What if your tattoo could speak to you? Now it can

New way to experience artwork holds even deeper meaning

Skin Motion™

Courtesy of Skin Motion™

More often than not, people who get tattoos seem to choose their artwork because it holds some sort of meaning or significance — the birth of a child, overcoming struggles, beating an illness, love, the death of someone special. It’s something we can look at to remind us of a person or time.

In true 21st-century form, tattoo artists have put a tech spin on the artwork to give it even more meaning -- with sound.

Yes, you read right.

Los Angeles tattoo artist Nate Siggard said the idea came to him with the help of his girlfriend, Juliana. He had just done a couple of sound wave tattoos on his friends of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer.”

In an interview with Ink Expedition, Siggard said, “As they were leaving, after their tattoo was over, my girlfriend said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if you could play that sound back?’ And I realized that was something I would actually be able to make happen.”

Siggard decided to do a trial run on himself and made a sound wave tattoo on his leg.

Siggard knew he was onto something when the video he posted of himself listening to his tattoo got 15 million views in one week.

Thus, the Soundwave Tattoos™ was born, and we can now use augmented reality to play sound -- from art on our body.

The cool thing about it (besides the whole playing sound off your skin) is that you can do any sound you want: Your baby saying "I love you," a loved one who has passed giving a word of encouragement, or maybe lyrics from a favorite song.

"I think one of the things about tattooing over the last few years that really started mattering to me a lot was seeing how much people were affected when they got tattooed, how when they came in and they were one person, and when they left, they were a completely different person," Siggard said.

Siggard said he thinks it’s a way people are able to express their grief or their love and connections.

"On a very personal level, I would like to be using tattooing as a way to heal people's emotional grief, and to help them more deeply understand themselves, and also to share that with other people," he said.

Here’s how it works:

  • Upload the audio file you want on the Skin Motion™ website.
  • A stencil of the sound wave will be generated.
  • The artist tattoos the sound wave in a place of your choosing.
  • Download the app, which is used to recognize the shape of the sound wave tattoo, and it will provide a playback of the sound that you can listen to anytime you want.

As the new trend is becoming more popular, it's clear to see the tattoos truly do hold special meaning to those who get them.

After getting the tattoo, an image of it must be uploaded to the app, which is an additional expense after the tattoo work is done.

Graham Media Group 2018