Within the last decade, research into ultraviolet light has produced some interesting inventions- everything from glow sticks to polarized sunglasses. With the advent of ultraviolet ink, a whole range of options for tattoo enthusiasts has become available. Some are exceptionally creative uses, showing off ideas that are only possible with this new ink, and some are just modern takes on older styles. If only UV ink is used, the tattoos are almost invisible in regular daylight, but if you get under a blacklight, well, see for yourself.
Butterflies and stars decorate this arm, a night themed sleeve for the evening.
While this is not actually a tattoo, it shows a similar process. With the application of a template, you can apply temporary ink on the outside of the skin. Use with caution however, as if it got smeared before it was dry, or if you started to sweat, it would look pretty strange indeed.
This ethereal stag has a smoky celestial quality to it, appearing like it is nestled in a constellation.
This looks like it falls into the category of stenciled applications- although it is not a tattoo it shows what is possible. Nicely rendered flames jump out immediately with sharp bright color.
A tribute to Jimi Hendrix looks amazing rendered in soft neon- with a bright yellow and turquoise bringing the accents.
Obviously a fan of the matrix, this is a representation of the moving code that represents the digital world in the movie. Although the text was green in the movie, this still will stand out to anyone familiar with the franchise.
Decorative styles reminiscent of henna tattoos adorn this ear. This would be practically invisible during the daylight- a benefit for anyone looking for a subtle piece.
On the other hand, some opt for a combination tattoo- with both conventional and UV inks, this will pop day or night.
This ornamentation and decorative nature of this henna-inspired piece has a surprising elegance.
I would suspect this is another piece made through stenciled application on top of the skin, but it is done well. It must have taken several layers to create the depth effect, with the large tree in the foreground and a dusky background.
By Thor’s hammer! The glowing lightning takes this from a relatively simplistic depiction to a crackling animated piece.
Another experiment in layered stenciling, this fireworks scene is sharp, colorful and well rendered.
This grand finale must have taken quite some time to get done.
An amusing take on the classic finger lettering, a book worm is usually something like the opposite of what is traditionally written there.
A popular icon recently, this simple diamond figure with make your finger shine without the need for a spendy ring.
This is an over-skin paint design adds a decorative design to the different parts of the body. Like the other non-tattoo designs, this should be worn with care- sweat and liquids will make the paint run.
This striking design was done very well, creating a strange x-ray effect that would be visible even from a distance.
This bright take on a dreamcatcher features traditional icons, the feathers, beads and geometric pattern while a stylized wolf leaps down.
This is a little more in line with traditional finger tattoos, the message is loud and clear.
Another over-skin design featuring a couple different patterns covering the back.
This lightning bolt is a great way to take advantage of the natural qualities of the ink- the bluish white glow is perfectly suited for representing this weather phenomenon.
This large design is simple and visible from a large distance.
A straightforward depiction of a rose.
Layered stenciling is capable of producing some very interesting scenes, like these two jellyfish slowly rising out of the deep dark ocean.
Reminiscent of ancient Aztec designs this shoulder piece travels up to the neck.
These excellently rendered chrysanthemums really show what is possible with this style of tattoo. Bright, sharp and clear these look absolutely fantastic. This style of illustration is reminiscent of the detail drawings present in old botanists’ books, before the advent of photography.
The UV ink take on the ever popular angels’ wings.
This simple design shows that it is still possible to blend well even with this difficult to use ink.
This floral pattern with butterflies shows a charming scene.
Another take on the popular angel’s wings design, these would be clear even from a distance.
Similar to above, this UV take on a classic design sits in a familiar spot.
Another tattoo that shows the capabilities of the UV ink, this fine sharp lines are very difficult to produce.
These are not actually tattoos, or layered stenciling but stickers. These are a popular alternative because they are cheap, they don’t smear, and they come right off when you want them to.
Jackson Pollock would enjoy this paint splatter, absolutely popping underneath the lights.
This is a fun piece featuring glow worms, a creative use of the ink with content.
The classic power switch. This symbol actually evolved over the years, bearing a combination of the icons of the analog era.
Now this is a great hybrid. During the day, you have a quiet mountain vista- and at night, you have a starry moonlit range.
A full suit of body paint makes this multicolor android an image to remember. Try not to get too sweaty or bump into anything though.
Another creative use of the medium- this Big Dipper disappears during the day and reappears at night. Constellations are naturally suited towards this style of representation.
Another beautiful hybrid tattoo, this uses a traditional armband style highlighted with bright orange accents. The small yet crisp lines here would take a steady hand.
An illuminated cross adds another layer of visibility to this ancient symbol.
This spine is in line with the skeletal arm tattoo from before. This is well rendered, and will be easily recognizable even from a distance.
A glowing dragon based off of traditional Chinese art wraps carefully around an ankle.
Classic cursive text takes its rendition in glowing ink.
The skull and snake combination takes a modern form, like a grim futuristic version of the old symbol of Asclepius’ staff.
This binary grid might hold an interesting message for a programmer- I however, am not quite sure what it means.
Henna tattoos get a modern revival with UV ink. These will look great during the day and shine bright as it turns to night.
Similar to the constellation tattoos, these stars will only show up in the darkness.
Now this is a creative (albeit morbid) tattoo! A graphic representation of having your throat slit, this is not for the faint of heart.
A London native must be the one to get this skyline, featuring everything from big ben to fireworks.
Fans of the Zelda franchise will get a kick out of this filigree triforce. This person actually takes it to the next level by having only 1/3 illuminated, showing their true love for the game.
Now this one takes the cake. A brilliantly rendered Cheshire Cat takes full advantage of the benefits of this style of tattoo. True to the characters representation of the book, you’re greeted with only a smile and eyes, but when the blacklight is on, the full figure appears. Creative and well executed, fans of Lewis Carroll take note.
Ribbons form together in the shape of a horse.
This jellyfish wraps its frightening tentacles around this arm. Undersea creatures seem like a natural choice for this medium, and many of them are phosphorescent to begin with!
Unfortunately I think this person might have been misinformed about the symbolism of Greek alphabetical characters- God is quoted in the Bible as saying “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” which are usually what people choose to have represented. Close, but always remember: do your research before you get a tattoo.
Not unlike the cursive happiness tattoo, this simple reminder to dream rests on a forearm.
Another tattoo that pushes the limits of this medium- this creative lightsaber representation is guaranteed to be a big hit amongst fans of Star Wars.
This floral-inspired hand design shines out clearly.
This is the molecular representation of seratonin, simple and quite nice looking.
UV paint is very popular as well, becoming cheaper by the day, and this shows just some of the possibilities.
Like the above image, this is all ultraviolet paint. This piece was done by a professional artist however.
A classic piece of roses gets a modern update with UV highlighting.
An iconic snowflake adorns the nape of this neck. Bight and crisp geometric design are well suited for this style.
A classic fleur-de-lis is recreated using UV ink- a juxtaposition of a very old symbol with the latest in tattoo technology.
Although not quite as illustrious as a fleur-de-lis, these stars and the famous Playboy symbol stand out nonetheless.