Monday, May 30, 2011

Tattoo Machines and what They can do for You

So, you've come to the decision that you want to get a tattoo. You're feeling brave and the buzzing sound of your local studio's tattoo machine hasn't put you off, but you're having a hard time thinking of what to get. If this sounds familiar then read on and I'll hopefully make theprocess a little easier for you.

First things first: why do you want a tattoo? Is it for personal reasons, as a tribute to someone loved and lost or a way of showing your allegiance to a band or brand? Whatever your reason make sure it's a choice made by you and you alone. Now is not the time to bow down to peer pressure! Ok, you're not being pressured into it by friends that want you to get something stupid inked on your backside for their own amusement, but what to get? Make a list of things you're interested in.

What inspires you? What makes you happy? If it's a tribute, you don't have to get that person's name or portrait - your tattoo could be a symbol of something that person really loved; a favourite flower for example.

What style should you go for? Could you rock an old school pin-up girl or is an Oriental design more your thing? How about new school style or a biomechanical design? Do you want something vivid and colourful or do you prefer black and grey?

Look around for inspiration - it can come from anywhere - not just tattoo websites. Look at books, posters, art, graphic design, nature. There's nothing wrong with choosing a flash (one of the standard designs) in the tattoo studio if it speaks to you, but try asking the artist to modify it a little so it's personal to you.

Let your creative juices flow. You don't have to be able to draw - after all a tattoo artist is exactly that - they'll be able to draw it up for you but it helps if you can give them some direction.

Warning: whether you're going for a quote in your own language, Latin or Arabic script or Chinese or Japanese characters check, check and double check the spelling and meaning!

Now the next biggie: where do you want to place it? Do you need to cover it up for work? Do you want everyone to be able to see it or is it something only you want to be able to appreciate? Try sketching the design out and placing it in various body parts until you're comfortable with it. Ok, so you've decided on your design - or at least you have some solid ideas.

Now stop and think - am I still going to love this in 5 years time? Or how about 20? Or 40? A tattoo isn't (or shouldn't be!) a spur of the moment decision so really take some time out to think about the impact getting inked will have.

Finally - pick an artist! Check the web for studios near you, but most importantly, ask people you know who have had work done that you admire - they will be your best guidance in picking a great artist.