Guy walks into the shop and asks for aftercare advice.
Dude: I got tattooed and I'm not too sure what to do with it...
Me: Where did you get your tattoo? Here?
Dude: No, got it from a friend of a friend.
Me: Well ask for his advice
Dude: Well we looked it up on the internet but there are too many opinions on the subject...
Me: Basically you're telling me you got your tattoo in a basement, yet you come see pros to tell you what to do?
I know there is no punch to that joke, because this is not a joke
So… You want a tattoo…
I couldn't pass sharing this chart drawn by my good friend and talented artist Olivia Chell.
The first rule is, you have to be 18!
No reputable artist will accept to tattoo a minor (getting it done in a friend’s basement is never the answer).
Do you know what you want?
Whether it is just a memento, or something a bit more complex?
It is important to know before hand, what style appeals to you (minimalistic, old school, Japanese, graphic…) Do your homework, look around.
Sometimes we need a little inspiration, and that’s fine, but I always tell people that what you want should come from within you. Let not the latest fad dictate what you should get.
Tattoos should tell your story, not somebody else’s.
Maybe your best friend says his tattooist is THE Best Artist in town but, it doesn't mean that person is the right fit for you… You always want to look for an artist that you feel is a good fit for a specific project.
It would be pointless to contact me for lets say a tribal piece or for old school work.
It is important to look at as many portfolio as possible.
In this day and age, there are no reasons to walk blindly into a shop without being aware of their work beforehand. (let the internet be your guide: Instagram, Artists and Shop directories, Facebook, City best of, to name a few)
Of course walking into a shop will give you better feel of the actual vibe.
Be Patient! The waiting list varies from one artist to the other. If you want a creation by Yann Black, well, be prepared to wait, but don’t just ask other artists to create in his style, you will only be disappointed. Try to put this in perspective: what’s a little wait for the artist you truly love compared to a copy of his work done by someone else.
Talk with the chosen artist, ask questions.
Do you feel comfortable with the artists attitude, does the artist seem to respect your concerns or belittling you?
Does it click?
If you have concerns walk away. You don’t have to deal with a shitty attitude! Keep looking and you will find the right one!
But if the answer to all these points is YES, well go ahead, do it!
Value your artists opinion, trust his/her judgement. After all, this is why you chose that artist over someone else.
Last but not least, we tend to forget that getting a tattoo is luxury after all. If it is is too expensive, save a little, wait a little longer, to get the awesome, kick ass tattoo that you deserve!
Enjoy your tattoo!