Behind the Skin
October 17, 2011 §
Photographs and text by Meaghan Major
Brice, a young tattoo man is drawing with a red pen all the scales of a big Japanese dragon. The first steps of a tattoo is the outline. It gives the general aspect of the final design.
At the end of each session, the tattoo needs to be greased to make sure the skin is moisturized enough.
Human beings are not equal in term of pain and each zone of the body has its sensitivity. Filling the tattoo takes much more time and is often more painful than the outline.
Often we see the final tattoo and do not realize how long it takes to realize such a piece.
It is the 4th session and after about 15 hours of work, the dragon is beginning to take form. The tattoo man has to create a separation between each element of the drawing by playing with the shade so it recreates a 3 dimension aspect and gives more volume to the whole piece.
It is important to protect and moisturize the tattoo as much as possible for the first 3, 4 weeks. Indeed the pigmentation of the body can reject the ink injected in the skin.
Brice is 26 years old and has always wanted to become a professional tattoo man. Now he is associated with some friends in one of the best tattoo shop in Grenoble (French Alps).
Some part of the skin react in contact with the needle and creates that kind of relief. Most of the time it disappears after couple of hours.
The smoke that surrounds the Japanese dragon brings an other dimension to the whole tattoo. It gives the 3 dimension effect.
Cleaned but still red, the tattoo is now finished. After few weeks Aurélie will have to make her tattoo checked. Sometimes the skin rejects the ink so Brice will have to go over it.