Wednesday, January 1, 2014

More On Tattoos

I just thought of some more good advice on getting a tattoo, so here's another entry.

Please, please put some serious thought into where you're going to get your tattoo. Face, head and neck tattoos might seem cool, but they will probably kill any chance you'll ever have of getting a job (well, besides a tattoo artist or maybe a rock star).

Tattoos aren't for crybabies. If you have a problem with paper cuts, then you probably shouldn't get a tattoo. Anyone who says they don't hurt is lying or has a pain tolerance that is unheard of. I have a very high pain tolerance and all of mine hurt to some degree.

Tattoos, like a lot of other things, can become addictive. If you can't go a week without new ink, you're probably addicted.

While tattoos are becoming more acceptable, know that if you get your tattoo in a visible area, you will be judged by society at large. I keep mine concealed because I don't like to be stared at.

Keep the chit chat to a minimum. Laying down a tattoo is serious business for most artists and most don't like to be distracted by small talk, especially during line work. It's best to ask your artists before he starts if he's cool with you talking while he working. Everyone is different.

Most establishments have a "No Haggling" policy. When an artist quotes you a price that's your cue to decide if you want to pay it. Trying to finagle a lower price out of your artist will probably end with you not getting a tattoo. You're paying for someone else's time and talent so don't insult him by trying to get him to do the same quality work for a lower price.

If you feel a sneeze coming on or have an itch you need to scratch, it's best to let your artist know ahead of time so he can stop for you. Virtually all of the tattoo process demands that you hold still unless you want sloppy work and crooked lines.

Don't ask for a break unless you're ready to pass out. Once an artist gets started they generally don't like to stop unless it's to change a color or something related to actually doing the tattoo. If you need to use the bathroom or you get a cramp, ask politely and then take the briefest break possible. Unless you're going to be there for six or seven hours, don't count on a break.

Don't be in a hurry. Never ask "How long is this going to take?" You won't get a good answer. You might get a ballpark figure. Even a small tattoo takes time and requires the same attention to detail that a larger one does.

Don't flirt with your artist. If you're getting your breast or butt tattooed, don't expect your artist to drool over you or pitch a tent. He's a professional and, believe me, he's seen tits and ass before. Unless you're his girlfriend or wife you're just another client.

Most establishments will offer a complimentary touch up of their work within the first few weeks of you getting your tattoo. But this is provided you followed the aftercare instructions you were given. The artist isn't responsible if your ink smears, blows out or you get an infection if you didn't follow instructions.

Don't bring your entire posse with you to the tattoo parlor. It's probably OK to bring one person with you but more than that and you will probably wear out your welcome. This goes back to what I said about artists not liking distractions.

It's common to want to commemorate your experience with photos, but find out your establishment's rules concerning cameras. Some don't allow them and many only allow them if you don't use a flash. Asking the artist to smile and wave at the camera while he's in the middle of a difficult or tricky spot might result in you getting a less than perfect tattoo.

Most artists take pride in their work and are thrilled if you send some extra business their way by telling your friends where you got your tattoo. Don't expect a discount on your next piece because of this. Some artists will shoot a discount to repeat customers who send their friends to them but this isn't a hard and fast rule.

As I said, I'm not an expert by any means, but I've been inked a few times now so I feel as qualified as the next person to give general information. Getting a tattoo can be a satisfying, fun, intense experience. A lot will depend on you and the chemistry you have with your artist. Following a few simple guidelines and using a little common sense will help insure that "your artist" will always be happy to see you.

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