Hi, Dave here! Today we will start with the biggest problem most clients have when they come in the studio: not knowing what they want. This happens a lot with first time clients (tattoo virgins) and especially with the younger crowd, which is between 18 to 25 years old.
The process of getting their first tattoo starts by coming to the studio usually with a Pinterest reference on their phone of a small minimalist design, asking for the price, how much it will hurt, etc.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to start small but remember: this is your body and originality is key. Having the same tattoo as half the kids in your college night class is not the best look or feeling.
Research and take your time
My advice is to do your own research and not go with trending tattoos: there are many images online that get “popular” for a few months and after that, it only reminds you of that time in 2018 when tons of people wanted that fucking annoying design.
Another piece of advice in your process is to start your research at your reason for wanting the tattoo in the first place, for example, to honour your deceased family member… what was his/her favourite hobby?
Then, you should take it from there: what style do I want? Where do I want it? What size should it be? Color or black and grey? These are all choices you will have to make and live with.
Most first tattoos hold a lot of meaning and significance, whereas once you get to your 10th or 15th in the chair you are most likely to care more about flow, contrast, placement etc. Try to keep in mind that your whole body is a potential canvas and although it is possible to cover up or remove a tattoo (through painful laser treatment), you want to make the best choices that ensure your tattoo’s longevity and your happiness with your body art.
This leads me to choosing your artist.
No two tattoo artists are created equal!!
Not every single tattooer has his or her own unique style, but most of the time they will prefer to stick to what they know. This is why it’s very important to check the artists’ portfolios first.
Too many fucking times have clients come in my studio and said: “I love your style and would love to be tattooed by you” and then proceed to request a completely different style than what I’m used to. FML, right?
Just because an artist is really good at one style absolutely does not mean they can slay at all types of tattoos. I know many realistic artists that can’t tattoo a bold line to save their lives, as well as traditional artists that can’t draw a face that doesn’t look like Quasimodo. Not all artists are created equal and the end results will most likely look like the art in their portfolios, webpage or Instagram. Definitely consider this first when choosing an artist to hire for your design.
Another important questions
In the process of getting your tattoo, some other questions that you can ask yourself are: Do they specialize specifically in the style I’m going for? Do I trust this artist do make an original design in their style/ allow to make changes in the design/ placement? Can I afford this tattoo without trying to barter the price and suck the energy out of the idea before we even start?
If your answers are yes to these questions, you are on the right foot to getting a rad original tattoo.
If your answers are no to one of more of these questions, maybe you need to take a step back and do more research, soul searching and/or money saving before you decide to mark yourself for life.
Further in the blog I will go into much more detail, advice, stories and situations that can hopefully be applied to help you with your tattoo endeavours, until we read again, this is Dave from Red Panther Tattoo.