Last weekend my husband and I set out for one of our usual weekend hikes in Griffith Park. For some unknown reason, traffic was backed up beyond belief at the zoo, so we had plenty of time to idle in the line waiting to get into the park from the freeway exit across from the zoo parking lot.
In the truck next to us was a Latino gentleman whose left arm (resting on the truck door out the window) was completely covered by fine-line monochromatic tattoos. Not much of which I could actually see to admire, because the lines were so fine and the contrast between the lines and his skin was pretty subtle. No way of telling whether they were done that way originally or whether time and sun had faded the ink.
Tattoo ink being what it is, people with darker skin are sometimes at a disadvantage when it comes to displaying their designs, if the designs don’t have bold lines. If there is not much contrast between the skin and the ink, the design may not show up well. The artistry in the designs is somewhat lost in translation, so to speak.
Of course, just because other people can’t see the design clearly is no good reason not to get the design applied. Speaking just for myself, I didn’t get my ink to show off, I got it to satisfy myself. And it is definitely possible to have great tattoos on darker skin. One of the best tattoo artists in Los Angeles, Zulu, in whose shop I’m proud to say I got two of my three tattoos (by his associate artists, since Zulu himself is booked up months and months in advance, and for good reason) creates bold and beautiful designs that are suitable for any skin tone.
Has your skin tone dictated your choice of tattoo? As a generic whitey, I never even thought about taking my skin’s color into consideration. I’m wondering if other people think differently about the process.
Oh, and if you know any good places to walk in Griffith Park, for an out-of-shape multicolored person, I’m all ears. 🙂
photo credit: Japokskee
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