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The tat industry in itself fluctuates, but continuity implies business acumen, responsible practices and the fact they are not a fly-by-night operations. The shop may have been there for 20 years, but the artist may only have been there for a couple of months. If they have been there for what you consider a short period, ask them where they were before. It might not matter so much that the artist has only been there for a short while, if they've been tattooing for several years. They might come from various backgrounds - anywhere from working on friends to having a fine arts degree.
This type of information will give you more insight into the artist's attitude as well as aptitude. This may depend on where the shop is located, but it also depends on how good of an artist they are, and whether they have their own style for which they are known for. It is often difficult for new artists to break into the business, and an apprenticeship is often a very good way to learn not only about tattooing itself, but also about the day-to-day operation of a small business.
For artists to take apprenticeships means they're interested in expanding the art form, in giving a new person a break so to speak and feeling confident enough about their own skills that they feel they can offer some insight and experience for the new person. This again goes back to the attitude of the artist and the shop. Don't let the looks of the artist intimidate you. Tattoo artists usually have a lot of tattoos themselves. In fact, I would be somewhat leery of an artist who has NO tattoos at all.
The main thing is that you need to talk with them and get a feel for what they are like. As you talk with the artist and build a rapport, if you feel comfortable you may want to broach the subject of what you're interested in getting done. Bounce your idea off with the artist and see what they are willing to help you with.
Remember however, that the artist is running a professional business! Be polite - don't linger and overspend your welcome if you don't plan on getting any work done at all.
Note: Don't base your decision according to what tattoos you see on the artist - they were not done by that person! Make sure the place is very clean, make sure the artist uses disposable, single-use needles that are not re-used after one client , and 12 uses an autoclave for all other equipment.
Don't be afraid to ask them, either. A legitimate artist will be glad to show you. What does the shop look like? What is its ambiance? Does it look like a barber shop, a hair salon, dental office or an art gallery?
If you are a nonsmoker, will cigarette smoke bother you? Look for used ashtrays as signs. Do the work areas offer you any privacy? Do they use shower curtains, private booths or shoulder-high room dividers?
Try to go and visit and then come back another day. Don't feel pressured into having to get one right then and there. Try and talk to some people that have experience with the artist and not the groupies that you'll find hanging around the shop. If you don't, then don't get a tattoo. Make sure the artist is willing to listen to you and respects what you want. The artist may make suggestions, but the final word is always yours.
Finally, make sure you take their business card with you. It has been brought to my attention that some tattooists have an attitude problem when it comes to potential customers. Tattooists and piercers! People from all walks of life may be interested in body art. A potential customer should NOT be made to feel out-of-place or ashamed for walking in wearing a business suit, or an LL Bean dress.
It is amazing to think that someone with purple hair and eyebrow rings could actually discriminate against someone, but apparently, this seems to be happening.
Just as a customer should expect certain sanitation standards, they should also expect an inviting atmosphere.
Most reputable tattoo shops are insured.
The problem is, they're usually insured against premises liability. This means that they have insurance coverage if you fall and hit your head on their floor, but NOT if you're unhappy with their work. In the past, the only insurer who would cover the latter was Lloyd's of London, and their rates were apparently very high.
This has changed recently, with the availability of a comprehensive insurance package available from one agent based on the West Coast. Many shops do have some form of insurance this may be a requirement in their rental lease. This is an age-old debate, so the following is just a very basic ballpark.
You usually pay for work either by the piece, or by the hour. For these, you might find prices listed right next to the artwork. Larger or custom pieces will usually be charged by the hour unless you and the artist decide beforehand on the total price. Your mileage may vary. Also, some artists charge for illustration time prior to beginning tattoo work. If they do, this might increase your price by an extra hour. If they tell you that your piece will be charged by the hour, ask them how many hours they think it'll take.
If you are on a limited budget, tell them how much you can afford.
Price negotiation should be up front and straightforward, a part of your initial discussion before work begins. Some shops take credit cards; most don't. Out-of-towners may be asked to put down a deposit. Caveat emptor. The best way to get on the artist's bad side is to try to bargain with the price. If you think the price is too high, renegotiate the scope of the artwork - NOT the price.
What can we work out for that price? I personally recommend a tip for any work which you are pleased with, or any custom work where the artist spent time drawing up your illustration since drawing time is usually not included in your price.
Nothing brightens up a day for the artist, or helps to build a friendly relationship with your artist more than a generous tip. If you're very happy with the artist and you think you might get more work from them later, TIP!! There have been heated discussions on rec.
If you are happy with your tattoo, show it off to your friends and tell them where you got it done! Once you have settled on a design and a price that you and your artist agree on, the work will either begin right then, or you will be asked to come back for a later appointment e.
Most likely, the artist will begin the long process of preparing for your work. This is especially true if the artist is going to do a custom design that you brought in. First, the design will have to be worked on.
Most artists will play around with the design on paper first, although some artists will do it freehand. When you and the artist are happy with the design, the artist might outline the design with a piece of carbon paper, or use an old-fashioned copy machine to get a working copy of it.
This would be when the artist would properly size the design. The artist will then put the carbon side of the design directly on your skin. When the paper is lifted, ta-da! A carbon line drawing of the design should appear on your skin! The artist will probably let you look in a mirror to make sure you are happy with the design and the placement.
Once this is agreed upon, the artist will then begin putting the supplies out. At this point, your artist should be doing things like dispensing various colors of ink into little disposable wells, and rigging a new set of needles into the tattoo machine.
At this time, you will probably try to look cool by looking around the studio walls or occasionally looking to see what your artist is doing. Your artist might have a radio playing, which will help distract you a little.
At this point, it is best for you to try and relax. You can ask the artists about some things, like the colors of the ink. Depending on the work you are getting, the artist will need to mix some colors, for example. You're probably somewhat nervous, but excited at the same time because you're actually gonna get a real tattoo! Whether you realize it or not, your body is going through quite an adrenalin rush. Try to remain calm and not too anxious. Your hyped-up condition and your anxiety about the anticipated pain of your experience by themselves may trigger a fainting spell.
It will help if you are not there on an empty stomach. Get a bite to eat about an hour or two before you go in for your session. Having hard candy or some juice on hand during the session is also recommended. Just relax and try to stay calm. Just as most exams aren't painful or really all that bad, neither is tattooing. The artist starts up the machine, dips the needle into the ink and starts to work toward your skin!
Will it hurt? Grit your teeth! Hang tight! It does hurt! I can grit my teeth. Grit, grit, grit. Try to smile a bit. My teeth are gritting, anyway. Oh, I hope this pain doesn't stay like this!!
Don't forget to breathe. Okay there, that's better. Not so painful. I can handle it. I can handle it, too. The most painful part of the process will pass in a couple of minutes, after which the area will feel abuzz with electricity and warmth. Just try to relax and breathe deeply - enjoy the one-of-a-kind experience that you're feeling.
Oftentimes, you end up clenching your jaws, grinding your teeth or grasping the chair with your white-knuckled hands. But once you pass the first couple of minutes, you'll feel silly for having worried about it so much. If you still feel uncomfortable after a few minutes, it may be because you're sitting in an uncomfortable position.
See if you can get into a more comfortable, reclining position - but make sure to ask the artist first before you try to move. Some people try to distract themselves by trying to talk with the artist. This is kind of like with hair stylists - some stylists just love to gab and gab just ask them an open-ended question , while some 15 stylists would rather concentrate and not screw up your hairdo. Same with tattoo artists. After all, their job, income, and reputation are on the line when they have the tattooing machine to your skin.
Often, they'll talk during easy parts, and less during complex work. Just go with the flow and not worry about it. The only thing I don't particularly prefer is if there's a lot of traffic walking around in the studio and the artist has to keep talking to them either potential clients or tattoo groupies.
For this reason, a cubicle or dividing partition is a nice option for privacy.
Most people can sit through over an hour of work, but if you get uncomfortable, just ask your artist if you can take a break. If you feel woozy, you might consider bringing some candy with you to give you a little lift, or some water to drink.
Interestingly, women and men tend to get tattoos in different locations. This, according to sociologist Clinton Sanders, is because men and women get tattoos for different reasons. I am included the statistics from Clinton Sanders' study on the body location of the first tattoo for men and women as well there were men in his survey group and 52 women.
You'll need to shave the area for the tat to be most visible. If you need to hide your tat, you can grow your hair out.
Areas more commonly inked are the sides of the head above the ears , and above the nape on the neck in the back. There are people who have their entire heads inked. I am told that the tattooing process vibrates your skull!
Sides of neck nape : Back of neck: I've seen some tribal pieces, and bats done on the back of the neck.
You'll need to keep your hair short or tied up to keep it visible. Face: Various areas possible. Facial tattoos could fall into the cosmetic or standard categories.
Cosmetic would include darkening of eyebrows, eyelining, liplining, etc. Getting a tat on the face is serious business and crosses a portal because people will never look at you the same way. Upper chest: One of the standard areas for tattoos for both men and women. Allows lots of flat area in which to get a fairly large piece. One of the areas where you can choose to get symmetrically inked on both sides.
Women particularly larger breasted ones need to be careful about eventual sagging of the skin in the area. Don't get a tat that will look silly when it starts to stretch like a round smiley face that'll turn into an oblong frown. There HAS been work done with tattooing a facsimile of a nipple onto a breast in reconstructive surgery for those who have lost their nipples, though - for aesthetic and self-esteem purposes.
Rib cage: Can be rather painful because of all the ribs you work over. However it offers a fairly large area, and can be incorporated into a major back piece, wrapping around toward the front. Area is difficult to work on because there's no solid backing to hold the skin down. It is a sensitive area that may feel uncomfortable.
The tat may look horrible after your metabolism slows down and you develop a Genitals: Yes, some people do get inked in their genital area. The idea may sound very painful, but it's really not all that bad. However, do consider that, due to the stretchiness of the skin and the amount of movement the area experiences, it's not really possible to do anything with a lot of fine detail.
And no, the penis does not have to be erect during tattooing, although a tattoo artist I know who has done several penis tattoos said that he did have one customer who had a full erection the whole time.
The only female genital tattoo I've seen inner labia, I think was in Modern Primitives, and it looked rather blurry. Note: Some artists refuse to do genitals. Shows well with a bathing suit but easily concealable in modest shorts.
The entire area of skin around your thighs is bigger than your back, so you can get quite a bit of work done.
However if you have very hairy legs, it may cut down on the visibility somewhat. I think you have to have an ankle tat before you can go to the Eileen Ford Agency with your modeling portfolio.
Vines and other vegetation seem popular pumpkins, anyone? Feet: I've seen some incredible footwork pun intended in some of the tat magazines. Concealable with shoes. Probably don't have as much wear and tear as hands so you might get less blurring and color loss. This however, is the TOPS of your feet. You will have trouble retaining a tattoo on the bottom of your feet. Probably not strongly recommended for the highly ticklish.
Upper arms: One of the most common areas for men, although I have seen some nice work on women as well. If you decide to get a piece done on your upper arm, consider how much sun it's going to get. Will you be able to put sunblock on it regularly? Otherwise, expect some color loss and blurring. Forearms: Popeye sported his anchor on his forearm. Probably not as popular as the upper arm but common just the same.
Wrists: Janis Joplin had a dainty tat on her wrist Some artists don't do hands because the in will have a tendency to blur or fade easily. Consider that you probably move your hands the most out of your entire body. A friend of mine had a multicolored tat on his finger by Ed Hardy who cringed upon hearing about where my friend wanted it , that is only several years old and is now barely noticeable.
European , American and other colonial slavers branded millions of slaves during the period of trans-Atlantic enslavement. Sometimes there were several brandings, e.
To a slave owner it would be logical to mark such property just like cattle, more so since humans are more able to escape. Ancient Romans marked runaway slaves with the letters FGV for fugitivus. As punishment[ edit ] Branding of the Huguenot John Leclerc during the 16th century persecutions. In criminal law , branding with a hot iron was a mode of punishment consisting of marking the subject as if goods or animals, sometimes concurrently with their reduction of status in life.
Brand marks have also been used as a punishment for convicted criminals, combining physical punishment , as burns are very painful, with public humiliation greatest if marked on a normally visible part of the body which is here the more important intention, and with the imposition of an indelible criminal record. Robbers, like runaway slaves, were marked by the Romans with the letter F fur ; and the toilers in the mines, and convicts condemned to figure in gladiatorial shows, were branded on the forehead for identification.
Under Constantine I the face was not permitted to be so disfigured, the branding being on the hand, arm or calf. The Acts of Sharbil record it applied, amongst other tortures, to a Christian between the eyes and on the cheeks in Parthian Edessa at the time of the Roman Emperor Trajan on a judge's order for refusal to sacrifice. In the 16th century, German Anabaptists were branded with a cross on their foreheads for refusing to recant their faith and join the Roman Catholic church. Surgeon and Oxford English Dictionary contributor William Chester Minor was required to brand deserters at around the time of the Battle of the Wilderness.
Following the Conspiracy of the Slaves of in Malta , some slaves were branded with the letter R for ribelli on their forehead and condemned to the galleys for life. Branding in American slavery[ edit ] A replica of a slave branding iron originally used in the Atlantic slave trade, on display at the Museum of Liverpool , England. Depiction of slave branding, from Illustrations of the American Anti-slavery Almanac for In Louisiana, there was a "black code", or Code Noir , which allowed the cropping of ears, shoulder branding, and hamstringing , the cutting of tendons near the knee, as punishments for recaptured slaves.
Slave owners used extreme punishments to stop flight, or escape. They would often brand the slaves' palms, shoulders, buttocks, or cheeks with a branding iron. Micajah Ricks, in Raleigh, North Carolina , was looking for his slave and described, "I burnt her with a hot iron, on the left side of her face, I tried to make the letter M. Another testimony explains how a slave owner in Kentucky around was looking for his runaway slave. He described her having "a brand mark on the breast something like L blotched.
When a slave ran away, if it was the first offense, the slave would receive no more than forty lashes.
Then the second offense would be branding. The slave would have been marked with the letter R on their forehead signifying that they were a criminal, and a runaway. References to this practice can be traced in texts such as Narad Panchratra , Vaikhnasagama, Skanda Purana etc.
By the Statute of Vagabonds under King Edward VI , vagabonds and Gypsies were ordered to be branded with a large V on the breast, and brawlers with F for "fraymaker"; slaves who ran away were branded with S on the cheek or forehead. This law was repealed in England in