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How do I get a big tattoo?

You love the look of a large tattoo; it just looks so impressive.  No that you know you want a big tattoo it seems like everywhere you turn there is someone else with this huge kick ass art on their arm.  The first question you ask is “Who did your Tattoo!”

 

It is mildly frustrating to work with a tattoo artist.  It has been your experience that that talk at you not to you.  The artists that you have worked with have been satisfactory but not extraordinary.  Do not give up on your drams of being awesome.  You have been talking to the wrong people in the tattoo world.

 

Five traits an artist is ready to tattoo your ideas.

 

They are contact you back

After reaching out to a potential artist, they should respond within 48 hours.  Some may take longer, and it might be worth the wait but responding in a timely fashion is a sign that they are organized.  Being organized is important because what you are asking them to do (get a large tattoo) will take coordination from both parties.  You don’t want to be halfway through a tattoo only to never get back on the books.  Then you will be like so many other people searching for a new artist to finish the other persons work.

 

They set up a consult

If an artist is serious about his or her process, they will need a consult.  They are going to listen to you and your vision. They are also going to read you and determine if your ready for a big tattoo. It takes a big commitment to get a tattoo but an even bigger one that requires months of appointment.

During the consult they should listen, then give feedback.  They artist working at this level isn’t treating tattoos like a factory job.  They have honed their craft and with quickly recognize problems that need to be addressed.  An example would be too many images or wrong location on the body.  Listen to them while you earn each other’s trust.

They listen

I’m going to repeat this a few times.  You do not want to mess with a tattoo artist who does not validate your feelings and ideas.  A large tattoo is no joke.  The consequences of receiving a poorly executed sleeve or back is multi-faceted.

Let me be very clear, you do not want to laser of a large mistake.

Make sure your comfort zone is being met with your new relationship.  It’s not about being comfortable with the design.  If you wanted to find a design, you’re comfortable with then shop around for an artist, then this article doesn’t apply to you. What I am suggesting is that the relationship between artist and client must be solid.

They are open to new ideas

Believe it or not, even the most experiences artist fall into a trap of systematic problem solving. This could be color schemes, placement or imagery choice. Sometimes clients throw the artist a curve ball.  I professional artist will take this new approach with consideration.  Being too dismissive is a bad trait and a red flag. Artist who wave of new ideas are usually letting you know that you have ask for something that is outside their wheelhouse.  They might not have the confidence to tell you that they don’t know how to do what your asking from them.

They make time for you.

Never let an artist make you feel like they don’t care about your time. This applies to a few things. First, you shouldn’t feel like they are rushing you through a conversation. I have already said this about listening, but I feel it is so important. This is a big deal. If an artist can not take five minutes to listen to you then bounce.

Time is a mutual respect that both parties adhere to. If an appointment has been made, both parties should honor that time set aside.  More importantly, the artist should respect your time. They can forget that you called of work, got a sitter and drove 45 minutes to get tattooed.  They need to be ready for you when you show up for your appointment. You should not have to what an excessive amount of time in the lobby waiting for your rock star tattooist to make their appearance.  You should not have to suffer cancelation after cancelation to finish your tattoo.

Final thoughts.

They professional artist has people skills that matches their artistic talent. There are the rogue, overly talented artist that suck when it comes to life skills, but you need to know what you signed up for when working with an eccentric type of an artist.

My name is Matt Hodel and I am a tattoo artist in St. Louis.

I am entering my 25th year of tattooing. I respect my clients time and ideas. My process follows the concepts discussed above. After you contact me, we set up a consultation. When we get on the same page with the goal of the project, we set up appointments.  I make it my duty to be there for my clients.

-Matt Hodel

If you would like to set up a consult click the link below.

Thank You.

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Have you heard my podcast? 

Bastards of Art: Too polished for folk art, too punk for fine art.

Bastards of Art is a podcast to reach out to lowbrow artist. We are helping artist to come together with a message of positivity and ambition. It can feel very lonely spending hours in the studio. We are here to help erase self doubt and cultivate the artist inside you.

1 Comment

  1. Gregory Bollasina on February 6, 2020 at 6:09 am

    Hey Matt, you rock buddy!! Miss you!

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