The world is full of people who just popped into a tattoo parlor (shop) on a whim as they passed by, thinking they might chicken out if they didn't just get it done right then and there. As I described on the home page, in many a shop the Tattoo Flash is there on the walls to entice these walk-ins with generic (and predrawn, unoriginal) tattoo designs that can be done relatively quickly.
True…some people get lucky and just blunder into what turns out to be a great tattoo shop with really talented and professional tattoo artists who pride themselves on their original work and love a challenge.
I’m pretty sure that you wouldn't be reading this if you belonged to that walk-in tattoo flash crowd! Here are some things you can do to make sure that you find yourself in the right place, with the right people, and walk away with that killer tattoo that you’re already starting to envision.
SHOP AROUND! There are lots of ways to find the best places to go for your tattoo – here are some guidelines to make sure you don’t miss that perfect venue!
Let's break this down into phases and steps: (Click Here to Continue)
Okay, so you've found the right tattoo shop…now, it’s time to find that PERFECT Tattoo Artist (if you didn't figure it out already in your "shop" research).
Obviously, some shops only feature one artist, but for those that have more than one you should still try to make an informed choice. Just like the people you work with yourself, each artist is different and has their own strengths and weaknesses.
NEXT AVAILABLE ARTIST?
You may get away with this in a barber shop or beauty salon, but do you really just want to leave it to chance that you magically end up with the best guy/gal for YOUR particular tattoo that will be with you for the rest of your life?
FACT: If you want to get with one of the top tattoo artists in a particular shop, town or area, be patient!There will be a waiting list, but for this permanent addition to your body (and your life), picking the right practitioner will be worth a few weeks or months!
LOOK AT THEIR WORK!
Tattoo artists, like any other artists, tend to prefer and/or specialize in certain types of designs than others. An artist who features beautiful lotus gardens or butterflies may be able to tackle your FIRE-BREATHING BLOOD-DRENCHED ZOMBIE-FROM-HELL, but would they give you the best possible design to suit you? I doubt it.
Take some time and pour over their portfolios, see what they tend to go with, and then ask some questions. If you brought in some samples of your design ideas, ask which artist might do your kind of work. Let the people at the shop point you in the right direction, then go look at his/her albums.
Think seriously about letting the artist BE an artist! Show and/or explain your tattoo design ideas, and give him/her the opportunity to draw you up something truly unique and all your own!
Just remember, while looking at their work, look for the kind of ink you envision. Also, look for straight and fine-line workmanship...no wobbly outlines or unnecessarily fat strokes.