Personally I love to shoot the shit about tattoos anytime and I would encourage anyone to chat me up in the earlier stages of the process. Many times in the past people have come to me with ideas that they are so certain of that they cannot allow for any sort of creativity. Additionally, many of what I would say are my best pieces are the ones that I was allowed the most creative freedom, and some of that stuff I get requests for the least.
Really, I feel that we both want whatever I do on you to be my best work to date. I am always honored to be the one to bring peoples ideas to light, but I have a lot of experience that sometimes a person planning just one tattoo wouldn’t have. I like to distill your ideas down to their core essence and emotions and then use symbolism to tell your story in the most efficient way. Bigger is almost always better. Detail is what eats up time. I only charge for the time that the needle is running but that charge makes up my time, experience, knowledge and all of that. It isn’t cheap, I can totally identify with that, however I do give breaks for longer sessions. Everything that makes a tattoo readable is contrast. The more Bright and colorful you want things to look, the more dark areas you need to include Over time this contrast will diminish and to some extent the ink will settle and spread. What makes a tattoo “hard” is not always the size of the things in the image being tattooed but the size of the open spaces left over as this is what will suffer the most from being designed too closely together. I like to find the parts of the image that have the most meaning, use detail there to draw focus where proper and cut out as much excess as possible using negative space and other design elements to aid in the flow of the piece. So for me, the best you can do is to understand that I am giving you something for life that needs to be readable from a distance and the more creative freedom you give me to make that happen the better your tattoo will be at the end of the day.