a (relatively) thorough guide to getting a tattoo

workt

we get socially awkward too!

A long list of things that will help you get through your tattoo session, and have great work to wear afterward:


The night before:

  • Don’t drink heavily. If it will make you hungover, it will thin your blood the next day.
  • Get to bed on time. It may feel like christmas eve and be hard to sleep, but the rest will make you less fidgety the following day.
  • Check your funds. Make sure you have enough to cover the cost and a tip. Make sure you’ll have enough left over to eat something or buy bottled water or any incidental snack you might want while you get tattooed.
  • if you have an appointment, call the shop and verify the time. Artists are human and can make mistakes, so make sure you know exactly when you are supposed to be there and how much it will cost.
  • For a spontaneous tattoo, all these are true. Don’t decide to get tattooed after a night drinking; if you’ve been up all night; if you are using drugs; or if you aren’t sure you have enough money. Call the shop the night before and ask if anyone can take walk-ins the following day. They may even make room for you.
  • Make sure you have any art reference or doctor’s notes you will need. Also, check your ID or driver’s license and make sure it’s not expired! If so, some studios allow you to use your passport, but it’s better to know ahead of time!

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Something Tattoo Clients Should Never Do! never, ever, ever.

this sea captain is actually a skilled tattoo artist

this sea captain is actually a skilled tattoo artist

Never get someone else,

who is not a tattoo artist,

to draw a

tattoo for you

(especially if you are paying a non-tattoo artist for it).

  • Tattoo artists can draw.

This is why we do tattoos. Not only can we draw, we enjoy it. Also, we gain through our work experience a feel for the engineering of the surfaces of the human body; this is a quality of good tattooing that most other artists will not understand r use to its best advantage. (I.e.- where do you put the focal point on a sleeve? how do you draw perspective lines on a column that twists every time someone moves? how do you make mountains look distant on a round but mobile surface?) We also have an understanding of the formula of the medium. Time is not kind to the human body; when using it as a canvas there are a lot of pitfalls, and most non-tattoo artists fall into these constantly.

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A secret formula every artist should know

 

finished_flamingo_by_resonanteye-d4rzt38

ignore the text on it-
it’s about 80% high saturation and medium value,
about 20% black or white (low chroma, high and low value)
I’m not saying it’s a masterpiece but it works for this as an example.

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

This rule is not exact- it could be 70/30 or 90/10. But the basic meaning- that a large majority of effects stem from a small minority of causes, holds true in every field- including art and tattooing.

In making a picture, you can apply this rule at every stage of the process. 20% of the canvas will attract 80% of the attention, so finding your focal point and putting your best work right there is a good idea. Leaving the other 80% a bit more loose can help with this. Most people look at faces or figures first in any piece of art-so spending more time on these than on the wall behind them is best. In a landscape, the feature of interest should get most of your working time. If you do that part right, and the rest has some harmony with it, you’re golden. Abstract art is this principle, standing alone.

I have been told to make my values work this way too. 80% of the piece should have similar values, with 20% having either high brightness or low dark, whichever is stronger against the rest. So a daytime snow scene might be in high key throughout, but then has shadows or rocks which are very dark against it, and which account for about 20% of the scene. You could do this with color, or a particular level of detail or contrast, too.

You probably make 80% of your paintings and drawings, with only 20% of the colors you have, with 20% of the brushes you use.

Then there’s the boring marketing part, too.

  • 80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of its customers
  • 80% of a company’s complaints come from 20% of its customers
  • 80% of a company’s sales come from 20% of its products

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