Tattoos are in many ways the ultimate form of personal expression: branding yourself with a permanent design that’s supposed to represent you in some creative or cultural way – permanently. But how do you know, before you take needle to skin, that the design is going to look as you imagine? Despite recent technological advances, there is really no turning back.

Faced with that dilemma, graphic artist Loic Zimmerman developed a computer program that would allow him to preview the design on his own body. After creating an avatar to his exact body proportions and “inking” the avatar with the design (which is one of his own original drawings), Zimmerman is now in the process of getting the actual tattoo. And, of course, he’s blogging about it the whole way.

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