We all know what our favorite artists’ tattoos look like when they are fresh and new. But, it can be a mystery what tattoos will look like after one year, five years, or even 10 years. Showing off healed tattoos on social media is extremely important as it gives clients a realistic idea of ââwhat the job will look like in the long run. The bright, shiny tattoos you see so often on Instagram are temporary and this is the established work we live with for the rest of our lives.
This is why the @healedvsfresh Instagram page was created, to showcase tattoos in their permanent state across a variety of styles and subjects. We reached out to the page owner to find out why he started it in the first place, why he thinks it is important to show fine workmanship, and what clients should be aware of when selecting a tattoo artist. on social networks.
What made you decide to start (or restart) the page?
I started the page in 2016, but wasn’t getting enough submissions. Honestly, I kind of forgot about the page for a while, until a friend tagged the project on another healed site. Almost overnight it exploded. We got reviews from some amazing heavyweights (especially people I admire in this industry) and then the page REALLY took off.
I started the page to show the truth. So many customers have unrealistic expectations because of Photoshop’s warriors. You can’t really hide behind a healed photo. Either it’s there or it’s not. I was very lucky to have strong artists who submit solid work. Especially on the other side of the globe. The page has evolved and hopefully will continue to do so.
Why is showing fine workmanship important to the tattoo industry?
Personally, I think showing clients a healed job will give them a better idea of ââwhat to expect in the long run. It has become a learning experience for many of us in the industry. It also shows traps here and there, which can further educate us and benefit the industry. I try to cover most styles and types of well done work to show various examples. Customers send me messages asking me to see certain styles: watercolor, single needle, cross stitch etc. So I do my best to keep up.
Why do some tattoos heal better than others?
What I noticed is that it depends on the application whether it is a previous job or they have never mastered their tools. But, at the same time, I also believe that the client has a responsibility to listen to the follow-up of the individual artist. If they let go of this and go with what they âknowâ it could have an impact on healing as well. The style and subject matter will always shine if done correctly and the tattoo is supported by collectors.
Do you think social media is fooling clients about how tattoos look in real life / long term?
It is possible for sure. In the age of Photoshop retouching, I think it comes to false advertising. That’s not to say that there aren’t real artists showing amazing work without filters. But I feel the line is fading due to the saturation of Photoshop jockeys. You can’t Photoshop a neat photo without it being super obvious, so that shit doesn’t work here.
What should a scarred tattoo look like?
Well, it’s hard. It depends on the style and the targeted application. Thanks to this page, I noticed that some jobs looked much better after healing. Then there are some tattoos that settle in and look great, but could never live up to the day they were done. A scarred tattoo should have crisp, consistent lines and smooth shading with no vacations. But it also has to do with the client’s skin tone: if you have an olive skin tone or darker, the color will ALWAYS be slightly different once healed.
Why should customers want to see healed tattoos?
My goal is to post multiple styles and techniques. A customer can hopefully scroll down the page and see a representation of something close to what they might want, then know what it should look like. Whether watercolor, white outline, fingers, hands, palms, etc. I hope to create a page that can show the client a real representation of what they may want, so that they are well informed before making a permanent choice.