This French tattoo artist is inking the skin in a very special way. JC Sheitan Tenet leaves his mark by using the world’s first biomechanical prosthesis with a built-in rotary inker. The tattoo machine, created by visual artist and engineer Jean-Louis Gonzalez, includes parts from a mechanical typewriter, gramophone and manometer. Sheitan, who is naturally right-handed had previously always tattooed with his left hand, after losing his arm 22 years ago. At the moment, the Lyon-based artist uses the machine for fills and his left-hand for lines and details. Sheitan explains how the new tattoo machine prosthesis has changed the way he works.
How did you come up with the idea to create a tattoo machine prosthesis?
I met JL Gonzal and asked him to work on a kinetic tattoo sculpture based on an old prosthetic. So he created it for me and I tried to tattoo with it. It was a very interesting idea for me. A more efficient prototype will come soon.
What’s it like to tattoo with a prosthetic hand?
I’ve created tattoos for eight years now with my left hand. But the fun thing is to try to work with the ghost of my right-hand, which I lost 22 years ago. It’s not very precise for the moment and I only use it for shading. But soon I’ll try to work with a tattoo gun in both “hands” to create new designs.
How has your life changed after your work become world famous?
I’ve had a lot of mail and contact from people all over the world and some invitations for the world famous tattoo convention, like American ink in Costa Rica and the tattoo week in Rio de Janeiro.
Talking about your background. How, when and why did you become so passionate or interested in design and tattooing?
I’ve drawn since I was 3 years old and never stopped. I had to relearn to draw when I lost my right-hand when I was 10 years old. I’ve been interested always in art, comics, tattoos, design and abstract art, so it was kind of a logical way for me.
How did you lose your arm so young and how has your life changed?
How I lost my arm is private, and I stopped design work because one day, eight years ago, I tried to tattoo my leg, and that’s when I realized that I wanted to quit my job and start learning to tattoo.