If You Can't Draw It, Don't Tattoo It
By Jane Adler, CPCP
Here we are in a new year. Here is a big question for all beginners, can you draw? For those that are design challenged this will be about some simple things, to improve your graphic art skills. Were do you put the color is the focus of this article and how to get there.
First, we need to let go of the old measuring techniques of the 50's. The face needs to be broken down into sections beginning with the center of ones face. This is your guide for the perfect cupids bow and properly spaced brows. Then one must factor in does the client have too little or too much space between their brows for proper symmetry.
Here are some ideas to learn how to be a graphic artist. This is a necessity that must be mastered for cosmetic tattooing. It is not the job of the client to draw on their own design. It is the trained professional responsibility to apply properly placed permanent makeup. Anything less than mastering your artistic skills is lazy and a possible set up for failure. Yes, we listen to clients desires; however very few people know what looks best on them. Being secure in your skills will also put you on the map and create years of fabulous work. And referrals.
Buy several fashion magazines. Then get tracing paper, pens, pencils and regular art paper. Start by tracing over and over to train your eye and hand coordination. Then mimic what you traced with your free hand drawing. Before starting any design, drawing or tattoo YOU MUST have a mental picture and a course of action. This is crucial for consistency. Set aside an hour a day to draw until it becomes second nature. This could take some a week and others years. Hold all pencils and or pens like your chosen method of tattooing. Another huge key for success is to actually talk allowed to yourself. If needed you can even debate yourself for the best plan. Clients love this!
Do not practice drawing on potential clients in the beginning of your career. Find friends and family members that will allow you to draw on the human canvas. Apply your skills to real people. They will let you draw on them, it washes off. So what doe this mean? Do not tattoo what you cannot draw. The more you practice the easier all the other needed skills will be.
Take it a step further when drawing and tracing from magazines. Ask your self, what I see. Does that model or celebrity have warm or cool eyebrows? Do I like the shape of her lips or is there room for improvement? Are her brows even? Does that liquid eyeliner go too far in to the nasal area or wet line for safe cosmetic tattooing? Always ask yourself what you are looking at. Trust me this will open your mind to seeing things you never even new were present. How cool is that. If a client's natural shape is wrong, fix it! Another fun idea is when your client comes in for a consultation, take before pictures on a digital. Crop the area to be tattooed and print out several copies and work out your design before the actual day of the procure. Or can take regular pictures and scan them to print and draw on them.
Other ideas are to take extra-fine micro-brushes and draw on the human canvas with actual pigment.
Buy makeup tapes and watch them often. Go to makeup counters and get your own makeup applied. Pick there brains and watch. A bad experience with something that washes off is also a valuable lesson.
Take your practical material of choice and tattoo brows a thousand times if needed. The same applies to eyes and lips shapes. Repetition of design makes for excellence. Makes sure you are worth every penny a client pays you. Every technician will learn at a differ level. Success can come with in the first year or it may take five years. The biggest secret I can share with you is to see it first, have a plan and when sure your hand and eye coordination is at a high level of unity, your career will take off. Every new client or drawing is a dress rehearsal for the next one. We have the best jobs in the world to create balance.
Study facial morphology. Know the safe zones of eyeliner. It is imperative to follow the natural gray lid of the lower eyelid margin. We have always been told to tattoo from lash to lash. This can be very misleading. Not all lashes are where they are supposed to be. So the goal is to place the eyeliner in the safe zones and follow where the lashes should be. This is sooooooooooo important.
Do not tattoo out of the natural roll of the lips. Can you extend them? Yes, if the clients natural borders will support the new design. Keep it natural looking, safe and balanced to the individual. I ask all clients one simple question? How do you see yourself looking on a daily basis first thing in the morning. Everything else can be trendy and should be left up to traditional makeup so the clients face ages naturally with their new enhancement of permanent makeup.