(Double Click) [to Close]

Tattoos 74

If you were going to invest in a piece of art, would you feel better about buying it from an accredited gallery which could prove it was authentic, or from someone selling it from the trunk of their car?

So think of the tattoo you are about to get as a piece of art, because that's what it should be. Tattoos are one of the most ancient forms of body art, for which you will be providing the canvas. And because tattoos have soared in popularity over the past decade, there is no shortage of tattoo "studios" more than willing to practice their artistry on you. How do you separate the best tattoo parlors from the rest?

Let me confess. I have, for years, indulged in oil painting as a hobby. I have an easel, brushes, a palette, paints and mediums too numerous to count, palette knives, and even a smock. I have won a few awards in amateur competitions, and even sold a few pieces of my work. Does that make me a professional artist?

No more than owning inks, needles, designs, and renting a store space makes someone a professional tattoo artist. Before you decide to patronize a particular tattoo parlor, learn what a successful parlor should look like. If the one you are considering doesn't measure up, take your money, and your canvas, elsewhere.

When you start looking for the best tattoo parlor, you'll be able to tell a lot simply by paying attention to your first impressions when walking in the door. If you see clutter, overflowing ashtrays, dirt in the corners and dust on the furniture, will you really be able to overlook them?

Pay attention to the quality of the tattoo designs on display. Tattoo "flash", all those design posters covering the walls of every studio, are, or should be, anyway, copyrighted artwork purchased from professional artists. Do they have the bright colors and clear definition of professional artistic prints? Can you see the copyright and the artist's name?

If the flash you are looking at appears washed-out, and you can't see any identifying marks, you may be looking at designs bootlegged from anywhere; the same people who sell traditional artwork or bootlegged movies from the trunks of their cars are perfectly capable of selling stolen tattoo designs. Any merchandise that has a market is merchandise which can be counterfeited, and the soaring popularity of tattoos has made tattoo designs prime bootlegging material.

If the shop you are visiting was willing to cheat legitimate artists out of the royalties they should be getting for their tattoo designs, will they be willing to give you full value for the money you spend on your tattoo? The best tattoo parlors offer new needles, fresh high quality ink, clean gloves, and artists who will spend all the time necessary to make sure your tattoo is the best it can be.