My DIY ink rubbing
First off, I would like to say that this was probably not very smart and I would recommend that no one else attempt the experience I am about to describe. It was stupid and was probably just a whole lot of pain for nothing at all, as I really doubt that it will heal properly because I did not make the cuts deep enough.
I had been wanting a tattoo for a while, and had drawn my latest idea for a tattoo (a heart with wings. pretty lame, I know. but I like it.) onto my lower right stomach using a black sharpie marker. I had been tracing over the mark daily for a while, and was pretty used to it. I had already decided that one day I would get it tattooed on professionally, and it was just a matter of time before I had this design permanently on my stomach.
One night in August I was stuck at home and pretty bored, so I decided to see if I could pierce my belly button, since I did not think I had too much feeling in that area. However, I quickly realized that this hurt much more than I had expected it would, not to mention that I had no jewelry to put in it if I was successful in my endeavor, and gave it up after a few tries.
Then the drawing on my stomach caught my eye. I thought it might be cool if I could try and make it a permanent fixture by myself, so I began tracing the outline of it with the needle I had been trying to pierce myself with. It was sort of painful, especially on the part that was drawn above my bone, but it was sort of an enjoyable pain and I continued until I had outlined the entire design. After about and hour of this, I had drawn a deep red line into my skin. At first, I thought it might be cool to just leave it as it was and allow it to scar, but I thought it might not be dark enough, and I did not want to have wasted and entire hour of scratching away my skin for nothing. So, I decided to rub ink into it in the hope that it would heal into the design and leave me with a tattoo-like ink rubbing. I found a black sharpie marker, which was probably not the smartest choice considering its toxicity, and began to trace the red marks that I had drawn with the needle. As soon as I touched the tip of the marker to the cut, I felt burning pain, much worse than the pain I had experienced when scratching away the skin with a needle earlier. Though the pain was intense, it only lasted a few seconds. This allowed me to dot ink onto the cut without too much pain, however I did take several breaks before finishing the design. Finally, after about an hour and a half total of scratching and drawing on ink, I had a beautiful design on my skin.
The next day it was very sore and I think it may be a little infected. It is slightly painful to touch, but other than that is seems to be healing well. I had quite a scare when I noticed green around the edges of the design, thinking that it was very badly infected, but I then realized that it was only the light green marker I had used to outline the original design before I began scratching away at my skin. So far, it looks like it will heal exactly as I had hoped it would and leave me with a nice and subtle marking. I have been considering getting it redone at some point, because the longer I have it the more I like it, so I would like to increase the thickness of the lines and make the color a bit darker.
As far as aftercare goes, I have been cleaning it with antibacterial soap and warm water while being very careful not to accidentally flush all of the ink out of the cutting. It is quite a challenge to keep it clean without ruining it. Overall, my experience with ink rubbing was a success.
Though the results were beautiful, I would not recommend it to anyone, as I had no idea what I was doing at the time and took a serious risk by doing this myself. I was really lucky that the results of my self-inking were not a total disaster. Looking back, a realize that I did not even attempt to sterilize the needle before cutting away at my skin, which was very stupid and put me at a higher risk for infection, or worse. Also, if you must attempt this yourself, it is a much better choice to use tattoo ink instead of the sharpie marker I chose to use.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 06 Sept. 2006