Things Your Tattoo Artist Wishes You Knew

Submitted on 05.05.21

 What do tattoo artists really wish you knew the minute you walked through the shop doors? A lot of people go into their tattoo appointment not knowing what to expect. Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding to proceed forward with getting a tattoo. By now, you already have a design and size in mind and are ready to proceed forward. One of the things that the artist wants you to know is that you shouldn't be afraid going bigger on your design. A lot of small tattoos look cute at first, but with the passage of time, they lose the details that make them special. Artists know how ink ages, what kinds of things will fade and distort, and how to keep tattoos looking fresh. Trust them. 

    Another thing to keep in mind is that artists' fees will vary from artist to artist. You may have heard the saying "good tattoos aren't cheap, and cheap tattoos aren't good". You will find shops and artists that charge for the piece while others will charge hourly rate.  Whatever way you choose to look at it, you will see that good tattoo artists will charge more than you were hoping for. 

    Sometimes, clients think that because the piece is small, they wouldn't be charged the same amount as for something bigger. This is true, but most shops still have to charge a shop minimum to cover supplies and time spent for each appointment. Set-up for each appointment is the same no matter the size of the design, health and safety guidelines need to be met, and there is set-up, prep, sterilization, and supplies that still get used. Be confident in valuing your artist's time and creativity, that is what they do for a living. 

    Tattoo artists are not mind readers so communicating exactly what you have in mind, is key. It's important to strike a balance between telling your artist what you want, and letting them do their job. You should always feel free to say that something is not to your liking or if you have any questions or concerns, but micromanaging the process is a sure-fire way to lose your artist's trust. Trust goes both ways, and remember they're creating art that you both will be proud of.