Being a tattoo artist is totally amazing. We get to work with people, draw every day, listen to cool music at work, and hang with our amazing crew. We are very privileged to be able to make our living from drawing art on people’s skin. But there’s a catch. We do have our negative triggers. And I am going to explain them and why. So here are some things you should never say in a tattoo shop:
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1. I let my dog sleep in my bed with me
If you have animals close to your skin during the healing process of the tattoo, you are super exposed to bacterias and can easily harm the tattoo big time if you get infected. Letting your dog sleep in your bed is the worst thing you could do during those first 3-4 weeks.
2. How much for a sleeve?
It is like asking “how long is a road”, “how much for a car/house/watch” etc. It depends on so many things, but mostly size, color-use, the artist, the speed, the placement, and more… As soon as you have something visual to show us, sort of like a plan that shows what you want to get we can start guessing the price a bit.
3. Can you draw something and if I like it I book an appointment?
This is a question we get a lot. A drawing, sketch or digital design takes a while to make. Being tattoo artists is our full-time job, our serious profession. No artist that works full-time tattooing will be willing to work extra, for free, for you to maybe get an appointment. What we do, is we book a consultation, talk about what you want, charge a prepayment for a design, and when you are happy with it, we tattoo it.
4. I am just 17, but my parents approve.
Then you will just have to wait just a little bit longer. We have an 18-year limit, no exceptions.
5. Can you hurry up, please?
Would you really like your tattoo artist to hurry up? Its a permanent piece of art stuck on your body for the rest of your life. I would let the artist take their time, make it the best they can.
6. I had a few beers to man up.
You don’t man up before getting tattooed, you man up BY being tattooed. And if you have been drinking before a tattoo session, we will through you right out the door. Alcohol makes the blood thinner, so its difficult to make the tattoo look as amazing. And drunk people are not welcome in a professional studio, cause they’re usually quite annoying.
7. I want the text to be super small, like a freckle.
So that no one ever can see it? Then why get it? Why pay for a luxury beauty accessory like that, and not be able to see it? It’s going to blur and blend together into a thick stain eventually. Is that what you want?
8. Can I pay you next week?
Do you ask the same to the hairdresser or at the grocery store? We are a business, like other businesses. So the answer is a blunt No.
9. Can I get a sleeve done today?
Hahaha, this is a funny one. I guess you have seen some Tattoo TV show, and think that a sleeve is done in a day. Firstly, we have waiting lists, so starting on a sleeve is not possible until the waitlist is complete. Secondly, a sleeve takes time. Several long days, how many depends on so many things. And you need time between sessions to heal. So it could easily take 6 months to make a sleeve.
10. I always scratch my tattoos.
Then you probably won’t mind getting infected, scars or broken parts in your tattoo that you will have to pay to retouch.
11. Can I rent you for a party?
The location needed to tattoo has to be approved by the health department. Because there are so many risks in tattooing, that only a pro tattoo artist in a pro studio can avoid. So, the answer is mostly a NO, but if you are very serious for an event, get the area approved by the health department and ask again.
12. Can I bring a couple of friends to watch?
This is usually not a problem in a smaller tattoo shop. But in our big shop with 3 floors and right now 11 artists and 4 staff members, and all the artist’s clients, we fill the area quite enough as it is. If the clients bring their friends too, we are not able to breathe in there anymore…
13. How about my kids? Can they come?
Every artist needs their utmost concentration. We do make tattoos. They are permanent. If we should mess up because of a sudden child’s sound or movement, that would be on you… So no, sorry.
14. I brought my dog, where can he sit?
Would you bring your dog to the doctors or the dentist? Its all about hygiene. So no…
15. No thanks, I don’t need ointment, I have vaseline at home.
Please listen to what we say when it comes to healing. If you want to use anything else than what we recommend, the healing process is out of our control. We are proud of our work and don’t want you to mess up the tattoo by thinking you know more about the healing than we do.
16. What do YOU think I should get?
If you ask that question, you don’t want a tattoo. Period.
You can get lots of ideas in my Tattoo Ideas board on Pinterest, which is updated daily!
17. Shit, That´s expensive!
How much did your latest outfit cost? Or a night out? Those are expenses you will wear out or forget. Tattoos are there for the rest of your life. Damn, we should get an annual payment for our tattoos, like the apps you have on your phone! But the tattoo is just way cooler.
18. I want that exact tattoo copied.
We are artists, and enjoy creating art. Tattoos are our form of art. If you come in with a photo of a tattoo, and you want it exactly the same, we will try to talk you into making something similar, not a copy.
19. Sorry, Can´t make it to the appointment (2 hours before)
We have a 48-hour cancellation deadline, but sometimes we get a call just a couple of hours before, or even right at the minute. Sorry, can’t make it. We made a design, we made everything ready for you. Some tattoo artists charge deposits. We just started billing those who don’t show up.
20. Holy Crap, it hurts!
Yes, it does. Now please be quiet! Cause I need to make a nice tattoo for the rest of your life. The more you scream or move, the worse the outcome.
So, if you say any of these to your tattoo artist, it may cause some irritation. Most artists are great at explaining the issues around these questions or outbursts, so don´t be afraid to ask your artist if you have any questions. Check out my studio www.attitude.noThank you so much for visiting my blog today. If you liked "20 Forbidden phrases in a Tattoo shop", please feel free to share it with others. If you don't already, you are more than welcome to follow me on Instagram, my Youtube channel and Pinterest.