Tattoos have always fascinated me. When I was a lifeguard I saw a lot of tattoos and I learned something very important: If you get one be sure you take the time and energy to find an excellent artist and be ready to pay. That is because one of the things I witnessed was how many truly awful, cheap, half faded or blurred tattoos are out there.
I watched piles of friends turn 18 and join the legion of the awful, cheap, half faded tattoo club. It was a sort of right of passage, but for me it was a bigger commitment than marriage as it was on you for life irregardless of personal circumstances.
So I let that be, until the whole ‘flash tattoo’ craze hit. I realised that temporary was my thing. I could have an inspirational phrase one week, a little design the next, and then there was the bear hugging himself. I love this one, but it always fell apart the fastest.
Isn’t that not the cutest?
But then came the Inkbox.
I know, I’m sounding like I’m building up to something here, and I totally am because this takes ‘flash’ to a whole new level.
I stumbled across them through the vast metropolis that is Kickstarter. I watched and thought, “OMG (those actual initials) this may be it. This may be that wonderful line between temporary and permanent that I’ve been looking for.” So I backed them and then completely forgot about it until it showed up.
And then for some reason I left it sitting on top of the kitchen table for awhile because I’m absent-minded like that. (Wait, it gets better.)
And then… then one day I finally tried it out.
So, here’s the thing for people not wishing to go to websites and do such things as ‘research.’ They use a very special ink that dyes the top layer of skin for a few weeks and, like a stamp or marker, fades away. But unlike a stamp or a marker it gets just deep enough to look real. For awhile they’d had bottles of the dye and stencils available and what the Kickstarter did was back a faster application.
Which, because I am a genius, I messed up immediately.
I chose to the Project Semicolon tattoo. First, because it looked like something I could easily apply. Second, because I liked the cause it stands for and third, because it was a simple enough design I could likely get two uses out of it.
I carefully read the instructions on how to apply and did everything to the letter. I think the hardest part is applying the constant pressure for 15 minutes. Thing is the application used to take an hour, so this was a distinct improvement.
I took a photo of the skin standing out in a semicolon shape and posted it to my Instagram account and waited.
While I waited a message came through my account from one of the founders of Inkbox. I was completely taken aback that I would be contacted let alone contacted by a FOUNDER. I wrote enthusiastically about how I was waiting and that I would post photos. He was very nice and politely asked for me to give any feedback so they could improve. This short conversation got me very excited. I put on my science hat and carefully watched as my wrist appeared to not develop anything at all.
Fun fact, in the period of time that I decided to try out my tattoo they had changed their application video instructions. And so, the next day when nothing appeared I went back to their website to discover I had not followed the instructions to the letter – I had actually forgotten to take off the top green layer cover that activated the ink.
Sort of important.
So I ran outside and rescued the package from the garbage (I had also foolishly attempted to throw it away) and carefully followed the instructions to the new video.
This is what happened over 12 hours:
It was seriously cool.
I sent this picture over to Inkbox and they used it to show people what happens. So I’m sort of famous. Not as famous as my Tom Cruise post, but famous enough to feel special. I helped out a small business! In Canada!
Not only did I have what appeared to be a quality tat for 10 days, I managed to successfully apply it again…
While not as perfect, it served as a reminder to continue on that brutal but worthwhile journey that is the marathon.
So, if you are considering an Inkbox, here’s some stuff I’ve learned:
- Read the instructions and watch the video a few hundred times. In my case, a few thousand.
- If you want to get one that re-applies, choose something simple.
- Oh, and if you want to re-apply keep the towel separate from the tattoo as I think that my second application wasn’t as perfect as I kept it with the tattoo and the shape of the die-cut had warped slightly.
- If you regularly swim in pools (as I have a son who we are fairly sure is the deposed King of Atlantis and if he isn’t exposed to water he turns into a demon) it will fade faster. I’ve joked with the team there that Inkbox water wings will be an accessory offer they need to look into.
In total I managed to be tatted up for about 25 days.
I’m looking forward to what they come up with next. Hopefully some colour? I’m sure that will be super easy to do! (Writes the person with zero experience in development as well as chemistry.)
Any ways, thank you Inkbox. My need for self expression coupled with my lack of commitment has been met.