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New England Trauma-Informed-DIY-Tattooers Guild

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Our core values are Consent, Communication, Culturally-Centered, Collaboration, and Compassion.

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List of Values

Our rights as complex beings who have experienced trauma, or will in the future:

  • You have a right for your voice to be heard

    • Your story has no bearing or impact on my ability to provide services to you, rather, I embrace these chances to share space and hold ourselves gently during tattoo sessions – many of the topics that come up are deeply personal, and related to the lived experiences we’ve had in our bodies.

    • Vice versa, while I will not try to use sessions as venting, I as an artist would love to verbally respond and offer the support I am able, which might include connecting on shared levels or experiences of trauma, based on the client’s comfort levels.

       

      Community care is welcomed and centered in these sessions, in whatever way you need as the client which is also in harmony with my safety as an artist.
       

  • Consent is a continuous process

    • You have a right to stop our sessions at any point, for any reason.

    • This does not have to be expanded upon, and both artist and client reserve the rights to request the session to end, or for any number of adjustments/breaks to be made so that the session may continue.

      • If you are ever experiencing extreme amounts of pain, or work in an area causes trauma-related memories to resurface, you have the right to pause sessions and assess what kind of support is best needed. A tattoo can be completed at another time, your safety is paramount.

         

  • Good Faith Rule

    • I, as an artist and human, will do my best to act compassionately and in good faith during all of our interactions.

    • Communication is hard, for all of us. Cyberbullying and other cyber crimes make folks ability to remain connected to others, or reach out digitally, challenging at times. I acknowledge that there are many aspects of both of our lives we do not know about, and I work to act in good faith when these situations arise for both myself as an Artist, and for my Clients. Your life and safety is more important than “timely communication” standards, which are inherently rooted in ableism and racism. This does not mean that ‘no-call, no-showing’ is cool, but that these things happen in a more complex vacuum rather than existing as maliciousness.

       

      I will hold space within my practice for folks of all abilities, barring a financial impact on my practice as an artist.
       

  • Culturally Centered, Community Centered

    • In this space, our identities and names are sacred – I will strive to hold space for, and consciously consider the impact of my words/actions, and request the same care be held for my identities as an artist while we collaborate on a piece together.

  • Medically informed, but defer to Medical Professionals - What does that mean?

    • Tattooers are ‘medically informed’ on topics relevant to our practice, including Bloodborne Pathogen, First Aid, and other medical certificate training offered to working professionals.

       

      We aren’t doctors, and despite our best efforts sometimes infections or rejections happen. We want you to be safe, more than anything, and to pursue medical attention if there is any evidence of your tattoo not taking or healing well, in ways that could permanently harm you or your skin.
       

    • We also aren’t trained therapists or mental health crisis counselors; while we want to create a safe, trauma informed space, each artist has their own lived experiences and boundaries for safe engagement. That doesn’t mean we don’t care, and if something comes up during a session that indicates you might need more help than we are able to provide, we might ask where appropriate if we can recommend a resource, or acknowledge that while we don’t have the space to support you in this way, you are a valued and we as artists hope for all the best for you! 

      • GorgonGems, author/guild head is an Indigenous educator and local community member who is down to try and find some resources for you as a tattoo client, if you ever need. Please keep in mind, they are also a disabled/low income tattooer with limited capacity, and this is an offer to help build community.
         

  • Fat Clients belong in our private studios, no questions asked.

  • Melanated skin <3

    • Both clients and artists with melanated skin experience discrimination and unsavory or racist behaviors in the tattoo industry. Shop tattoos have a long history of appropriating BIPOC imagery without credit or right to tattoo cultural designs from a variety of nations.
       

      • Clients with melanated skin have a right to ask for ink tests, and to ask extensive questions about healing or previous experience tattooing melanated skin.
         

      • Clients with melanated skin may need more touch-ups than others, depending on my skill level as an artist, scar tissue, skin conditions, or a number of other impacts which arise. I will do my best to ensure I am not overcharging my melanated clients, and am providing touch-ups per my own individual artist policies in ways that do not cause significant or undue financial impact upon a BIPOC client.
         

      • Sliding-Scale appointments are a form of community care, and a way for us as artists to recognize that there are those who will not be able to access our arts at the level we offer them – I recognize and hold space for the knowledge that wealth has not been distributed evenly to prioritize those who are disabled, low income, LGBTQ, and BIPOC. Please see each individual artist’s policies for sliding-scale or pay what you can appointments.
         

    • As an artist, I will strive to remain informed of the imagery and symbols which have become dog whistles, or which actively oppress marginalized communities (While BIPOC folks are some of the most affected, this also includes disabled communities, LGBTQ communities, and many others).

       

      I recognize that languages outside of English, in particular East Asian languages, have been appropriated and require a level of knowledge or experience speaking said language, or a cultural connection for diasporic folks. I will make a good faith attempt to engage with clients who are seeking tattoos in languages other than English, while also adding checks to make sure that either I or the client have an experience, cultural reason, or some experience speaking said language in order to not continue this level of appropriation.
       

    • Beyond this, I as an artist promise to engage in good faith when questions arise about cultural relevance, and will take the opportunities offered to learn and grow within my practice. Call-ins create stronger, more culturally and trauma-informed community members.

Meet Our Guild!

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