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What is tattooing?

The principle of tattooing is marking a part of the body with an indelible design by inserting a coloring matter into punctures in the skin. Pigments are contained in the ink which is filled in the dermis with needles and then colors appears through the epidermis after total healing.

The artist have to put pigments right in the dermis to have the best result. If it's too deep , it will reach the hypodermis and this will cause scars and a swollen tattoo. If it's not deep enough, it would be in the epidermis and pigments will be rejected by the cell renewal process and this will cause a tattoo that fade away after the healing

From the dawn of time until the first tattoo machine was created, around the XIXth century, tattoos were made with manual technics and tools. For exemple the Maories used to tattoo with a comb composed of a wooden stick on which was fixed bones or tortoise-shell. Only those tools, that would vary from culture to another around the globe , are able to mark the skin indelibly by puncturing or cutting. These tools need a huge knowledge and dexterity to be mastered and the process is then very long and painful.

Traditionnal tools made from bones and wood

If at first sight tattooing seems easy, elaboration of a tattoo involve a lot of fields the artist have to master. First of all drawing, and all the things are related to visual art generally, is one of the most important field the artist have to master. Nowadays digital art has also it's place. Then knowing the machines , inks, needles, skins, hygiene are the other fields that need no improvisation. For exemple the artist have to think on will become the tattoo after healing and how would it looks in 3, 5, 15 years, by respecting some rules while creating the designs and suggest the best placement on the body to his customer.

The artist has also to know how to gather informations, documents, and how to adapt any subject to the tattoo and to his own style. He has to be able to listen objectivly to his cutomer and lead him with his tattooing knowledge on the path to create the best design that suit both the customer and the tattooing rules and constraints.



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