Artistry Concepts was established in 2009 and is one of the world’s longest established scalp micropigmentation providers.
Offering their services from a single location in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Artistry Concepts owner Mark Weston has produced some incredible results over an extended period of time and is one of the leading scalp micropigmentation technicians in the world.
What SMP Debate says
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.
What SMP Debate say
It is fair to say that Artistry Concepts may not be the most well known of the various scalp micropigmentation providers. Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Artistry Concepts operates from a single location and their work is completed by a single practitioner, in stark contrast to other companies that advertise far and wide, and have teams of staff spread over multiple locations.
What you may not be aware of however is that Mark Weston, owner and founder of Artistry Concepts, first established his company in 2009 and is one of the longest serving providers in the business.
In the hair loss industry, dealing with a company you can trust is a real bonus, so their longevity definitely swings the scales in their favor in that respect.
What does Artistry Concepts offer that is different?
Artistry offer a number of unique aspects to their service that they believe makes their process more likely to achieve a favorable result. This includes innovations such as custom made needles that are finer than those used by other companies, “smart” pigments that are guaranteed to not change color and are easier to remove by lazer, and a promise that all procedures are completed by Mark Weston himself rather than by other employees.
We can certainly see the benefit of these differences in service. Many people who consider SMP express concerns about the realism of the treatment, particularly in the areas of dot size and blending with their natural hair. If Artistry Concepts innovations are able to address these concerns, then there is a strong likelihood that many people may choose this company over their competitors in the pursuit of the most realistic result possible.
What is the ACHM2.5® technique?
ACHM2.5® stands for Artistry Concepts Hybrid Method, and is their version of the scalp micropigmentation technique. Although I am prepared to be corrected on this, I believe the primary differences between ACHM2.5® and treatments offered elsewhere are that Mark uses finer needles, their own SMART pigments and that the procedure is completed in a single session.
An SMP treatment completed in just one session certainly makes the procedure more accessible to more people. Depending on where the customer is based, multiple journeys and hotel stays must be factored into the total cost, not to mention time off work and multiple periods of ‘settling’. A single session treatment means one visit, one settling period and a significant drop in overall cost for many.
The base colors in Artistry’s SMART pigments are derived from an organic powder base, and individually mixed to match your hair color and compliment your natural skin tone. These unique pigments are permanent lasting 20 years or more, but were engineered to continually naturally blend should your own hair start to gray in later years.
Ultimately its the same technique based on the same principles, and we firmly believe that the most significant factor in the success or failure of any scalp micropigmentation treatment is the skill of your practitioner. With this in mind, the fact that Artistry’s clients are guaranteed to be treated by the owner and founder Mark Weston is a real plus. However in addition to practitioner skill, AC’s innovative needles and pigments promise to deliver further enhancements for a superb end result.
Are there any reviews of Artistry Concepts work?
There is a number of independent reviews on Yahoo Local, showing consistently positive feedback over an extended period of time.
Here is their most recent review:
After a month or two of research this summer, I made the decision to get the ACHM2 procedure with Mark at Artistry Concepts and boy am I glad I did. It is a night and day difference to me but natural to the point where no one has noticed, even my mother was amazed when I told her. I used to have to shave every two days or so with no guard before my balding became glaringly noticeable, but now I can go almost two weeks as the ACHM2 and my own hair blend together. I wish I would have done this a few years ago and as a single guy I noticed right away that the positive reaction I was getting from the ladies was noticeably increased. I have received comments the last couple months since the procedure on how good I look but no one has been able to pin point what’s different. Thanks again Mark and Gale!
The age-old advice of doing your homework still applies, so as long as the company is able to offer examples of their work during the consultation process and all your questions are answered satisfactorily, we see no issue. The photographs that AC do publish are very detailed and appear to show their results without any enhancement or manipulation. We know that one or two other providers enhance their images to show their results in a more positive light, but we do not believe Artistry are doing this. What they are showing appears to be the real deal.
Would we recommend Artistry Concepts?
Yes, on the basis that more photographic evidence (specifically larger photos) is made available upon request. I am aware that the company has had issues in the past with competitors stealing their photographs, so it is understandable that they would want to keep a tight rein on their intellectual property.
On the face of it, Artistry Concepts should be an excellent choice of provider as they are long-established, you’re guaranteed to be treated by the owner and they certainly appear to know what they’re doing.