IN PICTURES: The art of getting inked

Guest artist Dylan Brown works on a foot tattoo for a customer at Sakred Skin and Studio in Kamloops this week.

KAMLOOPS – A tattoo is more than just ink on your skin — it's the time the artist puts in to designing it and then inking it onto your skin. It's a piece of art you will carry with you for the rest of your life and every one is a truly a unique expression.

A guest tattoo artist Dylan Brown at Sakred Skin and Studio recommends thinking about that prior to deciding how to adorn your body. The artist takes a lot of time to sketch out a design they feel reflects the customer and he says the customer should put similar thought into what it is they want.

This week Brown was designing a Tibetan skull for a customer and after sitting down with him for a consultation decided to include a flower for each of his children. The strong image, filled with sharp edges, bright colour and the soft flowers, gives a glimpse into the personality of the owner.

Tattooing has become more mainstream in recent years as television programs highlighting the art are aired and celebrities showoff their body art at every turn. The recognition of Sarah Miller, a runner up on season two of Ink Master, is proof of this as her popularity as an artist and a celebrity continues to rise.

A fun loving person who is passionate about her work, Kamloops is one of only half a dozen guest spots Miller is doing this year. Most of the tattoos she is booked in to do this week are portraiture, a style she specializes in. Her first job in Kamloops was for shop co-owner Cye Delaney, who had a lifelike image of his mastiff dog done on his thigh.

Delaney says having guest spots is a great way to get to know other artists and learn from each other. They've had several guest artists this year already and another international one is planned for early next year. The camaraderie and difference of styles within the industry is one of the things he enjoys about tattooing. He notes you could give a single design to several different artists and no two tattoos would come out the same.

Brown, who owns a shop in Red Deer, says there are some surprising things you may not know about tattooing.
-More women than men get tattoos.
-Women tend to get smaller designs while men are more likely to opt for larger ones like sleeves or calf tattoos.
-While everyone is different, the stomach or ribs tend to be one of the most sensitive (painful) areas to get tattooed.
-An artist can spend hours working on a sketch template before ink is ever applied to the body.
-Shading tools can be used to add depth to a tattoo, making lifelike portraiture a popular choice.

To contact a reporter for this story, email, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.


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