Image from Tattoo Artist Magazine
Here at Tattooing 101, we hate to see people faking it. We just make one exception: fake skin!
New tattoo artists and veterans alike sometimes practice their craft on synthetic skin. However, many people don’t know what this skin is or how it works.
Want to learn more about how faking it can help tattoo artists keep things real? Keep reading to discover the secrets!
What Is Synthetic Skin?
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“Synthetic skin” is exactly what it sounds like: fake skin that tattoo artists can practice on.
It can technically be made from a variety of materials, but a popular choice is silicone. For many artists, this has replaced the older technique of practicing their skills on things like pigskin.
The next question, then: just where can you get the stuff?
How Can I Get It?
Image from A Pound of Flesh
Strictly speaking, you can make your own synthetic skin. It is typically made from silicone and special molds, so someone with enough “arts and crafts” style talent could probably make some passable fake skin.
The more popular option, though, is to simply buy it. While multiple companies offer this product, the company that has made the most waves is definitely A Pound of Flesh.
Ultimately, the proof is in the synthetic pudding: a quick internet search will show you the countless tattoo artists that have enjoyed trying this product and taking their artistic skills to the next level!
What Are the Benefits?
Image from A Pound of Flesh
There are a number of benefits for tattoo artists using synthetic skin for tattoos. First, it is a much better alternative than pig skin (which can be leathery and hard to work with, or worse – carry salmonella and other diseases) or grape skin (which Is far too sensitive for any kind of serious work).
Second, professional companies like A Pound of Flesh have synthetic skin hands, feet, arms, and so on. This offers a much more practical experience for tattoo artists looking for practice.
Finally, those synthetic arms and hands make it an ideal way to show off your work. For those who want to transition from practice to marketing their craft, this is a great solution.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
Image from Tattoo Cloud
With all the benefits of synthetic skin, there are still some drawbacks. The obvious one is the price: while A Pound of Flesh makes great products, they aren’t cheap: as of this writing, a practice hand costs between $50-$60. That cost adds up if you are doing a lot of practice.
And synthetic skin is never going to be a replacement for the real thing Some tattoo artists have struggled to transfer things like stencils over to the fake skin. That may ultimately take away from its value as a “one size fits all: practice solution.
Synthetic Skin: Our Verdict
With all these pros and cons, one question is left: what’s the verdict?
In our opinion, synthetic skin is pretty great. It’s the best option artists have ever had to practice their tattoos, and the practice pieces look pretty badass around the tattoo shop.
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