Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Things Your Tattoo Artist Wishes You Knew


     What do tattoo artists really wish you knew the minute you walked through the shop doors? A lot of people go into their tattoo appointment not knowing what to expect. Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding to proceed forward with getting a tattoo. By now, you already have a design and size in mind and are ready to proceed forward. One of the things that the artist wants you to know is that you shouldn't be afraid going bigger on your design. A lot of small tattoos look cute at first, but with the passage of time, they lose the details that make them special. Artists know how ink ages, what kinds of things will fade and distort, and how to keep tattoos looking fresh. Trust them. 

    Another thing to keep in mind is that artists' fees will vary from artist to artist. You may have heard the saying "good tattoos aren't cheap, and cheap tattoos aren't good". You will find shops and artists that charge for the piece while others will charge hourly rate.  Whatever way you choose to look at it, you will see that good tattoo artists will charge more than you were hoping for. 

    Sometimes, clients think that because the piece is small, they wouldn't be charged the same amount as for something bigger. This is true, but most shops still have to charge a shop minimum to cover supplies and time spent for each appointment. Set-up for each appointment is the same no matter the size of the design, health and safety guidelines need to be met, and there is set-up, prep, sterilization, and supplies that still get used. Be confident in valuing your artist's time and creativity, that is what they do for a living. 

    Tattoo artists are not mind readers so communicating exactly what you have in mind, is key. It's important to strike a balance between telling your artist what you want, and letting them do their job. You should always feel free to say that something is not to your liking or if you have any questions or concerns, but micromanaging the process is a sure-fire way to lose your artist's trust. Trust goes both ways, and remember they're creating art that you both will be proud of. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Tattoos are permanent

  Tattoos are created by using special tools that use needles to insert permanent ink into the dermal layer of the skin. The ink changes the pigment of the skin where it is inserted, creating a work of art that stays on your skin for a long period of time. 

    The question many people ask is why don't tattoos fade or "heal" themselves over time? Tattoos are applied to the inner and not the outer layer of skin. A tattoo machine works by moving the needle up and down rapidly (around 50-150 times per second), piercing the outer layer of skin and injecting drops of the ink into the dermis with each puncture. The ink pigment particles are too large for the immune cells to destroy, so they get stuck in the dermis.  Over the course of a few weeks after getting tattooed, the skin slowly repairs itself and while there is some initial loss of the ink during the healing process, ultimately with proper care the bulk of the ink is trapped in the layer between epidermis and dermis. It will generally remain there for the rest of your life as long as no major damage to the dermis region of body happens. 

    All tattoos will fade over time. One thing to keep in mind is that there are several places on your body where tattoos are most likely to fade at a rapid pace. Several areas have a tough time holding ink due to the types of skin on the body and the mobility of the area. Elbows are notoriously hard to tattoo and getting the ink to stay can be tough in the first place. Hand tattoos see almost constant sun exposure so they will fade. Finger and side of fingers are almost guaranteed to fade or fall out as soon as they heal. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Tattoos and Sunscreen

      With warmer months coming up, it is important to take good care of your tattoo and protect it from harmful UV rays.  Sunblock is the number one form of protection for your tattoo. Applying sunblock will help prevent skin cancers, wrinkles, blotchy complexions, and other skin-caused damages. Any sunblock is better than no sunblock when it comes to preparing your ink for the sun, but most artists will suggest using a fragrance free sunscreen with 30-50 SPF (try to stick to natural ingredients if possible too like non nano particle zinc oxide). Also make sure the sunscreen or sunblock actually works against UVA rays and not just UVB rays.
     New tattoos are crisp, vibrant, and exciting to look at but if you head out into the sun too quickly after getting your new tattoo, you can end up ruining the beauty and the design.  Even a hidden tattoo is susceptible to sun damage and the UV rays, so it's essential to do your research on how best to care for your tattoo. Too much sun exposure can cause fading, scarring, or color spreading especially in the first few months after getting your tattoo.
     If you don't want to deal with reapplying sunscreen, another good option in to completely keep your new tattoo out of the sun all together. Make sure not to expose a new tattoo to direct sunlight for at least the first month of having it, especially the first two weeks. The sun can cause the tattoo's colors to fade, but it could also burn your skin and scar the tattoo from sun damage.