Changes to tattoo artistry - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Changes to tattoo artistry

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KENNEWICK, Wash--  It's body art that continues to grow in popularity--tattoos.  But not everyone goes to a licensed tattoo parlor to get inked.

"I think the main reason people would want to come to someone like me is because the prices.  It's not going to be as expensive as the tattoo shop," says one Kennewick man, unidentified, who gives tattoos without a license.

"I try to charge fair prices because I'm still learning too a little bit," he says.

He tells us he keeps his needles sterile.   Meanwhile the state wants to make sure.  A new law set to go in effect this July would make all tattoo artists get individual licenses.  The thought is it will keep hepatitis and other health risks at a minimum.

"It will make the community more aware of going to a professional shop where they know things are going to be sterile, things are going to be clean," says Joni Hamman, who runs Body Works & Nails by Joni in Kennewick.

In a matter of weeks, all of her employees will have to be licensed by the state and that could help drive business by instilling more consumer confidence.

"I can see it getting a bit busier," she says.

As for the so-called backyard tattoo artists, their time is soon coming to an end.