How To Be a Good Tattoo Customer

(This article is from the internet. Unfortunately, I do not remember the author's name to give them credit!)

Learn how to be an ideal client with our guide to 6 things your tattoo artist wishes you knew...

1. We're artists, not mind-readers. For our friends out there still walking into the shop all "What do I get?" We see you. This one is for you. If you're looking for a custom piece, please, oh, please have an idea of what you want, accompanied by at least one reference. If you chose a professional and reputable tattoo studio chances are we may be too occupied with clients who already know what they want to pull that vision you see "in your head" out onto paper. Help us out, and do a little homework. Artists typically respond best to visuals. The faster we're given that visual idea, the faster we're all on the same page, the faster we can get you that drawing!

2. Be prepared to wait. I can't tell you how many times I've watched a client flip out over a 2 hour wait at a walk-in shop. Patience is a virtue. The tattoo industry is currently booming, and we all now have easy access to artists digital portfolios via Instagram. If you want an awesome piece by an in-demand tattooer, the chances of you popping in on your own time and being ushered into the chair immediately are pretty slim. Good tattoos are based on good art, and good art takes time.

3. After the third re-draw, we're pretty much over it. Nit-picking is not fun for anyone. Find a reputable artist you trust whose work you can identify with, and let them do their thing.

4. Large scale work doesn't happen in 1 hour. "Oh cool, you want a dragon fighting a tiger fighting a snake as a back piece. What?! You're leaving back home to another country tomorrow?! No problem, let me wave my wand here and get that done for you!" Just kidding. Large scale tattoos like back pieces, sleeves, even half-sleeves require a little bit more work than one might realize. The typical process includes a prior consultation, where your artist will discuss your idea with you and take a tracing of the area you would like to have tattooed, and collect a deposit. You might make an appointment for a later date, or be asked to return in a few hours while he/she draws for you. It's important to keep in mind that these drawings don't just materialize, and will take a bit of time & effort to come to fruition, often 1 day to 3 weeks depending on how in-demand your artists is and how large the tattoo will be. The piece itself will likely require multiple sessions with a 2 to 3 week break in-between to heal.

5. The tattoo shop is no place for your child. This is a one-size-fits-all rule that includes babies, toddlers, basically any one under the age of 18 (and yes, that includes your polite and especially well-behaved kid). Though most tattoo shops maintain high sanitation standards, a tattoo artists trash bin and station are filled with bio-hazardous materials that little ones can get into if not properly looked after. There's also cussing, loud music, and typically adult-oriented discussion (and artwork!) not suitable for young ones. Moreover, getting tattooed is a typically nerve-wracking experience in itself, and the shrill crying of a child who is not getting attention is enough to break anyone's concentration and put the whole room on edge. It's a better deal for you, your artist, and your child that he/she is left at home during tattoo day.

6. Take your restroom break before your session. Self explanatory. Also, don't drink booze the night before, get a good night's sleep, eat a decent sized meal before getting in the chair, and bring snacks and water with you to combat dehydration, and blood sugar issues which could affect the quality of your tattoo experience.

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