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Advice on finding good tattoo artists

(Photo courtesy of: CanMan) “Authors tigh tattoo.”

Riley Fontana
Connector Editor

I have been getting tattoos since I turned 18, and currently have seven. Because of the amount of tattoos I have, many people ask me about my experiences: the pain scale, costs, how to find a good artist and more. I am here to give my advice about personal experiences getting tattoos.

Overall, my experiences have been great. I have an artist I go to for my large colorful pieces, and a studio I go to for my smaller more spur-of-the-moment tattoos. I have only had one bad experience with an artist who was trying to rush me out the door. I have truly lucked out with enjoying all my tattoos and most of my experiences getting tattooed.

My biggest piece of advice for people looking to get tattooed is to do research into what work artists have done. I really enjoy looking at how an artist’s work heals and how much it changes from when it was fresh. Research into an artist’s work is vital. This is work that will be on your body forever, so you really must like their style. I have seen a lot of tattoos and other work from artists that I enjoy, but it’s not something I want to see on myself every day. A lot of people are very defensive about tattooing styles and, honestly, it’s all personal choice. I have my tattoo styles for a reason.

My next piece of advice is not to settle on a design. When I got my second tattoo, which is a huge thigh piece, I knew the basis of what I wanted. I went into a consultation with just tons of pictures of the vampire blood bottle from “The Lost Boys” and that was about it. My artist, CanMan at Vision in Medway, worked with other colors and ideas I liked to make something that perfectly fit with my body. I went back a few weeks later to see the final design and asked to change the style of the moon from a full moon to a crescent moon, which was not an issue for him. Changing things for a client to truly love their tattoo should not be an issue for a good artist.

Another piece of advice I have is to look into the reviews for each artist. Read about how their clients feel about them and their studio, especially if this is going to be your first tattoo. I

cannot stress enough how important it is to be comfortable and feel safe with an artist. Most of my anxiety washes away when I realize the artist is just a person who loves their craft.

I get asked a lot about the pain scale as well and honestly, Google is your friend here. Pain tolerance is different for everyone but in most places that are tight muscle or right on bone are going to hurt more than anything else in my experience. Most artists are willing to give clients breaks when needed and work with their needs when it comes to pain.

A lot of people also ask me about my healing process. I have severely dry skin, so it usually takes a little longer. If you follow the advice of your artist, you are most likely going to be fine. If you are ever worried about a tattoo being infected or not healing the studio you got the art at should be able to offer advice if you call them and ask. I personally have never had any bad experiences with healing except accidentally letting one dry out too much, but it healed fine. Don’t be like me, moisturize your healing and healed tattoos.

Overall getting tattoos should be something enjoyable, minus the pain, and something you look forward to. Do research into artists and aftercare techniques and go get tatted.

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