The decision to get a tattoo isn’t one that should be taken lightly. Due to the permanent nature of every tattoo, it’s extremely important that all interested parties take the time to properly scope out the qualifications of their tattoo artist. Renowned tattoo artist Samantha Ramer wants to ensure that all of her customers feel completely comfortable before they get in the chair and get their tattoo. Whether it’s the first time for the customer or the 100th time, there are certain steps that should be taken ahead of time to ensure a positive experience. Today, Samantha Ramer will share some advice that will benefit anyone in the market for a tattoo.
- Do the Research
It is not uncommon for tattoo horror stories to start with someone casually strolling into a shop and picking out a design to be placed on their body. It’s important that the artist providing the tattoo has a clear sense of the person’s vision. Every tattoo artist should be able to provide a portfolio of work. If the recipient is looking for a particular design, they should ask to see examples of past work. Tattooing is art and every artist has their own style. With something as personal as the human body, it’s important that the art represents the customer and their personal style.
- Know the Pricing Model
Different factors go into the price of a tattoo. Most artists will start their pricing model on a per piece model that is determined by the size, detail, color and location of the tattoo. All these different elements play a role not only in the cost of the materials it will take to complete the tattoo, but the time that it will take to achieve the desired finished product. Beyond the cost per piece model, experienced artists will often have an accompanying hourly rate on top of the cost of the tattoo. Everyone has a different budget and a different amount they can afford to spend on their tattoo. The customer must know exactly what they are likely to pay before they agree to sit in the chair for their tattoo.
Once a price is agreed to, the customer should ask what type of payment the artist accepts. There are many tattoo artists that run cash-only businesses. Knowing this ahead of time can help people avoid a potentially awkward scenario. There are also artists who will accept credit cards for the tattoo but will only accept cash tips. Gratuity is suggested at most shops, but it is built into some fees. Also, many experienced artists will require their customers to make a down payment simply to secure their appointment time. When this is the case, it’s vital to understand the cancellation policy as it is not uncommon to get cold feet or have a life event come up that delays a person’s availability for the tattoo.
- Find an Artist Who Will Offer Feedback
Tattoo artists are indeed artists. Samantha Ramer believes that tattooing should be a somewhat collaborative experience. For example, many customers have an idea of what they want but would benefit from the input of a seasoned artist. Consider a tattoo that a customer says should be about six inches tall or wide. A tattoo artist worth their salt will understand what sizing will look best. The proper sizing could be contingent on everything from location to how complex the requested design is . Bigger is not always better. Tattoo artists who have the best interest of their customers in mind won’t be afraid to suggest a smaller sizing – even if that comes with a smaller price tag.
- Ask About Hygiene
If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that hygiene is extremely important. Cleanliness is more important that any artistic skill a tattoo artist may have. Tattoo artists will usually quell any hygiene concerns by asking their guests about any potential allergies that could impact the process either during or after the tattoo is applied. Online reviews typically provide a solid understanding of the cleanliness of the shop as well. If the tattoo parlor isn’t clean, it’s best to find another artist.
- Know What to Expect on The Day of the Appointment and After
Everything from what clothes should be worn to the shop to how the tattoo should be cared for in the days and weeks after the tattoo is applied should be understood ahead of time. Loose clothing will often be recommended as it will allow for the bandage to fit perfectly and won’t irritate the skin. Samantha Ramer provides her clients with a skincare checklist to follow to maintain the integrity of the tattoo and ensure the client experiences as little discomfort as possible.
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