Filling a large surface area of skin with consistent, solid pigment is quite the challenge in the tattoo world ~ every artist seems to tackle it differently. My most recent works have been ‘filled’ using larger round liners; i’ve found them to heal quite consistently, however, it does take more time and effort. Noil, who has been guesting at our shop this month, has become notorious for his solid fills and interesting take on pop-culture imagery. As an admirer of his work, I decided to get a tattoo done by him; I was excited to watch his performance - from the way he sets up to the way he chooses to wrap. Noil used five machines for my tattoo, interchanging between them as he navigated through the stencil. His final machine, loaded with a magnum, was something he left for last. He explained it as a way to ensure the tattoo heals with no patches, almost like a final large sweep to distribute the ink evenly. I have recently purchased magnums to try in this way. Somehow, it has affected the way in which I draw, which I don’t seem to mind; like a part of me is planning my toolset while another part of me navigates the drawing/translation. 

(Still healing) photo of Noil’s work on myself.

(Still healing) photo of Noil’s work on myself.

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It never really goes away, and I’ve mourned the possibility of that. But something special has happened now, I’ve been given a seat in a theatre no other than my own — and as I witness the catastrophe of the days that unravel unkind, I know for sure, as now part of an audience, every scene eventually comes to a close.