Full Moon Flash Tattooing

By Osumanu Adamu

Chinatown Soup at 16B Orchard Street is a small storefront that serves as sort of an incubator for tattoo artists, giving them the opportunity to showcase their work. During an event, Scriptorium 16B: Full Moon Flash Tattooing, on October 28 Layne Miller spoke about his favorite tattooing method and where he gets his creative inspiration. The organization has been open for close to nine years, and Miller began his residency in February 2023. 16B  “is a community space for artists to get together,” said Miller.

Miller says that when he decided to study the art of tattooing, he asked his parents if he could get a tattoo and they agreed under one condition that he had to design it himself.

This is one of his many designs. Miller tattoos using a single needle. This is known as hand poke tattooing.

Layne’s drawings are inspired by historical work and images. He also enjoys magic and alchemy, which he explains is “the study of change and transformation.”

For Miller’s Full Moon Flash Tattooing event, he was hand poking these designs. The meaning behind the full moon in the event name, he explains, is “Auspicious dates that have magic” and how people are more “impulsive” on said dates. He said that “Tattooing can be a ritual and a ritual is good to be done in a full moon.”

Because a tattoo is technically an open wound, Miller must disinfect his working area to prevent infections.

Most tattooing is done with a machine. Miller does use a tattoo machine along with the hand poking technique. Tattooing can be used as a way for transformation and change,  says Miller. “By branding yourself on your authenticity.” Research should be done on tattoos and people should be wary of tattoo trends, he said. If people are ready to commit to a tattoo, he added, they should think creatively.

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