advice needed from ppl who do airbush temporary tattoos



Hi newbie here. I am in Australia and I am looking to start an airbrush temporary tattoo business at the local markets. I have researched some of the compressors, airguns and paints. I didn't know there was so much variety and different websites are giving me different information, so I though I would post on this forum to get accurate results.

To do airbrushing of temporary tattoos, what equipment do you use, need advice on the below:
1. Compressor - PSI? - tank or no tank?
2. Airguns - what size .mm do you use
3. what sort of body paint do you use - alcohol based?
4. Airguns - what sort do you use - top feeder etc and single or double trigger?
5. I want a compressor that isn't too noisy as I will be in open air at the markets and sound travels and I don't want any complaints.
6. Any brands not worth buying?
7. Stencils - what sort - sticky ones from a book or ones made of a plastic flexible type material?

I have about $500 budget for a compressor, paints, stencils and guns. Not sure if this will be enough but will have to see.

Is there anything else that I have missed or should know. Maybe buy water based paints for practice. Any advice that I haven't thought of would be greatly appreciated.

Thanking in advance.
Hugs from Queensland Australia
Airbrush Products and Accessories-Coast Airbrush:paint / Flakes,Temptu
this is the type of paint you want to use, You will have to check out your local venders to see if someone carries it over there or something close to it.
As far as which airbrush to use . Depending on how many colors you want to use . You may want more then just one but I suggest you look at a bottom feed airbrush so you can have your different colors already set up in the bottles to make color changes faster.
Also you need to know will you have power to the booth area you will be setting up at. If not might look into Co2 tanks.
Lot of things to consider
Stencils can be bought or home made , you will want them soft and flexible to form around arms and legs and what ever else they may want painted.
Hi brunettesrule, its way past bedtime here in South Africa, I will try answer a good few questions for you when I wake up in the morning.

In the mean time, a 0.2 - 0.3 nozzle size should be good. :)
Thanks Wayne and Herb. I know I have to talk to someone here in Oz, but I need to know a bit about the .mm guns to use etc. I don't want them to see a woman coming and think "cha-ching" and sell me what I don't need. I know I want multiple guns (if I can afford it) and know I need alcohol based paint and flexible stencils to wrap around arms and legs.

Thanks for the bottom feeder idea to change paints quickly. I did read somewhere that a guy used a scuba tank for his air (heaps expensive I presume), but yes my markets do have electricity if needed.

Cheers, Jane

Might have a talk with Neil he has been at it a while and is a real nice guy. The links above are all his . Plus might give you some new ideals to add to your business..:D
Check out a site called Airbrush Focus..They sell the body paint you will need and also laser cut plastic can buy stencils also off ebay but dont bother with the sticker styles, they wnt last long..Buy a good range and keep adding to it but you'll prob want at least 20-30 designs, you can make your own down the track..Ford and holden emblems sell well, aussie flags as well..Most of your costs will likely be in the stencils so you may need to stretch your budget a touch but you'll likely make it back in the first 2-3 weeks pending on the amount of markets you do..Compressor wise, a little instant compressor is the go (I use an artlogic silent compressor for such) and obviously remember you'll need extension cords and a powered site which may be hard to get at some markets so call first and book a powered site if u can..You can buy a cheapie of ebay for around $150, try to get a twin piston if possible..Airbrush, anything will do really but your better of with a siphon feed for quick color changing if you plan to add any color to them or around them, an anthem is a good choice and is quality (Bout $150), you can use either a dble or single action but best to get a dble in case you want to paint other things at home down the track..Also get some standard black paint to make your sign..The sign you make shld have all your stencils painted on it and a price for each one..Painting the sign itself is likely all the practice you will need..PSI you'll figure out pretty quick but that depends on the gun you get..Also buy a box of alcohol wipes to clean the skin prior to placing the tatt and to sterilize etc, after you place the tatt and its dry, place some talcom powder on it gently so it lasts..

Thats all I can think off..good luck with it and have fun..

Oh and a little tool box that can keep it all together is also a good idea so your stall is nice and clean without too much laying around...
Oh and one more thing, try to pick markets that will likely have a lot of kids at them, weekends especially as remember school goes back soon and ultimately kids are your market, school fetes are one of the best to do, some fetes want a small cut of what you make for the school itself so helps them out too and you'll have a line of kids 10-15 deep :)
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Thanks Rebel

So much info. I will look up the "artlogic silent compressor" for costing. What do you mean by a "twin piston" gun? Is "siphon feed" the same as a "gravity feed"? If I can't afford multiple guns, I thought a bottom feed so you can change bottles faster. Is "anthem" the brand? Where did you buy your guns and what .mm are they. Good point about doing the sign yourself and getting practice at the same time. I did think of school fetes and the markets I am looking at are powered. I need to keep my costs down as don't have a lot of cash to set up...but you need to spend money to make money! I knew about the alcohol wipes and talc power. When my daughter was smaller, every market we went to she got a Anything else I should know. Not really a big truster of Ebay unless the seller has sold heaps and is powered. Where do you order your guns and inks? I am on a website now looking at stencils airbrushbodyart com au and australianairbrush com au.

Anything else I need to know, complete novice here but am reading alot about it and watching videos and tutorials.

Thanks so much for your help and putting up with my silly questions. Hope the fires are at bay where you are.

Cheers, Jane
Sorry if I confused, was drinking my morning coffee and was dealing with a caffeine rush LOL..

Yer missed out on all the bad fire days, being in the middle of the bush is scary on those dayz but dodged the bullet this time around..

Yer a siphon feed and bottle feed are the same thing m8..The anthem is a versitile gun for that kind of work as it sprays fine detail through to quite a heavy spray without needing to change your needles out and is a bottle/siphon feed. Did I say twin piston gun? LOL if I did, I was mentioning a dual action gun may be preferable over a single action..The dual action can at least be used for other purposes if you get deeper into other areas of airbrushing, eg, paint T-Shirts during the week with simple designs and take them aswell to your stall on the weekend..A single action gun will do tattoos fine but not much else..The twin piston was in reference to your compressor needs..The silent ones generally come in either a twin or single piston, the twins last much longer and supply air that doesnt pulsate as much as a single piston variety, again it may cost a little more but worth considering..Oh and Anthem is made by badger, its full name is a Badger Anthem 155, again a little more costly about 50 dollars or so more but will last you forever if you take care of it and is a high quality make, great for tshirts as well...

I get my tattoo stuff from Airbrush Supply Network (1300 AIRBRUSH), though the other sites you mentioned likely will have similar needs, just see whats better in cost and postage...Thankfully I've never been burnt on Ebay though I do read the comments others have made and only buy off those who have a 99% or higher rating..

Below is a link to the style I bought for doing markets...

Artlogic Twin Cylinder Compressor | eBay

Good luck, better go deal with re-increasing this coffee rush and go put the kettle on again :)
Thanks Rebel

Glad you dodged the fire, would love to live in the bush. Thanks for the confirmation. Ebay has one left from your link. The stencils are cheaper at the other website $3.40 each. Will have to research postage etc. Geez the inks are expensive $85 for 250ml. Seeing you have done this for while, I trust what you have and will buy the same. All is explained now. All I have to do is buy it all and learn how to use probably the worst bit.

Oh and by the way HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY !!! lol. Single mum here trying to make a few bucks on the side. My daughter wants to do T-shirts and I do the temporary tats. Maybe one day do baseball caps etc and expand.

A million thanks again for your information, if I could thank you post I would. :adoration:

Off to get more coffee myself and find some tutorials on how to do airbrushing. I used to work for a guy about 30+ years ago who did t-shirt airbrushing in Manly, NSW. Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you !!!!!!

One last question. is this compressor really quiet? last thing I need are market stall neighbours complaining about the noise.

Ok now I am panicking, just brought the compressor. Does this compressor fit the badger 155 airgun? I can't find the airgun alone off your suppliers website for $50. There is only a kit for $375 - too much. Says not for beginners, very aggressive and hard to control. Will all airbrushes fit the compressor I just bought? Need to find a gentle beginners easy to control air gun? Any ideas? Me and my impulsive buys. Now stuck with a compressor and don't know which gun to buy. (sad

Cheers, Jane
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Any model 155 will work. The number changes usually dictate packaging and maybe coming with a hose. It should be in the description.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
The compressor I brought is a Artlogic Twin Cylinder with a 1/4"F x 1/8"M Outlet Hose Adaptor. Which airgun? when you say any model 155 will fit, I don't understand. Need a cheap-ish gun to start.

See if I have this correct. The compressor has a 1/4" M Regulator Outlet which fits the 1/4"F hose onto the compressor. The other end is a 1/8"M Outlet Hose Adaptor which fits onto the airgun. I need to put the ink into a glass bottle and away I spray.

I found a Artlogic AC335 - 0.35mm Double Action Siphon Feed Airbrush for $70. AC335 Double Action, Internal mix, Siphon Feed Airbrush** 0.35mm Needle and nozzle assembly and 22cc/1oz Bottle paint jar with a high impact nylon lid and also a 1/4 oz metal paint cup. Recommended be used with water based and alcohol based paints and will need an air hose with 1/8" fittings.

So this should fit my 1/8"m outlet hose adaptor.

Sorry to be such a bother.
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LOL Other stall holders will complain about the shoes your wearing...especially if your making more money than them LOL..

The Artlogic is about as quiet as you'll get in the price range of affordability you have access too atm..You can always look at other options down the track but that one will get you started and the kids running around screaming and excited will be noisier LOL..Just put it down on the ground in a discreet posi as far away from all sides as possible and I dnt really think it will be annoying to other stalls but again stallholders are a funny lot and no doubt you will come across the nasty's..BTW get as close to the food area's as possible ;)

The gun your looking at again will give you a start, although i'd prob get something a little better if you want it too last as you really need a brush that won't let you down on site, it is a good idea to have a spare as a line of kids that get nasty having to wait whilst you fix your gun is a bad combo LOL, but spend the extra bucks now as it will really help in the long run...The paint is more expensive but 85 ml is a lot of tattoos..and yer your hose will fit, adaptors if you buy a different gun are easy enough to come buy and finally consider a mini water trap that attaches to your gun..being in the higher humidity your compressor 9Whatever u get) will produce a lot of water, trapping any coming through your hose is important as you wnt want to spray to much water into the tattoo as it may smudge and won't last long..GL

oh and on the earlier site I a bit cheaper and its Australian made....heres a link..

Airbrush Supply Network (1300 AIRBRUSH)
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Hey Rebel

Thanks again. I was wondering how much ink gets used. I was going to buy 500ml for $85 - will think not now. Don't I have to buy an Artlogic gun to fit my artlogic compressor (the one you have and suggested). What gun do you suggest - I obviously am finding this harder than I thought. Definately having a brunette moment mixed with a bit of blonde. Will the badger fit my artlogic compressor? Do I just have to check it has the 1/8" fitting or will it need an adaptor.

On that website - $36.00 Tattoo Ink Black 125ml and $20.00 Tattoo Ink Black 60ml. I thought I would start out with only doing black tattoos at the moment and introduce colour later when I get better at it. Should I only buy 60ml, would it be enough?

What is the mini water trap, can you explain what it is and how it attaches to the gun?

Have a million windows open and getting confused but sorting it out slowly.

P.S. I am looking at airbrushwarehouse com au/airbrushes/ for them as your supplier is a bit harder to understand for the novice beginner.

Thought I had the gun issues sorted, now back to square one. Do you know which one is about $70-$100 you could recommend and an adaptor if necessary? Don't want one that won't last long but need to afford to buy a spare which was good thinking of you.

You are a god-send answering all my questions and being so helpful. We are nearly there.

Bugger the other market stall holders if they get nasty - you don't mess with brunettes! lol
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I did some temp-tattooing at some local festivals a while back. Made decent money at some, just sat around sweating at others. I found that a large audience of teenagers too young for real tattoos is going to be your prime target. I think the best I made out was at a multi-day Christian music festival. Thankfully, my compressor was loud enough to block out most of the music.

I used OCC (obsessive compulsive cosmetics) and Temptu. The OCC stuff definitely had brighter, more vibrant colors (the sparkly one's were especially popular with girls), while the Temptu definitely was more durable, and wouldn't sweat off as easily. Either way, if you use a gravity-fed airbrush, a small bottle will go a long way. I bought larger bottles of staple colors like black, white, red, yellow, and blue (I figured that if I ran out of green, orange, purple, etc I could just mix some up. Never ran out of a color, though).

As far as the airbrush, I would recommend the Iwata Eclipse HP-CS. It's a very versatile, very reliable, and very easy airbrush to work with. And, with the gravity feed, you get the most mileage out of your paint.
Not sure if I can afford Iwata. I want to get two, can you recommend a cheaper one?
Hi Jane.
A lot has been covered here, but I am fairly sure that if you get the badger you are going to need an adapter - Badger fittings are NOT 1/8. I would also strongly suggest the water trap and even a quick release. here is a pic of what it could look like - (thanks andreZA and wmlepage) Tapatalk
I have done a few fetes, fundraising days and flea markets. you MUST go to the ones that have many kids.
I actually use a scuba tank for my air supply, because I dont want to be stuck with sharing electricity with power hungry bouncy castles and chip fryers that keep tripping the power.
I also have a combination of plastic and adhesive tattoo stencils. I do find the adhesive ones easier to work with, but you are limited to what is available. If you have the cash, go with both. You could probably find someone that could make for you. (laser cutter for the plastic stencil or sign guys for the stick on stencils using "sandblasting" vinyl.)
make yourself some "one direction" (1D), and local sport logo stencils. that increases your target market to almost all the girls and even some fathers. you may then need the specific colours, otherwise just black for now.
I have used my daughters (with pay) to walk around with some of the tatts on their arms and legs to create some excitement.
If you can get something going on a quite market that will draw a large tatt on someones back.
I had 3 different prices for the small, medium and large tatts, which included colours. if cues are long keep colours simple or a little more expensive. IE - low price for one colour small tatt, and then higher prices for more colours and larger tatts :)
I hope this helps.

my setup:
I have 4 airbrushes (some "master" chinese copies - aircraft in my country)
6 colours - the 60ml are fine for now, if you make money, THEN invest in the savings of bulk. IE keep your initial costs low.
I would suggest at least two colours, and if you are going for the bottom feeder, then get extra cups with lids, so that you dont have to keep pouring out and cleaning the cups (bottom feeding bottles)
one book with vinyl stencils, a flip file with some larger stencils, (wolf, dragon, scorpion and lizard are popular)
I personally don't like bottom feeders, but that's just a my preference.