Many people have misunderstandings of what a tattoo is. Some can't tell the difference between a half completed and completed tattoo. For those with a few tattoos, they'd say a tattoo looks it's best only when it's freshly completed.
This is because during the tattooing process, the skin was damaged and will look inflamed and swollen. People tend to associate the fresh swollen state of a tattoo as the "most beautiful" time of its lifespan.
But to an experienced tattoo artist, he appreciates the difference between a healed and fresh tattoo. For example, most layperson will think that word tattoos and tribal designs are simple and easy to do. But they fail to appreciate the fact that to make such a tattoo look good even after it heals, requires substantial work and experience of the artist; words must be done intricately to remain legible and uniform over time, while pigment saturation must reach a certain level to prevent blotchy designs.
All these requires a skilled and experienced tattoo artist to accomplish. An amateur or junior artist might know how to make it look good upon completion while it's fresh, but generally lack the skills and experience required to determine how it will turn out once it's healed.
This is part of the reason why ill-informed consumers will go around shopping for an artist and settle on the cheapest he could find. For him, the value of a tattoo is only worth so much.
Unfortunately, a good tattoo artist can't expect his customers to understand the value of true art. But someone who does understands this, and treats his skin as an artistic canvas for expression, will tend not to consider the price of a tattoo as the primary factor.
I made it a point to tell my clients to wait until the tattoo heals, before deciding whether it was worth the price that they paid for. This is the reason why I get many repeat customers in my studio.
I'm now showcasing the complete process of my work from just done, healing, and healed, so that you can understand how a tattoo should look like throughout the healing stages and after it's completely healed.
Personally, I prefer the completely healed look. I think that's the best look a tattoo can get. While many people likes the freshly completed look, I guess it might be due to the freshness phenomenon.
This is a photo of a freshly completed tattoo. Look at the redness and inflamed skin. The inflammation will differ from individual to individual. But they'll look identical.
Colours will be able to be applied to the tattoo about half a month (depending on individual's healing period) after the initial outline and black-grey shading was completed. During this period, all the black and grey areas would have healed completely and its full intensity and depth would be clearly visible.
For large pieces of colour tattoo, the best case scenario would be for the black and grey portion to be fully healed before applying the colour. This way, the colour portion of the tattoo will look natural and vibrant.
For those on tight schedules, such as tourists, etc., my advice is not to do a large colour piece while traveling. Instead, choose a black and grey design, then return to do the colouring in the future. However, if a colored piece is needed, go for something either A4 sized or smaller. For pieces that are mostly composed of black and grey with a little colour here and there, it'll be alright as well. For details, give us a call for a free consultation.
This article is meant to explain the essential tattooing and healing process. Some may even think that I might have Photoshopped the images. Rest assured, the photos are untouched, and the depicted tattoos belongs to our studio director, Mr. Edward. You may give us a visit to witness the healed tattoo for yourself!
The healing stages of the colour prob will be uploaded as it becomes available.
We will also continue to update this article with further explanations as to the "why" of tattoo healing.
Thanks for reading this tattoo healing article dedicated to all tattoo lovers out there!
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