Inkin’ it Up Together

Kid time is the BEST time for messes…

mess 4And putting pink in your hair if you want to (like Myla asked to do when she was 3 or 4).

pinkAnd drawing on yourself!  Sadly, Myla’s school doesn’t allow for crazy hair color and excessive temporary tattoos (weird, huh?).  So summertime was a GREAT time to do all that.  And even best is when everyone else gets involved, too.  At our house, family visits usually mean the markers come out at some point, and Myla offers everyone some “ink.”

I’ve always loved how well our whole family (on Matt’s side and on mine) have always been so cooperative about getting all markered up.  This last visit, she got her cousin involved, and they even made a “menu” (unlike the old days, when she used to just draw whatever she wanted on you).

tattoo menuHardly anyone escapes the ink sessions…

family tattoos

It always reminds me of how ages ago, Myla & I had tried printing some of our own designs on tattoo paper….

IMG_5523So recently, when a sister-run company called Inky & Bear asked me if I’d like to try out some of their beautifully hand-illustrated temporary tattoos, I said “HECK YEAH!”  When our Inky & Bear tattoos came, we had a blast figuring out where to put them on.  Myla chose a lovely little mermaid, and a sweet lil’ narwhal for her arms.

inkybear-1And, like with most things, Myla always has a great way to kick it up a notch.  This time, by asking me to draw all sorts of sea creatures on her to go along with the nautical theme.  I doodled them out in ballpoint and she even added a little creature on her own hand.

inkybear-2So after a little ballpoint pen and a bit of pipsqueak Crayola markers, I had a pretty decorative, temporary-tattooed, inked-up kid!

inkybear-4She added onto my already-existing real tattoos (and an Inky & Bear mermaid), with a little dancing Donkey doodle.  (Do you know the story of Donkey?)

inkybear-6So there it is!

inkybear-7Messes are temporary.  So are marker doodles and temporary tattoos.  But they make for great memories when you actually let yourself join in!

If you want to print your own tattoos, try this tattoo printer paper, or go check out all the wonderfully painted temporary tattoos at Inky & Bear!

Angsty Disclaimer: Everytime I do a post about drawing on yourself, I get comments asking if I’m worried about the toxicity and danger of inks soaking into skin.  My response to that is that if you’re worried about it, don’t do it.  As for me, I’m not going to leave them on me or my daughter’s skin for very long, so it’s fine.  Artist Jodi Steel draws amazing drawings on herself and her friends with Sharpie Markers, and washes it off with coconut oil (and then gets a lot of nasty comments by people telling her she’s poisoning her OWN skin).  It’s temporary.  It washes off.  And ultimately, it’s not your skin, right?.  In my opinion, there is just as much danger of chemicals eating non-organic fruit or junk food–all fine in moderation.   But if it doesn’t sound right for you, don’t do it.  Go get some nontoxic facepaints and try doing the same thing, except with paints!   So take a deep breath, take it easy, get creative, and have a little messy fun!

12 responses

  1. That looks like such fun. My kids would SO want that narwhal tattoo. Actually I do too. My boys are fond of giving themselves ink tattoos too. When he was 5, my 9 year old had one of his younger brothers draw an elaborate back piece on him that did not come off for days and days so my only rule now is that it has to be on limbs and torsos only in case we have a repeat of that removal difficulty. I am not one to stifle creativity or self-expression just because a bit of extra scrubbing at bath time is required.

    1. Ha! Yes, exactly! I’ve only just learned the wonders of coconut oil, but even still that sometimes takes some scrubbing. We have similar issues: be very careful not to grab the permanent markers! Good for you!

  2. Fabulous! My husband and two girls love to give themselves marker tattoos but I don’t often see other kids or parents doing the same. There’s just something about drawing on a hand or arm that white paper can’t match. Creativity is a beautiful thing. Thanks for sharing. ^_^

    1. Thank you, it certainly is a beautiful thing, and to see it flow so freely from a kid is wonderful. thanks!

  3. I could not love this any more than I already do (which is a lot)! Beautiful!

  4. I love how much freedom you give your daughter to explore her creative impulses. And how supportive you are of their expression. You’re an awesome mom! And I love the collaborations on her arms and yours. Very beautiful.

    1. Ah, thank you so much! We have rough days, too, but I want her to have as much freedom as she can as a kid to explore things that make her smile.

  5. The youngest gave himself cat whiskers with my Sharpie. Cocoa butter lotion worked a treat. I’ll give coconut oil a try, too.

    1. Awesome! Coconut oil still requires a little gentle scrubbing but not bad overall!

  6. I just drew a little feather on my inner wrist today, and my daughter has temporary tattoo pirates all over her tummy. Obviously we’re not some of those really worried people. 🙂

    1. Much more important things to be worried about, huh? Sounds like you’re doing “fun” right!

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