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How to Prepare Skin for a Tattoo

Learn how to prepare the skin for a tattoo from acclaimed tattoo artist James Vaughn in this Howcast video.

Transcript

How to prep the skin for a tattoo. First I use an alcohol wipe that's 70 percent alcohol. Most city ordinances that govern tattooing, which is usually governed by each county or state, they usually require at least 70 percent alcohol. Anything more evaporates too fast it has to sit on the skin to prep the skin.

Wipe it down. Next shave the skin. You have to shave the skin, no matter how much hair, whether it's small or a lot, we've got some bear hands over here, just so you don't have any ingrown hairs during the healing process. In designing a tattoo, what you'd normally do is; first find out what they like, and then look at the shape of the body, what you're going to work with. Your canvas will tell you a lot, what's around it. A hand is a pretty big spot, as you can tell, it's sort of on a round shape. I usually don't use stencils, I draw everything on skin, just because I like to show true artistry. It is easy for me to draw on skin then place a stencil. When I draw on the skin, I actually form the tattoo to the body so when you look at the placement of it, it doesn't look wonky or one side to the other because it was actually drawn for that part.

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