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The Amazing UV Tattoos of Jonny Hall


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UK-born artist Jonny Hall is famous for being one of the first tattoo artists to introduce UV-reactive ink to the style of black-and-grey realism.

UVealism, a term coined by Hall himself, basically refers to the enhancement of already-impressive black-and-grey realist tattoos with the ethereal glow of UV-reactive ink. In plain light, UV tattoos are semi-invisible, but put them under an ultraviolet black-light bulb and you get to see a whole new dimension of the design. UV-reactive ink is a bit more difficult to work with than normal tattoo ink, because it’s a lot thinner, but when used correctly, the results are awe-inspiring.

Photo: Jonny Hall/Instagram

Jonny Hall has been art-oriented for as long as he can remember. At the age of 23, he left his native UK and settled in Australia, where he started his apprenticeship as a tattoo artist in 2015. He was particularly drawn to black-and-grey realism and is considered the first artist to introduce UV-reactive ink to this particular style.


“The process is pretty much the same as a normal realism tattoo,” Hall said about UVealism. “The UV reactive nature of the tattoo makes it come to life under a black light. The healing process is exactly the same as a typical tattoo. The tattoo is wrapped for the first 24 hours, then aired out, cleaned, and moisturized daily. After a week or two, the skin will be totally settled.”


As you can imagine, it took a lot of experimentation to blend classic and UV tattoos so seamlessly, and even thous some purists see Jonny Hall’s unique style as nothing more than a gimmick, he sees it as a way to progress the craft while staying true to its roots.


Jonny Hall may not be the first artist to have used UV-reactive ink, but he is definitely one of the most popular tattoo artists to adopt the new ink.


For more incredible tattoos, check out the shape-changing artworks of Veks Van Hillik, the sticker-like masterpieces of Clayton Dias, or the gaming-inspired tattoos of Derek Turcotte.

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