What Grade Would You Get on a Tattooing Exam?

By: Ian Fortey

What Grade Would You Get on a Tattooing Exam?
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Throughout history, we have really embraced tattooing as the body modification of choice. Piercing has its place, but there's so much you can do with a tattoo. The range of colors and styles, of body placements and subject matter, are just so vast. Anyone, anywhere can just go to a tattoo shop and get a full back piece depicting the Golden Girls fighting zombies if they want to. They could also get a simple portrait of a loved one. If they wanted, they could just get some words of encouragement.  Tattooing is only bound by imagination and the skill of your artist.

With its long history and cultural significance, there's a lot to know and understand about tattooing beyond that skin deep layer of just putting cool images on people's bodies. There's a history there, as well as a science. A good tattooist knows proper standards and practices and knows who invented tattooing. They should know what needle to use for what job and how to clean them. They should know what style evolved from where and when. Not everyone has mastered all of that knowledge though. Do you think you could do better than most on a tattooing exam? Take the quiz and find out how much of an Ink Master you truly are.

The oldest evidence of tattooed human flesh was on a mummy that dates back to at least 3100 BC. Where was it found?
Austria
SoCal
China
Europe

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What famous explorer told tales of seeing tattooed people in his travels through China in the late 1200s?
Marco Polo
James Cook
Columbus
Magellan

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Tattoos haven't always had the same cultural value as they do today. Who was most likely to have a tattoo back in ancient Greece?
Criminals
Politicians
Farmers
Soldiers

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You need to use an autoclave to sterilize tattoo tools. How long are they good in a sterilization pouch?
Three months
A day
A week
A month

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Traditional tattooing was done with simple needles and sticks. Who patented the first electric tattoo machine?
Ed Hardy
Samuel O'Reilly
Cliff Raven
Thomas Edison

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What is the main purpose of a Magnum tattoo needle?
Shading
Fine line work
Bold line work
Light color work

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There are literally dozens of styles of tattooing you can choose from, but what's the oldest style?
Japanese
Watercolor
Tribal
Traditional

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A tattoo artist will use a specific liquid to spray and wipe down a client's skin during a tattoo. What's that stuff called?
Green soap
Hand sanitizer
Isopropyl alcohol
Disinfectant

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Where would you go looking if you wanted to find the oldest tattoo shop in the world?
Jerusalem
America
England
Japan

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Razzouk Tattoo claims to be the oldest running tattoo shop in the world. When they say old, they mean it. When did the owners of this shop start tattooing?
The 1300s
The early 1900s
The 1700s
The 1500s

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The word "tattoo" is not originally an English word at all. To what language does it trace its origins?
Samoan
French
Chinese
Thai

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If someone wants a bold, colorful, cartoony tattoo, what style should they get?
New School
Japanese Traditional
Trash Polka
Traditional

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What's the name of the style of tattooing that involves making it appear as though the subject has machine parts mixed with living tissue?
Neotraditional
American Traditional
Geometric
Biomechanical

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Some religions have a prohibition against tattooing. Which religion is most clear in its anti-tattoo stance?
Judaism
Buddhism
Christianity
Islam

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If you're getting a tattoo done in the trash polka style, what are the two dominant colors going to be?
Black and red
Any two colors you like
Grey and black
Black and green

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Not every place in the world is tolerant of tattooing. Where can you go where tattooing is still illegal?
Dubai
Canada
Egypt
North Korea

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Prison tattoos have a long history in America. Since prisoners can't access real supplies, they have to make their own ink. What can it be made from?
Soot and baby oil
Mud
Pen ink
Melted plastic

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Aside from Mike Tyson, not a lot of people get famous for face tattoos. What people are known for their traditional face art?
Maori
Maasai
Mohawk
Australian aboriginals

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Statistics change frequently, but according to a 2017 Statista survey, how many Americans have tattoos?
4 in 10
1 in 10
2 in 10
5 in 10

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Based on a 2017 Statista survey, how many Americans have more than one tattoo?
25%
5%
40%
15%

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If you want to get a tattoo that looks just like something you saw in a picture, what style are you looking for?
Photo Realism
New School
Traditional
Geometric

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Not a lot of people get rich doing tattoos. What's the average salary of a tattoo artist?
$30,000
$70,000
$45,000
$25,000

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You need to crawl before you can walk and you need to apprentice before you can tattoo. How long does an apprenticeship last?
A couple of years
A couple of months
Six months
A year

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Criminals and tattooing have a long history together. What criminal organization is world famous for their tattoos?
Russian mob
Triads
Sicilian mob
Irish mob

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What's the most common type of tattoo machine in use these days?
Coil machine
Electric pen
Pneumatic machine
Rotary machine

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What's in the ink that makes glow-in-the-dark tattoos glow?
Phosphorus
Nanoparticles
Magnesium
Cesium

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Some of the pigments in tattoo ink have traditionally come from dangerous sources. What dangerous element was used to make red ink?
Mercury
Arsenic
Lead
Radon

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Vegan tattoo ink is growing in popularity. What might have been in old tattoo ink that made it non-vegan?
Glycerin from animal fat
Beef suet
Lard
Rennet

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Who was the first documented tattoo artist to operate in the United States back in the 1860s?
Martin Hildebrandt
Dave Navarro
Ed Hardy
Samuel O'Reilly

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What was the first tattoo reality show to appear on television?
Miami Ink
Ink Master
Tattoo Nightmares
Inked

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