23 December 2017

Project #sanhìtattoo - #2

It's not quite time for #KPLN2018, so I guess it's fine if I continue to report about this in English, for now x) It's easier, hrh.

So, small update on the UV ink tattoo;
since I frequently have to wash and disinfect my hands and forearms thoroughly while working, I'm never really able to take good care of my fresh tattoos and so they dry out pretty bad pretty quickly and that added to the fact that UV tattoo ink on its own is supposed to be worked into the skin very carefully or otherwise it won't really show up nicely for long. So, yep, some dots are already gone- but that won't be a problem because as I said before, I can do touch-ups anytime and while I'll be at it I will be able to change the pattern a bit (increase spacing between dots etc.)...

How I was able to tell since my blacklight bulbs are so weak? Found that old tiny UV flashlight again that I believed lost forever and yep, it showed me how bad the lightbulbs really are. Tbh the UV ink is bright AF, so I'll just need to get a better source of blacklight and I'm good to go.

Since my first test, there was no reaction at all. No itchiness, no unusual redness or blistering or whatsoever, everything healed as perfect as I/my job allowed it to.

So, change of plans: Get a better blacklight and hand-poke (traditionally, without a tattoo gun) the touch-up-dots and new dots slowly and carefully, and it should all be ok. :)

See the difference from the first pictures I shared earlier, especially near my nailbed where the light doesn't hit as directly?

my crappy mobile camera
doesn't do the actual
luminosity justice

16 December 2017

Project #sanhìtattoo - #1 - first test

So, after wanting sanhì (those bioluminescent glowing dots/pores/freckles the Na'vi people have all over their bodies) for a couple of years now, I finally bought UV tattoo ink and some (unfortunately pretty weak) blacklight lightbulbs and gave it a try today for the first time.

Since UV tattoo ink or rather its impact on the body is still pretty unresearched, I know that there are a few possible risks coming with tattooing UV ink into my body, but the wish for a full-body sanhì tattoo is stronger than the fear of risks.
Luckily I'm a tattoo artist and have all the equipment I need at hand, so please don't try this on your own, unless you're a tattoo artist yourself. Tattoos always should be done only by experienced and reputable tattooists. ;) Also, never, under any circumstances, use glow-in-the-dark ink for this (color that glows on its own in the dark without the help of blacklight after being exposed to a "normal" light source), since this type of ink is known to be carcinogenic.

I'm quite experienced by now (been tattooing for 5 years coming February), but I've never worked with UV tattoo ink, so it's also interesting to learn more about it. And I never did mind being my own guinea pig, hrh.

Anyway, possible risks of UV ink tattoos could be, according to the research I've done:
- from irritation through to rashes right up to dermatitis
- full blown allergic reactions limited to the affected skin
- clear UV ink turning from almost invisible to brown over the course of time and huge amounts of sun exposure
- luminescence of the ink could/will fade over the course of time

- Regarding the first two notes/points, any kind of tattoo ink, even those inks that are approved and have no bullshit contained in them, can cause irritation or allergic reactions. That's a risk that comes with absolutely every tattoo you get. UV ink is supposed to cause those kinds of reactions a little more often than normal non-UV ink, tho.
- Regarding the third note, I've never been a sun worshipper, always hated the summer heat and exposing huge amounts of my skin, so my skin is always pretty well protected against sun exposure anyway. The hands, forearms, and face are a different story though, of course. But really, I don't mind if my sanhì will turn brown-ish eventually. Freckles in the shape of sanhì-patterns, so what? ;D Of course, I'd like them to stay invisible though since I want this full-body tattoo to be invisible to the eye in normal daylight, but well, that's a risk I could live with.
- Regarding the fourth note; hey, I can do touch-ups on myself anytime if needed. ^^

So, I got Kuro Sumi Glow Clear, since I don't want the tattoo to be visible in normal light. The ink is not as bright/luminous as I'd like it to be, but that could be due to the weak blacklight and my already existing tattoos, which now lie "underneath" the UV ink in my skin.
As said before, the blacklight bulbs I got were pretty cheap and not very strong, but they were the only ones they had in stock in the store yesterday, so I went with those...
Time and maybe better blacklight will tell how good this ink really is.
And well, I just went for it today, since I had got no appointments and some time for this experiment.

Prepared my station, screwed in the blacklight bulb into our desktop lamp, prepped my skin, drew on some rough guidelines so I could see where the sanhì lines should run along and started tattooing.
The ink's consistency is quite different from what I'm used to, reminds more of condensed milk (or "Stencil Stuff") rather than tattoo ink, but it flowed pretty well anyway. Even though the luminescence wasn't as strong as I hoped it would be, I didn't want to overwork my skin, so once I felt like I packed it as opaque as possible without turning the top of my finger and hand into minced meat, hrh, I just left it at that.
The redness of the skin due to irritation and blood dulled the luminosity quite a bit additionally.

Also, I packed the dots a little too dense/close to each other, lesson learned - the following dots will be farther away from each other and more dispersed, but I don't mind it being so concentrated on my hand(s), since they're currently my most important body part and allow me to be creative, so it has kind of a meaning to it x) (concentrated energy or smth hrh.) So I will do the same pattern on my other hand when it's time and vary the density of dots more on my other not-yet-glowing bodyparts.

the ink + my station

daylight + room light

blacklight + faint daylight

full-body sanhì tattoo concept
(may change it maybe, we'll see)

Well, now that it's done the only thing left to do is take good care of my tattoo and observe. I'm thrilled to see how it looks once it's fully healed - if the ink is really "invisible" in normal light and still as bright as right now (or less bright) in blacklight. And also, how my body copes with this type of ink because that's the crucial point and the reason for this experiment: if my body tolerates the ink, I will indeed do my whole body; if it doesn't, I won't.

Either way: I have "bioluminescence"/sanhì now! :D