlocks Tattoo and Body Piercing, joined the fun seven years ago. Held in Raleigh, North Carolina, both outdoors on Fayetteville Street and indoors at the Raleigh Convention Center, the twin-motored festival features a custom bike show competition that attracts motorcycle builders from across the nation, live music, stunt shows and action sports exhibitions, and plenty of fresh ink flowing.

Builders and hobbyists show off the most radical designs in vintage and modern motorcycle fabrication, paint and engineering. In addition to the two-wheelers on display, the national Road Devils Car Club rolls out its Rumble in Raleigh, featuring hot rods, gassers, cruisers and low-riders. The music lineup is headlined by regional and national bands playing R&B, soul, funk, southern rock, bluegrass, honky-tonk punk, eclectic reggae, metal and traditional country. Over the years, the event has raised more than $135,000 for charity, and Tattoofest plays a big part in that with all proceeds from tattooing supporting the USO of North Carolina and the US Veterans Corps.

“I ride and I’m a Navy veteran, so between the military, motorcycles, tattoos and music, it all meshes together really well,” Wallace says.

Tattoofest itself has humble beginings. It was originally just a handful of area shops taking part in the bike show at the local Harley Davidson dealership. It wasn’t until year-five that things moved to the convention center where there was room to grow. Tattoofest remained relatively small – compared to tattoo show standards, limiting attendance to just 50 artists representing studios from the mountains to the coastline of North Carolina and even a few from Michigan and Pennsylvania.

“We not focussing on any one style of tattooing, we like to go for quality over quantity,” Wallace says. “I’ve attend a lot of the big shows, and even the heavy hitter guys sometimes aren’t working because there are so many artists — that’s why we keep it on a smaller scale.”

Obviously, there are going to be a fair share of bikers tattooed at the event, but ironically, Wallace says that it’s the “average Joes” who are there getting the most new ink. There’s all the usual tattoo contests, and of course a best Harley Davidson tattoo category. Tattoo of the Day winners collect an awesome one-of-a-kind awar — a handcrafted skull trophy made of ebony wood and Buffalo bone on an antique inkwell.

Wallace, who has been tattooing for 18 years, and a shop owner for the past eight, puts on Tattoofest pretty much single-handedly and will start getting things ready for next fall right after the new year. “It’s a lot of work, he says, “but I really enjoy seeing it all come together in the end and seeing all the artists enjoying themselves —- there’s a great payoff for everyone.”

Raleigh Tattoofest

Adams Ink

It was an accident. We’re not talking about the, “Oops, I wore different color socks” type of accident, either. It was a cosmic shift of fate, the kind that leads one to ponder the real possibility of the multiverse theory. But don’t mix this up in your head. “Accident” and “mistake” are not always synonymous.

Angela Adams had her life’s plans on lockdown. Music was her passion; her talent at the canvas, just a bonus on the score card. After high school, the native-born daughter of Sonora, California would head down to the southern end of the state to pursue that passion academically. But then life happened.

“I never made it down there,” she states, matter-of-factly. It wasn’t failure. Just distraction. The butterfly effect, if you will, but in this case, the butterfly was a tattoo. One session under the needle was all it took to flip her existence on its ear.

“The artist that did my first tattoo was actually looking for an apprentice. He offered me the position and I never looked back. Now here I am, 17 years later, still going strong.” Had the tenets of The Adjustment Bureau been based on reality, the Almighty’s agents would have been swarming the studio that day with the fervor of an angry hornet colony. Or maybe they were there and that’s the reason we’re having this conversation. We’ll leave that to the philosophers.

She outgrew her apprenticeship almost immediately. Within the first year of picking up the machine, she was already on her own as the proprietor of Immortal Ink Tattoo in her home town of Sonora, which she ran successfully for eight years. But as time stretched on, life began to hand her more roles to fill. First, wife, then mother, then mother of two. A hiatus from her craft became all but mandatory.

“Unfortunately, child care just isn’t affordable enough,” she laments, echoing the sentiments of middle-class mothers across the Western world. “But now that both of my boys are school age, I am able to work weekends and weekdays while they are in school in the morning.”

Upon her return, she initially tried her hand at a run-of-the mill street shop, but quickly realized she could strike a much more satisfying work/life balance if she went independent. The result was Adams Ink, her private, one-woman operation that has quickly become the best-kept secret of Modesto, California. Secret might be a mischaracterization; she’s booked up for the next nine months.

In her words, opening a private studio was “The best thing I ever did . . . It allows flexibility in my schedule to work around family events. I currently work weekday mornings while my kids are in school, and I also work weekends while my husband is home and off of work.” It’s turned out to be a near-perfect balance. Any mother will attest to the juggling act of raising two sons, and her boys, now eight and 11 are no exception. There are the school events, boy scouts, ballgames, sleepovers, the list is endless, simultaneously blissful and mind-numbing. She takes it all in stride. In fact, compared to running a full-fledge street shop, the new arrangement is “a piece of cake.”

“Running a business has always come very naturally for me,” she says, “which is great, because it doesn’t take a lot of my brain space and allows me to really focus on just tattooing.” A casual perusal through her portfolio will attest to her assertion. Her work speaks for itself; diverse, incredibly detailed, and with just the right touch of playfulness that allows her to carve her niche. What stretches that niche even further is her personal dedication to a vegan lifestyle, which she happily carries into her profession.

“I make sure that everything I use during the Tattoo is all vegan. Eternal Ink is vegan, and I use vegan ointments as well. I also have Ohana Organics Tattoo Butter available for aftercare. I personally use it to heal my own tattoos and it’s amazing stuff.”

Adams readily admits that she still hopes to pursue music again one day, but she doesn’t regret the path she chose, even for a second. The truth is, regret really isn’t in her lexicon.

“I honestly wouldn’t change anything. I think the person that anyone is to this day is made up of trials and errors. Even through the bad times, I learn things. All of my experiences have made me who I am today and have helped me to grow, not only as an artist, but also as a wife and mother.”

Adams Ink

Medical Conditions and Piercings Part II

by Elayne Angel

This is a continuation of my prior article in which a piercer asked about medical issues that could prove problematic for piercings. The first part covered Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and heart conditions that would be of concern. Here I’ll discuss some others that I’ve been asked about by clients and piercers alike:


I hope all piercers have enough sense to know that it is utterly inappropriate to pierce someone who is expecting. The body is already occupied with the complex and momentous task of creating and nurturing a baby. If a woman gets pierced during pregnancy, she also exposes her unborn child to unnecessary risks of infection (particularly because of changes to the immune system during gestation), allergic reaction, bloodborne disease, and effects of medication used to treat complications. It is not uncommon for pregnant piercees to find that their old, healed piercings act up during that time, too, due to hormonal changes. Just. Say. No.


It is much less perilous to pierce a woman who is nursing. Still, I would delay for a few months post-partum (after birth) for the mother to recover before doing any piercings, and nipples should be allowed to stabilize for at least six months after ceasing to breastfeed. Childbirth is a fairly intense strain on the body, whether natural or surgical. New mothers are frequently sleep deprived and stressed, which are not ideal states for getting a piercing, so healing could be affected.


MRSA – greatly magnified

Piercers should all be familiar with the superbug: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This type of formidable bacteria is not cured by the antibiotics that are normally effective against Staph infections. The hospital-acquired variety (HA) is transmitted in the medical setting and community-acquired (CA) MRSA is contracted elsewhere.

MRSA is a major human pathogen that causes a wide range of skin and soft tissue infections, frequently in wounds. It is a leading cause of bacteremia (“blood poisoning,” bacteria in the bloodstream, which could progress to sepsis); and infective endocarditis (heart infection), which are both potentially deadly(i).

Staphylococcus aureus is a common component of skin and mucosal flora. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 30% of healthy adults are colonized with it but have no symptoms(ii). One out of fifty of those people carries MRSA. The most prevalent colonization sites include the nose, vagina, and perineum, which means that these potential piercing regions might carry extra risks for Staph infections, too.

Staph transmission is often from direct contact(iii) with an infected wound, or through sharing personal items that have touched infected skin (such as clothing, towels, or razors). MRSA infection rates tend to increase if a person is in crowded places, or when activities involve skin-to-skin contact and shared equipment or supplies. Athletes, students, military personnel in barracks, and those who have recently been hospitalized are at greater risk. Additionally, community-associated MRSA often affects household contacts of infected people(iv), so a client living with someone who has a MRSA infection is a poor candidate for piercing.

Obviously, anyone with an active Staph infection anywhere on their body must not be pierced until the condition is fully resolved. It would be best to wait for several months after successful treatment is completed. The tendency for staphylococcal skin infections to recur after healing is well recognized, and is as high as 50% and in some populations(v). Individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)(vi) are 6-18 times more likely to contract a MRSA infection than those who are not immune compromised.(vii)


HIV and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) are leading chronic illnesses in many major cities worldwide. Fortunately, studies show that healing is successful in HIV-positive patients when their disease is well managed, and proper care is provided for the wound. Adequate nutrition is cited as being exceptionally important in these cases.(viii) If a client with any immune deficiency experiences a complication with their piercing, it is critical that they visit their physician right away.

Skin Conditions

Rashes such as eczema or psoriasis and other skin abnormalities are less severe health hazards, but can still be problematic. If the skin near a proposed piercing site is dry, scaling, flaking, or inflamed, it is best left unadorned—especially if the ailment is chronic. Skin in such states is not at all welcoming to body jewelry and healing is likely to be delayed, troubled, or worse. Additionally, the presence of a piercing (and any aftercare products, however mild) could aggravate the client’s dermatological problem.

You should always avoid piercing through moles, warts, and other such tissue abnormalities. It is probably safe to pierce as near as 1/4” from small moles, if they are stable and not raised or darkly pigmented. Send the client to a doctor for removal before considering piercing near any warts. Sometimes clients aren’t even aware that something is wrong. So if you notice any lumps, bumps, or spots that look atypical in color, size, shape, or texture, let your client know and suggest they schedule a check-up.


Overall it is best to avoid scars when piercing. Scar tissue is avascular (lacks blood supply), which is needed for optimal healing. Also, scars are weaker and more vulnerable, as they only ever regain about 80% of the strength of unaffected skin(ix). Piercing through a scar predisposes the site to complications including migration, rejection, or delayed healing.

The concept of piercing behind scar tissue (as when repiercing) makes sense primarily because going in front of it is apt to be too superficial. However, this isn’t as effective as it is rumored to be for “holding a piercing in.” If you intend to pierce behind a scar, know that it most definitely is not stronger than regular tissue, so do not give clients false hopes of success.

Stretch marks regularly surround navels and they are a type of scar. Whenever possible, place piercings to avoid stretch marks.

True keloids can be enormous, unsightly, and incurable. They are very difficult to treat, tend to recur, and can be itchy or painful. If there is a confirmed history of keloid formation, I’d say that the risks of piercing are unacceptable.

In Conclusion

Any time you’re concerned about a medical matter, it is appropriate to require that the client get a signed doctor’s note before proceeding. The Association of Professional Piercers’ Procedure Manual(x) contains a sample “Physicians Acknowledgement Form.” The doctor need not endorse the piercing, but simply agree to provide medical care if it becomes necessary. It is crucial to have your attorney review all of the forms that you use in your studio, including your release/waiver because relevant laws vary by state and region.

Remember that as piercers, we are never to diagnose (or treat!) any ailments (including migraines or anxiety—the myths surrounding daith and tragus piercings notwithstanding). But when a client divulges that they have a health concern, we need to be knowledgeable enough to determine a suitable course of action. Sometimes we can proceed if piercing is minimally risky and likely to be successful. For other issues, a doctor should be consulted first. When a condition is significant enough, it will warrant politely declining to pierce after explaining the concerns. Never be afraid to say, “No,” when it is appropriate to do so.

(i) https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/48/Supplement_4/S231/293013
(ii) https://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/community/index.html#how2
(iii) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441868/
(iv) https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/60/5/753/291617
(v) http://www.patientcareonline.com/community-acquired-mrsa/prevention-recurrent-mrsa-skin-infections-what-you-need-know
(vi) https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.100558
(vii) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441868/
(viii) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258046797_A_critical_review_of_HIVAIDS_and_wound_care
(ix) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4174176/
(x) https://www.memberleap.com/members/store.php?orgcode=AOPP#cat117 Available by digital download or hard copy