By Dr. Linda Amerson
I was honored to interview Mark Weston, the Inventor of Scalp Micro-Pigmentation. He shared his journey of loving ART to taking his profession to the next level as a Trendsetter! “I have loved art since I was just a few years old, drawing on everything.
Through my early teens I started on hand-painted pinstriping and then quickly got into hand-painted lettering. So when I joined the Navy in 1977, I was very much into art; so from boot camp on, all my commanding officers made use of my passion and talent for art, lettering office doors, painting huge ships on the mess hall walls and then the same on the ship, even lettering the captain’s skiff.”
Mark shared when he began learning tattoo techniques. “When my ship deployed, one of the places that we went and spent a lot of time was Hong Kong, where I went to a tattoo shop called “Pinky’s.” I stood at the desk and talked to the “artist” (turned out to be the owner, Pinky Lee.) I quickly drew out what I wanted for my tattoo and handed it to him.
While getting my work done he told me that he thought that I would make a good tattoo artist, being able to draw so well free hand, and asked me if I would like to learn. I can still remember how excited I was when I blurted out my yes. I spent a month, in and out of the shop whenever I could get off the ship. From that day on, I loved tattooing and never let my machine get cold.”
1) His work spoke for itself. “No, and honestly I have never had to try to get “recognized” to get work, I have always had more work than I could do, and now, over half of my clients are people you see every day when you turn on your TV. Now I am being asked to speak at Tattoo Conventions all over the world. My time is very limited.”
2) With a smile, Mark shares his most unusual tattoo request from a consumer. “That one is easy, I was doing a portrait on another customer’s arm and while I was doing the hair, my friend stated that what I was doing really looked like hair, and said “Can’t you do that here,” (pointing to his balding head.) I said “I don’t see why not.” The first scalp pigmentation was born.
3) I asked Mark during our interview about some bizarre/unusual placement for tattoos on both men and women, such as on the forehead, face, inside of bottom lip, and eyelids. Do you have any advice/suggestions to consumers who request this placement for a tattoo? “Those are all excellent ideas for someone that never wants to have a professional job. I personally won’t do that type of work on anyone. They may not appreciate my opinion on it, but in the end, I think I have done the right thing.”
4) Mark shares with us his motivation for Inventing the Scalp Micro-pigmentation. “It started with a friend asking me about tattooing ‘hair’ on his head, which was mentioned earlier. I did it for him using standard tattoo needles and pigment that I use for regular tattoos. (The same equipment that all other SMP providers are using NOW, I might add.)
It became painfully obvious very quickly that there was a great deal of room for improvement. I then began research to make a much smaller needle set “one the size of a hair” and pigments that stayed the color that I applied them, not turning blue and green after a few days.
I have spent years researching and developing needles and pigments to do just that, and I have now used them on over 3000 customers with results that you can find in my hundreds of testimonials and thousands of before and after photos.” This technique at first took me about 18 to 20 hours over three days to apply 500 points per square inch, before having perfected my technique and needle size. Now, it takes me about half a day to apply 70,000 to 80,000 points on an average scalp consisting of 1000 to 1100 per square inch on a typical Norwood 7.”