It is a general rule that no matter how good you are at something, there is always a chance to get better. Regardless of how long you have been in the field, you can always learn how to get better at tattooing. There will always be new and different techniques that tend to make the whole process easier, more fluid and even more interesting.
Every professional has a secret ingredient that makes them as good as they are at what they do. The ingredient may not be that different, but if you take the tips passed down from them and implement them to your process, you will find that you may get better at tattooing. Here are some excellent and easy to implement tips that will get you better at tattooing and give you satisfied clients.
Use the right approach
The basics of tattooing dictate that you need to outline over the top of your stencil lines. For you to do this properly, you need to ensure that nothing interferes with the lines that you need to be following. In many cases, sweat and blood tend to drip over the lines thus smudging them and making them almost impossible to follow with any degree of precision. Another problem comes in when you start drugging your hand over the lines as you outline.
To avoid all this, you need to use the right approach. The top-to-bottom approach may be the most natural, but it is not the most practical. You need to start from the bottom (left or right depending on your orientation). If you are right handed, start from the bottom right of the stencil outline. This way you will only be drugging your tattoo hand over already outlined stencil lines.
The standard rules when it comes to ink
There are some ink issues that you need to know in advance:
- Black ink fades over time, but this is a good thing since it gives the tattoo a 'patina'- White ink does not last for that long so avoid using too much of it- Red ink is great for darker skin but on the other hand it has been known to cause several negative skin reactions. The problem is that there is no way of knowing in advance if this is going to happen to that particular client.- Only mix purple ink with white ink
Be a resource to your clients
Yes, since tattooing falls within the 'service industry' the general rule is to always get the client what they want. But as an expert, it is your duty to advice the client on what will and won't look good on them. Sandra may want to get a butterfly tattoo on her navel but due to her size and body type, you know that this will be a waste of ink and art. It is your job to advise her professionally on what kind of outcome to expect and give her alternatives on where else to place her butterfly tattoo. Your good advice should also extend to drunk clients, underage clients and people who insist on getting their faces tattooed. Ultimately, however, advice is all you can give. If the client insists on having it, go ahead and do the best you can to obtain the best outcome.
As an artist, you need to know your medium, your canvas and the machinery well. In order to learn how to get better at tattooing, you should be intimately familiar with all aspects of the trade. And that takes practice, dedication and a great zeal for learning new tricks.