Picture this, boys and girls…
It’s a hot summer night. You and your special someone have had a nice meal, maybe an exciting day. The sun is down, the night is just getting started. After such a special time together, you come to the idea of ducking into a nice, intimate, comfortable place and getting some serious finger-blastin’ done. Sure, your significant other puts up a token fight, but EVERYONE loves getting finger-blasted, right? Believe you me, I don’t like killing a mood, but someone needs to inform you, the readers, about the pitfalls, drawbacks and dangers involved in finger-blastin.’
If you’re reasonably hip to the scene, you probably figured out that this has something to do with finger tattoos. Sorry to disappoint those fap-ready readers with my clever use of terminology. Hey! It worked, though…you’re here. Now read this.
One of the more recent trends in tattooing is one that can be QUITE misleading to the client. Finger webbing tattoos; tattoos placed on the interior aspect of the fingers, exterior aspect of the fingers, and knife-edge of the palm. Some recent conversations and consultations with clients have shown a need for some information to be spread out amongst the populace about these seriously misleading tattoos.
I can’t begin to recount how many times over my career I have passionately advised people against placing tattoos in these TERRIBLE areas. Usually, the voice of expertise and experience is utterly ignored, and I end up in the position of saying “no” or having a potential client get all offended and belligerent with me about my earnest attempt to stop the mistake about to take place. No matter how hard I try to advise my people, it’s usually about 80% of them that refuse to hear reason. In that situation, I’m not going to let people get an inferior tattoo in questionable conditions, so I end up doing it…and re-doing it…and re-doing it, again…ad nauseam.
Please understand…all those cool-guy pics you see on your Pinterest and Google searches that show these tattoos in their perfect glory; Solid lines, good shading, perfect color…you know what I’m getting at…are false. The reality varies a bit from that example. Those pics that are so often complimented and used as examples of what would be “cool,” are pictures of the tattoo 24 hours or less after completion. The reason for this? They look like haggard, foetid, smashed anuses when they heal. The skin on the side-edges and interior webbings of the hand is a pickle, you see. Much like the bottoms of the feet and palms of the hand, the skin is quite callus-like. It is for this reason that tattoos are generally NOT placed on the palms and bottoms of the feet. Simply, they usually will not stay…the ones that do? They universally look like crap.
The epidermis (that’s OUR target area, kids,) on those troublesome spots happens to be RADICALLY different from the rest of your supple hide. The cells there experience a general thickening of the cellular membranes due to constant pressure application, friction, tractive torque application, constant flexing, and the traps inherent in walking, grabbing, sensing, feeling and all the other marvelous things your hands and feet can do. Try to imagine it this way: Your arms, legs, back, and all the other normally tattooed areas have the skin consistency of a healthy, hydrated supple deerskin leather…for lack of a better comparison. The palms of the hands, soles of the feet, elbows and kneecap areas have a consistency more similar to hard, dry saddle leather by comparison. As such, these areas are far more resistant to a process that relies on the aqueous application of pigment to affect a change in the color of the cellular membranes involved in the tattoo. Results of all this? A thready, spotty, and possibly even completely HAMMERED tattoo.
Let me guess…Your friend has one that came out perfect, right? Or your cousin. Or sister. Whatever. If you are dead-set on a patchy and possibly blown-out tattoo you’ll have to touch up about every three months in order for it to look like the (just finished) pictures on the web, then please don’t put up an argument when your artist charges you the shop minimum every time you need it worked on…and you WILL need it worked on. Repeatedly.
Conversely, you could try taking the advice and suggestions offered by the professional artist you asked in the first place, instead of arguing about it and regaling them with stories of your buddy’s “perfect” finger tattoo. As brutal as it seems, those are your options, and there’s no getting around it. I can only speak for myself, but I suspect it’s fairly universal among professional tattoo artists that we will consult with you, and tell you straight what works and what does not. It’s up to you, as the client, to put on your big-girl panties and make an informed decision based on the information presented. Do NOT, however, be surprised if you don’t get any free touchups on a dumb decision.
‘Till next time, ladies and lasses. -5