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Researching your Tattoo

Once you have decided on the subject matter of your tattoo then you can look at aspects such as style and colour versus black and grey, and its location and size.

Take time to choose a studio/artist. Hygiene and artist ability are the two most important aspects of that decision! Every tattoo artist should use disposable needles. There should be an ultrasonic to breakdown biological material and an autoclave to fully sterilise reusable equipment such as tattoo grips and tips unless the artist uses disposables. Some studios host tattooists which typically can reproduce flash art but cannot draw a custom design that a tattoo artist can. Ask to see portfolios of actual tattoos they have done and specifically ask for any of the style you are looking for.

Consultations are a great way to meet your artist, especially for custom work, and to get some insight from him/her about your ideas. The majority of tattoo artists don’t charge for such but ask that you come prepared with an idea of what you’re looking for. You should feel free to ask questions regarding any queries you may have and to offer your opinion about aspects you would like incorporated into your design.

Consider your budget and be open and frank with your artist. Sometimes your budget may simply not be enough for what you have in mind. Tattoos can be expensive and we urge you to see the value in the artwork you will wear forever. It may be best to save for the piece you have your heart set upon rather than scrimp and compromise the overall tattoo.

When you’ve reached the point of contacting your artist please provide him/her with basic information of what you are looking for...subject matter, location and size, colour or black and grey and the style you have in mind. These aspects don’t have to be set in stone but will allow your artist to give you an approximate quote for your tattoo design.

Please also inform your artist of any limiting factors such as existing tattoos you wish to cover. It is often easier said than done to successfully cover up an existing tattoo with a new one. The new tattoo must be larger and darker and would usually have to be solid. Full colour is a wise choice but not always necessary. Generally, after the cover up tattoo has healed there is a greater chance of it needing a touch up as it’s imperative that the existing tattoo shouldn’t peek through your new ink – all evidence of the old tattoo should be fully covered. Occasionally there may be scarring form the existing tattoo visible once the cover-up is complete. Sometimes a redo of the existing tattoo may be sufficient to transform your tattoo, cover ups are not always necessary.

It’s highly recommended that you have researched your ideas previously and it’s most helpful for you to attach reference with your tattoo enquiry. Reference can be anything from existing tattoos previously done to photos, paintings, drawings, t-shirt prints, everyday objects; the options are endless!

Please keep a reference of anything or any part of something that you would like for your tattoo or that influenced your tattoo.