Tattoo Study: The Case Of Jeanne and The Dark Art Lady

Tattoo Art

The Story of Jeanne, The Dark Art Lady and Their Tattoo Art Project.

I found her on Instagram. I couldn’t take my eyes off the images long before I understood what I was looking at. Something looked stiff but the skin looked so ALIVE… Like a dark sorceress, she “conjured” a en entire human body she could tattoo to her like. She named her Jeanne.
Jeanne doesn’t move or flinch in pain, she stays still in complicated positions for hours and she’s so quiet… always listening.

coffin sketch2

Swedish Artist Malin, aka tells the real story about her and Jeanne:

“I have a Master’s in Fine Arts and have always loved the thought of using our human skin for art, to me that’s the ultimate canvas. However the thought of me being a tattoo artist didn’t occur till about three years ago.
It was literally a matter of stepping into a new world. The tattoo society is a harsh world for anyone who wishes to enter which I soon discovered when trying to buy a machine and a power supply… I found an online forum though, which has been and still is of great help and support for me. A very friendly forum.

tattoo study

Instead of just practicing random motifs on fake skin I decided to work on an art project – I had a lot of drawings I wanted to make something of, and thought it would be fun to tattoo them on (fake) skin and then show them in an exhibition – I was hoping that also would be a way to get future tattoo customers. For different reasons finding an apprenticeship wasn’t an option for me.

coffin tattoo


While practicing I felt it would be more fun to show my practice work on a three dimensional shape as well, not only hang them on walls, so I purchased a mannequin, and sowed a “costume” for her and tattoo on her, just like on an actual person. Great fun!!

My plan first was to make this “costume” in pig skin and then let it dry on her after having been tattooed it (looks GREAT), but there were too many problems with sowing and tattooing them at the same time as they mustn’t dry out too fast. And then there was the smell. I have my work studio at home, and my son and man were complaining 🙂 The cheaper fake skins weren’t an option, mainly because they dry out and get too fragile after a while.


Luckily I had heard of Reelskin that was new at the time, so I ordered some and that was a hit! As it happened I had so much contact with Paul from Reelskin so I got to know him and I ended up being a distributor of Reelskin in Sweden 🙂


The Reelskin is completely different from other fake skins, they are made of silicone and feels much more like tattooing on human skin. You can wipe them with no problems, and they are thick enough for being used on both sides – 3mm. They cost more than other fake skins though, and my advice is to start with cheap fake skin, fruit and pig skin. When you’ve practiced for some time you can order Reelskin and you can really use it to the fullest.

Learning to tattoo is like learning to drive – different surfaces are different to tattoo, and same goes for human skin. You need to adapt your technique differently depending on the skin. A good thing to know about Reelskin is, when shading, use the glossy side.

Working on Jeanne is pretty much like working on a real person – the only difference is she can’t move when lying on my table. I have a work station, a very strong lamp, I use gloves. I only plan for one tattoo at a time, I want to tattoo as much of her as possible. Now when still working on her I don’t bother to match the different tattoos together, but I want “connect” them in a nice way when I have finished all the motifs on her.

This has been great practice for me, and my goal with the whole project was as mentioned to practice, but also get people’s attention and that they would want to get tattooed by me. Thanks to social media I have been able to expose my project while working on it – even if I will show it in an exhibition also later on – which has resulted in requests for tattoos and this summer I started tattooing people. It took me about 2-3 years from when the idea to tattoo first struck me, and I’m glad I didn’t rush it.

I now use a FkIrons Halo2 and Nocturnal Super Black ink. Needles are mostly 7mag, as I shade mostly. I line very little as I don’t work with lines even when drawing, but when I do I usually choose a tight 3rl or even extra tight 3rl. On fake skin you usually have to use smaller needle groupings than you would on human skin. That’s something I notice when tattooing very fine details, which I often do”.
Malin, the Artist

***Follow to see how Jeanne inks up…  and Subscribe to our newsletter !

To get some Reelskin Action:

ReelSkin UK

ReelSkin Sweden

ReelSkin Israel

Love & Ink,


7 thoughts on “Tattoo Study: The Case Of Jeanne and The Dark Art Lady

  1. This is great!! I’ve always wondered how people can start demonstrating their tattooing skills without ruining the bodies of others. I think this is the answer.

    I knew that there were examples of practising on fruits and pig skin but this kind of fake skin was something that I haven’t seen till now!! I think this will be a great carcass to study while getting started 🙂

    1. thanks Tyler:) fake skin has actually become an entirely new medium for tattoo art display that lasts for years (unlike pig skin or fruit), and it’s also a great way to show the clients a “preview” of the artistic and technical skills of the artist.

  2. Hello dear Malana!

    First of all, I feel the need to say that these tattoos are extraordinary, unique and beautiful! I was always curious how tattoo artists practiced and gained experience, but I just got my answer. I didn’t know there was the solution of fake skin. Reel Skin is so much better than to practice on animal skin. And I think as a big bonus that you can tattoo both sides too.

  3. I love tattoos and I had no idea that you could practice and display your tattooing with this technique. It does seem like a more realistic options available to tattoo artists looking to perfect their crafts as opposed to practicing on people. You said that with this technique you can wipe the ink off, how do you avoid smudging it?

    1. Hi Dana,

      The Silicone which the Reelskin is made of (unlike the cheap thin rubber fake skins) enables you to wipe all ink excess that wasn’t injected into it, so once you wipe you are left only with what you have actually tattooed (like REAL SKIN), rather than smudging and smearing it all over without being able to wipe it off ever! The best thing about it is that it lasts a lifetime without becoming brittle and cracked so you can display it as a portfolio:)

  4. This is so cool. Its nice to see that there is such a realistic option for tattoo artist. Seeing the details in this work would make feel more comfortable using this artist even if they were a new tattoo artist.

    1. EXACTLY !!! this gives the apprentices the possibility to show what they are capable of and explore new styles, then practice them to perfection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *