So you’ve decided to get a tattoo. You’ve got a killer design with which you have an instant connection, and your friends are gaga about it as well. Perfect!!!
Now for the crucial task of finding a tattoo studio / tattoo parlour. You begin to check out the artists in your area, but having found some, make a decision that could, literally, change your life forever…
You go to the artist who charges the least.
‘And what is so wrong with that?’ you ask.
Well, nothing really. But before you make that decision, it’s important to know what exactly you’re paying for when you get a tattoo…
You’re paying to stay healthy
The most important difference between an artist associated with a tattoo parlour or studio and an artist working out of a garage is usually their level of hygiene. Inexperienced, ill-equipped, and sloppy artists…
- Don’t sterilize their equipment (i.e. the smaller parts of the tattoo gun and the tubes that channel ink) properly
- Re-use needles and leftover ink
The end result? You’ll get your tattoo, but also a surprise bonus: HIV, hepatitis, and/or syphilis.
You’re paying for a pleasant experience
Now, say you don’t go to the garage-artist. Say you choose a studio / parlour. Is that really enough? Unfortunately, no. Even in an established studio, you can find poorly skilled artists who lack sound tattoo technique…
- By applying too much pressure with their tattoo guns, they’ll rupture your skin. Or by going over the same area of skin repeatedly (desperately trying to get the ink to set well), they’ll give you keloids that mar your tattoo forever.
- By using the wrong needles (there are about 40 different types to choose from) they’ll cause you more pain than necessary and make your tattoo look downright ugly.
You’re paying for a tattoo that looks fabulous
And what if you find a hygienic studio with experienced artists who know how to use their equipment?
Well, now comes the final test; because what differentiates good tattoo artists from excellent ones is their ability to bring a design to life … to fill it with so much vibrancy and energy that it leaps off your body with a force and vigour that makes people to look twice.
And this is the result of a unique combination of innate skill and artistic ability – something that can’t be taught; an artist either has it or doesn’t.
So, yes, it is important to keep an eye on the price of your tattoo; but more crucial is to know for sure that your artist can deliver on these key aspects of your tattoo experience.
The old quote has it spot on: “The bitterness of a poor-quality tattoo will linger long after the sweetness of a cheap price is forgotten.”