For some, committing to a new tattoo is fun, and committing to each new image is part of the experience. But for others (hi), the idea of ââcommitting to a tattoo forever is scary at best and insurmountable at worst, which means that there are a lot of people out there who love the look of tattoos. but do not themselves.
Even for the most phobic among us, there is now an answer to that: Ephemeral Tattoo, the very first tattoo studio to offer tattoos created with ink that fades over the course of a year. about. At first your new dolphin on your ankle (JK, JK – unless you’re into that sort of thing!) Studio opened in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in March.
âTo understand how ephemeral ink works, it helps to explain what makes permanent tattoos permanent,â says Josh Sakhai, co-founder of the studio. “A traditional tattoo uses ink that penetrates theâ¦ layer just below the outer skin.” Your body cannot break down the traditional tattoo ink, which “clumps together – too large to remove, your body” rinses “the area and the ink remains,” Sakhai says.
“Temporary tattoo ink particles, on the other hand, break down over time and become small enough to be eliminated by the body.” But that’s the only difference: Skilled tattoo artists apply ephemeral tattoos with “real” tattoo machines, and the ink is applied by opening the skin. (So, yes, they still hurt.) The time it takes for the ink to completely erase “varies from person to person,” Sakhai says, but it’s billed for about a year.
Photo: Sarah Rocco
Where does this magic ink come from?
The Ephemeral co-founders met at NYU, and like many great ideas, the ink was designed from an idea and came to life in six years. Two co-founders, Dr Vandan Shah and Dr Brennal Pierre, developed the ink, which “is composed of medical grade, bioabsorbable and biocompatible polymers with carefully selected high quality pigments that are commonly used in foods, cosmetics and other products, âSakhai says.
In addition to the co-founders personally testing the ink with over 200 tattoos, Ephemeral also launched an IRB-approved clinical trial to scientifically validate the ink’s safety and efficacy.
âBeing the first to create ink that was made to fade left us tracing uncharted territory, and naturally it comes with many inflection points where we wondered if we would ever be able to build a sustainable business,â not to mention creating the ink, âsays Sakhai.
But the light at the end of the tunnel kept them alive. âWhenever we told friends, family or strangers about Ephemeral, their eyes would light up, ‘I can finally get the tattoo I dreamed of!’â Sakhai said. “Their inspiration has invigorated us to work harder to realize the vision of a world of unlimited self-expression where tattoos can be worn to celebrate our own evolution and change.”
Photo: Sarah Rocco
The process of creating a temporary tattoo, from top to bottom
Getting a tattoo at Ephemeral starts where most tattoo ideas start: with the design. âWhen a client makes an appointment with Ephemeral, they are invited to share their design ideas, from a fully fleshed out concept to some illustrations that inspire them,â explains Sakhai.
âFrom there, our artists create options to present to a client on the day of their appointment,â he says. Tattoo artists bring iPads to the meeting so the client can experiment with other designs on the fly as needed.
Once someone has chosen their design, it’s time to apply the ink. Most of the people who come to Ephemeral are in a specific niche, looking for a tattoo that fades. âThose who fear permanence but are excited about tattoos are our target demographic,â Sakhai said.
Ephemeral was created to reorient the future of the tattoo industry by creating a new category of tattoos, expanding the industry to make it more inclusive and accessible to everyone, including those who were previously put off by the idea of ââpermanence, âhe adds. You get a “real” tattoo, but without any intimidation or pressure.
Photo: Sarah Rocco
Temporary tattoos like catwalk ink
Although Ephemeral does not (yet) offer permanent tattoos, they have already discovered that some may use their service as a gateway to a tattoo that does not disappear. âWe have already discovered that there is a subset of clients who have been playing around with the idea of ââgetting a tattoo for a while, are close to a lifetime commitment, and are using the bespoke experience of Ephemeral as an essay, “Sakhai said.
For others, commitment to a design isn’t a problem, but they used Ephemeral as a way to test the placement of the image itself. âWe’ve also had people who know their design at a T but take the fleeting road to see where they would prefer the tattoo,â adds Sakhai.
Tattoo trends for 2021
The past year has been a year that we will not quickly forget, and tattoos can sometimes reflect or commemorate the times. So far, Sakhai says people seem to want to be noticed. âWe are seeing a continued trend of fine black linework with an increase in visible placements,â he says.
In addition to running ink on easily spotted places, Sakhai says people are also bringing their own creativity this year. âWe’ve also noticed an increase in DIY tattoos, likely brought on by people staying indoors with little else to do,â he says.
What it’s like to open a tattoo studio during a pandemic
Some might argue that opening a very specialized tattoo studio at a time when a lot of people are limiting their activities isn’t a good idea, but it hasn’t been a problem for Ephemeral. âWith all of us locked away from human connection for almost a year and interactions relegated to Zoom calls, there was a lack of opportunities to feel human,â Sakhai said.
âWe recognized that being able to step into a new world for an hour or two to experience something as deeply personal as getting a tattoo is the retirement many people have been looking for,â he said. Their dates are set for three months right now, so I guess they were right.
Top photo: Thilam
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