View tattoo portfolio: Here

View mixed media portfolio: Here

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Tattoos up for grabs

Just two designs I colored and would like to find a home for.

One rose and one bird

contact me if you're interested in either of these, they will
be large tattoos so keep that in mind when inquiring ;)


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Buyer Beware?

If you are interested in getting a tattoo, or maybe you are worried about the ingredients of tattoo ink, then I urge you to read my thoughts on the matter. This is not a short write up
but I have attempted to solve this objectively.
many people ask me what is in tattoo ink?
I've always been under the impression the answer is
simple. Much like oil or acrylic paint, or the color
that comes out of a marker, you generally have three
ingredients: pigment, solvent, and alcohol.
Oil paints have a history of major toxicity. Many of the infamous colors that were actually quite poisonous were specifically dangerous if its particles were inhaled. Any color with a prefix as Cadmium, Cobalt, and the filthy Flake (lead ) could be dangerous if say, you were to ingest particles from your hands. Your body can retain Cobalt if ingested.
Additionally, if these dried pigments are sanded or cut, particularly Cadmium and Cobalt, and you should by ignorance inhale these particles you are at risk.
Many professional grade oil paints offer replacements for the
most poisonous of pigments.
Cobalt Violet, Cadmium Red, and Flake White are the most dangerous. You can identify a poisonous oil paint by its absurd price point. They are priced high not due to scarcity, but due to toxicity.
Now, a lot has changed over the centuries - many toxic ingredients now have harmless replacements. for example Napthol red replaces Cadmium.
Before I write about tattoo ink, understand what pigment is.
Pigment is ground powder, derived from a natural source - typically stone. pigment is rocks! elements. Pigment is heavy metal. Just have a look at your periodic table, and you'll see where pigment comes from. They take stones and metal and grind them into a fine powder. This is where color comes from, particularly for use by artisans when placing color for creativity or aesthetic purposes. Pigment is in the paint on our walls, the dye in our food, and in the ink in my skin.
To make ink or paint, in addition to pigment, you'll need a carrier - something to make the pigment "liquid" and to distribute the pigment evenly. Generally glycerin and alcohol serve this purpose. In Oil paint, Linseed oil (as well as alternatives) is the carrier.
Most tattoo ink companies are secretive about the ingredients in their products. They are not required by the FDA to provide this information. But make no mistake, by getting a tattoo you are putting heavy metals into your skin.
The commonwealth of Pennsylvania has zero regulations established concerning the tattoo industry. The health department is not involved, OSHA is not involved. Which is why I urge residents of Pennsylvania to find a professional that works in a clean studio.
A customer came into South Main Tattoo months ago, asking me about my cross contamination procedures, disposal and sterilization process. I'm happy to provide my clients a detailed walkthrough of my work environment and my procedures. I do understand there is a mass of misinformation out there. I will gladly show you my equipment and hygiene practices.
Her concern and belief was that tattoo artists are taking their leftover ink and pouring the contaminated ink back into the bottle.
Personally, I'm not interested in spreading disease. I'm looking around me at the time, and I'm thinking,
South Main Tattoo is one of the cleanest and most professional studios you'll find in the area. saying to myself, Good lord. Have you been to other tattoo shops? Most of them are dungeons. South Main is an oasis compared to many studios I've been to. So, she's in this pristine tattoo studio, and I can tell she doesn't believe me by the way she is looking at me, and I'm also thinking to myself, Lady, I have a wife and a mortgage, you do realize tattoo artists are just normal people right? My career is at stake. I follow ethical and hygienic guidelines that my peers and family expect of me. OSHA may not enforce tattoo studio regulations, but this is why you choose a professional and this why you pay a lot of money for a tattoo.
Back to ink - a quick Google search of "What is in tattoo ink?"
A blurb at the top of the page says, "Tattoo inks may be made from titanium dioxide, lead, chromium, nickel, iron oxides, ash, carbon black, and other ingredients. Some of the pigments are industrial grade and used as automobile paint."
I know that some of that is true. I do not know, one hundred percent, if all of it is true. further investigation: Only four links down I found the source -
The above excerpt was taken from this article. I read through it. The entire article is written with an alarmist overtone. While it's not misleading you by any means , I am skeptical on some of the ideas presented. It suggests that antifreeze and formaldehyde, lead, benzopyrene are ingredients found in tattoo ink.
Well the answer is I don't know. I dismiss this article, as mentioned above, as alarmist propaganda.
I followed a trail of sources that the above url uses as its basis: The website below, which is cited specifically in the former, regarding formaldehyde in tattoo ink:
The webpage screams clickbait, especially if you scroll down to the bottom and look at the telltale advertisements in brick formation.
There is so much misinformation on the internet. There is so much misinformation and rumors regarding tattooing.
I was a bit surprised that this particular webpage was at the end of my source search - it did not cite sources on its own.
Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. suggests that some tattoo inks contain antifreeze and gluteraldehyde , but she didn't support her claim with facts. And now other people are citing her, because she has a very short article written about tattoo ink, and there's a Ph.D at the end of her name. Well, I remain skeptical.
People have been getting tattoos for centuries, and believe it or not the industry has evolved and catered to professionals. I buy professional grade tattoo ink. If there is formaldehyde in tattoo ink, well, I'm gonna shrug. Oh well. Looks like a major percentage of the population is in big trouble - or maybe not!
My suggestion for anyone concerned about the ingredients of tattoo ink is to ask your artist which brands they are buying. Try a simple google search with appropriate keywords as followed, and exclude words enclosed in parentheses:
msds (material safety data sheet) Dynamic (brand) Black (color) ink
consider the following information at the link provided below
Hazardous Components:
Carbon Black (carbon makes black. 18.5% of the human body is made of carbon, fyi!)
Acrylic Resin
Isopropyl Alcohol
Most of these data sheets are vague and unhelpful.
My advice to you if you are concerned about tattoo ink in any way:
Do not get a tattoo. It's okay, we won't judge you. It's okay to not get a tattoo and in my professional opinion some people who should not get tattoos convince themselves that they ought to get a tattoo. Don't.
Getting a tattoo has always been a risk. Every time you get a tattoo you are rolling the dice - as far as how it comes out, how it heals.
You will not, repeat not, no matter how hard you try to micro manage your tattooist, mitigate the risk involved with getting a tattoo - that includes ink risks as well as design / application risks. It has always been a pick-your-design sort of thing and hope that the artist does a good job. That's a fact and it's part of the industry. I serve the industry. Tattoos are not perfect. Drawing on skin is very difficult. Lower your expectations, please, or simply don't get a tattoo. A proper experienced professional will charge you a lot of money, will do exactly what you request, but will not allow you to make design choices as you have zero experience applying art to skin. What looks good on paper will have to be translated to skin. The goal of a tattooist is to provide:
A) a pleasing design and apply it with proper health precautions
and B) A design that will age gracefully
If you are not a tattoo artist, bottom line is you have no business making decisions
about how a tattoo should be rendered. You are hiring a professional to make these decisions for you based on what you are asking for, and thus you should always hire someone whose work you like, and you should always hire someone who you trust. A proper tattoo artist will find the best solution to fit your needs.
If you have concerns about the materials used in tattoo ink, please consult MSDS sheets with a simple google search. They are provided for public exam for a reason, it's your right.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Rose Tattoo Special

South Main Tattoo in Doylestown  PA

If you are reading this post, then I am still
offering this deal.

Rose tattoos only - must be my design, particularly
the style shown below.

Rose tattoo, black and gray or color for 275$

approximate size is 5-6 inches wide , 4 inches
wide, minimum

You are getting a deluxe tattoo for a great price,
with the stipulation that I maintain creative liberty
for the rose design, i'll use my judgment to make
the tattoo as good as possible.

in the style shown below.! Each one is different
but stylistically mine

Reach out to me and let me know you saw this
offer on this page. Thanks and hope to hear from you

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

summer update

Just updating with some work , thanks for visiting

and some traditional work

Friday, May 5, 2017

April work

a few pieces i've worked on over the last month

please e-mail me if you'd like to consult with
me for a tattoo or some traditional art!

thanks for stopping by

Friday, March 17, 2017

new work in March

Just an update with a few pieces I've worked
on over the last couple weeks.

I work at Sink the Ink in Doylestown, PA

email me at mscpencils@gmail.com

Saturday, February 11, 2017

New work

Some pieces I've been working on lately!

Friday, January 27, 2017

designs I'd like to tattoo

Just updating with two designs I drew. I'm looking to tattoo these so if you're
interested in buying please e-mail me



Thursday, January 19, 2017

new creative piece

this is

Killicutty McGillicuddy and his missing eyes,

it measures 11 x 14 inches using a mix on cotton.
I used to use pencil only for this sort of project. unfortunately
graphite doesn't have the best applications for dark tones
and now I use colored pencil to lay down black.

Pencil is remarkable on smooth paper concerning light
tones, but the more i build up the graphite the more
reflective it becomes , and generally the less smooth it
looks. but boy i think the tones in this piece are pretty
darn smooth.

for my creative works i generally work toward a
focus on a flowing , natural composition with a high
level of contrast for easy viewing. i want my audience
to know exactly what they're looking at - even
though the subject is a bit abstract.

i haven't been finding much time for my own creative
line of art but I'm happy to start the new year off with
this one. Killicutty is my fourth piece in a series of "puddle
people," i use that term because my characters in this
series are curvy, resemble something like smoke or water.

well anyway I hope you find some feeling in this piece, if you love
it or hate it, it means i've succeeded by making you feel something

Friday, January 6, 2017

New fine art

just to start the new year, i am sharing the work I've completed
over the last few weeks. Thanks for looking! If you'd like
to commission me for a project please e-mail me at


some children's art for my niece!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

some tattoo work

I tattoo at Sink the Ink in Doylestown, e-mail me if you'd like to set
up a consult. My business is also portraits on paper - people, pets, 
other ideas welcome. Get in touch with me for a consult.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Pet Portraits by Matt

Here is a bit of a gallery of my work the past year. I have
a lot of experience with portraits. I love drawing
faces and I've been studying them since 2006.

 In 2015 I began working with animal subjects as a bit
of a side business. I tattoo in Doylestown fulltime and
art on paper has a special place in my heart.

All commissions are completed on thick quality paper (bristol) and
most are 9 x 12, my preferred size for these. I use colored
pencil to complete the art.

If you are thinking of commissioning me for a portrait
please consider your best references. It's difficult
to work with grainy photographs with poor lighting -
I always recommend photos taken outside in the sunlight!

E-mail me at mscpencils@gmail.com if you'd like to
start an easy consultation