white ink/blacklight tats in san diego?
December 20, 2008 2:28 PM   Subscribe

White ink/black light tats in san diego?

are there any places in san diego that do white ink and/or blacklight tattoos?

after a bit of research, i see there is a lot of differing opinion on the subject, but i was hoping to find a place in SD that does them so i can go look at a portfolio or two and talk to a few artists.

ive called a few places so far (including both Avalons), but they don't do it, which, of course, might indicate something.

So again, anybody know any places? I still have lots of reading to do on askme, but in the meantime, I hope to find someone local to talk to also.

Thanks, everyone!
posted by gcat to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have any specific shop recommendations, but I will tell you that you are more likely to find an artist who does white ink tattoos than one who will do one using blacklight/glow in the dark ink. Most artists aren't comfortable using UV reactive inks for tattooing, as most of them are at least mildly toxic. Many artists won't be comfortable doing white tattoos either, because after a while the white ink can start to appear yellow, depending on your skin tone, how much the tattoo gets exposed to sunlight, etc. Good artists are concerned with how a tattoo will look when it is healed, and want it to look great, so they won't use inks that they feel won't heal well or look good when healed.

The only artist I know in Southern California who does white ink tattoos (and does them quite well, I might add) is Kim Durham at Prix in Hollywood. A bit of a drive for you, though, so keep calling around.
posted by bedhead at 2:51 PM on December 20, 2008

AskMe is great, but BME is the definitive source of online body-modification info.
posted by box at 4:21 PM on December 20, 2008

Best answer: You absolutely do NOT want a blacklight reactive or glow-in-the-dark tattoo. First, they're not the invisible now-you-see-it-now-you-don't that you expect--they're going to show up as *something*, at least scarring along the needle lines, just with no real definition.

Second, and more importantly, there is currently NO safe, biocompatible reactive ink. While I've seen a patent for a potentially-safe UV reactive ink using nanotech, that's not what shops who offer these services are using. They're using industrial paints and dyes, and diluting or distilling them to the consistency of tattoo ink. They're essentially tattooing you with this. And no reputable shop that I would ever consider trusting (like, with good artists who have good technique) is going to do this for you.

As for a white tattoo... they look kinda-sorta fine on most White people. The only people whose white tattoos stay looking good are lily-white pasty people. The darker your skin, the more a "white" tattoo looks like yellow-brown. The color you see in a tattoo is showing *through* a couple layers of skin; it is most certainly not like painting on top of the skin.

And, I should note, white tattoos are not invisible or even difficult to see (which seems to be your goal here). Here is a picture of, imo, great whitework.
posted by Netzapper at 4:39 PM on December 20, 2008

Response by poster: thanks for the solid input, everyone, esp. netzapper.

i am offically steered away from the blacklight stuff, at least until the potentially-safe stuff becomes more widespread. still wanna look into the white ink, though, as non-consistent as the results seem to be. maybe i can start out by getting a regular tattoo and having the artist just give me a simple line figure or something, to see how it would turn out on my skin.

thanks again!
posted by gcat at 9:03 AM on December 22, 2008

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