If you’re a tattoo virgin, you may feel like you don’t even know where to start! And thats okay, because for many years the stigma behind tattoos made it more difficult to get reliable information. But fear not, I’m here to answer even the smallest questions you might have. Let’s begin at the top with taking the first step: booking a consultation.
Where to begin? Well, if you’re looking to get a new tattoo or even your first tattoo, hopefully by now you have an idea of what you want to get. Once you’ve accomplished that, its time to move on to finding the right artist for you. As I’ve covered in past articles, its extremely important to choose an artist who specializes in the style of tattoo that you’re looking to have applied to you. If this is your first tattoo, I do recommend finding a studio in your city, or somewhere that is close by. If you are really determined to work with an out of state artist, go for it! Once you’ve decided on the artist you want to work with, its time to call the studio to find out what dates and times your artist is accepting consultations. If you have landed on a particularly popular artist, their books may be closed. But fear not! Most popular artists do have a waiting list that you can join when they begin accepting new clients. But for the sake of this article, let’s pretend your artist is accepting consultations now. You may wonder: should I bring anything? Reference photos? Money? The short answer is yes to both! Now, your consultation under most circumstances will be free. Kind of like asking someone out on a date- asking is free, the date will cost you.
What should expect out of your consultation? You can expect your artist to bring you to a quiet part of the shop to discuss the tattoo you want to get. At this time you can show them any reference photos you might have to help them understand the direction you want to take. Your artist will advise you of any concerns or questions they may have about the style, size and location potentially. You can also expect your artist to advise you about how long they think the tattoo will take them, and help you get an understanding about the potential cost of the tattoo. No artist will be able to tell you exactly how much the tattoo is going to cost. Its impossible to have that information until you’re actually working on it. Some artists may even want to snap a few photos of the area you’re having tattooed so they can design the piece directly on your body via photoshop. This way they know the space they have to work with, and you can see what it will look like on you when you arrive the day of your appointment. Also, just to put this out there, you will not be able to see the design until the day you’re getting it. This is to not only protect your artist and their work, but it also will save you a lot of opinions from people who are NOT tattoo artists.
Finally, we come time for the payment. You love the vibe of your artist, and you’re ready to take the plunge. What is expected of you next will be a NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of your artists choosing. Standard practice will be two hours paid of your artist’s hourly rate. This is money that goes towards the total cost of your tattoo, but it also ensures that if on the day of you no show your artist, they will still be paid for the work they have already done! The tattoo industry is one of the few industries that you aren’t promised you’ll be paid for the day just because you went to work. Now that you’re a consultation pro, go on and set up that consultation appointment! Live out all of your inked glory!