There are two skills you can learn that will guarantee you more income as a tattoo artist.
If you know how to do these types of tattoos, you’ll be in high demand.
Don’t believe me?
Then take a few minutes to scroll through Instagram and check to see what people are charging.
Your eyes are going to pop!
Skill Number 1: Nearly Invisible Tattoos
Master the skill of using white ink or invisible UV-reactive ink to create nearly invisible tattoos.
You’re going to cater to an eager group of people who badly want to be inked.
Many out there would love to have a tattoo. But unfortunately, because of their jobs, their family, or their fashion sense, they’ve put it off.
Give them the opportunity to change that.
White tattoos are elegant. They create a barely-there effect that’s easy to hide with makeup if necessary.
There are several types of white ink available.
Some are ideal for mixing gray wash and others for doing highlights.
Make sure you understand which ones are the best white tattoo inks to use for white tattoos.
Much will depend on the natural skin tone of the client.
Also, a similar but even more astonishing result is possible with UV-reactive ink.
We’ll get to that in a moment.
First, there’s something you and your clientele need to know.
Both white and UV-reactive inks fade more quickly than bolder colors.
If the collector understands this right off the bat, it will help you both be more satisfied with the work.
If you place white ink where it’s less exposed to sunlight and friction, it will last longer.
How Is a White Tattoo Different from Using White Ink as a Highlight?
You may have heard that white ink hurts.
That’s not true unless you’re doing highlights.
No color ink stings more than any other color. What hurts is going back over an area that’s already been worked.
When you put in highlights after you’ve already done the lining, shading, and filling, it’s not going to feel good.
Happily, plain white tattoos are the same as black ink tattoos with regards to pain.
Completely Invisible Tattoos
Yes, it’s possible to have a completely invisible tattoo.
The trick is allowing it to heal completely so that any scarring fades, which may take a year or more.
You can do this with UV-reactive ink that’s transparent, like Mom’s Nuclear Colors Invisible Fallout.
You’ll only be able to see it under black light.
No, I’m not talking about glow-in-the-dark tattoos.
That effect might be possible if you use phosphorous, but phosphorus burns the skin and is toxic.
Don’t use that.
Stick to reputable manufacturers that make sterile, non-toxic UV-reactive ink.
Skill Number 2: Fluorescent and Photochromatic Tattoos
Remember the last time you wore white in a club or haunted house? It glowed like crazy, right?
Now imagine the fun you could have adding fluorescent highlights to ordinary tattoos.
In the daytime, the ink looks normal, if a little pale.
But at night, it fluoresces under ultraviolet lamps.
Can you envision the emphasis it would give the image? It’s wild!
Collectors pay more for fluorescent tattoos because there are few artists that specialize in them.
The ink is thinner and harder to work with. It takes practice to get the most out of it.
And since the colors are pastel in daylight, they are prone to fading much more quickly than regular ink.
That’s not necessarily a con as it leads to repeat business. Just make sure that the client understands the situation before you ink them the first time.
However, UV-reactive ink also has a bad rap for being painful. Again, it burns more because you’re doing highlights on areas that have already been worked.
Now, let’s move on.
An even rarer beast is the tattoo artist who specializes in medical photochromatic tattoos.
This kind of image changes color in accordance with criteria like body temperature, blood sugar level, or oxygen saturation.
As always, the artists who dedicate themselves to unique forms of tattooing are likely to find themselves earning well and in high demand.
Keep in mind that you’ll probably need additional training to do this type of tattoo. You might also need to work in a clinical setting instead of a studio.
Nevertheless, part-time work as a medical tattoo artist would pay the bills and free you up to learn other techniques and practice your art.