Your first tattoo consultation with the artist is pretty important. It will set the tone for the design the artist will create and how your actual sitting will go. This is also an interview for both of you to gauge the compatibility.
Is it a good match?
I know this sounds odd, but actually you are building a relationship. Someone is taking your vision & imagery and interpreting them into art to be etched onto your body…pretty intimate to me. You’re putting a lot of trust into one person. For me, there has to be some good energy there, and an understanding of each other.
Bring a list of questions. Generally, you will get 30 minutes. So make it count. For more critical questions I would ask just enter your email address below and I’ll give you access to my top 5..or 6.
Don’t forget your images!
Take those images you’ve been collecting and either email them to the shop beforehand, print out, or bring in your computer (make sure they are on your computer as the shop may not have wifi).
I personally collect the images on my iPad in an album, specifically setup for this tattoo. It just makes it easier to find quickly and to keep them in an order that allows me to better tell the story.
Other things to consider
Determine if you can see the design before the actual tattoo sitting. Many won’t because they are worried it will get stolen and tattooed by someone else. This is fair as they’ve had this happen before. Remember, they are artists and the art they produce is theirs until you pay for it, either out right or by getting tattooed with it.
However, if you are lucky, they will be open to emailing it to you or you swinging by the shop. This prevents an uncomfortable conversation if the design isn’t what you expected when you get there and they’re expecting to immediately tattoo you. Even if that happens, generally they will allow for minor alterations. If it’s a major redesign then you will have to reschedule your sitting appointment.
Also ask what time you need to be at the sitting and how long they think it will take so you can determine how much it may cost and how long you will be there. You may think a design will take 2 hours but in reality it may take 6 hours. Also remember to tack on an hour before for prep time.
Your consultation is very important, please don’t go in unprepared and expect the artist to guide you through it. They will look to you for information. You are the customer. Now, there should be a good back and forth discussion. The artist will review your placement and give you advice on whether the image is right for that body part, whether it will flow correctly with your body. They will also guide you on what is and is not possible as a tattoo. Listen to them as they are the expert. However, if you feel it isn’t working out, you don’t buy their explanations, or the energy isn’t right, respectfully tell them this won’t work out and leave. It’s no skin off their back and it will save you a lot of pain (literally), regrets, and money.
I know it can feel as if you are committing at the consultation, but you have the RIGHT to control your body and what goes on it. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.