Working with Temporary Tattoo Companies as an Artist

Hi loves! I wanted to make a quick little post about one of my favorite markets in the illustration licensing world: Temporary Tattoos. Have you heard of them? You probably played around with them as a kid, I sure remember doing so! But there's new technology that brings us much more durable and highly intricate temporary tattoos that actually look real! I currently work with two companies in the industry. French-based SIOOU and Inkbox.

I often get asked how I landed certain gigs or how I got to know a company prior to starting working with them. Back in 2015 I got super lucky and had some work picked out by one of WeTransfer's art curators. I had found his portfolio online (I love Googling) and decided to email him. He was very receptive and got back to me immediately. He liked my work and accepted it as part of the revolving background for That was a lucky break but what's important to mention is that I worked up the courage to ask. I ask a lot and get rejected most of the time. It's just the way it works. But there will always be that slight chance and that small percentage that will say YES.

So after having my work up for a couple of weeks on WeTransfer I naturally got lots of organic traction back to my site. SIOOU, a gorgeous temporary tattoo company based in Lyon, France, contacted me with an offer to create a tropical-themed set for their collection. I was STOKED and of course said yes immediately. I never thought I would land a client that made rad temporary tattoos!

The process was interesting because after the initial guidelines they gave me for the design I submitted a set and it was turned down. It just didn't click with what they were looking for. I was a bit nervous but decided to focus completely and put myself in the mindset of the brief they handed me. I sketched and drew like crazy until a perfect little parrot came out…and then everything else sort of blossomed from there.

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The set was named Loro Lindo (Pretty Parrot) and I really loved how it turned out! I was also super blessed when The Body Shop placed a hefty order as a gift for French and Belgian bloggers that year.

And now on to the Inkbox story! I submitted a design about a year and a half ago. I know. That's a long time. It finally got accepted this week. Just goes to show that this industry is all about patience. A lot of this timing has to do with seasonal requirements as well. But it's important not to give up. Because right when you think nothing happened…boom! Something does.

The design for my first Inkbox tattoo is VERY different from my other tattoo set. I wanted to start exploring more mystical symbols such as the ouroboros. That's the ancient symbol that depicts a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. It originated in ancient Egyptian iconography but entered western tradition via Greek magical tradition and was adopted as a symbol in Gnosticism and Hermeticism and most notably in alchemy.


This illustration in particular was more complex to create because of the technical differences required to print out the tattoo. You might notice some small gaps around the image and this is needed to create the stencil that gives shape to the drawing. It's just a completely different technique used. And it's semi-permanent, meaning it stays on for 1-2 weeks and it develops 24 hours after application. Pretty neat!

Landing an illustration gig can sometimes be a surprise! I never knew you could create art for temporary tattoos and I ended up loving these projects. But being persistent pays off. So if this is something you are super passionate about do not hesitate to contact as many temporary tattoo companies as you can! You never know what may happen.

You can buy both tattoos here:

Loro Lindo by SIOOU

Alchemic by Inkbox