I’ll never understand why people refuse to listen when their tattoo artist says “thats a bad idea”. I get it all the time. Someone will cook up an idea or see one from someone else on Pintrest and all of their “friends” will tell them how cool it is, then they come in and I have to say, “why would you want to do that?” but the answer is always the same shitty taste and lack of knowledge on a subject that they are about to spend a weeks pay on to carry around every day forever. The shittiest part of my job is saying yes, and I do so only because I have a family to feed and I know I can do it at least as well as anyone else who isn’t into it.
All I have to say really is ASK YOUR ARTISTS, then LISTEN to what they have to say. If you approach someone with a tattoo idea and they say it is ugly, not their style, not their thing etc, you should take that to mean that whatever “mental picture” you painted for your artist is not exciting to them. If you did the right thing and chose them based on their portfolio, you should accept this. It means that the what that person has in mind, from what you described, is something they would not want to do. Maybe this is based on their desire to deal with a given customer, or their years of experience in the field, but trust me, when someone has a great idea no artist is shy about jumping on it. No amount of trying to talk them into it is going to make the design any prettier or more enjoyable to work on. It will just tell that artist that you are willing to pay for the best they can do with it, but are not willing to do the legwork involved to find the best person for the job. There is very little incentive to try hard when a customer starts the process by basically saying they don’t care about your opinion.
I advise anyone looking for a tattoo, to find the right person for the job. If your artist tells you it’s not going to work, leave it alone, or at least get a second opinion. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve told “don’t do all of that writing on your foot, or your ribs, or at all for that matter” and they work their hardest to convince me of what a good idea it will be and how well it will turn out. Or they ask their friend with no tattoos or tattoo experience what they think. Well its not, and while there are plenty of guys out there who will tell you different, and who specialize in lettering, I am not one of them and I will say that in the years I’ve been doing this, of all of the little lettering tattoos that did hold up, all of them lost their meaning.
A picture says a thousand words and this is a picture industry. That’s not to say that I am not into lettering tattoos, I love them, especially when done right and the word(s) are drawn and not written, and I have a lot of friends who do that whom I really look up to, it’s just not me. It’s not just even the lettering tattoos at all, when done rigth I love them, I’m just picking on writing to gripe about all of the different things people try to talk me into that I tell them is a bad idea.
I’m not trying to pick on any of my customers, but if you’re even reading this then you probably aren’t part of the problem. If you’re smart, learn from other peoples mistakes and educate yourself about how you are marking your body, it’s a lifetime investment that will be with you every day until you die. To hear what other artists complain about check out one of my new favorite blogs at AngryInk.com