It’s finally here! I asked you for questions about UV tattoos and artist Tukoi Oya got them all answered. This interview is pretty awesome, I hope you guys like it. If you want to read the previous interviews, click here. ✨
Tukoi Oya is a 23 year old tattooist from Melbourne, Australia. Some of her hobbies include playing guitar, making clothes and youtube videos. She got into the tattoo business when she was 19, as a friend suggested she should start tattooing because she was always into art and drawing. She then applied for a few apprenticeships and that’s how it all began.
How did you found out about UV tattoos? When did you start working with them?
It came in 2014 when I started tattooing and had to buy all my equipment. I stubbed across UV ink when I was purchasing supplies from Protat. However, I’ve only been working with UV ink for about a year now. UV ink has been around since the 90′s though…
Is UV ink FDA approved? Are there better brands than others out there?
It is not FDA approved, but the tattooing industry in general is not heavily regulated, so there are a lot of products tattooists use that aren’t approved by the FDA either. There are definitely better products than others as with everything.
Does it causes any risks to health, side effects or allergies?
I’ve done heaps of UV tattoos and no one has ever had a reaction to it. I think there’s just a massive stigma behind it because it’s a new thing. Most UV ink is really lightly pigmented and thin ink so if you’re trying to pack colour in, you need to be careful not to overwork the skin. I’m sure there are people that are allergic to it, just like there are people that can’t get red tattoos because some inks contain nickel.
Can it be used over other ink/an already existing tattoo?
I’ve actually been meaning to try this out on myself because I only tattoo new pieces, so I don’t add to exciting tattoos or do coverups.
How well does it ages? Do they lose their luminescence over time? Does it need touch ups more often than regular tattoos?
It will slowly start fading, but the UV will last for about 4 years. So it will need to be touched up.
Does skin tone influence the tattoo? Or it has the same effect on pale or dark skin?
Skin tone doesn’t affect the ‘glowing effect’, but because it’s so lightly pigmented it would be harder to see the colour under normal daylight for darker skin tones. I usually recommend to get either pink, orange or green, because the yellow is really similar to natural skin tones.
Can you get a large, solid piece using UV ink?
I reccomend using either the pink, yellow, green, orange or ‘invisible’. I find the purple and blue UV colours don’t really have as much of a glowing effect, because they are darker pigments.
Is the aftercare the same as any other tattoo? Is it more difficult to get them removed with laser?
It’s the same aftercare as normal. I feel like they’d lift pretty easy with laser.
I saw that you’re a very musical person, does that inspire you with your designs?
I suppose so, I love John Lennon’s and John Frusciante’s artwork!
Do you have plans for traveling and tattooing? Is there any country in particular you would love to do that?
At the moment I’ve just been travelling around Australia because it’s easy. I’ve been dying to work at America, but Visa’s are a headache to get!
Do you remember what was the first design you have ever tattooed? What was it?
My first tattoo was the HIM symbol, I handpoked on my finger when I was 16, it’s terrible, but I like it.
What are some of the artists you admire and inspire you?
The artists I’m most inspired by are Gustav Klimt, Egon Shele, Basquait, King Krule, John Frusciante and John Lennon. My all time fav tattooist is @_mick_hee_. I also love Sean from Texas, Tati Compton and @_suzani.
Did you have any tough moment during your tattoo career? How did you deal with it?
YES!!!! I found learning how to tattoo is really disheartening, because whenever you’re learning something you’re bound to make mistakes. I mean, I pretty much have a mental breakdown if I feel like I’ve failed at something I want to succeed in, so I don’t deal with tough moments very well (haha). Also, being an apprentice was super tough, pretty much slaving away for free you know, but you have to just keep your mind on the bigger picture. Nowadays I just work by myself and it’s much better that way.
Thank you very much Mitch for helping and Tukoi for being lovely answering all the questions, this was one of the coolest and enlightening interviews I’ve done for the blog! Now go follow her everywhere and keep up with her great work:
email for bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org
email for collabs: email@example.com
You can check out Tukoi’s tag here on the blog
THAT IS REAL COOL......THANX FOR THE INFO VERY INTERESTING