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White tattoo?

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Amazonia posted 6/23/2013 17:05 PM

Anyone have one? What kinds of reactions do you get to it?

I've been bitten by the ink bug again and am considering a pretty script saying "silver linings" as a white tattoo. Possibly on my wrist? Still thinking.

Or having the chinese idiom 塞翁失马 sai4 weng1 shi1 ma3 which basically means a cross between "silver linings" and "don't count your chickens before they're hatched" (I can post the whole story and translation if anyone is interested, but figured I'd skip the language lesson). (Side note: I lived in China for several years and speak mandarin)

ETA: i am thinking outside of the wrist, on the outside, maybe 3 inches long? Right wrist, text running away from the elbow toward the hand. Trying to find a pic but can't seem to link to Pinterest from my ipad...

[This message edited by Amazonia at 7:59 AM, June 26th (Wednesday)]

jrc1963 posted 6/23/2013 17:13 PM

I've heard they don't "stick"... but that's about all I know.

TattoodChinaDoll posted 6/23/2013 17:16 PM

I like to tell people that their Chinese tattoos say random things like, "my mother is a cow." Most of the time what they get just doesn't mean a damn thing. Luckily, you know what you are getting!

As for white tattoos, they won't look white on you. It will look almost like a white scar, if you can imagine what I'm saying. Also, if you actually do scar easily then it will be raised and red. Or it can almost look like if you put something on your skin, got a tan, and then had that tan line. The white would show up more with shading in another color.

TattoodChinaDoll posted 6/23/2013 17:18 PM

Also, as for any color, no black outline allows the color to bleed. That is one of the reasons why tattoos are outlined, to keep color in place. And jrc is correct...the lighter colors do fade quicker.

Amazonia posted 6/23/2013 17:18 PM

Yeah, I would never consider a tattoo in a language I don't speak. Fortunately, my mandarin is passable.

solus sto posted 6/23/2013 17:19 PM

My tat guy won't do them--- he says it's rare for them to "take" well, and even when they do, they are much shorter-lasting (and harder to touch up) than traditional, colored or B&W tattoos.

I've seen some lovely pictures of them--but a lot of bad ones, too. Be sure you find someone who's VERY skilled in doing them.

[This message edited by solus sto at 5:19 PM, June 23rd (Sunday)]

TattoodChinaDoll posted 6/23/2013 17:24 PM

Are you right handed?

Amazonia posted 6/23/2013 17:59 PM


TattoodChinaDoll posted 6/23/2013 18:23 PM

Tattoos on body parts that get used a lot or move around a lot are more difficult to heal.

stilllovinghim posted 6/23/2013 19:24 PM

Everything TTCD said. I knew a person who was fair-skinned (not sure if you are) and she had a white rabbit tattooed on her shoulder blade. It was really small but honestly looked like crap. I'm a fan of tats and most of my back is completely covered. I'm saying hers looked like crap because 1) there was no outline 2) very little detail 3) it was chalk white on stark white skin. It just didn't look good.

A white tat can look good if done properly and there needs to be some sort of outline or shading done or else it'll just look like a chalk stamp.

Hope I didn't discourage you! Just be sure to research your tat artist, what types of inks he/she uses, what to expect in the healing process and any difficulty in the maintenance/cleaning of the area.

lost_in_toronto posted 6/23/2013 19:50 PM

I come from a family of artists, and know from experience and from them that white is a difficult colour to stick, and it fades quickly on a lot of skin tones.

I can still see white on my twenty years old tattoo, but it took a lot of hours to make it look white, and there is a lot of shading. Also, my uncle is a great artist!

So basically, I agree with everything TCD said. Sorry!

Amazonia posted 6/23/2013 19:59 PM

No apologies necessary, this is the kind of feedback I was looking for.

I really love the almost-invisible look I've seen of some white tattoos on Pinterest. I am fairly pale with very pink undertones though, so I suspect I would end up looking scarred.

I'll have to reconsider whether I'd be willing to have something more visible, like the same thin script in black. I feel like black will look really harsh on my pale skin.

TattoodChinaDoll posted 6/23/2013 20:10 PM

You can get a black light one so when you go to your raves they will show up.

SoVerySadNow posted 6/23/2013 20:15 PM

I thought at first that you were talking about the black light tatoos when I first read this. They are invisible except under a black light. People here refer to those as white tatoos sometimes. Really a cool idea.

Amazonia posted 6/23/2013 21:57 PM

TCD, I haven't been to a rave since I was seventeen!

lost_in_toronto posted 6/23/2013 22:25 PM

I don't have personal experience with this, but have seen some cool tattoos done in a brown/henna colour. Should that be more appealing than black? It probably wouldn't stand the test of time like black, but could be worth looking into.

Amazonia posted 6/24/2013 09:05 AM

The placement I am thinking:

(okay, be honest, how much is that going to hurt? I know there's a bone right there.)

The white look I like(d):

(but I get it...probably not gonna happen on this pale white girl )

The kind of script I would want if it's in English:

or if it's in Chinese:

(I would actually have one of my friends write it, she has gorgeous calligraphy skills)

hitbyatruck posted 6/24/2013 22:49 PM

I only have one tattoo, "Believe" on the underside of my left wrist, my own writing in my favorite blue.

I have friends that get the constant jokes about what their Chinese tattoo really means. Not for me but to each their own.

TattoodChinaDoll posted 6/24/2013 23:51 PM

As far as pain...yes it hurts. No it doesn't hurt the same in every place. I personally don't mind over the bone. It's the meaty portions that get I me. Like when they had to go around the side a bit (above my waist). My arm and legs didn't hurt. I sat for 7 hours for one thigh piece (had to go back for the last 2 hours). But it's a needle or many needles (there are different amounts of needles for different things) going in and out of your skin at about 15 drops per second. Then take into account if they have to go over the same spot over and over again. That burns. And if the artist has a heavy hand.

itainteasy posted 6/26/2013 07:55 AM


I have a Chinese symbol on my left ankle. At the time I wanted something that represented that I was in control of my life...

The symbol that was suggested to me--I was told it meant "master".

I have since come to accept it probably means "asshole".

end T/j

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