So…you’ve got that next great tattoo idea all worked out in your head. You’ve saved your rainy-day fund until it’s ready to burn a hole right through your pocket. You’ve done your homework and found the perfect artist and shop for the next addition to your collection. You might think it’s time to run off and get tattooed right away, but you might want to hold those horses, there, cowpoke.
In 15 years of tattooing a great deal of people from an equal number of walks of life, I have noticed an alarming trend in tattoos. In many cases, people have little to no regard for a tattoo appointment and what it means to them, or what it means to their artist. In the past, the tattoo industry relied heavily on tattoo “flash” designs…ready-made tattoo designs that people would pick from or use as starting points. These days, there is far more focus on the art of tattooing. Artists today are versatile and well rounded, and capable of incredible creations in the flesh. As such, the process can take some preparation. Ask yourself…do you actually think that amazing portrait tattoo or colorful sleeve was done as a walk-in? If you do, stop reading this right now. Grab a framing hammer, and clout yourself about the head…maybe something will improve.
More grist for the mill: Do you feel like wasting your time and your gas money to be told at the shop that your chosen artist has no availability for weeks or even months? Sure, it gets frustrating when you want something done. We get it. It’s frustrating for us to not be more available for our clients, but there are only so many hours in a day. Think about it, you impatient masses, if your artist is booked up for a while…THERE IS A REASON FOR THAT. They’re probably worth the wait. The point is, if you want guaranteed chair-time, make an appointment. Anything less is gambling your time.
Now, let’s talk appointment protocol, shall we? This topic is a big bag of snakes for most tattoo artists. You would not believe how many people take the time to consult with an artist, leave a deposit, engage our design services, and then completely blow off the actual appointment! Let’s be straight…we don’t charge you a deposit to cover our drawing time or anything like that. Yes, that’s what we tell you it’s for, but it’s not. The deposit is an attempt to get enough of your attention (or money) invested in your tattoo that you will not waste your artist’s schedule time. To give you an idea, let’s say you had a 4 hour appointment with an artist that you “forgot” about. You left a $60 deposit on the appointment. Yes, you just lost your $60. Your artist lost $500 or more. This is our job. Our livelihood. How we feed ourselves and our families. If you are at all unsure, DO NOT set an appointment. If you are certain, set it up, leave a deposit, and be polite enough to arrange a sitter if you have kids.
So, the consensus among artists will always be SET AN APPOINTMENT. It gives us a chance to meet you, work out exactly what you’re wanting, where at and about how big you want it; and gives you the opportunity to ensure that your time is held by leaving a deposit. Appointments are easy, people. If you don’t know, don’t set it. If something comes up, use that phone you’re staring at to call your artist and reschedule at least 24 hours ahead of time, and if you no-show…don’t get pissed at your artist for the consequences of your disregard.