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How do you tattoo using India ink?

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As a tattoo artist, the correct answer to this question is that india ink is not really the best thing to use for tattooing. Good tattoos make you look cool, and smart, and tuned into the world. Bad tattoos make you look like someone who is headed for a prison cell to be Bubba's girlfriend.

India ink is made by taking something and burning it to produce soot. The soot is "harvested" and made into ink. It will work, but it is really thin compared to the real thing. Some people take a cluster of fine sewing needles and tape them together, and do hand poke method. It is slow and painful, and it will look really bad.

Option B is to get one of those scratcher sets sold on Ebay. Well, tattoo artists don't call them scratcher sets for nothing, my friend! Frankly they suck, and you would need to tune them before using them. Tuning a tattoo machine is complicated. Let me tell you up front that any tattoo machine that costs less than $250 is most likely going to be garbage. Even the $250 ones need tuning. Custom built tattooing machines cost more than twice that. But even then, the machine is only a tool. It is the hand and mind of the artist that provides the talent.

Go to your art supply store and buy a stack of sketch books (and yes, you can get the cheap ones). Now, fill those sketch books up with drawings. Every single page front and back. Also think about the kind of tattoo you are interested in. Give yourself months and months to really evolve the idea so it will be a really good one. Bring your highly developed sketches to a real tattoo artist on your 18th birthday, and go for it. Oh, and make sure to save $600-1500 to bring with.
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