Your handy guide on what NOT to do when getting a tattoo.
During the day, I play a tattoo artist on TV. Okay, I really am a tattoo artist (not to be confused with my night job of a ninja assassin), and I love my job. There are certain things about my job that seriously make me want to head home and crawl back into bed, though.
And, it’s not just me; I’ve talked to the guys at the shop — they have the same pet peeves.
So, I’m going to help y’all out and give you the hook up from an insider source … me.
1. Be drunk or on pills.
Should go without saying, but you wouldn’t believe the number of people who do it. And we’ve heard everything. “It’s just pain pills to help because a tattoo hurts so much,” or “I’m sober, I swear, I just had a shot to take the edge off of getting this tattoo.”
If you don’t want your tattoo artist drunk or on pills, then we don’t want our customers drunk or on pills. And, while yes, you do bleed slightly more when drunk, the real reason we won’t tattoo you while you are intoxicated is because drunk people don’t sit still.
Want so see some awesome celebrity tattoos? Now’s your chance. (Post continues after gallery.)
And they are loud. And annoying. And have a tendency to not remember things in the morning … like going to a tattoo shop and getting Tweety Bird on your ass. We don’t want to put up with that crap.
2. Have no idea about the shop or the artists.
Please do your research before walking into a shop. Most places have websites or Facebook pages (if not, I wouldn’t go into it). Research the shop, look at artist’s portfolios, and go into the place educated, maybe even with an artist in mind. I have to say, I love the ego boost of “I was hoping to get tattooed by you because I saw your work online and really liked it.”
Hehehe, thanks. Flattery gets you places in the tattooing world sometimes. And, sit for a few minutes after you get to a shop and observe.
Does it look clean? Do the artist’s portfolios look good and up-to-date? Do the artists themselves look clean and healthy? Does it smell like green soap, a&d ointment and cleaning supplies? If not, then say, “Thank you” and walk out the door.
3. Haggle pricing.
We set our pricing according to how much time it will take us to do the tattoo; just like a lawyer prices, a mechanic, a psychiatrist … only guess what? We’re putting something on your body that will be there forever.
A lawyer’s work will one day be done, as will a mechanic’s, as will a psychiatrist’s, but our masterpiece (or screw-up, if you don’t do your research) is a lifelong commitment. So, why price shop?