Total Tattoo Book

So many tattoo books and so many different ideas for a prospective tattoo buyer. Why is it that the people who should be writing these books – specifically tattoo artists with years of experience – never really do? I love to watch the new series, Miami Ink, because it seems to personify the normal routines of the average tattoo artist. From the slip-ups (Did you catch the guy who went in for an Italian-styled tattoo that read, “per sempre” meaning “forever”, but accidentally got a “pre sempre” tattoo, meaning – well, it means nothing, actually!), to the price haggling over a specific original work, it really is an interesting series to watch – especially if you like tattoos!

Many tattoo books can be found at tattoo shops, and some are more important than others are. Once you find a tattoo design that you are interested in; the next step is finding a tattooist that suits your needs. When I say this, I do not mean, “Go find someone near your home.” I mean, walk into a shop, talk with the tattooists, and tell them that you need to look around for a bit. Then, go have a seat by the tattoo scrapbooks of all of the artists. Tattoo artists always take pictures of their best work, so that YOU can be assisted in making this decision. (And, you thought the books were just for showing off!) These photo scrapbooks can give you a feel for how the tattoo artist utilizes color combinations and the needle to make the artwork. Some artists are really into swirly, flagrant types of work, while others exemplify bold, constructive artwork.

As an example, would you take your motorcycle to a car dealership in order to get it repaired – just because the car dealership is closer? On the other hand, would you pay one-hundred dollars for a mediocre stereo system, when you can get a phenomenal stereo system for one-hundred-twenty dollars? The same goes with tattoos. One artist may have a very keen eye and steady hand to make a dragon tattoo look excellent. Yet, he may not be very good at personal portraits. In addition, you may find a tattoo shop that has a simple tribal tattoo you like, and they want sixty-five dollars to complete it. The tattoo shop across town has a more complex tattoo that you like just as well, but it costs eighty dollars.

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Some tattoo shops hold a different atmosphere than others. People, of course, like different things, and sometimes, a particular atmosphere can be enough to calm even the jitteriest customer! You may be looking for a professional-looking, clean, brand new tattoo shop. Alternatively, you may like the yelling-over-the-Pantera-CD tattoo business. Better yet, perhaps the rustic looking. seats-have-duct-tape-to-cover-the-holes type of atmosphere is more to your liking. I have been in all types of shops, and found very experienced tattoo artists in all. Still, finding just the right person to do the job should be seriously taken into account. No matter what you decide, plan your tattoo not just by design, but also by artist!

Katherine E. Ackerman

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