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 Best Tattoo Artists Toronto

Tattoo Terminology You Should Know

There is a lot of terminology that is used by tattoo artists and it’s important that you become familiar with it before heading in for your tattoo. When you can understand the lingo of the tattooing industry you won’t have to continually interrupt the artist that is doing the tattoo asking what certain words mean. Expand your knowledge of tattooing by reading through the terminology that is commonly used in tattoo studios.

Top Tattoo Artists in Toronto

The top tattoo artists in Toronto are familiar with these words and use them commonly. Anyone that is interested in getting a tattoo cannot only learn about the terminology that these tattoo artists use but learn more about the industry in general by reading through this list. The terms listed below range from information about the tools used to design techniques and much more.

Toronto Tattoo Artists

Here are the terms you need to know that Toronto tattoo artists commonly use:


Aftercare – A new tattoo needs specialized care to ensure proper healing of the area and to prevent an infection. Toronto tattoo artist will provide you with specific instructions for aftercare that you must follow. The aftercare recommended will be based on what part of the body has been tattooed and what type of tattoo it is.


Antiseptic – This is a product used by tattoo artists that is applied before doing any work. It will remove any contaminants such as viruses and bacteria on the skin. Rubbing alcohol is commonly used after the area has been washed with a gentle skin cleanser.


Apprentice – Many tattoo studios have apprentices working with them. They are being supervised by established artists and learning the craft under the guidance of a professional. It can take years for an apprentice to become a fully-fledged tattoo artist and be able to work on his own.


Autoclave – All of the equipment except for the needles are sterilized in an autoclave. This machine uses a combination of high pressure and steam to sterilize the equipment before and after tattooing. The needles used, on the other hand, have never been used before and once they have been used they will be thrown out.


Biomechanical – This is a tattooing style that is commonly known as “biomech” in the tattoo industry. The tattoo is usually drawn freehand and will often resemble a cyborg or a robot. The piece is designed based on the body flow of the client.


Black and Grey – Black and grey is another common tattoo style that only uses water and black ink. A darker black is used for the outline of the tattoo while the black ink is watered down to create grey highlighting and shading. There are also pre-made washes in grey available for this style.


Body Suit – This is a nickname given to somebody that has the majority of the body covered with tattoos.

Canvas – Canvas is a term that is commonly used by the best tattoo artists Toronto and it refers to the skin. Before any work is done, the skin can be considered to be a blank canvas.


Carving – This is another word for tattooing. If you hear the tattoo artist say the word, don’t worry. You are going to be tattooed, not carved.


Clean Room – This is a closed office space or room in a tattoo studio where the equipment is sterilized and cleaned. This is where the autoclave and other cleaning materials would be kept.


Cover-up Tattoo – A cover-up tattoo completely covers another older tattoo that is no longer wanted by the owner or has faded. This is an art-form in itself and you should be looking for experienced Toronto tattoo artists to get it done.


Custom Tattoo – This is a design that is one-of-a-kind and created just for you. If you have a photo of something you’d like to have tattooed, bring it along with you for your appointment. Otherwise, you can ask the tattoo artist to create something customized for you if you like his style of artistry.


Dermis – You may hear a tattoo artists refer to the dermis and this is the second layer of skin cells that lie below the first layer, the epidermis. A permanent tattoo is created by injecting ink directly into the dermis since this layer takes longer to rejuvenate than the epidermis.


Dot Work – If you are looking for an abstract design then you will choose this one. Lines are more commonly seen but some tattoo artists can use dots with different sizes to make a design. They are often seen in small tattoos and are commonly placed on the hand.


Fine Line – This is a trending design form where fine lines are created with a single needle. You’ll see this style in minimalistic tattoos and delicate tattoos. It is also commonly seen in typewritten or handwritten tattoos.


Flash Tattoo – A flash tattoo is completely opposite from a custom tattoo. This type of tattoo is pre-designed and you may see them on Internet sites or even in a book of tattoos at the studio.


Flat Tattoo Needles – These are needles that appear in a flat line on a bar and they are commonly used by the top tattoo artists Toronto. They are usually used to create geometric tattoos.


Fresh Tattoo – This term refers to a new tattoo that hasn’t fully healed.


Ornamental Tattoo – The ornamental tattoo style is based on a colour scheme, body flow, geometric shapes and a decorative design versus an actual subject.


Pneumatic Tattoo Machine – This machine uses air compressors that make the needles go up and down. Rotary and coil tattoo machines are also commonly used.


Realism – Realism is the art of replicating a photo and is often used for portraits in black and grey. It can look extremely real when you use top tattoo artists Toronto to get it done.


Saturation – This is the amount of colour and ink that has successfully absorbed into the skin.


Scratcher – This is a nickname for people that are doing tattoos on the side without any formal training or apprenticing. They are not tattoo artists and should be avoided at all costs.


Sharps Container – The needles and any blades used are deposited into this biohazard container and then disposed of properly. The contents inside are considered to be medical waste.


Sleeve – You have probably already seen people that have an entire arm or leg tattooed. If the entire arm has been done then it is a sleeve and if the entire leg has been done it is a leg sleeve.


Tattoo Touch-up – When a tattoo is faded and requires new ink this is called a touch-up tattoo.

Now that you know these terms you’ll be better able to follow along with your tattoo artist when getting a tattoo.


If you’re looking for the best tattoo artists Toronto please visit our website at or call us directly at 905-604-5102.

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