Written by Rebecca Jobling
Tattoos are becoming more and more popular with people getting them for many different reasons from emulating their idols and popular culture, or as a work of art. In this article I will give some insight into the different reasons our customers get their own bodies ‘inked’ and some advice from a professional tattoo artist.
Why Get A Tattoo?
I recently talked to Tattoo artist Susan James from The Ink Tree tattoo studio. She mentioned that there are different types of clients; those who have very definite ideas about how they want their tattoo to look, where it should sit on the body while putting a lot of thought into it and there are clients who would like their tattoo as soon as possible and who have an image with them they would like you to copy or want a piece of flash. It seems to me that a tattoo can either be a fashion accessory or a work of art.
What should you think about when choosing a tattoo?
Ideally the artist and client would work together on this with the artist’s knowledge and understanding of the technical side taking the lead. However there needs to be balance as the tattoo is going to be placed on their body and they have commissioned the work. Personally I feel that Tattooists are artists and when choosing my own tattoos I would look for artists with individual styles, I would choose based upon their own work as opposed to flash, although I have tattoos chosen from flash, I had the images changed to suit my style. Tattooist Susan likes to try to individualise catalogue images so that the client still feels they have something in some way unique if that’s what they want.
Designing A Tattoo
I have recently been asked to design a Tattoo for a friend. There are a few things to take into account when coming up with a design. Firstly the design is restricted by size, the tattoo is going to be quite small so I had to stay away from detail and keep the design simple and bold. The size also limits the colours that can be used, as darker colours will make the small design harder to see. One of the main things that affects the design is making sure it is what my friend wants; I sketched a few ideas first before she chose the one she liked. This is the design we chose, it just needs a few final tweaks from the tattooist… as they know best.
Some studios offer custom only tattoos. Susan suggests this might be somewhere the more serious tattoo collector would go. He would possibly choose the artist based on a style or genre he would like and would have done research before booking his artist. Other studios offer both custom and ‘flash’ tattoos. In this case the client will be able to choose from a selection of designs or ask the artist to prepare something `custom`. She goes on to say “In my opinion both options are worthwhile. The important thing is that the client leaves the studio with their new piece of art feeling happy and that they have had a good experience.”
Rebecca Jobling is an illustrator in the North East of England, She enjoyed working as a teaching assistant in a primary school for five years prior to university, but has always had a passion for art. She achieved BA (Hons) in Illustration and Design at Sunderland university. She loves all things creative and enjoys experimenting with different media in her work.
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