When a friend approached Mark Weston in 1989 with the request of tattooing hair stubble on his balding head, Mark proceeded to accommodate his friend. With the conventional tattoo equipment available at that time, the hair “stubble” look was created. With the onset of the popularity of the buzz cut, Mark started receiving more enquiries about his solution, a solution that later became known as the ACHM2.5® a specialized form of what later became known as scalp micropigmentation.
Weston commenced the pioneering work in this field in 2007 while owning and operating his third fine art tattoo studio, Artistry Concepts®. Since the first informal application in 1989, Weston had the opportunity to apply several hair replications (SMP’s), but in their infancy stages. Weston then solely concentrated on research and developed a specialized medical tattoo method, equipment, supplies and pigments to realistically replicate hair follicles.
The original ACHM (Artistry Concepts Hybrid Method) was born early 2009. By December of 2009, Weston further perfected his technique and equipment and the technologically advanced ACHM2® was filed for patenting. Now,Weston has further developed the ACHM2.5®. Weston was the first provider in the United States to formally offer scalp micropigmentation services in 2009.
Mark Weston lives and works in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Engaged to business partner Gale Hartvigsen, Weston comes from a family of artists. Weston has been involved in art commercially since 1974 and was receiving monetary compensation for his custom pinstriping work by the age of 13. Later adding to his resume murals, airbrushing, show cars, custom paintwork, sign painting & lettering, carved wood, glass and stone. Mark’s skills as an artist range greatly.
Providing custom pinstriping for Queen Elizabeth’s Rolls Royce in the mid 1980’s, artwork for cast members of M.A.S.H. and other celebrities, Mark’s skills became highly sought after. Because of Weston’s reputation for high-end, extreme custom paintwork on show cars, Weston was even invited to bid on the custom paintwork for the cars used in the production of the original 2001 Fast and Furious film. Mark’s custom etched glasswork even appeared on the National Geographic Channel as it adorns the entryway to the Peterbilt Truck Factory in Denton, Texas.
While in the Navy, Mark learned cosmetic and fine art tattooing in Hong Kong and Thailand. For 31 years Mark perfected this art and he has owned and operated several fine art tattoo studios, before founding Artistry Concepts LLC in 2006. His wide range of experience commencing in 1996 in the medical tattooing field included areola repigmentation for breast cancer survivors, vitiglio repigmentation and scar camouflage. Later adding micropigmentation (permanent cosmetics) and now scalp micropigmentation. Mark was one of the first in the United States to tattoo the universal diabetic symbol on the wrist of a diabetic client.
He has worked with many people who have been traumatized by illnesses, accidents or flaws in their physical appearance. Few others can follow in Mark’s footsteps to offer such a level of cross-art expertise. His exceptional skills and aesthetic sense are unmatched by any other provider in the world today. Mark has been known throughout his career as a maverick in all his art fields.
Mark Weston is not someone who makes a big deal of his work. A relatively private man, Mark usually shies away from the media spotlight, preferring to let his results tell the story. You won’t find his company featured in magazines or on TV and they barely advertise, winning most of their clients through referrals and recommendations. I did, however, have a rare opportunity to interview him as follows:
What are your personal motivations?
I had received great satisfaction from medical tattooing in the late 1990’s, but I wanted to find a personal niche that benefitted many people. Unlike portrait artwork, conventional tattooing or other forms of art, my development of the ACHM2.5® remains with clients for the rest of their lives and benefits them by raising their self-esteem. That makes me feel great about what I do.
What are your business goals?
To establish a national advocacy agenda to assure that all SMP candidates are educated in this field. I am presently establishing an SMP Artists’ Guild for those providers who act ethically, do not slander other providers and are honest with potential clients about their company’s background and their probable outcome.
I have voluntarily registered my SMART Pigments℠ with the United States FDA in order to become the standard for future federal regulations. My ultimate goal is to set the standard by which all other pigments used for scalp micro pigmentation must legally comply.
I would also like to set up training seminars and apprenticeships for the ACHM2.5®. I feel it is imperative to teach the proper technique as well as supplying the correct equipment and supplies for the best possible outcome that all recipients are entitled to.
How many clients have you treated?
As of June 2014, over 2200.
What has been your most memorable treatment to date, and why?
There have been many. I particularly enjoy the challenges. An 18 year old man Alopecia client who was ridiculed throughout his youth. This young man’s parents were in contact with Artistry Concepts since 2011 for treatment. Florida law requires 18 years of age, so he had to wait. He received the ACHM2 the summer before he entered college in 2013. His life has changed.
As of late, I have been receiving an enormous amount of requests for corrections. It saddens me that this is happening more and more. But I have already been able to help about a dozen of this men since May of 2014. Men who are suffering from extensive hair transplant surgeries. Scrip scars, Fleming flaps and scalp reductions are all extremely challenging.
What gives you satisfaction in business?
The ACHM2.5 is a highly personalized treatment. I enjoy helping men to change their self-image, attitude and looks. I see their self-image upon their arrival, followed by a changed man by the end of the day. I also great satisfaction in a life-long, personal “piece of art” given to each and every client I see.
What are your interests outside of work?
Yacht trips to the Bahamas and the Florida Keys. Also enjoying holding functions aboard the company yacht for past clients and new clients. Target shooting, scuba diving and fine dining. I also help many United States veterans to locate work and shelter. Active sponsoring relating to preservation of the Florida Panther and other large wild cats throughout the world.