Dark To Light Part II: Righting Wrongs

By Genevieve Rose - 
Dark To Light Part II: Righting Wrongs

Pop culture loves to be expressive and different, everybody craves their own individual way of being an individual.
This generation is very much about standing out. In the past decade tattoos have played a big part in emphasizing originality. While it’s so awesome to see such a historic practice become engaging in a whole new way, that’s not always the case. Tattoos can be about memories, art, and symbolism, things like this are worth celebrating but there are some unfortunate reasons to the art of tattooing. Some tattoos are not inked in skin to show off a positive light. Some tattoos are about labels rather than self-expression, or worse they’re used the way a metal rod brands the backside of cattle, to represent ownership, people becoming property.
Dark to Light: transforming lives one tattoo at a time, was part 1 written about the tattoo ministry called Ink 180, put in place to create beauty out of horrible things. Chris Baker, founder, seasoned tattoo artist, and Christian man works with law enforcement and the FBI in order to dedicate his time, supplies, and skills all for free to victims of sex trafficking and ex-gang members to give them the change of life they deserve after making a change of heart. The Ink 180 ministry offers a little bit of mercy and grace to those who wound up somewhere they didn’t plan to be. More info about what Chris Baker does here.
Tattoos in this day and age are arguably more about freedom than anything else. It certainly isn’t right that some who have them feel like they’re in bondage. The sex trafficking cicatrix of a barcode. The prison stamps of teardrops and spider webs. It may not be as extreme as a Holocaust mark for everybody but any poorly chosen or poorly tattoo can become a haunting one. Two things that cannot be stressed enough, one: THINK before you ink-totally, utterly, and completely. Think it to death if you have too, just be sure. Who will do it? Where will you get it? How will it look in that spot? What if you need to cover it? Why is it something that should be permanent? Two: Good tattoos aren’t cheap, cheap tattoos aren’t good. Still lost? The writers and designers of Tattoodo are all about avoiding scarring reminders. Here’s a guide so you don’t end up with a face that’s unrecognizable. For the ones who failed to know the difference between your and you’re, thankfully there are glorious cover-ups.
A clock with no hands is representative of someone who's done prison time.
The numbers 1488 can be found on the tattoos of white supremacist/Nazi inmates. 14 or 88 can also be used.
5 single dots-not to be confused with 3-stands for being in prison.
A triad of dots means "ma vida loca" representing gang life.
While working on a series about gang culture in Mexico City, photographer Carlos Alvarez Montero started Scars a series of portraits of people who stood out for their facial markings and tattoos.
Marring associated with sex trafficking.
Barcodes are tattooed on sex workers to tell who 'belongs' to who.
Branding someone here makes it easier to hide.
Although some in the sex trade are too arrogant for secrecy.
Something to think about.
Done by Ink 180 founder Chris Baker.
Cover up for an abusive ex. Tattoo by Baker.
Chris Baker tattooed this cross as a partial cover up on a mom who overcame self harm through Christ. The colors? Her children's favorite.
A cover up tattoo
A cover up owned by the same rockstar mom. The peaceful birds represent three little scars flying away. Chris' client Heather wanted "I am more in His likeness" because she says: " we may know God loves us but it's awesome to think He likes us too. He likes me, and when you like someone you want to hang out with them and not just tolerate them....no matter the baggage or how they've acted. That's God's grace."
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