In Living Color
Passionate and professional tattoo artists are in fact artists...
As an artist, you want to create your own art and style.
Written in 2019

 A true artist wants to tattoo you with their own art and not somebody else’s. This isn’t just a creative/personal preference. Tattooers generally have perfected a certain style (or styles). Their best designs and their best work will be in this style(s). They want to be confident and proud of your tattoo. It represents the artist as long as you’re alive, and that might be for a very long time, hopefully.

If you give too much direction or if you force the artist outside of his/her core styles.The artist may decline or give in to this, but the work may not be their best. Also, remember that good artists won’t copy another artist’s design, so don’t ask. (Or find an artist that's not ethical/good?)

This doesn’t mean the artist can't use references from any sources of art you can find on the internet, the more references the better! This allows the artist to get in your head and see what you see a bit better to create something you will love.

These references can be from paintings, photos, drawings, tattoos, maybe even a t-shirt that you love. Anything can help the artist design what you have in mind.

Do share reference images from the artist’s own portfolio and say “I like the style you used here.” We love that, it also tells us you have been paying attention.

By referencing some of the styles the artist has already done that you genuinely like, not only helps the artist understand what you want, but also boosts their confidence and excitement towards your tattoo. 

Be as specific as you need to be, meaning don't over load the artist. Sometimes too many unnecessary details make it hard to remember the important ones. Get clear on what must be part of it. This can confuse and even frustrate them, keep it to the point unless the other details are important to the design or future design.

As much as we tattoo artists would love to do what we want on everyone we tattoo. YOU ARE THE ONE THAT HAS TO LOOK AT IT DAILY...for the rest of your life.

Giving your artist creative freedom is most artists dream, but don’t do it unless you really do want them to make all of the creative decisions. If you have something specific in mind, tell them.

DON'T tell the artist “you have complete freedom” and then come to the shop and make a lot of corrections.

Do tell the artist any specifics you have in mind before he/she works on the design!

New tattoos are always a better option than “adding on” to, or modifying an existing tattoo. This is because it limits the style and flow, forcing you to do artwork you would never have done in that way.

At in living color we think everyone deserves to wear a tattoo that they can be proud of. We will do our best with working with already existing tattoos, although some of these may never make it into the books, at least you have a beautiful tattoo to wear daily.

 If you need a cover-up, you need a coverup artist. Not all artists are technically capable of good cover-ups and not all artists like to do them because of the additional constraint, but it’s always worth asking.

Some food for thought...
Don’t think of your tattoo as a house you are continually remodeling 
Do think of tattoos more like paintings you are commissioning. Give the artist a clean canvas.
Do consider going back to the same artist for modifying or touching up an existing tattoo.
If You Are Happy With The Service and Product You Had Received !!!

Don’t design by committee, or let other people decide what you’re gonna wear for the rest of your life. I mean... you wouldn’t let your friends and family be the one to pick the one outfit you have to wear for the rest of your life. (As an example)

 I have seen people get tattoos they really didn't like because they listened to their people. Later we are covering it up with something dark, huge and not the best tattoo, like it could have been.
The main point is to do it right the first time by being prepared.

Thanks so much for visiting,
A. Petaccio
In Living Color Studios
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