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Tips for Choosing Your First Tattoo Featured

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When looking to get a tattoo for the first time, many people are overwhelmed with so many possibilities. Most want a design that is unique and aesthetically pleasing. The typical tattoo parlor will have a catalog of design sheets, known as “flash”, which clients can choose from. These are usually very standard designs to help the client determine what type of artwork suits them best. While this is the typical of most tattoo shops, some employ custom tattoo artists who can create original tattoo designs to fit their client’s needs. Another great source for tattoo designs is the Internet. Now days there are several websites that specialize in providing a plethora of tattoo designs where one can most certainly find what they are looking for, no matter how unique or obscure the idea. Choosing a great custom design can be difficult since there are so many different styles of art and artists to choose from. Custom tattoo New York City tattoo artist Yuriy Fialko, of Gotham Tattoos, has a few tips for prospective tattoo collector.

TIP #1:The Design.

So you want a tattoo. What it’s going to be? A bad ass panther with sunglasses, smoking a Cuban cigar with a machine gun strapped to it’s back? Great choice! Unfortunately you can’t seem to find it online or in any of the catalogs at your local tattoo shop. Sure you can draw it yourself, after all you did get an A+ in 7th grade art class. Now while you may draw the dopest stick figure ever, it’s always best to seek the aid of a professional, especially for art that is going to be put on your body permanently. Professional custom tattoo artists are people who spend all of their time drawing original designs based on people’s crazy ideas. That's what the get paid to do. There are many factors that determine what makes a great tattoo design and these guys, and gals, know their stuff, that is the reputable ones do.

TIP #2: Location, Location, Location.

Where you choose to place the tattoo defines it. The location is arguably more important that the design itself. As a rule of thumb, you want to keep away from areas such as hands, face and neck since they are not easily hidden. They may look cool as hell of tattoo artists, but that's what you would expect on a tattoo artist. Unless you're a career tattoo artist, those type of tattoos might not be so cool later in your life when you've grown up and realized that you're perfectly suited to be a finical adviser. Bring on the expensive as hell laser treatments. The location of your tattoo will most likely have an impact on the shape and size of the design. A good tattoo design should flow with the contours of the area of the body it’s on. They should compliment your figure not exaggerate your flaws.

TIP #3: Color vs. Gray Scale and Black and White Work.

Color verses black and white work is a very personal preference. If a tattooists steering you one way or the other you might want to find another tattooists. Keep in mind that color work is usually more expensive to do since it often times takes longer to complete. Also if your skin tone is dark you should really reconsider getting a piece with a complicated pallet. Your natural skin coloring is in your first layer of skin and tattooing inks go into your second layer of skin so, your natural skin color will compete with the tattoo's color. If you are darker complected consider getting black work that's has a lot of contrast and with as little gray shading as possible. You will also benefit if your design has a lot of negative areas where you natural uninked skin tone shows. This will help establish contrast. Most tattoos will need to be touched after a long period time, about 5 or 10 years. This of course is a personal preference. When it comes to color don’t let it be the focus of the tattoo, instead make sure the over all design is solid. Color will enhance any great design but it won't make a bad design better, only a more colorful wretch.

TIP #4: Choosing an Artists.

Once you’ve figured out your design and where you want it, all that's then needed is to find the right tattoo artist who can make it all happen. Do your homework. Art is definitely subjective but an experienced and skilled tattooist is rare commodity. Don’t be cheap or you'll be very, very sorry. Good tattoo artists are expensive and can save you a bundle in unnecessary laser removal treatments. It is wiser to shell out for a job well done rather than to get a botched tattoo. Tattoos are permanent, remember? Of course there’s laser removal, but it’s painful, risky and very costly. When choosing a tattoo artist, look at their portfolio and make sure you are satisfied with the quality of work they are producing. If you can’t afford a five star tattoo artist but are dead set on getting a tattoo, try getting tattooed by their apprentice with there mentor's supervision. This route can be tricky but you will definitely be getting tattooed at a very reduced rate. Besides, all great tattoo artists started off this way. Never pick a tattoo artist who is just starting out and has not complete an apprenticeship with a recognized and reputable tattooists. Whenever possible always pick a licensed tattooists who have received their OSHA Blood-borne Pathogens certification. If licensing is not required in your area then consider finding a tattooist through a reputable professional tattooing association like the Tattoo Artists Guild (T.A.G.). Look for the guild's member badge on there website and the T.A.G. certificate prominently displayed in there shop.

TIP #5: By the Hour or by the Piece?

This is one of those things that can really make a tattoo virgin nervous. You've visited Jones' Tattoo Shop down the street and Jones told you that cool spider flash design hanging on the wall will cost you a flat rate of $300. When you got home you started checking searching around online for other tattoo artists in your area. You found this really awesome artist on the other side of town that does fantastic tattoos like you've never seen before and it's all 100% original custom work. You schedule an appointment with this guy and instead of quoting you a flat rate he tells you it'll be $175 an hour and if you want him to design a custom piece for you there also a minimum design fee of $350. What the hell? What do you do? The superstar's work is way better than that spider design on Jones' wall but that sure do seem like a lot of money? Here's the deal, now days there are a lot more tattooists who actually have art degrees and are highly skilled. That sort of expertise is going to cost you. Simple as that. They've invested a lot of time and money into their careers and they quite simply can command higher prices than Jones down the block who learned to tattoo in prison. That being said all tattooists base their rates on how long they think it will take them to finish the job. So, that $300 dollar spider that Jones quoted you is based on him thinking to himself I need to make $150 an hour and I think it will take me two hours to complete; however, if he can rip through the job and get it done in only one and a half hours well, Jones just increased his hourly rate.  And if Jones is an hour and a half into the job and realizes that he needs another hour and a half to make it look good well, guess what?  Jones will rush the job and complete it in only a half hour not the hour and a half that it really needs because Jones needs to make $150 and he won't spend any extra time fussing with your off the wall spider design. You better hope Jones don't get three good look girls who all want tattoos on there butts walk in while you're getting tattooed because your spider tattoo will get done in record time!  "Thank you very much for your work now get out", says Jones. In the long run it's always better to pay by the hour. You will place less stress on your artist and thereby allow him to focus on creating the best tattoo he can.  The custom tattoo artist will spend the extra time to fuss over your tattoo because it's his creation and it represent him and he'll want to make sure his work looks its very best.  If you can't afford to finish your tattoo in one setting then break up your tattoo tattoo and space it out into to smaller more affordable sessions.

Hopefully these tips will help guide you on your quest to get the perfect tattoo. Good luck!

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