One of the most common questions we get asked on social media is about tattoo etiquette. A tattoo shop can be intimidating to walk into for the first time, especially when you don’t feel confident with how it all works. It takes two to make a great tattoo, your cooperation and your artists talent. Here are our do’s and don’ts for tattoo clients.
Dress the part
Don’t worry, we don’t mean come in wearing only black and covered in skulls (I mean, unless that’s what you’re into!). Make sure what your wearing is accessible to your tattoo artist! If you’re getting a sleeve, don’t come in a long sleeve shirt, if you’re getting a leg tattoo bring shorts! Wearing something breathable is extremely important, tattoo chairs aren’t always the most comfortable and sitting for hours in one spot can get annoying especially if you aren’t wearing soft clothes. This is the time to break out the sweatpants.
Don’t ask your tattoo artist for a drawing first
Of course you want to see the design before you get it tattooed! That’s totally understandable and reasonable. What isn’t so cool is asking your tattoo artist for a design before you even book an appointment. Remember that your tattoo artist is just that, an artist. It takes time and creativity to come up with something custom for you, and art is expensive. Once you put a deposit down the artist will start coming up with a design just for you!
If you need to reschedule, let us know in advance
We get if you need to reschedule, stuff comes up especially if you’re booking far in advance. It’s no big deal. What is a big deal is trying to reschedule an hour before your appointment starts. Remember that your artist has blocked out an entire day just for you and they’ve spent hours working on your drawing. They come into work only to discover that their client isn’t here, it can be pretty frustrating. This space becomes difficult to fill because of the time it takes to come up with a drawing, and we need a new client who can just pop in for a full day with no notice. We usually ask for at least a weeks notice!
Don’t drink before your appointment
Don’t drink and drive, don’t drink and get tattooed. Alcohol thins your blood, which means excess bleeding. Excess bleeding can mean it’s difficult for the artist to see, compromising your tattoo. Excess bleeding can also thin the ink out. There’s also the fact that drinking leads to impaired judgment, and you definitely want to be sure of your decision when you’re putting something on your body forever!
Don’t haggle over the cost
Remember, this is something that’s on your body forever. One of the truest statements in life is “You get what you pay for”. You have to handle the tattoo as an investment in a piece of art, you’re paying for the quality of work from that artist. This isn’t like shopping for clothes. You’re also creating a life long relationship with that artist, their art is going to be on you until you die. Shops also have a minimum for a reason, we have to buy expensive products and split the cost between artist and shop. The artist is still making a custom piece for you. The minimum is simply so all costs get covered.
Haggling isn’t great, but honesty is. We can always work with you, if you can’t afford the tattoo we can always make adjustments such as going smaller or doing the tattoo in pieces.
Don’t bring an entire entourage
Getting a tattoo can be scary, we get it. Of course you want someone there with you! Bringing a friend is fine, the issue is bringing an entire group of people. Have you ever seen Say Yes to the Dress, when an entire family is arguing over the dress style and the bride ends up not getting what she wants? No? Just me? This can happen with tattoos, everybody has a different idea of what looks good and two many different opinions don’t usually end well. What matters is what YOU want, and your artists opinion is amazing, they do this all day!
Don’t steal art from other artists
Again, your artists are artists. Don’t walk into a shop and ask your tattoo artist to copy another piece of art or tattoo, any reputable artist will say no. Imagine getting a very personal tattoo for a family member that passed away, only to go on Instagram and find out someone has the exact same piece. It hurts. Tattoos are so personal to each person, and the artists spend their time coming up with custom art. Reference photos are great, your artist will always work with your idea!