Colour Patch Tests


It's a story I hear over and over again:

   'The artist said my skin was too dark for colour tattoos.' 

   'I heard that colour won't look good on my skin.' 

   'The artist didn't want to add any colour to the piece.' 


Whatever the reason, whether it be; honest inexperience, well intentioned ignorance, or straight up racism, a tattoo artist denying their client the services that they provide based on their skin colour is horseshit. 

Colour tattoos are for you. Yes you.

Welcome and thank you for your interest in colour patch tests for Black Folks, Indigenous Folks, and People of Colour. 


Who am I? 

My name is Kara and I'm a tattoo artist who specializes in colourful tattoos. I especially love to tattoo dinosaurs, pop culture characters, cute animals, and flowers. I am currently working on a project to catalogue and share how coloured tattoos heal on melanated skin. 


What is a colour patch test? 

A colour patch test is a small and subtle application of various tattoo colours, with the intention of seeing how each colour heals. The test provides information, like which colours will appear most vibrant on that person's skin, which may need to be tempered with other colours to maximize their potential, and which may not be worth using at all. It's no guarantee of final results, but simply a tool to help understand the skin. 

What will it look like?


Every colour patch test will be different. We can use combinations of any colours, though a full rainbow palette is most helpful. We can keep the test subtle and hidden in a discrete spot, or choose a fun shape and show it off.  (Click on the images above to take a closer look.) 



Last year, I had the opportunity to bring my client Nicole's vision of colourful flowers and a rainbow lobster to life. On our last session, we invited The New Wave Diversity Project into the studio to document the project. Here are some photos from the day. 

Apply for a free colour patch test in Nanaimo or Victoria:

To qualify: 

  • You must have melanated skin. (We have lots of data on how colour heals on light skin already.)
  • You must be available in Nanaimo/Victoria for photos and checks ups at 4 weeks and 3 months post tattooing. 
  • You must be willing to have your photos shared in print and online. 
  • You must be 18 or older. 
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Thank you for visiting and helping make the world a more colourful place!