Choosing the perfect tattoo can turn your first or twentieth experience into a fantastic memory engraved in your skin for a lifetime. But, how can we be sure we are picking a tattoo that we will be happy with for our entire lifetime and not merely mark a novelty fad we’ve subscribed to. As a person with four large tattoos and MANY awaiting funding, I have moved the idea of choosing a tattoo from a question to an art.
FIND A COLOR YOU TRULY LOVE
One of the hottest topics in the tattoo world is color versus black and grey work. When researching your next tattoo, try searching the internet not only for the perfect picture or topic but for images of real color and black and grey symbols on the skin. Some find the “comic” look of color tattoos too novelty for their bodies while others tend to favor the light atmosphere brought by this form of artwork.
On the opposite side of the coin, black and grey work has a tendency to be more serious and detailed; leaning itself lifelike caricatures and realistic art pieces. Each of these genres (or maybe a combination of the two) should be considered and matched to your personality and lifestyle before choosing the “WHAT” you will have tattooed.
CHOOSING THE IMAGE
From personal experience, you have to make sure when selecting a tattoo to put aside any fads you may currently be succumbing to the pressures of. By trends, I mean sports teams, cartoons and funny little quips and jokes among others. You have to imagine the tattoo as a story, not as an homage to something that is fun and exciting at the moment.
Try looking into who you are and draw from personal experiences you love dearly and have indeed changed your life. (Inking a tattoo of your favorite basketball player in 2007 won’t be as effective in 2027).
CHOOSING A TATTOO ARTIST
Once you have selected the perfect image or at least have an excellent idea for the direction the tattoo is headed, you will want to research many tattoo artists before choosing the one to draw your artwork. Tattoo artists are much like any to her artist in that they specialize in certain types of tattoo genres.
Visit as many different tattoo artists as you can, tour their studios and make sure they are clean and sterile, look through the portfolio of the artist and find tattoos that exhibit the same qualities you are looking for. You will need to examine each artist just as you would consider a home before committing to buy.
The final step in ensuring the perfect tattoo experience is patience. You may find one artist to draw your tattoo and another to ink it on your skin. The best tattoo artists have waiting lists and trade shows, appointments and lives; you will have to wait for the artist to fit you into his/her schedule before actually sitting in the chair for a tattoo.
You must also remember that the tattoo size could take multiple sessions so be prepared to leave the shop the first day without a finished product.
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
No advice on tattoos could be complete without talking money. My best opinion is to save for the tattoo. When you walk into the shop to speak with an artist about your perfect symbol, do not ask how much it will cost.
Does the price of the tattoo matter? Should you start a conversation be placing financial restrictions on permanent artwork?
Tattoo artist prices?
Most tattoos today charge by the hour. So, the best way to figure how much to save is one hours rate per square inch. If the tattoo artist charges $100 per hour and your tattoo will cover approximately 6 square inches, I would not walk into the shop with less than $600. The cost could be even higher with the addition of colors and immense detail work, but this rough estimate should help.
The next time you decide to go under the needle, make sure you go into the experience with a lifetime on your mind. Choose the artwork carefully, weight the pros and cons of color versus black and grey work, investigate tattoo artists like the FBI and save much more money than you will need.
These tips will ensure the ink you are placing in your skin will keep you happy for a lifetime!