- Posted by Carl Hallowell
- On July 30, 2018
As a beginner at getting tattooed for the first time, you, of course, are going to be unfamiliar with the process. Allow me to shine a light on some areas that are still unknown to many aspiring traditional tattoo collectors.
The tattoo design is drawn as an outline only. The shading and color are added on the skin. The stencil is made from a line drawing.
Tattoos are a leap of faith! You should choose very wisely which artist you are going to use. And then, the trust begins!
Choosing An Experienced Dallas Tattoo Artist Versus A Beginner
If you choose an experienced artist, he is going to take control of the project. He will be respectful of your ideas and strive to give you the tattoo type that you want. But maybe, more importantly, he will strive to give you the tattoo that you need. For example- there may be a design element that you wanted, but that would damage the look of the overall tattoo. This is what is meant by “the tattoo that you need.”
If you go to a beginner, he will not know the difference and you can sometimes control the process, as he is still unsure of his own self and work. You become what is known in the business as an “art director”. Art directors usually receive the worst tattoos because they stand in the way of the artist creating a work of art. Since they may be a teacher, a mechanic, or a chef- they overstep their bounds by taking over the control of the art from the artist.
When working with an experienced tattoo artist, there is collaboration at play indeed- that is, a collaboration on the idea for the tattoo and the direction from which to approach it. There is absolutely no artistic collaboration between an experienced tattoo artist and a customer who is not a tattoo artist. The customer’s collaboration in an artistic sense would only degrade the quality of the work. This is what neither party wishes to achieve!
Flying In The Cockpit Of Tattoo Design
Next, an analogy that is great for tattooing is that of flying in an airplane. When most of us board a plane, we are anxious- especially if this is our first time or we are traveling an extreme distance, or through unknown or dangerous terrain. However, the pilot has made this flight hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of times, depending on his experience. He is not anxious, he is a professional.
The process of booking the tattoo is new for you. However, this is an all-day everyday process for me! I develop, create, edit and recreate my process constantly to better consult, understand, and achieve for my customers. The consultation process is where we come to an understanding of what it is that needs to be done, what it is we are shooting for in the work! I attempt to be crystal clear with my words, when I am not clear as to a customer’s words, I never fail to ask for clarification.
In this way, I achieve a total understanding of what the customer is looking for. When that diverges from what I know to produce good work. I make it very clear that we will be choosing an alternate path there, and I inform the customer what that will be. At the same time, I try and keep a little mystery and excitement in what the design will look like when I reveal it!
A Great Tattoo Artist Needs Clarity And A Deposit Before Creating The Design
In this sense, there is really no drawing and redrawing a tattoo design. I am not taking a shot in the dark. I do not go into a drawing until I have a high level of clarity about what we are going to do. When I reveal the design to the customer, it is 99% of the time all they were wanting, but more than they could’ve imagined. And that’s what they tell me! So, I am not only meeting their expectations but exceeding them.
An example of a change to the drawing only occurs usually where something has been mistakenly omitted by me. For example, if I forgot to add a requested name to a design. That would have to be added at that time to make the design correct!
What we don’t do is engage in changing the drawing just to change it. Again, when we decide on what it is that we are shooting for, that is what I deliberately create.
The deposit is customary. This secures my time and allows me to devote it to you. Should you fail to appear for the agreed-upon date, the deposit is the bone that the tattoo artist receives for his loss of opportunity to serve another customer at that time.
Also important to note is that the finalization of the appointment completes the consultation. Everything we need to know has been ascertained. The next meeting will be at the appointment date where the drawing will be revealed and the tattoo will begin!
The Drawing Is Revealed On Appointment Day
It is my standard practice to reveal the drawing on the day of the appointment. I feel it is more in keeping with the way tattooing is done to present you with a drawing on a piece of paper, real-sized than it is to send it over on a computer or phone screen. It also saves time on emailing and scanning. Also, I finish most drawings at most a week before the appointment, as I have a long line of drawings to do day to day, week to week.
Of course, you are free to not get a tattoo if you do not like what you see at the appointment! However, as stated above- the deposit pays for the time that has been set aside for you.
Alright! Now you are an expert in understanding the process of getting a tattoo by an artist with over 20 years experience! There is a crash course on the whole of getting tattooed right there! As you can tell, I like my customers to understand what they are getting into! That is why I take the time to go in-depth with every part of my work.
Are you looking for one of the best tattoo artists in Dallas to design your first tattoo? Get in touch with traditional tattoo artist Carl Hallowell today!