Ep. 44: Everything Tattoo Color Tests: For Melanated Folk and Ones with Autoimmune Conditons

I've been talking about color tests with my clients because lately I have had a few folks with deeper skin tones wanting colorful abstract pieces and a few with autoimmune conditions who wanted to dip just a toe into the experience of getting tattooed to see how their skin would react. 

Listen in if you want to know why someone might want a color test, how I do them, what I look for when the skin has healed and how much they cost (spoiler alert, currently nothing). 

Also, I mention my Ridwell subscription. I don't get anything for mentioning it. I am just an adult with trash anxiety and get very excited about my extra garbage service. If you have trash anxiety too, have a listen.

You can connect with me, Micah Riot, as well as see my tattoo art on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/micahriot/

Micah's website is www.micahriot.com 
The podcast is hosted on Buzzsprout but truly lives in the heart of Micah's website at:

Episode Transcript:

Speaker 1: 

Hello, hello, my darlings. This is Micah Riot. You are tuning in to episode 44 of Ink Medicine Podcast. Today we're going to talk about color tests. I did a few color tests throughout this last year. Three is, I believe, is how many I did. So it's not something I do very often, partially, because not a lot of people understand that that's an option I usually offer them when I think it would be beneficial to me and the client. So let's jump right in. First, what is a color test? A color test is a small tattoo done to see how the skin will take the ink and how the colors will heal in the skin. It's done before a big tattoo Usually. I suggest that when somebody wants a large tattoo full of different colors, maybe colors that their skin may or may not work well with. So skin that is melanated, different shades of melanated skin, even when someone's very light skinned but their skin is melanated, it's hard to know how exactly colors like yellows, pinks, lighter purples, colors that have white in them they're more pastel. It's hard to know how they will heal in the skin because the skin okay. So a little lesson on how tattoo ink works. It sits underneath the skin. So whatever color skin you have is a filter for the ink, so it's the ink plus the filter of your skin. So people who are very, very light skinned, people who are very much Caucasian, who have no green or yellow undertones, who have more of like, if you look at them, maybe they look kind of pinkish or maybe they look just very light, very pale, very white. That skin is going to show the color the most true because it sits underneath your skin, right. So if your filter is basically translucent, there you go. But people who have more pigment in their skin, it's going to look a little different. So there are two reasons why a color test might be a good idea. One, as I already mentioned, somebody who has got other pigment in their skin. Maybe they have yellow or green undertones or they're quite dark or they're even light skinned, but they still have color in their skin, right, melanin in their skin. And the other reason would be somebody who has a lot of skin issues, like eczema, psoriasis, as we talked about in a couple episodes ago. It's a good idea to test the skin to see if the skin will react right. So people who have any number of autoimmune disorders that have to do with also pressure on their skin, like they're more sensitive to pressure which is something I've encountered a few times in my career or pain, maybe they have. Their pain receptors are extra activated. So to test whether or not they can take the size of the tattoo, the amount of tattooing they actually want to do, so we do a little test, right? We do a little test. So it's a color test, color to color test, but it also actually is just like a tattooing test. So it is a possibility. As of now, I don't charge for the color test. It's part of the whole experience of getting tattooed, right? So because I'll be charging to get for the person to get the big tattoo, I figured this is something that they should do and I don't want costs to the prohibitive of them doing the color test if it's going to be beneficial and give them information about how well their body can handle the whole process. I think it benefits both of us. So I don't usually. As of now, I have not charged for the color test. How do I do the color test? We usually use the skin that the primary tattoo is going to be going on to. So if it's, you know, it's the upper arm, it's going to be on the arm, back, it's going to be on the back leg, etc. So we go into the skin that's already going to be being planned to get the tattoo, and it's usually a small either like a little swatchy little flower, a little design, a tiny little mandala, like something small and cute, and sometimes it's just like freckles, little stars. So the last couple of tests I did were dots of color and they are kind of a little constellation of different colors. I wanted to stand on its own. I wanted to be cute on its own. I don't want it to be just stripes or something, you know, something that is going to look like a test. I wanted to look like a little tattoo. That could have been something the person got on purpose, because I don't know what's going to happen, right, if they don't react well or if they just change their mind after they get this little bit of tattooing done. I don't want them to feel like they they're now like a piece of paper with a swatch on it, right, like I want them to feel like they got a cute little tattoo out of it. So we try to make it cute. It does need to be a little swatch, so a dot a little circle, a little oval, something like that going to be a better bet than like a line, right? So if it's just line work unless the person really just wants line work for their, for their primary tattoo that they are interested in getting I will usually do a swatch. What do I look for once the person's healed? So the colors I choose to do the color test with are the colors the person wants in their tattoo. So when they heal, I look for does the color look like I thought it would? Does it or did it disappear, right? So if the person has melanin in their skin, often times yellows, whites will just disappear out of their skin. So I want to see did it turn out? And then, if it turned out fine, like I can see the yellow, I can see the white, I can see the light pink I will then use it in the tattoo and if not, then there's no point in doing that. I see, you know I asked them what their healing. Was the healing really intense? How did their skin react? Right? So this depends on whether the person was coming to get the color test because of skin conditions or autoimmune disorders or just to see what the color looks like in their skin healed. So I look to see that everything looks normal in the way I expected it. I've been tattooing for a long time, about 15 years so I pretty much know I have an idea of a prediction of what things will look like and what skin. It's not always the case. Sometimes things that are unpredictable happen, like I thought something wouldn't show up and it shows up just fine. So that's about all there is to say about color tests. The last note I will make is that the reason why I'd be using a lot of white or lighter colors is because that is how I blend out my colors to do my abstract work, which is one of my specialties that a lot of people come to me for. So if the person is melanated and they want an abstract piece with a lot of movement and color gradations and color transitions, I will need most likely to use white in the tattoo, and so I need to know if that's going to work on their skin and if not, I will then use watered-down colors more and maybe that work more to blend the pieces like just use a regular shading technique and watered-down color that doesn't have white in it. That's a specific reason for why I often offer I offer the color tests to people who are melanated and who want abstract work from me. Thank you for tuning in to Ink Medicine Podcast. This is a little shorty episode. I hope that's enjoyable for you just as well. I do like to offer information that is useful to people, so however long it takes to tell you about that specific thing is good by me. We're now in October. I'm loving it because I love fall, I love waking up and being cozy, sitting around on a sweatshirt with hot tea, doing my work, and I'm also kind of trying to organize my house and get rid of stuff. I don't need To tell you guys I recently got a thing called Ridwell. So this is not an ad, it's not sponsored. I just really love having Ridwell. It's a company that you pay them a little bit a month. It's 20 bucks a month and they come and pick up your small plastics twice a month. My pickup is on Monday, so it's every two weeks, and it's all of the thin plastics that you usually put in the trash because they're not recyclable. It's like the plastic film from your hummus container, for example, or the plastic bag that your chicken comes in, or when you buy meat, oftentimes it comes wrapped in plastic, shrink wrapped in plastic. So all that stuff ends up in the landfill and I don't need to talk to you about trash, except that I have trash anxiety, and every time I put a piece of trash in the trash I have anxiety about it because I have environmental anxiety and I'm sure many of you do as well. So having Ridwell is really helping me with that. I basically rarely ever have trash anymore. So you Rinse your plastics and you dry them and then you put them in these bags and they come and pick them up. And they also pick up Threads. So, like old clothing, like if you have underwear, socks, like things that nobody else will use, they you don't want to just put in the trash. Like they recycle all that. Um, the plastics, by the way, they make. They partner with a company that makes decking. So I wanted to know what they do with the plastics and this is what I found out they make pieces for decking From the small plastics from your house. So, yay, I'm happy about that. Um, yeah, and then every month they also have Another category that you can give them. They partner with different companies and Give them the stuff they take from us that they will. They will then recycle. So, like last month, I gave them a whole bunch of cords was like a giant bag of cords that I had and also that people who live here before me had and had kept in the garage. So I gave them all of that. And, like this month, it was toiletries and they were partnering with an east bay um non-profit. That, I guess, redistributes the toiletries. So they asked for like unopened, unused toiletries. So I had, for some reason, a whole bunch of stuff including like samples and a hotel, shampooes and conditioners and lotions and stuff. So I gave them like a big bag of that. Yay, I love getting rid of stuff in a way that is sustainable. So, anyway, if you are interested in getting rid, while you should, um, you should you should do so. It's been great, it's been a very satisfying Thing and the best 20 bucks I spend all month and also I feel like this makes me an adult or something I'm really excited about my extra trash company that I pay to come pick up my extra trash. All right, I hope you're having a really good start to your October. Um, have a great first weekend of October and I will talk to you next week. Okay, I just looked at my riddwell account and I have three, three, one, two, three codes to give out to people who want to try rid. Well, it will give you one free month. So if you want to try it, um, email me and I'll send you One of the codes. Just three, so that's it, bye.