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Tattoo Artist Works To Cover Up Ink From Former Lifestyles

Ink 180

(Credit: Ink 180)

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OSWEGO, Ill. (CBS) — An Oswego tattoo artist has developed a specialty – covering up the ink of others.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, Chris Baker says he has covered up 275 tattoos since October, of which 100 had been inked onto women who were bar-coded into the sex trade.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

Baker founded his firm, Ink 180, to help those trying to leave their lifestyles, and cover up the tattoo signals of those former lifestyles.

“I turned one on the back of this woman’s neck into a really nice-looking lotus blossom flower, which in Asian cultures signifies rebirth and renewal,” Baker said.

He says the project gets referrals from FBI agents and probation agents for those trying to change their tattoos. Among his other clients was a former member of the Latin Kings street gang who had been out of the life for 10 years, but still sported the ink.

“One of their symbols that they use is a crown, and I just covered that up,” Baker said. “He was very into mythology and things like that, and he worked with me to design a dragon that covers up fully the entire inner part of his forearm – about a six-hour tattoo.”

Baker provides his services for free to both former gang members and victims of human trafficking.