How To Email A Tattoo Artist?

How To Email A Tattoo Artist
How to Email a Tattoo Artist

  1. State the purpose of your email in the subject line.
  2. Greet the artist at the start of your email.
  3. Describe the components you want in the tattoo design.
  4. Tell the artist the tattoo style you want.
  5. Explain the size and placement you want for the tattoo.

How do tattoo artists send DMS?

Be polite and straight to the point in your email. Tattoo artists don’t have much time between their tattooing work to spend time answering emails, so keep it short and provide them with useful information. Provide information like the style, colours, size and location that you want the tattoo.

How do you interact with a tattoo artist?

See What the Artist Comes Up and Keep an Open Mind – It’s important to remember the person giving you your tattoo is an artist , not a replicator. They don’t want to copy someone else’s work. Artists want to create something unique, something which has their signature on it.

While it’s fine to get ideas from pictures of other tattoos, talk to your artist about what their ideas are for creating it. Tell them what you would like to change so the piece is uniquely yours. Remember, you selected your artist because they have strong portfolio and you are attracted to their style.

Put some trust in them and allow them to create a one of a kind, custom masterpiece made just for you.

How do I ask my tattoo artist what I want?

Say What You Want – Don’t feel shy to be assertive when it comes to what you want. Your tattoo artist is there to advise you, and it’s good to listen to them. However, if you know what you want, that’s okay. Getting a tattoo is a permanent decision, so you have to be completely happy with it.

What do you say when booking a tattoo?

Photo by Brooke Cagle How do you normally go about contacting a tattoo artist or tattoo studio? Do you call, email, Whatsapp or slide into their DMs? Calling is absolutely fine, Whatsapp is also fine for some, but sliding into DMs is a bit of a grey area (most artists and tattoo studios would rather that you didn’t message them via social media).

  1. It’s usually best to email your tattoo enquiries in as you can explain in detail what tattoo you want, send reference photos and describe how you want the tattoo to look;
  2. Due to the current pandemic, face to face consultations are tricky and some studios might not offer them for a while and so it’s really important to make sure that you include all the vital details of your enquiry in your email;

Often, people send extremely short emails such as “I want a tattoo. Are you open?”. Due to the busy schedules of tattoo artists, whether they’re drawing, tattooing, responding to enquiries, doing their taxes, attempting to live a life outside of tattooing, time is precious.

  • Sending many emails back and forth is a no-no;
  • So how do you cut down on back and forth messaging whilst making sure that you have made the tattoo artist understand your vision of how you want your tattoo to look? Include the following in your email: Design Describe the design you’re looking to get;

It’s often easier to describe what you want when accompanied by photos or images. The popular platforms where people get their tattoo inspirations from are Pinterest, Instagram, Tattoodo or just a simple search on Google. Note: Most artists offer custom design tattoos rather than copy, out of respect for other tattoo artists and for originality’s sake.

  1. You wouldn’t want a tattoo that’s already been done on somebody else anyway, right? Right? Size You’ll be surprised to hear that a lot of people say ‘small’ or the size of their arm, leg, head, ear, toe;

Bodies vary in sizes so if you said that you wanted it as big as your upper arm, tattoo artists would have to guess what the width, circumference or length of your upper arm would be. Sending a photo of your arm won’t tell them the size of it either. You have to measure it or whatever part of the body you want tattooed to get the accurate measurements. For example, you could say “I want the design to be the size of a postcard/A4 page/lighter/loo roll” – anything will do! Body Placement It’s important to let your tattoo artist know where your desired tattoo design would be placed on the body. This is because they need to assess whether it would suit the area you’ve chosen, and also because they will design the tattoo to fit the shape of your body. Stating which side (for example, left or right arm) is also very useful so that the design can be created facing in the right direction.

Use a measuring tape or a ruler, with centimetres or inches as your metric. If you don’t have a measuring tape or a ruler, just pick something that everyone knows the size of for reference. If you’re comfortable with doing so, get someone to take a picture of the area you’d like tattooed and send this as part of your enquiry.

This is especially important if you’re trying to fit a new tattoo next to existing ones, you want a tattoo to compliment your body shape, or for cover ups and re-works. The artist will use the photo and the measurements to make sure the design is right.

Letting the artist know placement also means. they can advise you etc. References A picture can say a thousand words! A reference is basically anything that you want to use as inspiration for your new tattoo.

It could be a picture of a tattoo you’ve come across, some artwork or illustration, a font that you like the style of, a copy of a treasured handwritten note, or a photograph. It’s super helpful to say what it is about the reference you like – for example, “I’d like to get a linework tattoo based on this photo of me and my friends.

I’ve included the photo, and a reference picture of a tattoo that shows the kind of style I’m looking for”. Or even as simple as: “I really like the shading technique/colours/placement of this reference”.

If you’re looking to get a lettering tattoo, check out websites that provide hundreds of fonts and see what you like – most of them will allow you to type in your quote and preview it in each font. You can send the ‘font name’ as part of your enquiry. Permission to get artwork tattooed Normally, tattoo studios will take your references and create their own interpretation of a design so as not to copy other artists’ work.

  1. However, if you do want to replicate a piece of art or illustration, you’ll need to gain permission from the original artist;
  2. It’s useful if you can contact them before making your tattoo enquiry, and gain their written permission for you to get their work replicated as a tattoo;

Please be aware that as their art is their livelihood, you may be asked to make a payment to gain this permission. And even if permission is given for free, it’s good to think about how you can support that artist with a purchase of their art, however small. No bookings on behalf of others We don’t do bookings on behalf of other people unfortunately. For insurance, purposes we need to talk directly to the person being tattooed, and have their full name and contact details. We need to make sure we can send our terms, conditions, and Covid rules directly to the person being tattooed, so they can read and agree to them before deciding to book in.

After all they have spent a lot of time and effort to create their work. Once you have their permission, you can attach it to your tattoo enquiry – a screenshot of a message between you is fine. It’s also really important from a consent point of view that the person being tattooed is 100% in control of the booking from start to finish so that they feel ownership of the process.

No matter how well intentioned, booking on behalf of someone else could make them feel obliged or pressured to get tattooed. Saying you’d like to get a tattoo to a friend, and then that friend booking you in to actually have one, are two very different things 🙂 If you’re sure they would love a tattoo from us, you can always buy them a voucher which are available from our shop here.

Tattooist Tattoo studios often have a number of tattoo artists working there, each with their own styles and specialisms. They will usually have individual social media pages where you can view their work.

If you want to get booked in with a particular artist, it’s important to let the studio know as part of your enquiry. And just as useful to say something like ” I don’t mind who does the tattoo” if you’re not looking for a specific artist. Availability Your chosen date won’t always be available so be prepared to be flexible.

Tattoo artists or tattoo studios will often give you a few available dates based on their appointment calendar. Provide as many of those dates given to you as ‘available’ for them, as it’s more likely for you to get an appointment this way.

So why is emailing the preferred method of communication? For the simple reason that it is easier to track enquiries. Using multiple methods of communication can be really confusing and also time-consuming, especially when trying to locate conversations.

  1. If you don’t get a response via social media, always try to reach out via email;
  2. It’s more professional that way;
  3. And of course;
  4. don’t forget to check your junk/spam emails when you are waiting for your reply from the tattoo studio;

If you’re looking to get a tattoo, check out our portfolios for both machine tattoos and hand-poked tattoos here. To get started on your enquiry, please head over to our booking page here. We look forward to hearing from you! -Pokeyhontas- x.

How Much Should U Tip a tattoo artist?

How Much to Tip Tattoo Artists – Unfortunately, there’s no hard and fast rule governing how much to tip tattoo artists. As with tipping waitstaff, 20-25% percent is a good standard. An easy way to include tipping in your budget is to add it in when getting the estimated costs for having your work done.

  1. So, if your tattoo is expected to cost $200, with a 20-percent tip, that’s $240;
  2. That said, you can tip more or less, depending on several factors;
  3. For one thing, your willingness to tip will depend on how pleased you are with their work;

If you don’t like the work, it makes sense that you would want to tip less. That’s up to you. But keep in mind that a tattoo is a piece of art you wear on your body for personal expression. The tattoo artist makes your vision a reality on your skin. Choosing the right tattoo artist is as important as choosing the right tattoo.

  1. Do your research, first;
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask people with great ink where they got it done;
  3. Chances are they’d love to tell you about their tattoo artist and the experiences they had with them;
  4. Another reason you might tip less or choose not to tip at all is because of a bad experience;

But, like any service-based industry, it’s not just the artist’s attitude that’s a big deal. You want to be treated with dignity and respect, but so does your tattoo artist. Tipping is a part of that, but so is showing up on time and being ready for your appointment.

In most instances, tipping is appropriate and encouraged. While you can tip less than 15%, try to avoid it. Good work should be recognized, and being broke is no excuse not to tip. If you don’t have the money to tip your artist, rethink getting tattooed until you can.

Or, ask your artist if they’d be interested in being tipped in goods or services if you run your own business and can float a sweet freebie their way in lieu of cash. Tipping in cash is fine. That way your tattoo artist gets the entirety of the tip and avoids any service fees or taxes.

  • If adding your tip to a credit or debit transaction, add a bit more to cover those fees;
  • The best time to tip is after your appointment when you’re paying for your services;
  • If your tattoo artist isn’t the person checking you out, just hit them up afterward with a thank you and, “This is for you;
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” They’ll appreciate it. Remember, you’re tipping them based on their professionalism and the quality of their work, so there’s nothing wrong with waiting to make sure you’re pleased with the experience before you tip. You also don’t need to let your tattooer know you’re tipping, but it’s not a bad idea.

That way they know you didn’t accidentally overpay them or think they owe you change. In some rare instances, a tattooer might not accept tips if they’re the owner of the shop, but that’s very unlikely to be the case.

There’s no reason to ask your artist about tipping if you plan on tipping them with cash. And, most credit card interfaces offer prompts for adding tips as part of the check-out process, making it even easier. Gratuities are part of the tattoo experience so don’t feel awkward or uncomfortable about them. How To Email A Tattoo Artist.

Why do tattoo artists take so long to reply?

Before I started getting tattooed on a regular basis, I had no idea how the whole process worked. I followed a lot of tattoo artists on Instagram, but assumed that booking a tattoo appointment would be a lot like booking in to get my hair done or my teeth cleaned—you call the shop, request a day, and you’re in.

It turns out, it’s not that simple. While, yes, there are plenty of tattoo shops that offer walk-in availability for flash tattoos or small designs, booking a larger, custom tattoos—especially with a popular artist—takes a lot of patience, flexibility, and a little bit of luck.

Here are some things you should know before trying to book a tattoo appointment with your favorite artist  All artists have different booking procedures. Almost every artist I’ve worked with has a different tattoo booking procedure. Some require you to fill out a form on a shop or personal website, others book through Facebook or Instagram messaging, and some use tattoo-booking apps for scheduling.

The majority of artists I’ve worked with book through email. They ask clients to send them booking requests via email, usually with specific criteria that a potential client needs to fill out. Read up on your artist’s booking procedures and make sure you follow all instructions and requirements.

If you do not include all the necessary information in the initial booking request, your request will likely get passed over and you won’t get an appointment. Keep in mind that every tattoo artist is essentially operating their own business. While some shops coordinate bookings through shop administrators and front-desk staff, the majority of tattoo artists either handle their own bookings or work with an assistant to coordinate appointments. Photo by  Annie Spratt  on  Unsplash You may need to wait for your tattoo appointment. If you’re looking to get a sleeve started or bang out a big thigh piece tomorrow, all I can say is good luck and Godspeed. While all artists operate on different timelines for booking, most will book appointments a few months—or even a year—in advance.

  • This means, if you really want a tattoo from a particular artist, you could be waiting anywhere from 3-12 months (or even longer) before getting it done;
  • Additionally, some popular artists have waiting lists, so even if you put in a booking request, you may not get an appointment;

Instead, your name could be added to a waiting list, and you will be contacted when the artist has availability. The key here is to be patient. If you really love an artist’s work, it’s always worth the wait. Don’t get frustrated and try to book a similar tattoo with a different artist who has more availability.

  • You might have a slim window to book a tattoo appointment;
  • To keep the administrative processes of booking to a minimum, many tattoo artists will only open their books or schedules for one day or a couple days at a time;

This might happen every month, every couple of months, or only once a year—it depends how far out the artist chooses to book her schedule. You will only have a chance to book an appointment with the artist when her books are open. Any requests that come in while an artist’s books are closed will be ignored. Photo by  Renáta-Adrienn  on  Unsplash If you really want to book a tattoo with an artist whose books are currently closed, follow her on Instagram and change your settings so that you see notifications from that artist. Most artists will post details that explain when their books will open and how you can go about requesting an appointment. Then set your alarm, mark your calendar, or create a notification on your phone—anything you can do to remember to send in your request within the timeline established by the artist.

If you don’t get your booking request in while an artist’s books are open, you will have to wait until the next round. You should expect for a delayed response. As previously mentioned, tattoo artists are business owners who have to balance their time between a variety of things.

In addition to spending hours tattooing, their time is devoted to designing custom tattoos and drawing, managing their social media accounts, doing their bookkeeping and finances, purchasing supplies, and attempting to have family and social lives. Reviewing booking requests and responding to emails is a time-consuming process, so you shouldn’t expect to hear back from the artist right away.

  1. Sometimes, it could take weeks or even a month or two for artists to get back to you about scheduling a tattoo appointment;
  2. Be patient;
  3. Sending multiple emails asking for a status update or reaching out to an artist via Instagram DM will not be appreciated and will continue to slow down the process;

Only resend your request if an artist or a booking assistant instructs you to do so. The artist may choose not to tattoo your design. When books open, sought-after tattoo artists are often inundated with requests for tattoo appointments. Sometimes, they receive hundreds of emails, but only have a limited number of appointment slots to fill.

  1. Artists may decide not to work on a specific tattoo design for multiple reasons;
  2. Maybe it doesn’t mesh well with their particular style;
  3. Maybe your budget doesn’t align with their current rates;
  4. Maybe they’ve tattooed something similar before and don’t want to tattoo it again;

Maybe there are simply other requests that they are more interested in. If your design doesn’t get chosen, don’t lose heart or get angry. Unless you receive a response that says your request is something that the artist has no interest in taking on, you can always resubmit the request at a later time. You will need to pay a deposit. If you and your artist agree on a date for your tattoo appointment, you will need to pay a deposit in order to confirm and lock-in the date. Tattoo deposits are used to encourage clients to show up for their appointments and as a way for tattoo artists to cover their costs if a client cancels.

Deposits are usually a percentage of the estimated rate or a flat fee that is decided by the artist or the shop. Tattoo deposits are forfeited if clients cancel or do not show up for their appointments.

You will not be able to get your tattoo deposit back unless the cancellation is the fault of the artist or the shop. Deposit policies vary, so make sure to ask about your artist’s or studio’s policy before booking a tattoo appointment. You may have to shift your schedule.

If you want a tattoo from a popular artist, your date selection is going to be limited. In fact, you might not be able to select a date at all. Let’s put it this way—there are only 52 Saturdays in a year. While most artists will certainly try to provide a date that works for you, others will provide a couple options and you can either take them or leave them.

This might mean taking off work or adjusting your schedule in order to get in with your artist on a Tuesday at 1 p. Once you have a date, mark it on your calendar and set reminders—especially if it’s a few months out. Many shops and artists will confirm your appointment as it gets closer, but it’s important that you remember when to show up.

  • Not showing up for a tattoo appointment will cause you to lose your deposit and likely upset your artist, making rescheduling unlikely;
  • You might not see the tattoo design in advance;
  • While this isn’t a policy across the board, know that some tattoo artists may not show you the design until the day of your appointment;

Personally, I’ve had over 11 larger tattoos done, and I’ve only seen two of the designs in advance. Many tattoo artists do this to try and minimize major design changes and a lot of back-and-forth nitpicking by clients. Almost all artists will make minimal changes and adjustments to the design on the day of your appointment so that you’re sure to get the piece you want. Photo by  Kelly Sikkema  on  Unsplash If you are nervous about the possibility of not seeing a tattoo design before your appointment, there are a couple things you can do. First and foremost, be clear about what you want your tattoo to look like when you send in your booking request and provide clear reference images for inspiration. Second, schedule a consultation with your artist in advance. Consultations are a time for tattoo artists to talk to you and get a better understanding for what you want your tattoo to look like.

  • If you still really want to see the design in advance, ask your artist if it is a possibility;
  • Many artists will accommodate these requests;
  • At the end of the day, it’s important to trust your artist;
  • If you like the artist’s style and the other tattoos she’s done, chances are whatever they put together for you will be even better than you could imagine;

Please note: These observations are based on my own tattoo-booking experiences and are not universal for all artists and studios..

Can I show a tattoo artist a picture?

Yes, you can take a picture to a tattoo artist. If you want to copy the picture exactly though, you need to check on the copyright status of the picture. If a picture is watermarked, it is likely to be copyrighted. The watermark will often give you a way to contact the owner of the copyright.

  • If not, do a Google reverse image search;
  • Once you have tracked down their contact information, you can reach out to them and ask for permission to tattoo their design onto your body;
  • Some companies will give free permission to use the design, unless it is being used to make money;

For the tattoo artist to be able to use the picture, it needs to be good quality and large enough for them to use it to create a good quality stencil. For them to use a copyrighted design for a tattoo , they will need a license or permission from the company that owns the copyright. How To Email A Tattoo Artist Choosing The Right Picture For A Tattoo Can Be Difficult But We Are Here To Help.

How big is a 5 inch tattoo?

Tattoo Size Chart

Size Hours Best Placement
2-3 inches 2-5 Ankle, calf, wrist, upper arm
3-4 inches 4-5 Lower arm, neck, chest
4-5 inches 5-8 Thigh, lower back, shoulders
5-7 inches 8-11 Upper back, half-sleeves

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What should you not say to a tattoo artist?

What do tattoo artists hate?

How much should you tip a tattoo artist for a $400 tattoo?

It is generally accepted to tip 15-20% of total price to your tattoo artist. It means that from a $250 tattoo, you will tip $37. 5-50. But not all people can afford to tip the same tips from a $2000 tattoo because tips are here up to $400. In this case, you can tip around 10% or $200.

Is it rude to ask tattoo price?

Many artists find it extremely rude if you try to haggle the price of a tattoo. Though negotiating the price of some goods and services is normal, haggling with your artist over the cost of a tattoo is typically seen as unacceptable and insulting.

Why are tattoo artists so rude?

Conclusion – It could be that the tattoo artist that you go to see is having a bad day or has been treated badly by another customer. There could be lots of reasons why they seem to be being rude towards you. However, it could just be their way and they don’t mean anything by the abrupt way they speak to people.

How do I contact my first tattoo artist?

How do I approach a tattoo artist for an apprenticeship?

So you want to be a Tattoo Artist? You need a tattoo apprenticeship! Here is a good little bit of information to help you achieve that goal. Before we go any further you need ask yourself a few questions.

  1. Can you draw? (This is an easy question with a hard answer. Your friends and parents are going to tell you that you are the most amazing artist ever. Be honest with yourself and be humble. If you can not draw you need to learn before seeking a tattoo apprenticeship. )
  2. Are you willing to put in hours upon hours for free at a tattoo shop while doing your tattoo apprenticeship? (If your answer to this is no then the industry isn’t for you. )
  3. How is your hygiene? If you cant keep a clean appearance, make sure your clothes are clean and be presentable, not just while looking for an apprenticeship but everyday after?
  4. Do you have an art portfolio? This is a big one. Your portfolio show potential mentors that you are capable. It shows your work, your ability, your understanding of basic artistic fundamentals. Without this you have nothing to prove to someone that you are worth taking a chance on.
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So you are at the point in your life where you want to get a tattoo apprenticeship to become a tattoo artist. First things first. I don’t care how amazing you are or think you are as an artist. DO NOT buy equipment and start tattooing yourself or your friends. I can not stress enough how bad of an idea this is. Aside from ruining skin and possibly spreading disease you are going to make it damn near impossible to find a tattoo apprenticeship.

When an artist or shop knows you are a scratcher (someone who is tattooing out of their house) they will lose respect for you. On top of the lack of respect if you convince them to take you on, they now have to break all of your self taught bad habits and that makes the tattoo apprenticeship harder on us and you.

Its also against the law and if you get caught you will NEVER be able to get a tattoo license in the state of Florida. So what do I do? I really want a tattoo apprenticeship! Do you have a sketch book, a portfolio or both? No you can get them at your local art store or online.

You need one. This is going to be your golden ticket. A sketch book is nice because you can take it with you everywhere you go. You never know when you will be inspired by something and want to draw. It will also be a good reference to show potential shops your ability to draw and problem solve your sketches if your perspectives are off.

Your portfolio is a little different. This will be a book that will hold 10-30 of your best pieces of completed art. Doesn’t matter your medium. Pencil, color pencil, pens, markers, pastels or charcoal you want your most impressive pieces in this book. Do you paint? That is awesome! Don’t bring them in just take a high quality photo and make a small print and stick that in your portfolio also.

While on this topic buy quality supplies. It will make a big difference in your portfolio. An artist is only as good as his brush. Last thing on the portfolio is to have a variety of work in it. Show off your strengths.

In the back show some of your weaknesses. When the artist or shop is looking at the book while you are trying to get your tattoo apprenticeship point out the weakness to them. If they are an artist they will appreciate you being humble and will likely give you pointers right then and there to correct it.

I can not stress humility enough. Even if you are amazing, remember you have room to grow. We all do. So you got everything together and you are ready to go talk to someone. DO NOT MESSAGE, FACEBOOK, TWEET, EMAIL, OR CALL a shop and ask for a tattoo apprenticeship.

I am going to assume that you have tattoos and have frequented shops which will be a good place to start. If someone knows you they are less likely to tell you no right from the start. Take a shower and brush your teeth. Dress like you want the job. I am not saying you have to wear a suit, but do not come into the shop asking for a tattoo apprenticeship wearing flip flops and a wife beater or a shirt with stains all over it, cut up or covered in holes.

You are going to be talking to someone less than 3 feet away from you. If your breath smells or you are unclean that will immediately turn off an artist and in their mind they are thinking a client wouldn’t want to sit there and smell this.

Failing to do this would be strike 1 at being turned down for your tattoo apprenticeship. So you are dressed proper and hygiene is in check. You have your portfolio and you are on your way to the shop to talk to your artist or the shop owner about getting a tattoo apprenticeship.

When you walk in have your portfolio and sketchbook in hand. Ask for your artist and the manager/owner of the shop. You want both there. Sometimes an owner or a manager unfortunately aren’t artists. This can be a problem in itself but that is a topic for another time.

Here are some donts: Do not say things like I want to learn to tat, sling ink, do tats or any form of slang. Terms like that annoy most tattoo artists. Also do not use street slang when you talk to the people in the shop use proper language. The way you talk to them is how they are going to imagine you talking to a client.

  • Do not just flat out say I want an apprenticeship;
  • Do not assume you are the greatest artist ever;
  • You are there because you want to learn and no one likes a rock star;
  • Do not give someone a weak handshake most men hate this;

(had to throw that in) Do not try to show them art work from your phone. So here is my suggestion after getting both the artist and manager/owner in front of you, open your portfolio and hand it to them. Let them know you are an artist and that you want them to take a look at your work.

Explain to them that you are interested in an apprenticeship and that you respect their shop and that you would like to learn from them. They are going to ask you all kinds of questions. Keep your cool and answer them the best you can.

This can be harder than a job interview. Some shops do not offer tattoo apprenticeships and those that do may charge you for it. The price can depend on the shop and your artistic ability. You should understand that you are basically paying for your schooling and schooling costs money and takes time.

The time will depend on how often you are at the shop. I have seen people pick up a machine in 6 months and others not in 2 years. It depends on your ability to learn, your art and your time in the studio.

Not all studios charge for apprenticeships. Some (like ourselves) do them for free based off art ability, availability and personal judgement of your character. You will be putting in time in our studio. I like to call it “Sweat Equity”. More on that later. So at this point you were either given a Yes, a price, or a no to a tattoo apprenticeship.

Lets assume they said no. It may happen. Ask them why. Be polite about it. It could be that they have someone or someone waiting to get in. Don’t be shy to ask them if it is your art work. Tell them to be honest and swallow your pride.

DO NOT GET BUTT HURT. You are being told what to correct and what you need to do to get better. This is free information, be grateful for it. Then improve and go back. If it is not your art go to other shops and repeat the process. If you were given a price get the money together but make sure you get a contract of what they expect of you and what you expect of them.

  1. There are shady shops that will take your money and then screw you over;
  2. Also do not assume that you can not be fired from a tattoo apprenticeship regardless of monetary transactions;
  3. You can fail school regardless of tuition costs;

Same can happen here. If you are not giving it 100% you wont make it. Now lets say you paid and/or were given a tattoo apprenticeship, what should you expect? Time for that Sweat Equity. Expect to work your ass off while learning. You are going to be made to draw all day.

Clean the shop daily, scrub toilets, answer phones, do paper work, give aftercare, set up, break down, get lunch, get supplies and anything else your mentor tells you to do. These things should be in a way that teaches and benefits the studio.

Do not argue and do not half ass your work. Everything in a shop is about gaining a respect for your craft and to make the things you do automatic. You should be able to set up and break down without thinking about what you are doing before you start tattooing.

You want it to be a habit. Hazing. Lets be honest this happens in every studio to some extent. You are going to be working with people 6 days a week 8-10 hours a day and there is a lot of playing around in studios.

HOW TO EMAIL A TATTOO ARTIST (And the one thing you should NEVER do!)

That doesn’t mean you should be made to pick up your mentor from the bar from 2am. You shouldn’t be made to sing “I’m a little tea pot”, while standing on a desk when someone walks in. You shouldn’t be told to go outside and sweep sunlight off the sidewalk or dry a car in the rain….

unfortunately these are all things I have heard of people being put through during their apprenticeship. I have heard of people saying no and losing their spot. Your apprenticeship should be a learning experience.

Don’t let someone abuse you so that you can get a foot in the door. You may or may not be given home work. If you have time off from the shop and you are not working a second job you should be drawing, painting, doing research or something that is going to improve learning.

  • The ultimate goal for you and your shop is to get you taking clients;
  • Do not squander your time;
  • I really hope this helps someone get their foot in the door;
  • The industry is forever growing and new talent is everywhere;

We believe the future of this industry 100% relies on future talent that isn’t here yet. Are you one of those people?.

Why do tattoo artists take so long to reply?

Before I started getting tattooed on a regular basis, I had no idea how the whole process worked. I followed a lot of tattoo artists on Instagram, but assumed that booking a tattoo appointment would be a lot like booking in to get my hair done or my teeth cleaned—you call the shop, request a day, and you’re in.

  1. It turns out, it’s not that simple;
  2. While, yes, there are plenty of tattoo shops that offer walk-in availability for flash tattoos or small designs, booking a larger, custom tattoos—especially with a popular artist—takes a lot of patience, flexibility, and a little bit of luck;

Here are some things you should know before trying to book a tattoo appointment with your favorite artist  All artists have different booking procedures. Almost every artist I’ve worked with has a different tattoo booking procedure. Some require you to fill out a form on a shop or personal website, others book through Facebook or Instagram messaging, and some use tattoo-booking apps for scheduling.

  1. The majority of artists I’ve worked with book through email;
  2. They ask clients to send them booking requests via email, usually with specific criteria that a potential client needs to fill out;
  3. Read up on your artist’s booking procedures and make sure you follow all instructions and requirements;

If you do not include all the necessary information in the initial booking request, your request will likely get passed over and you won’t get an appointment. Keep in mind that every tattoo artist is essentially operating their own business. While some shops coordinate bookings through shop administrators and front-desk staff, the majority of tattoo artists either handle their own bookings or work with an assistant to coordinate appointments. Photo by  Annie Spratt  on  Unsplash You may need to wait for your tattoo appointment. If you’re looking to get a sleeve started or bang out a big thigh piece tomorrow, all I can say is good luck and Godspeed. While all artists operate on different timelines for booking, most will book appointments a few months—or even a year—in advance.

  • This means, if you really want a tattoo from a particular artist, you could be waiting anywhere from 3-12 months (or even longer) before getting it done;
  • Additionally, some popular artists have waiting lists, so even if you put in a booking request, you may not get an appointment;

Instead, your name could be added to a waiting list, and you will be contacted when the artist has availability. The key here is to be patient. If you really love an artist’s work, it’s always worth the wait. Don’t get frustrated and try to book a similar tattoo with a different artist who has more availability.

  1. You might have a slim window to book a tattoo appointment;
  2. To keep the administrative processes of booking to a minimum, many tattoo artists will only open their books or schedules for one day or a couple days at a time;

This might happen every month, every couple of months, or only once a year—it depends how far out the artist chooses to book her schedule. You will only have a chance to book an appointment with the artist when her books are open. Any requests that come in while an artist’s books are closed will be ignored. Photo by  Renáta-Adrienn  on  Unsplash If you really want to book a tattoo with an artist whose books are currently closed, follow her on Instagram and change your settings so that you see notifications from that artist. Most artists will post details that explain when their books will open and how you can go about requesting an appointment. Then set your alarm, mark your calendar, or create a notification on your phone—anything you can do to remember to send in your request within the timeline established by the artist.

  • If you don’t get your booking request in while an artist’s books are open, you will have to wait until the next round;
  • You should expect for a delayed response;
  • As previously mentioned, tattoo artists are business owners who have to balance their time between a variety of things;
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In addition to spending hours tattooing, their time is devoted to designing custom tattoos and drawing, managing their social media accounts, doing their bookkeeping and finances, purchasing supplies, and attempting to have family and social lives. Reviewing booking requests and responding to emails is a time-consuming process, so you shouldn’t expect to hear back from the artist right away.

Sometimes, it could take weeks or even a month or two for artists to get back to you about scheduling a tattoo appointment. Be patient. Sending multiple emails asking for a status update or reaching out to an artist via Instagram DM will not be appreciated and will continue to slow down the process.

Only resend your request if an artist or a booking assistant instructs you to do so. The artist may choose not to tattoo your design. When books open, sought-after tattoo artists are often inundated with requests for tattoo appointments. Sometimes, they receive hundreds of emails, but only have a limited number of appointment slots to fill.

  1. Artists may decide not to work on a specific tattoo design for multiple reasons;
  2. Maybe it doesn’t mesh well with their particular style;
  3. Maybe your budget doesn’t align with their current rates;
  4. Maybe they’ve tattooed something similar before and don’t want to tattoo it again;

Maybe there are simply other requests that they are more interested in. If your design doesn’t get chosen, don’t lose heart or get angry. Unless you receive a response that says your request is something that the artist has no interest in taking on, you can always resubmit the request at a later time. You will need to pay a deposit. If you and your artist agree on a date for your tattoo appointment, you will need to pay a deposit in order to confirm and lock-in the date. Tattoo deposits are used to encourage clients to show up for their appointments and as a way for tattoo artists to cover their costs if a client cancels.

  1. Deposits are usually a percentage of the estimated rate or a flat fee that is decided by the artist or the shop;
  2. Tattoo deposits are forfeited if clients cancel or do not show up for their appointments;

You will not be able to get your tattoo deposit back unless the cancellation is the fault of the artist or the shop. Deposit policies vary, so make sure to ask about your artist’s or studio’s policy before booking a tattoo appointment. You may have to shift your schedule.

If you want a tattoo from a popular artist, your date selection is going to be limited. In fact, you might not be able to select a date at all. Let’s put it this way—there are only 52 Saturdays in a year. While most artists will certainly try to provide a date that works for you, others will provide a couple options and you can either take them or leave them.

This might mean taking off work or adjusting your schedule in order to get in with your artist on a Tuesday at 1 p. Once you have a date, mark it on your calendar and set reminders—especially if it’s a few months out. Many shops and artists will confirm your appointment as it gets closer, but it’s important that you remember when to show up.

Not showing up for a tattoo appointment will cause you to lose your deposit and likely upset your artist, making rescheduling unlikely. You might not see the tattoo design in advance. While this isn’t a policy across the board, know that some tattoo artists may not show you the design until the day of your appointment.

Personally, I’ve had over 11 larger tattoos done, and I’ve only seen two of the designs in advance. Many tattoo artists do this to try and minimize major design changes and a lot of back-and-forth nitpicking by clients. Almost all artists will make minimal changes and adjustments to the design on the day of your appointment so that you’re sure to get the piece you want. Photo by  Kelly Sikkema  on  Unsplash If you are nervous about the possibility of not seeing a tattoo design before your appointment, there are a couple things you can do. First and foremost, be clear about what you want your tattoo to look like when you send in your booking request and provide clear reference images for inspiration. Second, schedule a consultation with your artist in advance. Consultations are a time for tattoo artists to talk to you and get a better understanding for what you want your tattoo to look like.

If you still really want to see the design in advance, ask your artist if it is a possibility. Many artists will accommodate these requests. At the end of the day, it’s important to trust your artist. If you like the artist’s style and the other tattoos she’s done, chances are whatever they put together for you will be even better than you could imagine.

Please note: These observations are based on my own tattoo-booking experiences and are not universal for all artists and studios..

Can you ask a tattoo artist to cover up their own work?

Let the artist take lead on the design Most tattoo artists are in fact artists. They want to tattoo you with their own art. This isn’t just a creative preference. Tattooers generally have perfected a certain style (or styles). Their best designs and their best execution will be in this style(s). They want to be confident and and proud of your tattoo.

  • Don’t send them a picture of another artist’s work and say “I want this tattoo”.
  • Don’t be surprised if the artist does not want to tattoo in a style that is not their own.
  • Do share reference images for the subject matter you like.
  • Do share reference images from the artist’s own portfolio and say “I like the style you used here. “

Be as specific as you need to be. Not more or less. Artists love it when you give them creative freedom but don’t do it unless you really do want them to make all creative decisions. If you have something specific in mind, tell them.

  • Don’t tell the artist “you have complete freedom” and then come to the shop and make a lot of corrections.
  • Do tell the artist any specifics you have in mind before they work on the design!

New tattoos are always a better option than “adding on” to, or modifying an existing tattoos. Most artists would rather not work with another artist’s tattoo. It adds constraints to their design potential and it forces them to either: (a) Vandalize an existing, nice tattoo or (b) Have their work seen alongside an existing ugly tattoo. Either way, this won’t be a portfolio piece and won’t get the best work from the artist.

That’s not possible if you give excessive direction or if you force the artist outside of their core styles. Also, remember that good artists won’t copy another artist’s design so don’t ask. Consider: do you really need your existing tattoo to keep growing and becoming more and more of a Frankenstein’s Monster? Or can you offer new real estate to each artist? Cover-ups are a different story.

If you need a cover-up, you need a coverup. Not all artists are technically capable of good cover-ups and not all artists like to do them because of the additional constraint but it’s always worth asking.

  • Don’t think of your tattoo as a house you are continually remodelling.
  • Do think of tattoos more like paintings you are commissioning. Give the artist a clean canvas.
  • Do consider going back to the same artist for modifying or touching up an existing tattoo.

Don’t design by committee There’s nothing worse than customers who bring an opinionated friend or loved one to “help” them with design decisions. You hired the artist to help you with design. Adding a third party can complicate the already-delicate balance of artist/client in the design process. The more opinions you solicit, the harder and more confusing the process will be. Only you know what you want and the artist can help you.

  • Don’t bring a friend or spouse to speak for you.
  • Don’t text photos of the design to friends asking for their opinion.
  • Do tell your opinionated friends to quiet down if they become too involved in your tattoo design process.

Limit your party to yourself + 1 max Speaking of bringing others with you… consider visiting the shop alone for your appointment. Most shops are limited in their space and cannot accommodate your friends. Not only that, your friends might think it sounds fun to be at the shop while you get tattooed, but it’s not. Your friends will be bored.

  • Don’t bring extra people with you to be tattooed without asking the shop first. Most shops don’t want your friends sleeping in the waiting area while you get tattooed.
  • Do limit your party to just you or one other if you must and encourage your friends to go do something while you get tattooed so they don’t sleep in the waiting area.

Let the artist concentrate while you get tattooed Even the most experienced artists need to limit stressors during their tattooing. Tattooing requires intense concentration. Some artists love to gab while tattooing but others prefer to be quiet. Let the artist take the lead or ask them what they prefer.

  • Do bring a book to read or movie to watch provided you can do it without moving.
  • Do let your artist take the lead on whether or not to talk.
  • Don’t stare at the tattoo while your artist is working. This is stressful.
  • Don’t talk too much unless your artit is the chatty one.

Sit still! For obvious reasons, you never want to move while there is a tattoo needle inking your skin. If you might have trouble with pain, consider a numbing cream in advance of getting tattooed (ask your artist first). If you’re jumpy, you’re wasting tattooing time and risking mistakes. Generally though, you’re stressing out the artist which can mean not getting their best work.

  • Don’t move unexpectedly.
  • Don’t talk if you’re getting your ribs tattooed.
  • Do let the artist know if you need to move or stretch.
  • Do let the artist know If you think the furniture can be adjusted to be more comfortable.
  • Do consider topical numbing cream in advance of your tattoo if you’re worried about tolerating the pain (ask the artist first though)

Tipping It is customary to tip tattoo artists just like (in the US) it is customary to tip restaurant wait staff. Because it’s customary, not tipping is seen as a sign of being dissatisfied with your tattoo.

  • Do expect to tip when budgeting for your tattoo.
  • Do tip the artist directly and in cash.
  • Do tip big (e. 20%+) if you love your tattoo.
  • Do talk to your artist whenever you feel something isn’t being handled well (consultation, design, etc). A small tip (or no tip) shouldn’t be the only sign that you are dissatisfied.

Aftercare There are many different aftercare procedures out there. Always follow the artist’s own aftercare instructions because you and the artist are both responsible for the quality of your tattoo.

  • Do make sure to get precise instructions for aftercare from your artist.
  • Do feel OK to ask questions during the healing process if something seems wrong.
  • Do a little research about healing tattoos to know what’s normal. Scabbing is normal. Ink on the bandage is normal. Looking faded in the first couple of weeks is normal.

Touch-ups Most tattoos will not need touching up — at least for many years. However, sometimes ink does fall out or fade. This can happen for many reasons. The artist’s tattoo technique matters but it’s just half the story. Healing/fading is also affected by aftercare, your biology, the placement on the body (bendy parts like wrists, elbows, fingers, etc will fade more and faster).

  • Do wait 30 days before even considering a touch-up. Tattoos can look less-than-perfect while healing and need 30 days to be completely healed.
  • Do take good care of your tattoo following artist instructions and avoiding any strong sun exposure, rubbing, or soaking of the tattoo area while it’s healing.
  • Don’t expect the tattoo ink to look as vibrant as it did the day of your tattoo. Tattoo ink sits under the top layer of skin so, once healed, you’ll be looking at the ink through the top layer of skin.
  • Don’t be confrontational with the artist about your touch-up. Your artist cares as much as you do about the tattoo looking great so there’s no reason to take an aggressive posture if you have concerns about your tattoo.

Can you show a tattoo artist a picture on your phone?

Can You Show A Tattoo Artist A Picture On Your Phone? – Yes, but dont expect them to work entirely from the picture on your phone. A good tattoo needs good quality artwork, but it should be easy enough to print a larger scale image as long as the picture quality is good.