There is so much more to planning your next tattoo than just finding the design that you want; finding the artist that you want to do it for you is just as important.
Getting tattooed shouldn’t be entered into lightly, it is a lifelong commitment and regretting your choices can end up being a painful and costly exercise when cover-ups or laser removal becomes the only solution.
So there are a few things to remember and consider before going under the needle.
I cannot stress enough how utterly unimportant saving a few Rands actually is in the long run, as the saying goes; Good tattoos aren’t cheap and cheap tattoos aren’t good. Saving up for a few more months is not going to kill you, instant gratification is not the answer and cover-ups will end up costing you more in the long run.
Worse still; don’t bargain with the artist either! You would not be happy if your boss decided to negotiate your salary come month end, so why would you do that to your artist? It’s disrespectful to their craft and their monthly bills!
Do Your Homework
If you are wanting a very specific Tattoo in a very specific style, a good idea would be to find the artist who matches what you want as closely as possible.
All artists have a style that they enjoy doing and that they do extremely well, so find out who that is in your area. Many studios have multiple artists who all have a unique style, so finding an artist for you isn’t going to be too difficult if you’re willing to do some research.
Cleanliness and Godliness
You are allowed to ask questions during your consultation and the very first one should be about hygiene. South Africa has many reputable studios with impeccable hygiene standards; so they won’t mind answering any questions that you have about the hygiene in their shop. Make sure that they open new needle packs in front of you, make sure that they are wearing gloves and as soon as a shirt comes off and a cigarette is lit, get nervous!
There are so many other hygiene factors that needs to be considered and it will take up this entire post if I list them, so check back for my post on hygiene in the near future.
Artists are People Too
They may be scary looking – probably with stretched ears; intricate neck tattoos, wearing band Shirts that you have never heard of – but they’re just people – even if they’d be upset that I’ve exposed the truth. So many people get intimidated by tattoo artists and being in their studios and this can lead to nervous, rash decision making. Relax! This also comes back to doing your research on an artist as well, who may be the nicest person to me may be scary to you, you need to be comfortable with your artist.
Don’t get tattooed by someone that makes you uncomfortable or intimidates you, or it will ruin the experience for you!
The Customer is not Always Right
Tattoo Artists are one of the rare professions where the client is not always right, but they are willing to listen to what suggestions you may have.
Their job is to transfer works of art onto skin permanently; they do know what looks good on a certain part of your body and when they tell you, listen. They will know if your design will work as a tattoo and if not they will probably suggest a way to make it work. You need to think about all of these things logically before you have a hissy fit and bad mouth the guy trying to create the best tattoo that they can for you.
You may know everything that there is to know about your job; just like your tattoo artist. Let him handle the tattooing and you stay in control of your occupation.
Sadly, there is still a lot that the general public doesn’t know about getting tattooed other than what they see on TV and what society has painted for them, and I’m working on changing that perception one blog post at a time.
Token Side Note: Again, all of the above is in reference to reputable tattoo artists and their quality of work. Substandard artists do not come to mind when I discuss Tattoos or Tattoo Artists, being an adult, know that you are responsible for your decisions at the end of the day.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and if you disagree with mine feel free to let me know!