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Posts Tagged ‘tattoos’

Tattoo Views

As the wife of a tattoo ARTIST, I’ve come to pay more attention to detail and know a “good” tattoo when I see it. I’ve learned that there has to be a love of the work as well as the art in order for a tattoo artist to be just that: an artist. My husband has worked for a couple of shops. There was alot of talent in those shops. Sadly, there was also some no-talents there. His mentor was one of the best. It comes through in my husband’s work. He even had a tribute tattoo done on his forearm because he appreciated him bringing him into tattooing and teaching him what he now knows. As my husband will tell you, there is still more to learn. It’s a neverending learning experience. That’s where the distinction is made, in my opinion, between a tattoo artist and a person who tattoos. Whether you own your business or tattoo out of your home. In my experience, one isn’t any better or worse than the other. If you don’t take pride in your work, if you don’t understand that you’ll never be “the best”, that there’ll never be something more you can learn you’ll never make it as a tattoo artist. I’m not talking money-wise. I’m talking reputation and loyalty. Repeat customers and word of mouth are any business’s “make it or break it”.

My husband isn’t in a shop right now because around here, (the middle of Bumfukt, NoWhere) there just isn’t enough money to be made. But it’s still his passion. As his wife, I’m now his only canvas. He can’t work from here. Too many laws preventing it, and if daddy goes to jail, there is no income. Those laws are in effect to protect people from lots of gooey, messy diseases that can (and do) be spread by unskilled, untalented people who tattoo.

I guess there are really several points to my story. If you’re going to be getting a tattoo, make sure it’s done by a PROFESSIONAL ARTIST. Not your buddy next door who just bought a tattoo machine and thinks they can do it. It’ll either become infected, or not stay or just plain look like shit. Having said that, don’t go to just any shop. Ask your friends. Ask their friends. Walk into the shop & talk to the artists. If you get any bad vibe at all; turn around & walk out. Some “people who tattoo” have such an attitude that they are so much better than anyone else. They feel they are especially better than people who are tattooing from their homes because they’ve forgotten where they started. And they’ve forgotten that they can always learn something from someone else. A new technique. A new after-care procedure. Something. Anything.

I have known people who say “I got that from so and so down the street” or “such and such a shop” and the tats look like pure hell but they’re PROUD of them. And I want to scream at them, “You’ve paid your hard earned money (and in some of these cases taken food from your babies’ mouths) for THAT???” I can recommend the person to do EXACTLY what you wanted done 1000 times better.

And having said all that, know that when you walk into that shop and ask for a tattoo you shouldn’t say “how much for a tattoo?” You need to ask “Do you have a shop minimum?” “I have this design in mind of blah, blah, blah and I want it here. What will you charge me?” “Do you do custom work?” “Can you draw this up for me?” Don’t expect them to cut you a deal just because you “really can’t afford a tattoo right now, but…”  Remember, these artists are doing something they love, but they also have bills to feed and in most cases a family to feed.

Tattoos take time, talent and PASSION for an art form that is frowned upon in most of our culture. Respect your artist, respect yourself and respect the art.

If you are local, my husband’s two favorite artists are Bernie (whom he apprenticed under) from Werewolfe Tattoo in Martinsburg, WV and Aeric from N’Less Ink (Aeric is THE ONE to see for portrait work-he did the kids’ faces on my honey’s chest).
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