- Famous Tattooed People
- What is a GOOD tattoo?
- Deciding on a design
- My kid wants a tattoo
- Finding an artist
- Finding a shop
- In Preparation
- Surrender to the moment
- The process of tattooing
- Permanent Cosmetics
- The school of tattoo
- Glossary of terms
Finding an artist
Finding an artist is one of the most important aspects of your tattoo experience. Finding a good one will make the difference in whether or not you are happy with your finished result. Photographs. It is crucial to see photographs of an artist‘s work. You need to see for yourself what kind of work they do. What style or styles do they work in? Can they do justice to your idea‘? Do the tattoos look good‘? Do they look like someone fastened a tattoo machine to a three foot pole and did the work from across the room? Most photographs are taken right after the tattoo was done. Sometimes that is the last time the artist will see the person and have a chance to photograph the work. Aside from the redness, this is when a tattoo looks its best. The true result is in the healed tattoo. You can ask to see photographs of healed tattoos.
If it is possible see some of the work first hand. Ask if anyone has a tattoo by this artist. People are usually proud of their tattoos. Tattoos have a slightly different appearance healed, than when first done. The healing process can change the appearance of a tattoo. The customer using inappropriate aftercare sometimes causes faults in a tattoo. Sometimes the fault lies with the artist, so here you have to be objective.
You can find out a little about the tattoo by feeling it. Always ask before touching a tattoo, and only ask to touch healed tattoos. A big personal pet peeve is when someone l don’t know grabs my arm and starts touching my tattoos. It has happened to me so many times, I couldn‘t even count. They are attractive to the general public and that’s ok, just be polite about it.
Obviously, don’t ask to feel a tattoo that is on a more personal spot on a person’s body, unless you want to creep them out. You can tell if the tattoo is scarred or raised, by feeling it. If you see and feel several tattoos and they feel the same you can rest assured that the artist is responsible for these conditions. One or two bumpy tattoos could be the result of healing. A healed tattoo should feel like the rest of the skin.
Friendliness and the ability to communicate well with your artist are important factors in choosing an artist. Your artist needs to ‘get’ you. They need to be able to ‘get’ what you are saying and to be able to show you examples that illustrate to you what you are trying to convey. The best pan of good communication is when you and your artist have an ‘ah ha!‘ moment. Good communication is give and take. A good artist will take your ideas and run with them. They are there to guide you. You must respect their artistic vision.
Trust your artist’s artistic vision. What I mean by that is take the time to really look at what your artist presents to you before you decide that you don’t like it. People like to be in control and that’s great. Sometimes they will change something just for the sake of changing it. I have personally ‘drawn in circles‘. What l mean by that is, that l have changed a drawing for a customer so many times that we came full circle to the original drawing. I always keep photocopies of my drawing’s evolution to save myself time. This happens all the time. When l present a customer with a drawing, I am presenting what l consider to be a well thought out tattoo. I have considered all of their ideas and have tried to incorporate these ideas into one cognizant piece. I have not been sitting around thinking about how l can fool someone into getting a piece of crap tattooed on him or her.
Everything, every aspect of the tattoo has been thought out as to the best way, most pleasing to the eye, for this design to be. I have my own selfish reasons for this, as my reputation is walking around with every tattoo out there that l do.
Never rely on gut feelings, unless your gut is telling you to run! Without seeing examples of an artist’s work, you have no idea whether or not they are any good. There are hundreds, possibly thousands of nice guys and great gals out there tattooing. Easy to talk to, would make awesome friends. Just because someone is nice to you and fun to be around, it doesn’t mean that they are even good artists. It helps that they are nice.
Niceness should not be your only requirement. Tattooing is very intimate. This person will be handling your body for an amount of time. You need to be able to relax, and if they are creeping you out, that can be hard. You must have complete trust in your artist. This person is going to put a mark on your body that will be there for the rest of your life.
Over the years l am sure that l have turned a few people off with my sparkling personality. It was just not meant to be. l hope that they went on to find an artist that they were compatible with. There is an artist out there that is the perfect match for you.
Is your prospective artist glaring at you from across the room with folded arms? Are they ‘too cool‘ to talk to you‘? If they are, I suggest that they are ‘too cool’ to tattoo you.
lf you are afraid or intimidated by your prospective artist, how can you tell them that something they think is great, you think sucks? If you get stuck with a sucky tattoo it is on you, literally. You must be able to speak your mind. Ultimately it is your responsibility that you get a good tattoo.
Your tattoo artist should be healthy. lf they are visibly sick you should wait until their cold passes. Coughing, sneezing, runny noses, visible rashes, sores, should all be taken seriously. If your prospective artist is not healthy, chances are you could get more than a tattoo from them.
Are they falling asleep? Do they smell like alcohol or drugs‘? Your artist will do better work if they are not impaired.
The artist should have good hygiene. You should see some hand washing. A lot of guys (and girls) are lazy about shaving, so a little stubble is fine. Does it seem like a long time since they’ve experienced a shower’? Is their breath horrible? Are their teeth brushed? Are their clothes dirty? If they are unhygienic in their personal lives, chances are they are not too clean professionally.
Do you feel comfortable with your prospective artist? Sometimes, some artists get a complex, with everyone telling them how great they are, and they start to have delusions of grandeur. There are ‘tattoo groupies’; people who feel some kind of importance by being involved with an artist. This is very flattering to some artists and it can go to their heads. The artists will sometimes suggest that you remove your pants to get an ankle tattoo. Lf you can roll your pants up to your knee, the artist may have ulterior motives in asking you to do this. Maybe they just want to see your butt and if you are stupid enough to let them. They may suggest another method of payment. Look, I’m not here to judge you; you can do whatever feels right to you. It may be flattering to get sexual attention from a tattoo artist (hard to say THAT with a straight face) a better relationship would be a business one. If you are in the market for a tattoo artist mate, don’t go about finding one by getting tattooed. There are thousands of unfinished tattoos out there, don’t add yourself to the pile. You do a better service to yourself if you separate love and tattoos.