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Tattoos: What Your Tattoo Artist Will Never Tell You

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Shhh 01

In this follow up article, I’m going to offer some insight to all you tattoo collectors about the things your tattoo artist will never tell you.  If you’re like me, you always want another one, and have endless ideas, but let me shed some light on what your artist is really thinking.

Price Matters

Yep, it sure does. The artist’s initial price is what they feel their time and quality of work is worth. Is this negotiable? Yep, sure is, but if you want it done for less, it’s going to cost you, just not in terms of money. If you protest the initial price, and you and the artist agree on a lower one, here’s what that really means; the artist is either going to do a smaller version of the tattoo, simplify it, use less colors, or all of the above. If you’re not willing to compromise the design of the tattoo, then I suggest you think twice before trying to just get it done for cheap. You can’t expect to drive home in a Mercedes if you’re only willing to pay the price of a Hyundai.

Size Matters

Yes, size matters, and I’m not talking about supersizing your tattoo; I’m talking about you. If you’re sensitive about your weight, skip this paragraph. I’m just going to get straight to the point and tell you that overweight people are harder to tattoo. Why? Well, it’s because the skin has to be stretched to get smooth clean lines, and this is way harder to do when there’s so much more skin. Of course the artist won’t be rude or turn you away, but in the back of their mind they’re not looking forward to doing the tattoo.


A surefire way to annoy your tattoo artist is, not knowing what you really want. Nothing irritates them more then a customer who can’t make up their mind. The more irritated they get, the less they will want to tattoo you, and quite possibly compromise their work just to get you out of their chair faster.

Idea 02

Be Open

You walk into a shop with an idea or an image, and the artist asks you, “are you open to suggestions?” Translation: your idea or image does not work, meaning that, it won’t contour to your body, it’s too big for the body part you want it on, it’s too small, the reference picture is too blurry, or all of the above. Some people are stubborn, and have to have things their way, but it may be worth your wild to entertain your tattoo artist’s suggestions; after all, they are experienced, and most likely have seen your idea before. On a side note, if you ask the artist what they think and they say, “it’s your tattoo,” this is code for, “I don’t like it.”

I’m An Artist

Despite what you may think, your tattoo artist is really an artist in the true sense. Yes, a select few might do it or the money, but most do it for the passion of the art. Even if they are just cementing letters on your body, to them, they are creating art. They want to be challenged. They want to be forced to think outside the box and create something unique and one-of-a-kind for you, and stamp you with their personal signature. In fact, most tattoo artists think it’s a waste of their time if you walk into their shop wanting something generic like a name or a small picture, but don’t take this too personal because it’s not like they’re going to turn you away.

I’ve offered up some harsh insight into the mindset of a tattoo artist, but don’t let this deter you from getting what you really want. Simply let this be an influence for getting a better tattoo. There will always be some initial wavering when considering something that is permanent; however, just go in there and demand something fabulous, you’re sure to love it.

Happy inking.



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