I-Kandy, and presumably every other shop on earth, often gets clients that, ever so quietly and with a hint of embarrassment, ask about covering up a regrettable piece. Little do they know, most of the people they are speaking with have been in the very spot they are standing – whether they tried tattooing themselves, trusted someone they shouldn’t have, or simply chose a piece they would come to regret, almost every tattoo artist or long-time body mod enthusiast has (or had) a piece they’re none too eager to show.
The good news is, we can help. With the very rare exception, tattoos can be reworked or covered up to your satisfaction. The bad news is, those exceptions are often the worst looking tattoos of all. Anything with a lot of thick black lines or really dark spots is going to present a challenge to your artist – the darker the colour, the harder to cover. This doesn’t mean it cannot be done, however, just that you may need to make some concessions. Reworking or completely covering a tattoo generally involves making the piece a lot larger, and a lot busier. Koi fish, large flowers, Hannya or Noh masks, or large, intricate scenes are popular, workable choices. If your tattoo has a lot of thick, black lines, those will need to be incorporated into the cover-up, as black is difficult, if not impossible, to completely cover. Don’t let this get you down, though! Some of the most beautiful pieces to ever leave our shop are covering some of the worst to ever walk in.
Cover-ups should not be approached the same way brand new tattoos are, however. While it’s great to have a piece in mind, a cover-up needs to be created by both you and your artist. They are better equipped to take the more difficult aspects of what you have now and work them into something you will love and appreciate. Keep an open mind, and let them work with you on a piece you will both feel comfortable with. On the other side of that, however, is you. Don’t settle for a piece you don’t love – the whole point in getting a cover-up is to be happy with something you once regretted. Come to your consultation with a few different ideas to bat around, and don’t schedule your appointment until you are in love with the new piece. The only thing worse than a bad tattoo is a bad cover-up, so it’s important that both you and your artist have shared suggestions and concerns before making a firm decision.
Our #1 goal is to see you leave our shop happy, and there are few happier people than those who walked in with a tattoo they hate, and walked out with a tattoo they love. If you cringe every time you see your tattoo, there is a big club here, just waiting for you to join.
While writing last week’s post, I stumbled into an area of body modification that I had admittedly not given much thought to. Sure, we often have people ask us if we can cover a childhood scar, or replace their medical I.D. bracelets with a tattoo, but it wasn’t until I began researching Julia Gnuse, one of the most tattooed people in the world, that I realised what a huge market “medical” and cosmetic tattooing is.
Most of us know cosmetic tattooing to mean exactly that: having permanent eyeliner, lipstick, etc., tattooed on. This type of tattoo first became popular in the 1930s, though it was often done secretly and, therefore, rarely advertised openly or discussed. Today, it is a fairly common procedure, particularly for busy, active women that want to look good without investing much time or effort into it each day. Perhaps surprisingly, this form of cosmetic tattooing is rarely done by professional artists; rather, it is most often offered by cosmeticians that have been specially trained to apply permanent make-up when asked.
“Medical” tattooing is similar to cosmetic, but includes medical I.D. tattoos and those that cover large scars, severe skin conditions, or improve one’s appearance after a medical procedure. These tattoos vary greatly – many women that have undergone complete mastectomies (that is, surgical removal of the breasts due to cancer) have opted for full chest tattoos to cover the scarring, and to turn a difficult procedure into a piece of art. Others go for a more subtle approach, having flesh coloured ink applied to their scars, or to even out their pigment, resulting in a much more natural look. Still others have chosen to replace their medical I.D. bracelets with tattoos that identify severe allergies, serious medical conditions, or instructions in case of emergencies. These types of tattoos are done by both professional artists and cosmetic artists.
There is perhaps no greater example of the evolution of body modification than this. Long viewed as a weird art-form enjoyed by weird people for weird reasons, it is refreshing to see the rest of the world opening up to what many of us already knew – that body modification is much more than just an act of defiance, or declaration of freakdom – it is a statement of ownership of one’s body, and an art that can enhance beauty, improve self-esteem, and create a stunning piece of art out of an otherwise negative condition. Body modification is exactly that: modifying your body, your way, so that you are happy and healthy in your own skin. I can think of few acts more powerful, or more profound, than that.
A commonly asked question by those outside of the body-mod culture is why do you have to get so many? Most people don’t mind a dainty little jewel in a woman’s nose, or a tasteful tattoo on an easily hidden body part, but can’t understand having several facial piercings or tattoo sleeves, for example. To those folks, I present the world’s most pierced and tattooed people. I assure you, your sister’s industrial won’t look quite so extreme by the end of this post.
Guinness World Record holder for 12 years and counting, Elaine is the most pierced person in the world. Guinness has her at almost 7000 piercings, but her most recent count brought her to just over nine thousand. Of those, over 200 are on her face, and over 500 are “below the belt”. A former nurse, Elaine developed a passion for extremes at a young age – aside from her piercings, she is also known for sleeping on a bed of nails, fire-walking and glass-walking, and is an avid skydiver. And, just to defy every stereotype out there, she does not drink, do drugs, or smoke cigarettes, and is married to a man with absolutely no tattoos or piercings. Elaine now runs an aromatherapy and body-mod shop in Edinburgh.
Lucky Diamond Rich (born Gregory McLaren)
Lucky has held the record for most tattooed person since 2006, with nearly 100% of his body, including his foreskin, the inside of his mouth, and his eyelids, covered. The New Zealander became fascinated with tattoos at a young age, and his interests soon turned to the most tattooed people of the world. As a child, he would collect large piles of temporary, bubble-gum tattoos and apply them all over his body, trying to duplicate the look of a heavily tattooed neighbour. By his teens, he was a well-known circus performer, which led to a career in street theatre. He eventually became the highest paid street performer in London, and among the most popular in the world. His act includes comedy routines, extreme juggling, sword-swallowing, and more, all atop a giant unicycle. When he’s not on the road, he is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a tattoo artist. Not content with being the most tattooed person in the world, Lucky is now having his ink gone back over to add brighter colours.
At 453 piercings, Rolf probably won’t surpass Elaine’s record anytime soon, but he has just made his own as the most pierced man in the world. In 2012, he entered the Guinness books, beating the previous holder by nearly 200 piercings. A German computer expert, Rolf keeps fairly quiet about the reasons behind his obsession, saying only that he decided at 40 to enter a world he had previously enjoyed from afar. The majority of his piercings are around his mouth and below the belt, though 50 or so are spread across his body. He got his first piercing and first tattoo on the same day, and soon after became a suspension enthusiast, having now done over 100 suspensions. Aside from his many piercings, Rolf also boasts a full body tattoo.
Known as “The Illustrated Lady”, Julia has over 95% of her body tattooed, and holds the record for most tattooed woman in the world. Julia’s story is a bit different, as well – while many other record holders naturally enjoy extremes, she began getting tattooed for another reason entirely. In her mid-30s, Julia developed porphyria, a condition which causes skin to badly blister if exposed to sunlight. Rather than live with the ugly scars porphyria patients suffered, she sought the advice of a cosmetic surgeon friend, who recommended she try getting skin-coloured tattoos. When that didn’t work, she began having them tattooed over in the traditional way, resulting in an almost complete covering of her body. While it started as a cosmetic treatment, Julia admits to now being “addicted”, and is always looking for ways to add to her ink. She’s also made someone a very wealthy artist – every single one of her pieces was done by the same person.
Several years ago, a new trend in TV, and tattooing, emerged. Various television shows began to spring up, focusing on local tattoo shops, letting the general public in to what had previously been a slightly cliquey and stigmatized environment. People that would otherwise never step into a shop found themselves engrossed in these shows – they, for many, became a more risqué, more true to life soap opera. Viewers were tuning in just to see whether that ditzy front desk girl would ever get fired, or which tattoo artist would win whatever the shop argument du jour was. And those of us that worked in a shop were inundated with the same question over and over: is that what it’s really like?
The answer, of course, is yes…and no…and sometimes. There isn’t a single industry on earth that is entirely free of drama, and many of the things portrayed in those shows do go on in every shop on earth. But it must be kept in mind that this is TV, and the producers want drama. The cameras get turned off during the normal, day-to-day goings on, and only the more interesting conflicts and customers ever make it on screen. If you are looking for only the most exciting, dramatic, and outrageous moments of our lives, those shows will offer the occasional accurate portrayal. If, however, you are looking for information on what the industry as a whole is like, there are many better places to turn. Tuck in and check out these in-depth and informative documentaries on the art:
ANCIENT INK : http://www.watchdocumentary.tv/ancient-ink-blood-and-tattoos-documentary/
HORI SMOKU SAILOR JERRY : http://horismokumovie.com/
TATTOOS: A SCARRED HISTORY : http://www.tattoosascarredhistory.com/home.html
THE GYPSY GENTLEMAN : http://gypsygentleman.com/
THE VANISHING TATTOO : http://www.juxtapoz.com/tattoo/the-vanishing-tattoo-documentary
Ötzi the Iceman has been mentioned a few times on the I-Kandy blog, and for good reason. The approximately 5300 year old natural mummy radically altered the known history of body modification; he had tattoos and piercings that had, until then, only been found on much younger mummies and in more recent cultures. Of particular interest to many were his seemingly stretched earlobes. Before his discovery, stretched lobes had been pretty well exclusively associated with African and Asian cultures, going as far back as Egypt’s famed pharaoh, King Tutankhamun, one of the first known people to have them. Ötzi is two thousand years older, and thousands of miles removed from Tut, however, which tells us the practice of stretching is both much older and more global than we had thought.
There are several famous examples of ear stretching, which offer us a bit of insight into the hows and whys of the practice. Both Tutankhamun and Gautama Buddha likely had stretched ears to symbolize their status: large jewels, unavailable to the common folk, would be worn in the ears, and the weight and size of them would cause the ears to stretch tremendously. It is said that when the Buddha renounced his earthly riches, he removed the jewels, but his ears remained elongated. This became a symbol of his sacrifice, and he was henceforth depicted with long, bare ears. The Moai statues of Easter Island sport very long ears, which may serve to elevate the status of their ancestors, whom the statues are thought to represent. One Moai myth even separates the tribes of the time into the “Long Ears” and “Short Ears”. Several Hindu and pre-Hindu deities are depicted with jewel-filled stretched lobes as well, which indicate a wisdom and wealth well beyond the average person. While all of these cultures and eras differed greatly, it seems that for all of them, stretched lobes were indicative of a higher status.
Status is not the only reason to stretch, however. Tribal cultures worldwide have long engaged in the same practice, but for very different reasons. From Kenya to Thailand, stretched lobes and lips symbolise religious beliefs, coming of age rituals, and exercises in patience and devotion. Several ancient cultures believed that spirits could enter a body through its orifices, and that metal could ward them off. The more metal one could place in their ears, the safer they would be, so stretched lobes were more practical than anything. Others saw stretching as a way to mark moments of enlightenment and understanding – the larger the hole, the wiser the wearer.
Today, stretching has become a common practice worldwide, largely for aesthetic purposes, and to some extent, as a way to reconnect with ancient cultures. Jewelry designed for stretched lobes has become a multi-million dollar industry, and techniques are constantly being refined. In this sense, professional piercers are also historians of sorts, many having researched and experimented with the various types and methods of stretching. Slow and steady is still, however, the oldest, safest, and most satisfying way to approach the practice. When it comes to stretching, “patience is a virtue” is both literally and figuratively true for us “long ears”.
It’s that time of year again – the sun has come out to play, the waters are warming, and we’re all spending a little more time outside. For most of us, summer is a favourite time of year, and a chance to show off our tattoos and piercings. It’s also, however, a time when we should be giving them a little extra love. Aftercare doesn’t end when the tattoos and piercings have healed, and summer is when it’s particularly important to keep that in mind.
While inks and techniques have improved vastly over the years, tattoos are still susceptible to the sun to some extent. Too much direct exposure will eventually lead to fading. Ideally, they should be covered by clothing, but we’re all going to break that rule in the summer. It is highly recommended that, if you are going to be spending a lot of time in the sun, you put extra sunscreen on your tattoos, and reapply it regularly. If your tattoo is newer and not quite healed, take extra care to keep it out of the sun completely, and out of the water (this is why getting tattooed in the dead of summer is not ideal!).
Piercings also need a bit of love in the summer – sweat, bacteria in water, and simply being a bit more physically active can all anger an otherwise happy piercing. Take a little extra time to clean them well with saline, particularly after going for a swim. It’s also a good idea to switch to smoother (more metal, less jewels) jewelry if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in lakes, rivers, or the ocean, as jewels tend to trap bacteria, making them harder to keep clean. If you are going to wear your shiniest pieces to the beach this year, be sure to take them out regularly and give them a thorough cleaning. And, just as with tattoos, if the piercing is still fairly new, you’ll want to avoid water completely.
We all love to show off our body art, and most of us love the summer heat. Taking just a little extra time and care can go a long way in ensuring we have something worth showing off for many years to come.
“Tattoos in the workplace” is a common area of discussion for body mod enthusiasts – but what about tattoos for the workplace? Over the last few years, a trend has emerged that speaks not only to the cultural relevance of tattoos, but also to the state of the economy – people tattooing corporate logos on their bodies. For some, this means getting their own employer’s name (Rapid Realty of New York boasts almost 40 employees that have the company’s logo tattooed on them); for others, it means selling advertising space on their own bodies (Billy the Human Billboard currently has over 20 logos and websites tattooed on his face alone). Still others do it to show loyalty to the brand itself. What it means for them all is a permanent corporate branding.
Of course, this trend is not entirely new. Both bikers and sports fans have long been getting their favourite brand or team’s logo tattooed on them, and pretty well every tattoo artist on Earth has tattooed the Nike “swoosh” on someone at some point. But the idea of being paid to advertise in such a way, or to willingly turn oneself into a walking billboard, is far more recent, and has some interesting implications.
Rapid Realty offered a 15% raise to any employee that got the tattoo, and in today’s rough real estate market, 36 employees decided that was too good an offer to refuse. Billy has stated in interviews that it is supporting his family in a rocky economy that drove him to such lengths. Many others tell a similar story; a lack of stable jobs, bills that seem to get bigger every year, and families to support has forced them to think outside the box, and corporations are generally more than happy to pay a little cash for some sensational advertising (though there are exceptions – in researching this phenomena, I ran across two separate companies that expressed a great disdain at the idea of their logo being inked into someone’s face…).
For some, however, it’s about more than just money. A Utah woman made headlines a few years ago for auctioning off her forehead on eBay, promising to tattoo the corporate logo of the highest bidder smack in the center. She made good on her promise, tattooing “goldenpalace.com” across her head for a cool ten thousand dollars. It didn’t seem to be the money she was interested in, however, stating on the original eBay listing that she “loves to be the center of attention”. And a 2009 study on corporate tattoos has suggested that many people happily get corporate brands done of their own volition, no payment necessary, to feel part of a perceived “in-group” (we’re not naming any names, here, but a lot of those tattoos strongly resembled partially eaten apples…).
For many, this trend brings up more questions than answers: sure, some are clearly in it for the money, some for the attention, and some are simply following a fad – but is there something more to this? Tattoos, from their very inception, have had a cultural foundation. We can learn a lot about a culture and its history from the tattoos left behind – what, then, will the archaeologists and historians of the future have to say about the corporate logos they will find on us? What will this tell them about our culture? Will they see a people so obsessed with capitalism and consumption that they felt moved to permanently brand themselves with the labels of their choice, or will they see a people that, in a faltering economy, were not afraid to become a walking billboard if it meant putting food on the table? Will they see trend-setters, or fad-followers?
It will be interesting to watch how the corporate logo fad plays out – who will come to regret their decisions, who will still be sporting porn-sites on their head a decade from now, and whether this blip in tattoo and corporate history makes a lasting impression on industry in general. For now, we can at least sleep a little better knowing that, if we ever need a quick ten grand, the solution may be as close as our foreheads.
Edit: Due to a couple of recent concern-causing incidents, I-Kandy has changed our policy regarding children in the studio:
-NO children under the age of 7 are allowed in the studio.
-During your tattoo and/or piercing session, please do not bring your children.
We regret having to make this change, but feel that it is best for all concerned.
If you have any questions regarding this; or any of our studio policies – please call us at 604-532-1188.
The world of body modification is, by and large, an adult one. The vast majority of shops have strict age restrictions on who they will tattoo and pierce, and many do not even permit minors through their doors. The occasional shop, however, is a bit more lax – particularly if they have a lot of family-oriented clients. Ideally, one would never bring their children into a tattoo shop, but the world is not ideal, and many shops understand that.
First and foremost, a tattoo shop is full of potential dangers – there is a reason you see BIOHAZARD stickers and warnings here, there, and everywhere. It really can’t be stressed enough that the floor your child wants to crawl around on is covered with biohazardous material. Of course, every reputable shop takes extreme measures to keep things clean and safe, but it’s only common sense that a floor, during working hours, with clients and staff both walking across it countless times per day and it being beneath the work we are doing, cannot be kept sterile. We are dealing with broken skin, ink, chemicals, and blood, all of which have a good chance of hitting the floor your child wants to put their little hands and bodies on. Don’t let them!
Second, everything that we love about kids becomes inappropriate in a shop. They are cute, talkative, active, and rambunctious – all things that become huge distractions in a tattoo setting. Tattoo and piercing artists need to be able to concentrate, and kids yelling, crying, laughing, running around, and playing make that very difficult to do.
Ideally, tattoo shops would be adult-only environments, but life rarely goes according to plan, and we understand that. We only ask that you follow these simple tips to make the experience as easy as possible.
In 8th grade, approximately a million years ago, I got my nostril pierced. At the time, piercing anything other than your earlobes was taken as a defiant symbol of freakdom, and my classmates responded in kind. I, however, never understood how a little silver hoop could be seen as so extreme – I had older, freakier friends that had been jabbing safety pins, chains, and Lego heads (yes, you read that correctly…and no, I don’t recommend trying it out!) through various parts of their bodies for years. One in particular seemed to have made it his life’s goal to have every single accessible piece of skin either tattooed, pierced, or scarred, and was well on his way to attaining that goal when I got my oh-so-daring nostril piercing. He was the first person I had seen, outside of a National Geographic, that had stretched earlobes, and he had been answering the inevitable question about them the same way for half a decade: “just a little bigger”.
Those four simple words would come to represent an entire philosophy – one that drove body modification from an underground network of tattooists and piercers to a visible subculture of people treating their bodies as canvases. It is what pushed the evolution from pierced earlobe to split tongue, from flash tattoos to full-body collages of ink and scars. People were quite literally reclaiming their bodies, redesigning them at will, creating a culture that combined aesthetics, ritual, and an insatiable urge to push the envelope – to find the boundaries, and race across them. Whether we were testing the waters with a little stud in our nose or carving mosaics into our flesh, the ideal was the same: a physical, visible declaration of independence. A culture based around the idea of taking things farther, of challenging convention – it was, and is, the philosophy that, if it could be thought up, it could be done.
And, oh, the things that have been thought up. From splitting body parts in half to inserting implants under the skin, from tattoo masks to full-body scarification, there is little left that has not been tried at least once. There is, of course, considerable controversy over some of these practices – things like U.V. ink, tongue splitting, and genital modification have raised concerns from both those inside and outside the body-mod industry, and there is a sense of them still being felt out by many. Depending on one’s perspective, extreme modification either epitomises or threatens the legitimacy of the movement. While it serves to affirm the radical and innovative nature of the art form, it also challenges our notions of what is acceptable, of what we are comfortable with. It requires we take risks with both our appearance and our outlook, and perpetually update our views.
Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on, it’s likely that you’ve pondered these questions, if even briefly. I still on occasion run into someone that sees my million year old nose-ring and quietly asks themselves who would do such a thing, and even I have seen modifications that left my eyebrow raised and my sensibilities shaken. And that’s exactly the point, I believe. Claiming one’s body a canvas is much more than a creative or even philosophical statement. It is a challenge to our perception of autonomy – it forces us to ask if we genuinely support having full control over our bodies, or if we feel there is a point at which others should have a say. It turns the statement “just a little bigger” into the question “how big is too big, how much is too much?” – though, I wouldn’t be expecting an answer any time soon.
A couple of weeks ago, we offered up a piercing FAQ, meant to address the most common queries we receive, and hopefully ease your mind a little. This week, we hope to do the same regarding tattoos. It should be made clear, however, that these FAQs are not intended to replace the guidance of your tattoo artist – they have devoted their lives to this artform, and should be respected and listened to when it comes to tattoo care. Rather, these are generalised answers to common questions, meant to help you make smart decisions about getting a new piece.
What does it feel like?
Everyone, no matter how tough or laid back, wonders what getting tattooed feels like, whether it hurts or not, and how they will be able to handle the sensation. Both the artists themselves and the front desk staff get asked countless times a day if there is anything one can do to reduce the pain, or where it hurts least to get tattooed. The fact is, it is impossible to tell someone else how their tattoo will feel. We all have different pain thresholds, and we all accept the sensation in different ways. Ask ten different people which of their tattoos hurt most, and you will get ten different answers. Some think it doesn’t hurt at all, no matter where it is. Some think certain body parts hurt while others don’t. And some think it is a painful experience, period. What we can tell you, however, is that the general rule is: the fleshier, the better. Getting tattooed is, for most people, not a painful experience – it is simply a sensation they had never felt before, and therefore needed to adjust to. Many people describe it as more annoying than painful, as if someone is flicking you with a rubber band, or poking you with a toothpick, but over and over again. Unless you have a really low threshold for pain, chances are pretty good that getting tattooed will not be an unbearable experience (I can personally attest to being a pretty big wuss, and I still managed to survive getting both of my feet and my ribcage, two of the more sensitive areas, tattooed).
Is there anything I should do beforehand?
Yes! Absolutely, yes! And we love people that ask this, as it shows you are being wise about your decision to get tattooed. The number one thing you can do to make the tattoo process easier is eat. Yes, eat. Specifically, eating carbs, leafy greens, and high-vitamin juices gives your body the boost it needs to better handle the sensation of being tattooed. Your blood will be thicker, your blood sugars a bit higher, and your body well-hydrated, all of which make the process far easier on you, and on your artist. Likewise, avoid blood-thinners (alcohol, for example), and do not come in on an empty stomach.
In the context of tattoos, beforehand and afterwards are often one in the same. One of the best ways to prepare for a tattoo is to consider what you’ll be doing afterwards – it is best to get a tattoo when you have a couple of days off to recoup – you want to avoid it getting bumped or scratched or soaked, so it may not be a great idea to get a tattoo and then head straight back to work if you have a job in which you are likely to be touched, bumped, or exerting yourself physically (if in doubt, ask your artist). Also be aware that you should not be tanning or swimming or doing any really strenuous work-outs (that is, if your tattoo is in a place where working out may affect it – your bicep or your ribcage, for example) during the healing process, so if you are so inclined, schedule your tattoo for a time when you can take a break from those activities.
In short, preparing for a tattoo means understanding what the process, including healing, entails. Make sure your body is well-fueled beforehand, and that you can relax a bit afterwards, and you are well on your way to a happy tattoo.
Can I get _______?
Unquestionably, the most common question we get asked is “can I get…?”, with the blank space being anything from your boyfriend’s name to a rose the size of a dime. The answer is always the same – yes, and no, and maybe, depending. Most reputable shops will refuse to tattoo your partner’s name on you – it’s just a bad idea, for what should be obvious reasons. But, for the most part, your artist can make whatever you want a reality, provided you will make a few concessions. A really intricate tattoo cannot be tiny – it needs to have enough space between the lines that they will not run together – and placement is important in ensuring it looks good when healed – getting a tattoo near the palm of your hand or inside your mouth is certainly possible, but may not be the greatest plan if you want it to heal nicely and stay looking good long-term. Whatever your idea, your artist will try to make it happen – just realize that your ideas may not be taking the practical side of things into account. Listen to your artist, and make these decisions together.
What can I expect from the healing process?
Getting the tattoo is the exciting part, but you want it to look good forever, not just today. Allowing it to heal properly is vital! While everyone is different, there are a couple of things most everyone can expect. Before I continue, however, I think it very important to make something clear, here: your artist knows best. A good artist has spent years not only perfecting their art, but nailing down the best aftercare instructions as well. They’ve seen firsthand what works, what doesn’t, and what common errors people make. Please take their advice seriously. That said, most everyone will experience a couple of things during the healing process, and those we can safely address here. First, you will shed! I can’t count how many times we’ve received panicked phone-calls from clients, telling us that they woke up to find bits of coloured skin on their sheets. And it is a panic-inducing moment, if one isn’t aware – it looks as though your tattoo itself is just peeling right off – not exactly what most people had in mind. Rest assured, however, that your tattoo will not just peel off – what you are seeing is the very top layer of skin, and it is no different than the dry skin that falls away from you on a regular basis. Second, it will probably itch – don’t scratch it! Healing skin normally itches; this is why you feel the urge to pick scabs. While it is normal, you want to avoid scratching or picking – letting it heal is crucial to how it will look in the end. Finally, you want to allow at least 3 weeks healing time – for some it will be shorter, for some much longer, but 3 weeks seems to be pretty standard. For that time, avoid soaking in water (showers are of course still recommended, but baths, hot-tubs, swimming pools, etc, are not), spending a lot of time in the sun, or doing anything extreme to your skin.
The most important part of the healing process, of course, is to listen to your artist, and just be good to yourself. Your body knows how to heal itself – you just need to allow it to do so!
Is a tattoo right for me?
We don’t actually hear this one a lot, but we should. While we at I-Kandy are of course huge body-mod advocates, we also want you to love your mod forever, which means being realistic and smart about it. Think about your career goals, your desired appearance, and your lifestyle before jumping in to a tattoo, and choose pieces and places that will work for you and your future plans. You may love the idea of a giant skull on your neck, but if your plan is to become a kindergarten teacher, you probably want to rethink that. Likewise, if you are a swimmer or summer-traveler, you want to be really careful about when you get tattooed. Taking a little extra time to do your research and consider your options is the best thing you can do to ensure you will be forever happy with your choice.