General Tattoo Question

ValkyrieLips

Member
I'm about to get my first tattoo, and I was wondering if it is bad etiquette to ask to switch artists? It's worth mentioning that I have not had my consultation yet, it was scheduled for next week. It's my first tattoo, and I was set on one particular artist for his skills/talent and was recommended another by the studio. I agreed at the time because I didn't want to seem difficult and because she was my second choice, but I really don't want to settle for my first tattoo. I really want the artist I wanted from the beginning to tattoo me and I also mentioned in my email I would be more than willing to do a half sleeve and give him creative freedom. Is this poor etiquette? The last thing I want to be is a bad client.
 

Betta'sAnonymous

Member
Uhm, tattoos are BAD!!! (Says the guy with 9 tattoos)

Honestly didn't know there was an etiquette, but then again, i haven't been in a tattoo shop in almost 20 years. And even then, i think my last 2 were done in a bar in Okinawa.
 

DrogJustDrog

Member
No. I think it's perfectly fine to be choosy especially when getting a tattoo. Honestly I'm a bit concerned about the creative freedom part. I'd suggest doing something like that with an artist you've gotten to know over years and years of visiting. This is just my two cents however.
 
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ValkyrieLips

Member
Betta'sAnonymous said:
Uhm, tattoos are BAD!!! (Says the guy with 9 tattoos)

Honestly didn't know there was an etiquette, but then again, i haven't been in a tattoo shop in almost 20 years. And even then, i think my last 2 were done in a bar in Okinawa.
I wanted to research beforehand, and I found a lot of artists complaining about **** clients and I wanted to not be one of them. lol.


DrogJustDrog said:
No. I think it's perfectly fine to be choosy especially when getting a tattoo. Honestly I'm a bit concerned about the creative freedom part. I'd suggest doing something like that with an artist you've gotten to know over years and years of visiting. This is just my two cents however.
I say creative freedom but I have "general" specifications such as the location and it has to be mountain centric. I also have lots of reference material as well that I plan to show them. I just really love his style and artwork, I love the realism and I would love to see that translated into a mountain range.
 

JamieLu

Member
You have every right as a paying customer for something that is permanent that u have to look at everyday to do whatever u feel u should do. PERIOD! U are paying them. Im sure they will understand and im sure they will want u to be happy with what u end up with. I wish i had been more picky with my tattoos and artists. In my opinion if u like an artist u should stick with them and ur tattoos will look better done by 1 artist. I have so many from diff. people and i regret many of them. Especially if ur gettin a huge one then make sure its exactly what YOU want. They are not cheap either so use that money for the tat/artist u actually want. I really hope u decided to let them know how u feel and if they want to act as tho u are being difficult then go some place that deserves ur business. Maybe u can post a pic after u get it! I want to see!
 

Betta'sAnonymous

Member
Well, that just makes sense. Always gotta be at least 1 customer no matter what your job that makes you think ill thoughts of the entire human race, i swear.
 

MySquishy

Member
You are the customer.
You have every right to request a particular artist, assuming they’re available.
As long as you ask nicely/ you’re polite I don’t see a problem.
 
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ValkyrieLips

Member
JamieLu said:
You have every right as a paying customer for something that is permanent that u have to look at everyday to do whatever u feel u should do. PERIOD! U are paying them. Im sure they will understand and im sure they will want u to be happy with what u end up with. I wish i had been more picky with my tattoos and artists. In my opinion if u like an artist u should stick with them and ur tattoos will look better done by 1 artist. I have so many from diff. people and i regret many of them. Especially if ur gettin a huge one then make sure its exactly what YOU want. They are not cheap either so use that money for the tat/artist u actually want. I really hope u decided to let them know how u feel and if they want to act as tho u are being difficult then go some place that deserves ur business. Maybe u can post a pic after u get it! I want to see!
Thank you so much for validating my feelings/thoughts. It makes me feel less guilty for wanting to switch. I absolutely want to post an after picture!!! I'm incredibly excited to get it, this just feels like the right time and I'm so ready.


MySquishy said:
You are the customer.
You have every right to request a particular artist, assuming they’re available.
As long as you ask nicely/ you’re polite I don’t see a problem.
Absolutely. I was sure to phrase my email as a question asking if it were possible to switch artists because xyz and that I would understand if he didn't want to/couldn't take me on as a client.
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
Definitely ask for the person you want. I don’t know tattoo rules or anything but I wouldn’t settle for someone I’m not 100 percent sure about for something this permanent. And if I may ask what do you want your tattoo to be?
 

JettsPapa

Member
I don't know anything about tattoos, and don't have any because, as I heard once "You don't put a bumper sticker on a Lamborghini." (That's a joke.) Anyway, you're paying them for a service. I don't see anything wrong with telling them you'd like a particular artist.

I'm not real clear on the "and give him creative freedom" deal. You're going to have this tattoo FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. It might be a good idea to see the design ahead of time, and reserve the right to veto it if you don't like it.

If this particular establishment has a problem with any of that then move on to another one.

And one last thing regarding tattoos that my wife is fond of saying: "These young girls need to realize that the canvas will not stay tight." (Just something to think about.)
 

86 ssinit

Member
Well yes do what you want. It’s your first tattoo. More than likely they asked you to use the second artist because the first is busy and may be a year long wait. They are artists now! Not flash artists. Before you go for your consultation go back to the shop and see this artists work. They all have a picture book. See how her talent is. I have a few tats most from the flash era. My last 2 were by artists. Big difference.
There are no rules and I wouldn’t recommend a sleeve for your first work. Get something that can be incorporated into a sleeve. Remember it’s for life!
 

julifhy

Member
It won't make you a bad customer! It's your first tattoo and it's going to be on your body, so you have the right to be picky lol. What are you planning on getting tattooed? (I'm just curious lol. You don't have to say if you don't want to )

JettsPapa said:
I'm not real clear on the "and give him creative freedom" deal. You're going to have this tattoo FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. It might be a good idea to see the design ahead of time, and reserve the right to veto it if you don't like it.
If I'm not wrong, I'm pretty sure it means that the artist can incorporate their art style into the tattoo. I know that many people also choose tattoo artists specifically for their art style and even let the tattoo artist decide on what the tattoo is going to be.
 
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ValkyrieLips

Member
AggressiveAquatics said:
Definitely ask for the person you want. I don’t know tattoo rules or anything but I wouldn’t settle for someone I’m not 100 percent sure about for something this permanent. And if I may ask what do you want your tattoo to be?

julifhy said:
It won't make you a bad customer! It's your first tattoo and it's going to be on your body, so you have the right to be picky lol. What are you planning on getting tattooed? (I'm just curious lol. You don't have to say if you don't want to )


If I'm not wrong, I'm pretty sure it means that the artist can incorporate their art style into the tattoo. I know that many people also choose tattoo artists specifically for their art style and even let the tattoo artist decide on what the tattoo is going to be.

^Yes that's what I mean by give him creative freedom. I love his style of tattooing so as long as it's mountain centric I think I will like it. I want to get mountains on my forearm.
 

AggressiveAquatics

Member
ValkyrieLips said:
^Yes that's what I mean by give him creative freedom. I love his style of tattooing so as long as it's mountain centric I think I will like it. I want to get mountains on my forearm.
Cool any specific mountain or just mountains?
 
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ValkyrieLips

Member
AggressiveAquatics said:
Cool any specific mountain or just mountains?
No specific mountain, although Mount Rundle in Alberta would be cool to get.
 
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ValkyrieLips

Member
I got a response from the Studio that the artist I want is only doing large scale pieces .
 

86 ssinit

Member
That’s where the money is. It’s a different age for tattooing. Large pieces also cost mega bucks! Figure $250+ an hour.
 

Anixandria

Member
If you get a full/ partial sleeve it should be considered as a “large scale” project. It’s strange that they said no. But anyway make extra sure you’re 100% comfortable with every part of the tattoo you choose. If you like it it’ll give you a HUGE confidence boost, if you don’t like it it’ll be something that’ll make you extremely self conscious. I have a tattoo I wish I put in a different place but I panicked and said that it was fine where the artist put the stencil and I think about/regret getting it there almost weekly. On the other hand I just got one (my first fishes) on a part of my body I don’t particularly like, but the art makes me want to show it off!
 
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ValkyrieLips

Member
Anixandria said:
If you get a full/ partial sleeve it should be considered as a “large scale” project. It’s strange that they said no. But anyway make extra sure you’re 100% comfortable with every part of the tattoo you choose. If you like it it’ll give you a HUGE confidence boost, if you don’t like it it’ll be something that’ll make you extremely self conscious. I have a tattoo I wish I put in a different place but I panicked and said that it was fine where the artist put the stencil and I think about/regret getting it there almost weekly. On the other hand I just got one (my first fishes) on a part of my body I don’t particularly like, but the art makes me want to show it off!
I thought it was strange too since I mentioned I would be open to getting a half-sleeve. I think the other factor is that he is apparently really heavily booked so I probably wouldn't even be able to get a consultation until next year.. Or he just doesn't want to tattoo mountains lol.

Good to know! I'll keep that in mind when she's doing placement of the tattoo/the tattoo itself.

86 ssinit said:
Well yes do what you want. It’s your first tattoo. More than likely they asked you to use the second artist because the first is busy and may be a year long wait. They are artists now! Not flash artists. Before you go for your consultation go back to the shop and see this artists work. They all have a picture book. See how her talent is. I have a few tats most from the flash era. My last 2 were by artists. Big difference.
There are no rules and I wouldn’t recommend a sleeve for your first work. Get something that can be incorporated into a sleeve. Remember it’s for life!
This is really good advice! I think you're right about the first artist being fully booked.

I've been looking at the second tattoo artist's work on instagram, but I'll also ask if she has a portfolio I can check out in the shop.
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
ValkyrieLips said:
I thought it was strange too since I mentioned I would be open to getting a half-sleeve. I think the other factor is that he is apparently really heavily booked so I probably wouldn't even be able to get a consultation until next year.. Or he just doesn't want to tattoo mountains lol.

Good to know! I'll keep that in mind when she's doing placement of the tattoo/the tattoo itself.



This is really good advice! I think you're right about the first artist being fully booked.

I've been looking at the second tattoo artist's work on instagram, but I'll also ask if she has a portfolio I can check out in the shop.
Sorry if I missed it, but what is your tattoo going to be?
 

SouthAmericanCichlids

Member
AcornTheBetta said:
Sorry if I missed it, but what is your tattoo going to be?
A mountain/mountains she said.
 

AcornTheBetta

Member
SouthAmericanCichlids said:
A mountain/mountains she said.
Oh. Nice!
 
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ValkyrieLips

Member
AcornTheBetta said:
Sorry if I missed it, but what is your tattoo going to be?
It's all good, it's going to be mountains on my forearm, kind of like this but MUCH larger:

 

JettsPapa

Member
It's the old guy again. I'm sitting here at my desk listening to Pandora, and Guy Clark's song "Maybe I Can Paint Over That" came on. I couldn't help but think of this thread when I heard the lines below.

 
  • Thread Starter

ValkyrieLips

Member
JettsPapa said:
It's the old guy again. I'm sitting here at my desk listening to Pandora, and Guy Clark's song "Maybe I Can Paint Over That" came on. I couldn't help but think of this thread when I heard the lines below.

Don't worry, I've been thinking about this for a long time, and the tattoo has special meaning to me. I'm 26, I could have gotten one when I was way younger, but it never felt right/I didn't know what I wanted to get permanently inked into my skin.
 

MacZ

Member
While I don't have any tattoos myself (just not for me), I know several tattoo artists. Most say a really important part is that their clients feel comfortable with them and vice versa. Because you will sit there for some time.
If your preferred artist is not available best say you can wait but also make clear you mean it. Which you basically did. Stepping back is always fine, just stay respectful.
That said, if your preferred artist turns out not to have good vibes with you, better settle for somebody else.
 

86 ssinit

Member
Funny this thread came up. My son just finished a years work!!
 

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