“Nobody likes a size queen” is the old adage. But in the case of tattoos, I’d say that being a size queen is the best thing for the life of your tattoo!! So many times (more than I’d care of count at this point), a potential customer will come in and ask how small can they get (insert tattoo image here). And its true, its your body, your choice. But would you even get the tattoo if you knew it was going to turn into a blob in the not so distant future? In this article, I’m going to argue why its better to buck up instead of going for the teeny tiny tattoo.
When you’re a beginner to getting tattooed, its pretty commonplace to start off with a small tattoo to test the waters. I’ve seen a few brave souls go for the gusto right off the bat and get a huge first timer piece (including a first timer who got his ENTIRE chest done), but most people like to start slow and low. Heck, even I like to encourage this. If you’re an ink virgin, odds are you have no frame of reference of what the pain will be like, and I do think its important to understand what kind of pain you’re entering into before you commit to something crazy huge. But, that is kind of where that forgiveness ends. Simply put, if you want something that is remotely considered a work of art, you’re going to have to let the piece be as big as it needs to be.
I can’t understate how silly it sounds sometimes to have a client come in, get their artist extremely excited about a really, truly cool tattoo, and then caveat it with “But it needs to be about the size of the size of my palm.” (or worse, a quarter). And this in no way has anything to do with your artist wanting to make as much money as possible off you- it has everything to do with the life of the tattoo. The smaller your artwork is, you’ll be forced to sacrifice detail of the tattoo so that it doesn’t bleed together over time. And past that, an artist can only fit so much into a small space. Basically, if you want a piece of art on your body, and you want bit represented as beautifully as possible, take the advice of your artist. If your artist says they can fit it in a reasonably sized place, then go for it! But if they advise you to go for a larger size, and in some cases a different part of your body, listen to them!! The art on your body directly represents them, so they want it to look as good as possible- maybe even more than you do!
At the end of the day, there is a reason that the art of the sistine chapel covers the span of an entire church ceiling- because there was far too much detail to fit on half a wall. Go with God, and get that big tattoo! Don’t let societal ideals tell you it needs to be hidden! Bare your art for the world to see!