TATTOOS LAST FOREVER.
While very few things in life are as permanent as a tattoo, the reality is that over time tattoos do fade. Small, cluttered tattoos blur. Tattoos can be lasered off, but success can vary and your skin will not be the way it was before. Rather, go for large, clear, understandable designs to last a lifetime. Tattoos that take up more real-estate on your body will have more defined, sharper lines that will maintain your initial design.
A TATTOO WILL MAKE YOU COOL.
A tattoo is a tattoo. Your douche bag boss can get ink, but that still doesn’t mean you’d want to get a beer with him after work. Collaborating with a tattoo artist to create a piece that has personal significance and is reflective of who you are, where you’ve been or where you’re going can be a catalyst to make other changes in your life. We frequently hear from many people who find that getting tattooed is a self-affirming and empowering experience. It can reveal to not only yourself, but to the rest of the world aspects of your identity. Tattoos allow for an amazing range of self-expression. Tattoos can enable you to claim your own body, to outwardly manifest how you feel and view yourself on the inside and to reveal who you really are. The meaning can be as little or as deep as you allow it to be. Get a tattoo for yourself, no one else.
I CAN ALWAYS LASER IT OFF IF I DON’T LIKE IT OR CHANGE MY MIND.
Maybe, but don’t count on it. Lasers are not completely effective in erasing tattoos and restoring skin to its natural state. Inevitably, some faint amount of pigment will remain or perhaps some scaring that occurred when the tattoo was initially applied. Additionally, it’s more costly and painful that getting tattooed. Be patient when selecting your artist, design, and placement. The act of getting the tattoo is the last step in a process. Too often people get a tattoo hastily; invest the time planning and thinking about your tattoo upfront.
A TATTOO WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
Sometimes in very big ways. Maybe. Not always. Getting a small tattoo inked on your butt probably won't affect you for more than a week or so—out of sight, out of mind. Many tattoos can be easily covered in professional and even most social settings. Getting a more visible tattoo that cannot be conveniently covered up when you wish will affect how other perceive you.
A TATTOO IS A RITE OF PASSAGE.
Not always. Sometimes they are "just a tattoo." Not every tattoo is weighted with a deep emotional significance worth of Freudian analysis. If your tattoos have a deeply personal meaning for you, great! But don't assume that it does for someone else. Understand that sometimes it is more than enough for someone to get a tattoo simply because they “just like it.” The pure aesthetic beauty of tattoos are reason enough! Many cultures perform some sort of body modification as a “coming of age”, and similar to getting one’s drivers license, many 18 year olds have been looking forward to getting a tattoo. We encourage those interested in tattoos to look at portfolios, visit shops, and ask questions.
DON’T PICK YOUR TATTOO FROM THE “FLASH” ON THE WALL.
Why not?? There are millions of amazing flash pieces that would make great tattoos. Shopping the designs on the wall can also be an excellent starting point for your own ideas, and can help guide your tattoo artist to design a custom tattoo for you.
BLACK AND GREY WORK MEANS THAT YOU’VE BEEN TO PRISON.
Fine line black and grey work may have origins from less reputable places, but like other styles of tattooing, it has it has come a long way and is an established form that can be seen in all of our societies demographics. Choose what style of tattooing appeals to you.
YOU’RE GOING TO REGRET GETTING TATTOOED WHEN YOU’RE 80 YEARS OLD!
To most 80 year-old folks, their tattoos aren’t a big deal. Getting to the bathroom on time is! Our bodies will age and deteriorate. Don’t be afraid! Make good decisions and live with them! And if you’ve not hear it before, “Remember Everything; Regret Nothing!”
YOU’LL GET HIV, HEPATITIS, ETC. FROM A TATTOO.
There has never been a reported case of AIDS/HIV, Hepatitis C, or any other infectious disease transmission due to tattooing in a shop that follows sterile procedures and is well versed in cross-contamination prevention. There are plenty of opportunities for the untrained to cross contaminate their supplies and spread fatal incurable diseases. Part of the job of a professional tattooist is to make sure all tools are properly cleaned and sterilized and all procedures maintain a standard of cleanliness. Similarly to a doctor or dentist, we use autoclave sterilization on our stainless steel instruments. The autoclave uses heat, steam, and pressure to kill any possible organism present. We operate at higher temperature and pressure levels, and for longer periods of time than required by law. We use monthly spore tests to ensure that the autoclave is functioning properly. We use hospital grade decontaminant (bleach only kills influenza and rhinovirus) that kills every known pathogen on our chairs, table-tops, and spray bottles. Many of our tools, such as the tattoo needles themselves, are single use and disposed of properly. We are also trained in cross contaminations prevention techniques.
ANY GOOD ARTIST CAN DO ANY STYLE OF TATTOO.
While a good artist can have a facility to do a wide range of styles of tattooing, most tattoo artists have a couple of styles of work that they really relate to and excel in. As a client you should try and locate a tattoo artist whose portfolio of work you like and is really enthused to do your tattoo in particular.
MY FRIEND IS A GREAT ARTIST. I’M GOING TO HAVE HIM/HER TATTOO ME.
Artistic talent certainly helps with composition, placement, color, and creativity in conceptualizing designs, but professional tattooing is as much a technical craft as an "art." Your artist friend may be able to draw a good design but if they don't know the mechanics of tattooing, their work may turn to be a blotch on your skin a few months, or worse, and they have zero training or skill in maintaining a safe environment in which to be tattooed. They cannot possible instruct you properly in how to heal your tattoo properly, putting you at further risk of infection after the tattoo process. Skin is an incredibly varied medium, from soft to hard, light to dark, thick to light. It takes valuable years of experience to really know how to put on a great tattoo!
YOU CAN JUDGE THE QUALITY OF A TATTOO ARTISTS’ WORK BY PHOTOS.
The absolute best way is to see the tattoo artists' work in person. There is no substitute. Go into the studio, look at the work that you’ll see on others there and ask plenty of questions. Evaluate portfolios carefully looking for straight lines, sharp points, smooth shading, and solid color and black work. Many pictures have been shot right after the tattoo was finished and may not look so good a month later when it's healed. If at all possible, ask to see photos of healed work.
ALL TATTOO ARTISTS ARE RUDE, ECCENTRIC, ETC.
Artists are by nature a temperamental lot, but as a tattoo artist, he or she has also chosen to work in a service industry. Clients should be treated with respect. You have a right to expect that your tattoo artist will deal with you in a professional manner, show up for appointments on time, live up to obligations or promises they makes to you (such as producing sketches or designs for new work according to deadline), etc.
It is your responsibility not to patronize a tattoo artist that gives you less than you deserve.
ARTISTS LOVE CLIENTS WHO JUST SAY “DO WHAT YOU WANT .”
Not really. Most tattoo artists do not want the responsibility of coming up with a design for someone else to wear forever. There are some that will happily tattoo you with no input, but is that what you really want? Unless you've been working with a particular tattoo artist for a long time, don't expect them to design your tattoos with no input whatsoever from you. Give us some examples, hints, descriptions of the kind of subject matter and artistic styles that interest you. This will help greatly in the design of your tattoo and your overall enjoyment with it throughout the years.
THE MORE DETAIL, THE BETTER THE TATTOO.
The best tattoos can be easily understood, especially from a distance and over time. Many times in tattoo less is more. A viewer at a reasonable distance should easily be able to make out the subject matter of your work. Highly detailed, microscopic work that requires a viewer to grab hold of your arms and study it are not all they are cracked up to be? Tattoos that are a wealth of minute details layered on top of each other often dissolve into "mush" and the naturally occurring dispersion of the pigment in the skin will mean such tattoos will hardly be recognizable years later.
YOU CAN GET A GREAT TATTOO FOR CHEAP.
Every time someone brags about the cheap tattoo they got, it always looks like just that…a cheap tattoo. A really great tattoo comes from a great tattoo artist, a professional. Professionals charge for their work. Search first for a tattoo artist whose work you like. If you can’t afford it now, save up for it. Bigger tattoos can sometimes be done in multiple sessions. A tattoo is going to be with you for a lifetime and you get what you pay for.