Many times we have potential clients walk into our shop looking for ready to go pieces, with the first available artist. And more times than not they are disappointed that they can’t get that here. But there is a method to our madness, and it is one that in the long run will save you time, pain, and most importantly, money. Let’s dive into why we think doing research on your artist is a valuable practice.
So imagine: you’ve been dreaming about the perfect tattoo for weeks, months, heck maybe even years. You’ve finally worked up the courage to do something about it, you’re going to a shop and you’re getting that tattoo! But you show up, the lobby is packed, and you’re suck on a waiting list for the next open artist for the day. So you wait, and you wait some more, and finally after hours of waiting to speak to someone, you meet your artist. Maybe you even snoop around on their Instagram to see what their work looks like, and you’re impressed. You show your inspiration photo of your tattoo to your artist. They look it over, give a quick nod, and they’re off to the back to print out a stencil. So then you wait a little longer (remember, no matter what kind of shop you go to, the prep portion of the tattoo takes time) and your artist comes back with the stencil of your piece. You can’t wait. The tattooing begins, and finally it is all over. You endured sitting through the procedure and your prize is your shiny new piece of skin art. You race to the mirror to check it out, and you’re met with a let down. The tattoo doesn’t really look like the photo. It’s okay, but it isn’t what you wanted. But why? You went to a professional artist- why couldn’t they replicate exactly what you wanted?
NOT ALL ARTISTS ARE CREATED EQUAL. So the issue really isn’t that your artist isn’t good, its that the style of artwork that you wanted they simply don’t do. You can’t go to a traditional artist with a realism piece and expect it to look how you envisioned. You can’t go to someone who thrives with black and grey and get a bomb ass color tattoo. And you simply cannot fault your artist on that- like it or not, its your responsibility to do your due diligence. With anything specific and permanent, regardless if it’s an art form or not, you MUST research, research, research. So now you may be asking yourself, “Mary, I don’t know the first thing about getting tattooed- where do I even begin? Shouldn’t my artist just KNOW what I was looking for?” And there are a few ways to begin your tattoo journey, even with little to no knowledge.
First things first, knowing generally what style of tattoo you want its pretty much at the top of the list. In a perfect world, you could go to any artist and they could just exact replicate the art on your body and you’d be good to go. But, as anyone who has walked outside for more than two minutes know, the world isn’t perfect. Take some time to scour the internet for reference photos of something close your wanting to get. Then, research what style that art would fall under. There are QUITE a few styles out there, especially since the practice of tattooing has evolved by leaps and bounds in the past ten years. But once you’ve decided you want that sick looking big cat in a realistic style on your bicep, now is when you need to look at the shops in your local area (or heck, dream big and look at a shops outside of your town or even state) and see what artists dwell within. Once you’ve scheduled a consultation with an artist whose work you love, and is similar to the style of tattoo you’d like to get, go OVER PREPARED. Bring photos of what you’re looking to get. Really talk to your artist- believe me, they want your tattoo to be awesome as much as you do. You’re literally a walking advertisement for them, why would they want anyone to show off bad work? Most importantly, once you’ve booked with your artist, let them do their thing. Unless you, too, are an aspiring tattoo artist, more than likely they will have the skill and knowledge to make that tattoo 100% YOU, and not just a little jammer that everyone and their mom will have. Build a relationship of trust with your artist. They know their limits, and they know what they will strive at. Let them do it. This is going to save you the heartache of looking for someone to do a cover up, because let’s be real, you’re not going back to the artist who did the tattoo to just have it covered up. And you’ll avoid the number one thing people hating their tattoo can hear: You need laser removal to do anything with that area. Not only is laser treatment arguably much more painful than the tattoo itself, but its far more expensive and time consuming. Don’t hurt yourself and your wallet because you didn’t take the time to figure out what you really wanted, and by who you really wanted working on you.
So now that you know the steps to take towards having the sickest tattoo out there for YOU, go out there and get researching! Take your time, and revel in the glory of walking out the door with EXACTLY what you wanted, and more!