Tuesday, 6 October 2009

My first attempts

Well I have now tattooed my own leg and tattooed someone else. These are the pics of my first ever two attempts at this art:

Friday, 2 October 2009

This Is Hard!!

So since my last blog I have managed the following things:
  • I have done more pencil work
  • I have bought my first tattoo machines
  • I have watched MANY tattoo instruction videos via the interweb & DVD's
It has been an intensive couple of weeks. With it resulting in my first attempt at tattooing today. 

I bought a high end starter set up. I now own a line gun. A shader gun. A full spectrum of inks plus a sample set of the Silverback grey ink range. I also own every tattoo accessory such as the machine to run the guns, a ultrasonic cleaning machine, 150 sterile high needles in 3 different sizes, all my soaps, gloves, in caps, carbon hecto paper, tubes, rubber bands... the list goes on and on but you get the picture.

I learnt to set up my machines following a book and video instruction. I then followed the same book and dvd to learn how to be CLEAN, prepare skin, set up ink caps, apply ink using machine and explanations on line and shading techniques. Also included was a lot on health and safety and different skin types and possible reactions to ink. 

So after doing the above I decided I was ready to power up my machines and give some fake skin a blast. FIRST LESSON: FAKE SKIN IS SHIIIIIIIIIT. I drew a coi carp by hand onto the fake skin. I then took my line gun, dipped it in the black ink and went for my first line. As expected there was a small build up of residue ink after the first line went in. I then used a kitchen towel to wipe it. This is when I learnt that the ink just stains the fake rubber skin. So what I was left with was a grey rubber mess... not a good start. It was clear to me now that this fake skin would be impossible to use. I quickly realised that I was not going to be able to use fake skin. I would only get a feel for tattooing, by actually tattooing real skin. So the answer was my leg :S

I am still waiting for my Hecto carbon paper fluid to turn up in the post. So I am currently unable to transfer a stencil to skin. So I decided that if I was to draw something free hand on my leg it would have to be small but not a solid color so I could use both the line gun and shader. I chose a cherry blossom as these are small and simple to draw. The next 30 minutes was a struggle. First it took me a while to get use to the depth the needle had to penetrate the skin so an even line of ink could be applied. I then had to get use to the weight and the swing of the gun. But eventually I managed the outline. But phew I did struggle. I then picked up my shader gun, knocked it slightly and went to start it and it was vibrating at an extremely low speed. I knew by now that shaders do work at a slower speed but this was so slow it was snagging the skin when I attempted to apply the ink. So I then had to work out how to re-adjust the machine until it was working at a good speed. I know this is all good experience, but phew it stressed me out!! One more thing I kept having to remind myself to do was make sure I firmly stretched the skin so the application of ink would be smooth. But I got there eventually and my first attempt was finished. I found it really difficult to tattoo my own leg. It is hard to see what you are doing and I think it would be easier being able to get closer to what you are tattooing. Once my hecto paper comes through I will be trying something on a larger scale again on my leg. Probably a coi.

So first attempt out of the way. But I am daunted with how much I have to learn. But I'll get there in the end (I hope).