Fingering and Hand-jobs
What you see, is not necessarily what you get
We all see crazy tattoos, they are on Pinterest, on your best friend’s Facebook feed, shared on Instagram with captions like “Tag a friend who would want that”.
While it can be practical to browse the internet when looking for inspiration for your next tattoo project, there are a few things to take into account!
First thing: know when looking at images of tattoos on the internet that the tattoo is fresh, lines are crisp and colours are radiant. Unless stated as healed, the picture was taken right after being tattooed. Remember that it may not look this way after it heals.
As clients especially for smaller tattoos wont make a trip back to the shop only to have a picture taken of their tattoo, most artists will immortalize their work by taking the snapshot right after tattooing.
We’ve all seen intricate filigrees or architectural or tiny words, they look good don’t they? Well, I’ll just say it’s a good thing there is a photographic proof that at one point it was a stunning piece of art, because chances are that once healed it will look like shit…
These are a few exemples of healed finger tattoos found on the web. (None were done by me)
Second thing to keep in mind: when looking at portfolios online (and sometimes it takes a trained eye to detect these) people use photoshop to either sharpen the details or boost the contrasts and vibrancy. Before you ask, yes this is cheating! Either way, this can be misleading and confusing.
The point is, artist portfolios should not to create false hope or mislead potential clients.
Third thing you should always take into account: images are often cropped so the artwork takes as much space as possible in the shot.
So, unbeknownst to you, the idea you fell in love with might be a whole back piece that won't fit on your forearm. The rule of thumb is: the smaller the tattoo, the simpler the image must be.
About the cost
Even for the tiniest tattoo you will be charged for an hour… Yes, even if the tattoo itself takes 10 minutes.
If you want your finger tattoo to keep looking good over the years, you’ll need to get it touched up fairly regularly. Unless you have money to spend on it regularly, think twice.
Keep it simple stupid…
Bold, simple design will work best and look good the longest.
Knuckle tattoos will also last longer then on the fleshy underpart of the fingers. On the inside, you will end up with a patchy ghost of a tattoo (is it what you really want to invest your money in?)
No. You are not special…
We hear it all the time. People come in and try to convince us (or themselves) that they will beat the odds, and that their finger tattoo will heal perfectly. Well, I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but I havent seen a single finger tattoo that didn't look bad. As state knuckles are not as bad but still… they are tricky.
We often get lines like: nobody wants to do it, but I’m wondering if you’d be willing to give it a try. And that goes for any type of work. Instead of storming out of a shop that might refuse to do a given tattoo, take the time to ask why. If you notice a pattern in the reasons given to you, it might be wise to rethink the project.
Don’t see it as personal, or as a rejection, We all (most of us) take pride in our work and it is in nobody’s interest to go forward with something we don’t believe will age well.
Then again, you will always find someone who's in it for the money and will blindly do it without fretting. But I’m sure you don’t want to be the sucker that will give ‘em your hard earned money.
As they say: knowing is half the battle…
Taking all these informations into account, I’m not saying you should absolutely avoid knuckle or finger tattoos. What I am saying is do your homework, take a close look at people with such tattoos, ask questions, don’t be shy. Also listen to your artist's advice! If you have second thoughts keep asking around!
Even if I don’t do such tattoos, I alway give the same advice. If you are slightly OCD or have a slightly perfectionist personality… Well, stay away from hand and finger tattoos.
Due to the nature and quality of the skin, and the fact that we are using our hands everyday, the blacks might not heal dark, and colors, won’t be as bright. The lines might also become blury. So, if you are super picky, don’t get it on your fingers. It will cost you, it will hurt and it won’t look as good as you’d like.
Bottom line is: you are your own boss, and you should know yourself better then anybody else. So, If you are truly okay with all that, go ahead and get it done! There is nothing wrong with that.