Anonymous asked: Hi, I'm a black woman who is into the art of Irezumi. I'm not looking to get a lot of work, probably just a sleeve or a nice back piece without any background. Any tips for us black skin people? What colors, What artist, by machine or by hand. Any insight would help alot.
Good question, I addressed this before but I will address it agian.
What Colors? BRIGHT BOLD SOLID COLORS, for example Red, Yellow, Green(I know its not solid lol). Colors I would stay away from are purple, blue, light greens, orange, brown, Depending how dark you are you might could get away with pink. The artist I want to get with does a ton of white work, but its very bright and vibrant. I’m considering letting him test the white out on me to see if it works or not.
What artist? Any artist you feel comfortable with depending on what kind of work you want. If a artists tells you he cant do black skin, just leave and find another…he isnt properly trained yet. If a artist say he can tattoo black skin but will only do black work you can either stay and get only black work or politely decline and find someone else. If he is willing to do color work on him TAKE HIS ADVISE ON WHAT COLORS TO GET! You always want to keep your artist enthusiastic and happy about working with you, questioning him will only displease him.
By Machine or Hand? Ummm I only want to get tebori work, why? Well on a scale of 1-10 of darkness I’m about a 8. My skin tone is similar to Lebron’s or 50 cent’s. I met a guy (I told this story before) with the same exact skin tone as mine who had a tebori sleeve done by a unknown Horishi 4 years before. Black Gaku and Red Sakuras, he also had work done by another local artist (machine) who in his own right is experienced at tattooing black skin. The man’s tebori work was waaaaaaaaay more bright and vibrant. To top it off the Tebori work was OLDER!
Theoretically Tebori work is better for dark skin, Its much more a gentler process so less chance of keloiding. The artists also has full control of how shallow he wants to input the ink. I’ve met quite a few artists who believe they have to drill in ink into black skin, inputting it deep under the dermis. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Dark skin has to be inputted shallower then on white skin so the ink will be living right under the dermis so it can shine through.
One thing to remember, artists who are real traditional Horishi have the idea the people don’t want to look at tattoos up close. Tattoos are scary in Japan so the goal with Horimono is to make it look visible as possible from distance. Too much detail + Dark skin = ???. Get the point? Keep the designs as simple and bold as possible. Listen to what the artist says.
I hope this helps.