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Ink Innovation for the Information Age
The Tattoo Revolution
By Cassandra Taylor

Whether it be through transformation or innovation, tattoos are no longer considered  taboo. The popularity of body art has grown tremendously over the last generation, making it easy to find a little bit of ink on
almost everyone. And now, as tattooing becomes more mainstream, people are becoming a lot more open-minded about why, how and even where, they use tattoos. Today’s tattoo innovations are evolving into a trend featuring both phenomenal artistry  and technology that revolutionizes the body modification industry.
Things have changed drastically from traditional ideas involving ink. Be you a fanatic looking for the next way to transform yourself, or an individual searching for a new creative medium with which to express your true self,  this is definitely the new age of the tattoo. Here are some new and vibrant tattoos that are now, or will be soon, instore.

New to the Field

Glow In the Dark TattoosGlow In the Dark Tattoos
Discrimination against inked persons is still prevalent in our society even though it has become more mainstream, so it's no surprise that more and more artists and supporters of tattoos are trying to incorporate discretion in some cases. Whether you want to take on a different skin when you go out at night after work, just don’t want your images to be constantly scrutinized, or have a love of black lights, glow in the dark tattoos are growing in popularity.

It’s all in the ink, and may sound toxic, but it is actually completely safe. It works by either absorbing the unseen UV rays off black lights, or absorbing them from your dark surroundings by a process of phosphorescence.

3D Tattoos
Some body art fanatics are going to great lengths to really bring their tattoos to life. The concept of 3D tattooing takes your favorite image, but instead of using just needle and ink to create it, the artist incorporates an implant into the design to give your tattoo a form and figure that will set it apart from others like it.

3D Tattoo of lady with a flower on her armThree dimensional tattoo images have grown more common over the past few years, thanks to the use of  high caliber artistry and
shading, but having a tattoo apppear to actually rise above your skin is a whole new concept. Take the flower blooming above this girl’s arm, for example, or a full implant that causes this spiral to raise up off the skin. People are even getting braille tattoos, where little balls are inserted under the skin. In an industry where visual aesthetics are so important, now even those without sight wishing to incorporate a universal language onto their person have the ability to do so.

Animated Arm TattoosAnimated Tattoos
This sounds  exactly like what you’re probably thinking, movable tattoos. This new technology works with the implant technique mentioned above, but rather than a hard shape implant, a LCD screen with pre-programmed images is installed under the skin. Known as Programmable Subcutaneous Visible Implant, or PSVI, this implant is permanent, as well as the image you choose to ink on top. Sound exciting? The best news is that the screen under the skin can be reprogrammed with images, so not only are they moving,  they also have the ability to change.

The PSVI is powered by a rechargeable Nickel-Metal Hydride battery. To give you a good idea of what the PSVI has to offer, the technology is making its way into the medical and communication fields, like with the vital signs monitor shown below.  It’s also being used in a daily, practical way, like with a digital clock read out on the wrist, or this guys reminder list on his arm.

QR code tattooRandom Tattoos
QR codes have become a common feature on many things we buy. All you have to do is scan it with your phone and some information about the product will pop up, or even better, you can even receive instant coupons. Now however, with the QR code, developers have found a way to incorporate this technology onto your skin. 

This wild tattoo idea is for the witty and the kooky tattoo lover, and is intended for the younger crowd. The first QR tattoo was made famous by youtube sensation Bosch, and every time he scans it with his phone he never really knows just what he is about to see, be it an animated GIF, a link to a recent tweet, or random video on YouTube. Interested in the randomness? Click here to see what Bosch has to show you.

Eye-Color Tattoos
Eye-Color TattoosLots of people grow up wishing for a different hair or eye color, but until recently, your only choices were to dye your hair or buy contact lenses. Now though, adventurous tattoo artists have found a way to completely change the color of your eye! It’s up to you to decide if you want to transform the whole eyeball, just add a small design, or add color to your natural iris, and the procedure involves nothing more than the usual tattooist's friends- some ink and a syringe.

Color is injected into the eye and washed away with each injection to give a clear view of an image's progress. Common eye tattoos are stars and hearts, but some people are opting to have the entire white of the eye recolored, or by adding different huges to their own natural color, as can be seen with this rainbow eye above.

Electronic Tattoos
Tattoos usually express emotion in the wearer, but imagine a tattoo influenced by..... motion. Many tattoo artists are beginning to combine expanding laser technology with  a person's skin, to literally bring your tattoos to life. Electronic tattoos, or emotion tattoos, are seemingly invisible. That is, until you are touched by someone during contact, causing a tattoo to appear on the surface of the skin and travel across the body, following the person’s touch. This is known as the SKIN Project, and works thanks to the technology of the Philips Design Probe.

This tattoo trend is perfect for people who want to keep their tattoos a secret. Sometimes, there is a difference in being proud of who you are and what you put on your body, and discreteness. This transforms your tattoo into an intimate affair, turning it into a luxury piece of art only a lucky few are chosen to see. For the magic of the electronic tattoo, click here.     

Electronic Tattoos


 Non Permanent Innovations
Non Permanent InnovationsLet’s face it, forever and permanent are some pretty extreme terms. If you find yourself attracted to the notion of a tattoo, but can’t seem to find the commitment, there are some new body art options out there .

Henna and airbrushing have been around for a while. Companies like Temptu have created famous cosmetic and body art devices that allow you to color yourself any which way you choose.  Sun tattoos are becoming more and more popular, as a beautiful way to transform your skin in a natural and non-lasting way. All you have to do is cut a pattern out of a light fabric, wrap it around your body and lay out in the sun.

There are also temporary tattoo ink pins, which are best used with a paint pen that is safe for your body, and can make beautiful pictures when done with care. There is also a new company, Tattly, by Swiss Miss blog proprietor Tina Roth Eisenberg. Basically, think
stick on temporary tattoos, (we all remember them from childhood, right) but who can really find a respectable looking one as an adult? Tattly worked with prominent artists Julia Rothman and Chris Glass to invent modern tattoos with a quaint, quirky style.
New Ways to Say Goodbye
As the tattoo industry continues to grow, more and more new ways to remove tattoos are emerging. Aside from laser treatment, which is usually done over ten sessions, companies have developed creams and even a new type of ink that is not so permanent. This was developed by the Freedom-2 LLC, and their ink can be removed with just a single laser treatment, a blessing in comparison to removing the other tattoo inks out there.

There are also many tattoo erasers, if laser treatment seems a bit much, and these work by slowly making your tattoo fade over time. Wrecking Ball has been around for a while and can be bought at your local drugstore, but it's expensive (around $67) and can take a few applications to get the tattoo to fade. Also, famous Tattoo artist Kat Von Dee has partnered
with Sephora, developing a cosmetic pen  thats a way cheaper option ($14) that works to conceal the tattoo rather than removing it. Think business meetings, or special occasions like a big meeting with a new client or getting married.

Yes, your tattoos are a part of you, but they are not who you are. The tattoo industry is all about self expression and turning your body into a creation. It is your choice whether or not to go there- or come back again. / Issue 153 - September 5722
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