Whether you’re booking your first ever tattoo, or your fiftieth, the process can vary from studio to studio. So here’s the low down on how I take bookings, come up with designs and ultimately, tattoo!
Firstly, we’re a custom tattoo studio, this means that we don’t copy designs from other artists. Instead, we will create you a bespoke design, based on your ideas and make it unique to you. Because who wants the same tattoo as someone else right?!
Things to consider before booking
• It’s important that you already have an idea of the kind of thing you’re looking to get. I could suggest a million and one things but you could hate them all. So even a rough idea helps!
• Does the artist you’ve chosen actually tattoo that style? It used to be that tattooists would tattoo any style, these days while most can tattoo any style, they also have areas they specialise in. For example, I specialise in realism, so if you wanted a tribal sleeve, I’m not the right artist for you.
If you research your artist and go to someone who does the style you want, regularly, you’ll end up with a much better quality piece of art than if you went to just anyone.
• Collecting a selection of images of things you’d like included in the tattoo also helps. This could be pictures showing objects, colour schemes and placement examples. These help in giving us a clearer idea of what you’re looking for so we can make sure we get the design just right.
• Placement is an important factor to consider before booking in. Some areas of the body such as ribs, sternum, neck etc are harder to tattoo than others, such as legs and arms. They also happen to be a lot more painful for you. So if you’re thinking of booking in for a 5 hour portrait, do take this into consideration. Equally though, don’t let the thought of being in pain put you off from having it where you want it. If you want it enough, you’ll sit for it!
It’s also important to understand that the body isn’t perfectly symmetrical or straight. Tattoos to move and twist with the body, especially on arms. A design can be perfectly straight when your arm is down, but as soon as you bend your arm to look at it, it will distort. This cannot be helped but we will do out best to position it so it looks right and natural.
• Now on to size. In my opinion, bigger is better. You’re going to get a lot more detail and longevity from a bigger tattoo than you would a small one. Over time, the ink beneath the skin spreads slightly and can blur at the edges. With small tattoos, this can mean that they may end up looking less defined and more blob-like. We don’t want that to happen so will say if we think it’s too small. This isn’t to say that we don’t do small tattoos, we do! We just want you to have the best we can offer so will be realistic in what you can expect.
Most of my bookings are done via email. This is primarily because it’s easier to send across reference images and because I have a terrible memory, it’s simpler for me to have your ideas written down!
When constructing your email please try to include the items mentioned above. This will make the process more efficient and result in you getting booked in much faster.
Upon finding a suitable date for your tattoo, I will require a deposit (usually via PayPal) to secure the booking. This will then be deducted from the total cost of your tattoo on the day.
Designs are done so they’re ready for you on the day of your appointment. Don’t worry, you will get to see the design before it’s tattooed on you, and you will be given an opportunity to make any changes if you wish. I want you to love your tattoo, so it’s important to me that you’re happy and comfortable, so please say if something isn’t right.
Sometimes people ask if we can design something for them before they actually book in for a tattoo. While I can understand the reason for asking this, the answer is no, sorry. We don’t have time to design things, for you to potentially say no to and not book in. It would mean were spending our time drawing and not getting paid for it. You wouldn’t go to a restaurant and ask them to cook you something first to see if you like it, before you sit down and eat. It’s essentially the same thing.
In the time between making the appointment and the day itself, if you have changed your mind about parts of the design or location of the tattoo, it’s important to let us know before the day of the appointment. Designs are done with the body part in mind as this can affect how it flows and works with the body. So if this is changed then the design will need to be changed too. Although we do allow time in the morning to make minor changes to design, redrawing and adapting the whole thing will be time consuming and could mean less time you spend actually being tattooed.
The Day Itself
The day has arrived! You’re finally getting that tattoo you’ve wanted for ages!!
As with any appointment, it’s not good to arrive late. Normally I’d suggest to arrive around 5-10 minutes before so you have time to settle down and get comfortable on our sofas. I will have a consent form for you to fill in, so please bring ID too.
I will then show you your design, check you’re happy with it and size it up.
Once I’ve made the stencil, I’ll then invite you over to my work station where we’ll stick it on you and make sure you’re happy with it one last time before I begin tattooing. Simple as that!
If you think you might be a bit late then please let me know ASAP either by calling the shop or emailing me. Likewise, if you no longer think you’ll be able to make your appointment then let me know, ideally at least 2 days before the day of the appointment, or you will lose your deposit.
Hopefully this little guide has helped give you a better idea of what to expect and how to go about getting that tattoo you’ve been thinking about! Happy booking!