Best way to approach your tattoo
In this blog I would like to give a bit of guidance in how to approach your tattoo artist and getting tattooed. I can only speak from a tattoo artist point of view. I’m gonna try to give guidance based on my 13 years experience being a tattoo artist, and learning how to deal with clients, and lessons I have had over the years, with following my intuition and learning what to do and what not to do.
First of all, I would like to start mentioning probably the most important way to approach your tattoo, is to choose a style that you want, and contact a tattoo artist who specialises or enjoys doing that style you are looking for. It seems like a really simple and obvious way to get tattooed, but you will be surprised, how many clients approach a tattoo artist, without being aware of the style the tattoo artist specialises in, or enjoys doing. You can not approach a tattoo artist and ask them to deviate from their style, it’s like asking someone not to be themselves, or asking for someone to act like they are somebody else.
Only approach a tattoo artist if you are 100% sure about getting tattooed, and 100% sure about getting tattooed by that tattoo artist you have chosen. And you should approach a tattoo artist, because you want their work and style, on your body for the rest of your life. So if you love someone’s work, and you know their style is what you want to get tattooed, you will do everything possible to make it happen, you will save your money, you will take a day off work, you will be patient, you will be there whatever time the tattoo artist asks you to be there, you will contribute with everything you can to make that possible. And the reason why I’m speaking like that, is because, the more easy going you are with your tattoo artist, the better work your tattoo artist is going to produce on your skin.
I have done my best work in my clients who gave me the opportunity to work in a good frame of mind. If you are a stress head, it’s more likely you will stress your tattoo artist too. If you worry too much about how your tattoo is going to look, you are not having faith in your tattoo artists skill. I know some of you mite be thinking, but I want to know what my tattoo will look like when it’s done. In my opinion as a tattoo artist is, the more you let it be with your tattoo, the better the outcome will be. I know the tattoo will not look exactly how you were thinking, but it will come out better.
Let me show an example, with my strategy on how I get tattooed. I say to the tattoo artist what they want to hear, and by doing that, I can see their excitement to tattoo me.
When I approached Victor Portugal, one of the best tattoo artists in the world at black and grey, I was really nervous. The reason why I was nervous is because, I’m also a tattoo artist, and I didn’t want him a bad experience, basically, I didn’t want him to think I was an idiot, because the word would be quickly spread around the world, as all the tattoo artists in the world know him, and respect him. So I think that’s a good way to think when you approach a tattoo artist, be respectful of what they mite think of you.
When I approached Victor Portugal, I gave him a few ideas, I gave him 3 ideas, and I let him choose which one he felt more comfortable doing, and I was sure to tell him, that I wanted his style on the tattoo, and I wanted him to be free. By saying that, his eyes lit with joy, and that contributed to his excitement about tattooing me. I said how much I loved his work, and why I chose him to tattoo me. All that gave him not only excitement, but also confidence to tattoo me. The tattoo didn’t come out exactly how I was thinking, but it came out better than I was thinking, and that’s why I chose him to tattoo me, it’s because I trusted his art.
If you do not trust someone’s art, do not approach them to tattoo you, it seems like such a simple way of thinking, however, you will be surprised how many people approach me, making me feel like I’m not capable to do my job. I have clients asking me, can you do this, can you do that. You should look at someone’s portfolio, and find out for yourself, what they can or can not do.
To be complete honest, us tattoo artists, we do not look forward to see every single client we have, because some clients make such an awkward situation, such an unpleasant vibe, and when the tattoo is finished, we are so glad. So please don’t be that client, to make an awkward vibe on your tattoo. You must have faith in your tattoo artist, and stick with the process of your tattoo, under any circumstances, and the reason why you should stick with your artist, and even wait a few months to get tattooed by him, is because you made the choice to have his art work on your body for the rest of your life, and you must have faith until the end.
Jumping from one tattoo artist to another, is only gonna mess your tattoo up even more, and the reason why, is because, even knowing a few tattoo artists mite have the same style, every artist works with a different frame of mind. Every artist has a different perception about art, and how to approach their work.
Also I would like to mention about clients who approach a tattoo artist asking them to replicate the same tattoo they see on Pinterest. You must realise that, a tattoo when it’s done, it was on that moment that the tattoo came out that way, and that moment can not be replicated exactly the same. Even if you take the tattoo you love, to the tattoo artist who executed it, if he tries to replicate the same tattoo on you, is never gonna come out exactly the same, because your tattoo artist mood will be different than previously. It’s also important to know that, tattoos are produced with moods, and we are not in the same mood everyday, so a full sleeve will never be duplicated exactly the same, it will always be a momentous emotional journey.
Thank you for reading our blog, I will share more thoughts on how to get tattooed in another blog, I hope everyone is keeping safe, take care.