We had a little plot twist in the tattoo session today. I give Joe pretty free reign on creating the tat images. I start him off with source images & we discuss their physical & emotional characteristics & roles in the story. He then infuses his own style and artistry into the final tat.
Today’s plan was to immortalize Twiggy. But I have a VERY specific image in my melon of what I want her to look like. Thus, we’re taking more time to tweak her and get her just right.
So Millie moved up in the queue.
I have been challenging Joe with my tat requests. Jamie was his first one-eyed baby portrait. Millie was his first albino portrait. Obviously, she can’t be just pure white, so he had to work in slightly darker tones of pale peach and pale gray-blue. And white eyelashes? Also a challenge.
Some skin doesn’t take white ink very well, but mine rather enjoys and holds on to it. Even still, from a practical perspective for the artist, tinting/shading with mainly white is difficult. [SQUEAMISH ALERT] The blood mixes with the white, tinting it pink. Also, the inflamed & irritated skin makes it difficult to discern what is pink ink vs tender flesh.
Pro Tip: After soaking into the skin for 10 minutes, Lanacane spray reduces ALL the redness to show a true picture of the coloring.
Wow. Never would have guessed that one. But it totally worked & Joe was able to see the true coloration. The Lanacane also numbed Millie for the last 20 minutes as he finalized her. That was weird. Like, I couldn’t even feel the needle. AT ALL. Which seems like cheating and just…odd.
Millie is an albino. So she will be radiantly glowing on my skin. And part of how that will work is by hammering in a dark, contrasting background to push her forward. I have to wait for that…
Through this whole process of working towards a finished sleeve, SO MANY ANALOGIES for the writing process are pinging in my head. I’m scribbling them down. So, of course, once this is all completed, I will have that juicy overarching post to sum everything up.
Reading about the tattooing process is extremely interesting. I have to say, while I could never handle the physical pain, I do wish I could be brave enough to immortalize my own characters on my skin like you (but I guess I just have to be content with drawing and writing about tattooed women instead). Your sleeve is going to look amazing! Can wait until the dark backdrop is added so we can all see Millie glow.
If numbing the skin was a thing, then you could do it with no problem.
That felt weirder than actually feeling it though. Just strange that I could feel the pull of the surrounding skin as he wiped, and I KNEW he was tattooing, but not a single zing of pain.