Tattoo artists: tattoos are becoming more accepted in the workpl - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tattoo artists: tattoos are becoming more accepted in the workplace

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"You're never going to get a job with a tattoo," is a saying many of the 14% of Americans who have at least one tattoo have heard from family and friends. But in reality, that sentiment is changing.

Mark Weiland is a tattoo artist with INK Tattoo Studio in Dubuque. On Sunday, he joined dozens of local tattoo artists at the Grand River Center in Dubuque for the second annual Tattoo Expo. Weiland has been in the tattoo business for 10 years. He said during that time, he's noticed tattoos becoming more popular among a larger group of people.

"I tattoo a lot of soccer moms. I tattoo some bikers and some of the other people, but I mean the female demographic is actually pretty high," said Weiland.

He said gone are the days of tattoos being stereotyped to bikers and people who are in prison.

"It's not like a bunch of dudes in prison only get tattoos. It's not like that at all anymore," said Weiland.

The growing popularity of tattoos has also made tattoos more accepted in the workplace.

Matt Zwolanek came to the Grand River Center to add on to a tattoo he got at another expo. He said he has some 9 tattoos, most of which are on his arms. He said tattoos are becoming more accepted in a work environment.

"20-30 years ago, try walking into a place with a sleeveless shirt on and a full sleeve of tattoos and getting a job. It wasn't going to happen. Now, they're just not discriminated on in that way. They look at it more as artwork as opposed to more of a rebellious stage," said Zwolanek.

Weiland said he agrees, but still he said tattoo policies vary between workplaces and he always advises his clients to be careful where they get tattoos placed.

A study by shows 31% of employers ranked "having a visible tattoo" as a top personal attribute that would dissuade them from promoting an employee.

"As artists we try to guide the clients to not get the one on your neck for your first tattoo. Don't get the one on your hand for your first tattoo. Ease into it. We're here to help them and make sure that they are making good decisions with their tattoos," said Weiland.

Weiland said along with the popularity of tattoos, equipment for tattooing has also adapted making it safer for people to get tattoos.

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