Tattoo Artist Magazine

By Guen Douglas Your "not a manifesto" post lit a little fire under me. Ha-ha All this hoopla about TLC's new show has really had me thinking about a project I've wanted to start for a long time, and with everyone all fired-up, I'm hoping some of you may want to help out... All of these TV shows have misinformed the public about tattooing. I'd like to offer information to the public about the actual business of tattooing. As tattooers we often take for granted even the most basic knowledge about our profession.  We forget that first timers know either nothing or just what they have learned from TV about the process of getting a tattoo. So I figured why don't we tell them? Collectively, we have a vast knowledge. Here are a few examples of the kinds of topics I'd like to see covered:
  • How to look through an artist's portfolio (Remember, no topic is too simple.  For example for us tattooers the idea of looking through a portfolio is obvious, but it's been proven time and time again that people get wowed easily and/or they miss the things that they should be looking for.  How many times has a client said, "I didn't see the tattoo I want in there" or someone who wants a realistic pin-up looked through all the artist's portfolios and then picked the one without a single human form in it because, “the colors in this one were amazing.”  It happens all the time.)
  • What are the different styles of tattoos available
  • Sleeves: The real process
  • Rates: Hourly vs. Set Price
  • The process of a custom tattoo: From Consult to Application
  • Sterilization/shop health and safety
  • The biology of tattooing
  • Tattoo Vocabulary: A glossary of terms would be great! I hear clients throw industry words around all the time, like "blowouts" "new school" and "freehand" (actually I hear "freestyle" all the time, which does make me laugh) and they usually use these words incorrectly.  If we can share our language maybe we can communicate better.
  • How to prepare for a tattoo appointment
  • Tattoo etiquette
Anyhow, I think you get the picture. Naturally this is all still in its infancy. It would be nice to start small, with basic topics and once we have those covered get into more in depth conversations about tattooing, but I think it's best to start with the basics.  Once those are archived we can all move on to whatever topics tickle our fancy! So any and all input would be fantastic! What are topics you would like to see covered? This goes for collectors and would be collectors too!  What would you like to know?  What information do you search for and can't find? Also, naturally I cannot write all of this alone.  Nor would I want to.  It wouldn't reflect our community adequately.  The thing that makes our business unique is that we all do things differently.  I'd be happy to have three or four tattooers write on the same subject and post them all alongside each other. Right now all I need is opinions/ideas and volunteers to write on some of these subjects I am probably biting off way more than I can chew, but what the hell.  I can at least give it a go. Ha-ha. This after all isn't about me, it's about what we collectively can do for our beloved profession. What do you think? (Guen is a tattooer and contributing blogger for Tattoo Artist Magazine, and can be found at 25 to Life Tattoos in Rotterdam, Netherlands.)

Written by 24471382 — July 18, 2011

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