Something that has always been on my bucket list (besides getting a tattoo… CHECK!) was to tattoo someone else. Now, I’ve designed tattoos for people in the past and been extremely proud to have been part of the process… but I’ve never actually inked one onto anybody. Don’t get me wrong, It would be terrifying… but just such an honour! They’d be wearing it for life.
I’ve been following some amazing tattoo artists on Instagram for quite some time now as an incentive, but it was when some of my friends started tattooing people that I just had to buy a kit and have a go. I got mine from Killer Ink Tattoo and was really impressed at the price and quality.
Too afraid to practise on people, I got some pig skin to practise on (apparently as close to the real thing as you can get) and my first attempts were absolutely awful! …As was the smell, in case you were wondering, I recommend doing this in a garage or shed! I was not used to the vibration or the amount of ink you need, or the distance that needed to be kept from the skin, plus my aim was just the worst (volunteers line up, please!).
But, after the first horrific ordeal I sorted out my equipment and got used to the effects of my actions. I ended up doing a little freehand illustration of a bear, all with the same needle but with a few colours:
After the bear, I had a specific request to try and draw Tank Girl. For this I used the blue carbon transfer paper and just stuck to an outline needle, even for the shading. I finished with the decorations hanging off the gun and at this point I was actually pretty confident in my level of detail and what I was doing! And that was the last of my first lot of pig skin. I showed my tattooist friends and they said I was a natural! (They did not see my first attempts). As my confidence grew with each outcome, I started making more intricate designs for my next batch… watch this space!
If you have any advice or comments, (or want to be a guinea pig) please let me know!