Dan S

A Customers PErspective of Some Pet Peeves

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Woulda just out this in the "Pet Peeves" thread, but since I'm not a tattooist...

Reading through all of that, man, I felt bad! I've never gone to a shop in any but an immaculately clean condition, wouldn't think of trying to tell an artist how to do his thing, nothing like that, but you know, in the last three or four months, I've probably done some of every pet peeve on there.

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa.

I get tattooed at CTC exclusively. No big news there. I've got six kids, and they are all fascinated by tattoos. My oldest, 25, disregarded my advice and went to a local "shop" on his 18th birthday. He has kept the thing as a reminder not to go there anymore. When he was 16, I brought him and one of his buds into CTC with me to watch part of a six-hour session I had booked with Miles Maniaci. I asked if it was kool for them to come back and watch a bit, and was told it was all good. They watched for maybe a half-hour, then split, then came back later for another maybe half-hour.

That one has gotten two fairly decent-sized pieces from Nick Colella at CTC since then, and was talking to me the other night about how he'd like to have Mario do some Oriental-style work on him. My 18 y.o. son has gotten some good pieces from Nick as well, and both of them are planning on getting more.

When my Lady and I went into CTC to get a matching piece, I had spoken to Nick and e-mailed back an forth with him about the piece we wanted, and he drew it up. We got there, and it just didn't light us up...the execution was great, the idea was just not that good. My Lady spotted some old Sailor Jerry stuff, and we both liked it immediately. I apologized to Nick, and asked if he would do that for us instead. He agreed, and didn't want to hear about being paid for the sketch he did.

I went back last month and had Nick do an old piece of Cliff Raven flash, I had e-mailed him and told him I wanted that, but customized with my kid's names and some other things, asked him to run with it. No pics, just gave him an idea. Went in, took my 14 y.o. daughter and my Lady with me. Asked if they could watch, and again, was told no problem. Looked at the thermo, laid down on the table, and never looked back. Killer piece.

So last week I went back, this time with my 16 y.o. daughter, my 17 y.o. son, and my Lady, got a fairly large chunk of my ribcage done-still hurts like a mofo-and again, asked if they could come back and watch. Again, no problem. I told the kids they had to split if it got crowded, and to stay away from the other artists work stations.

I suppose I'm one of those guys who watches every line being done. Not because I can't wait to see my stylized dreamsickle, but because the craft, the art, the skill, blows my mind, even after all these years of being tattooed. I ask questions about equipment, I ask questions about technique. I wouldn't dream of trying to tattoo in a million years, I am just curious as hell, and am amazed at the development of the equipment-and techniques-that have taken place in the 38 years since I first walked into CTC and plunked down my $20 for my first pro tattoo.

Even with all that ignorance, Nick and Mario have never blown me off, always answered any question I've asked, and never treated me like a mark. Last week, I was asking about power-supplies. I had seen a fairly high-end power-supply/regulator at American Science and Surplus in Milwaukee, and wondered if it would be worth buying and bringing in for them. Mario was gracious enough to explain the advancements in power-supplies, and why it was better to use purpose-built units than to adapt others, and he didn't even make me out to be stupid.

I've always told my kids to be quiet, to be respectful, and to stay out of the way. When they do come back, I ask where they should sit or stand, and make sure they stay there. If I have a coat, a hat, glasses, whatever, I ask where I can put them so they won't be in someone's way. I turn my phone off, and make sure anyone with me has their phone off.

I'll be going back to CTC as soon as my ribs heal to start sleeving-in my left arm. I have a bunch of work on it from Dale Grande, and a bit from Mark Miller. It's all connected, but Nick is going to put it all together for me. I guess I should rethink bringing my kids with, but to us, it's a big deal, something we do together. Guess I'll talk to Nick, and make sure it's okay with him, and with the other artists working there before I do.

I know there are a lot of jag customers out there, I've seen 'em. Maybe there's a way to get 'em to go only to the jag scratchers that abound?! Went into a place local up here, I had met the owner's wife where she works. The owners apprentice was the only one there, and I heard about the shop he had that "went under because the assholes around here work too cheap", I hear fuck this, fuck that, fuck the next thing, I got cigarette smoke blown in my face, and ya know, the guy never even asked if I was interested in getting a tattoo.

Guess I missed my chance with him.

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Sounds like you got a good thing going! And it's nice, when you can, to make your family a part of it. Saw the new rib tattoo, pretty fun design! Looking forward to seeing your left arm all tied together.

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I suppose when dealing with people that think money=respect then you will start to get some kind of personality clash.

I work in the public service sector dealing with water delivery and waste water management, Daily I work on the road dealing with disgruntled people that tend to blame me for their sewer service not working as it should, its like they think I designed the system or something, often people treat me like crap because there taxes pay my wages.

The facts are when people do not understand what you actually have to do they are very quick to judge. I would love to see my customers stick their arm into their own piss and shit or get shit in their mouth or in their eyes to get the system working again.

Everyone has good and bad days.

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Sounds like you got a good thing going! And it's nice, when you can, to make your family a part of it. Saw the new rib tattoo, pretty fun design! Looking forward to seeing your left arm all tied together.

Yeah, rib tattoo, fun design...uh-huh! I will say it wasn't as bad as the knee-caps, just a hella longer. Pretty much buried in scab now, but I'll post a pic when it's all healed up.

CTC is a strange place...I don't think I'd say "family-friendly", but yeah, you can bring your family in there without worrying about them. It's still a bit sketchy around the edges of that 'hood, but not so bad you can't send a kid out for coffee. Most of all, the people working there are top-flight. They make sure everythign is buttoned-up tight no matter what, and will treat you right.

You know, they got those $90 flights out of La Gwah-dia to O'Hare, you ever get the urge, hit me up, we can always find couch space!

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I have one son who has turned to the dark side as well.... I made sure he went into a good shop, knew how to get what he wanted and was a good client. How you conduct yourself before, during and after the chair time gets you on the good side of the shop. I see what they have to put up from the jackoffs that I witness, showing up late or not calling at all to cancel an appointment.

CG

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When a shop has a sign that says "No Kids" it's because people don't use common sense on when to bring kids to a tattoo shop. If your kid is old enough to get what is going on and behave themselves i don't think most people would have a problem. That sign is not for them. It's for the people who bring their two year olds with them to get tattooed and they scream for an hour because there is nothing for them to do in a tattoo shop and I won't let them use the artists portfolio as a coloring book, then I spend the next three hours trying make the place not smell like piss and cheetos. That would be too wordy.

Most people get it bring your kids in set up an appointment and leave them at home for the tattoo or maybe bring them and let them watch for a little bit if they want and have other parent take em out for ice cream before they start to get bored. I bring my son to the tattoo shop at least once a week, but not on the days I am trying to get work done, it would be too hard to concentrate.

Needless to say we don't have one of those signs in the shop, but i get why people do.

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When a shop has a sign that says "No Kids" it's because people don't use common sense on when to bring kids to a tattoo shop. If your kid is old enough to get what is going on and behave themselves i don't think most people would have a problem. That sign is not for them. It's for the people who bring their two year olds with them to get tattooed and they scream for an hour because there is nothing for them to do in a tattoo shop and I won't let them use the artists portfolio as a coloring book, then I spend the next three hours trying make the place not smell like piss and cheetos. That would be too wordy.

Most people get it bring your kids in set up an appointment and leave them at home for the tattoo or maybe bring them and let them watch for a little bit if they want and have other parent take em out for ice cream before they start to get bored. I bring my son to the tattoo shop at least once a week, but not on the days I am trying to get work done, it would be too hard to concentrate.

Needless to say we don't have one of those signs in the shop, but i get why people do.

As bad or worse than kids is the wife or girlfriend who sits outside in the car and honks the horn... I saw that twice. One would come in every 5 minutes and say something nasty to the husband or whoever he was and stomp out.

Rob

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well, I respect any good tattoo artist, but what I don't care for is when they think they are the best in the world. Always someone better. This chick was doing tats for 3 hr for 200:-) good price, then she wants an 100 an hr. I can't afford that , due to the fact, she dogged the 3 hr. . To me for a 100per hr, you should be laying some fine ink, that would require ant touch ups.

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well, I respect any good tattoo artist, but what I don't care for is when they think they are the best in the world. Always someone better. This chick was doing tats for 3 hr for 200:-) good price, then she wants an 100 an hr. I can't afford that , due to the fact, she dogged the 3 hr. . To me for a 100per hr, you should be laying some fine ink, that would require ant touch ups.

All I can say is that in this area, 3 hours of work for a deuce would be like a major discount. Most places, I'd say a hundred an hour is gonna be about the minimum.

You play, you pay.

You can always find someone working at a truck-stop or out of a motel, or go to a "tattoo-party", but you'll get your $50 worth there.

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well, I respect any good tattoo artist, but what I don't care for is when they think they are the best in the world. Always someone better. This chick was doing tats for 3 hr for 200:-) good price, then she wants an 100 an hr. I can't afford that , due to the fact, she dogged the 3 hr. . To me for a 100per hr, you should be laying some fine ink, that would require ant touch ups.

Agreed @Dan S. While not getting too much into the "money" aspect of tattoos, I would say 100/hr is cheap in my opinion. If you can't afford a good tattoo now, save up and get it later. Once it's there it ain't going anywhere!

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Agreed @Dan S. While not getting too much into the "money" aspect of tattoos, I would say 100/hr is cheap in my opinion. If you can't afford a good tattoo now, save up and get it later. Once it's there it ain't going anywhere!

Prices increase plain and simple. When a tattooer gets better they can charge more. When the price of groceries, gas, insurance, you name it goes up so do the price of tattoos, but probably not quite so drastically. $100/hr seems like a fair price for sure, but just to put it in perspective 20 years ago my boss was working on his ribs at tattoo city and was paying $120 per hour and that's not with Ed that was with Freddy.

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@David Flores - I hear you...

I was paying a hundred an hour over ten years ago with a MINIMUM 25-30 hour commitment. Inflation never sleeps!

That's the thing that some don't realize that hourly rates were lower to give people getting large scale work a little break and walk in tattoos were just done like a mechanics flat rate, it didn't matter how long it took.

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All I can say is that in this area, 3 hours of work for a deuce would be like a major discount. Most places, I'd say a hundred an hour is gonna be about the minimum.

You play, you pay.

You can always find someone working at a truck-stop or out of a motel, or go to a "tattoo-party", but you'll get your $50 worth there.

Well most of the good artist out here in the east valley of Phoenix, are happy to take 50 an hr, i too am from Chicago, and been to 3 top shops in the city there and could get a 6 x 6 for 150.00 20 years ago,and i take offense to your reference to You can always find someone working a truck stop, motel, or "tattoo-party " Is that where you go? Have you ever traded a 12 inch tat for 2 packs of smokes? See its great for tattooers getting this kind of money, i aint sayin shit about that, what gets me are these people getting a tat because its "cool" and paying 200 for a butterfly and a few stars, ya know.

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Well most of the good artist out here in the east valley of Phoenix, are happy to take 50 an hr, i too am from Chicago, and been to 3 top shops in the city there and could get a 6 x 6 for 150.00 20 years ago,and i take offense to your reference to You can always find someone working a truck stop, motel, or "tattoo-party " Is that where you go? Have you ever traded a 12 inch tat for 2 packs of smokes? See its great for tattooers getting this kind of money, i aint sayin shit about that, what gets me are these people getting a tat because its "cool" and paying 200 for a butterfly and a few stars, ya know.

No offense meant, and no offense meant when I say there WEREN'T three "top shops" in Chi twenty years ago. As far as pricing, a 6-inch square tattoo for $150??? Not in any decent shop-and there were only one, maybe two at the time-that I knew of.

I'm not tryina be a dick, (just comes naturally) but there was really only CTC back then that was really what you would call a "top shop". There were what, maybe three or four other shops that opened and closed regularly in different parts of the city. AFAIK, the only one that has stuck was Fat Joe's place.

I hear what you're saying about butterflies and stars, but it all depends on how big they are and how detailed they are-how much work went into them. I agree that some tattoo shops are overpriced for what they offer, just as some mechanics are overpriced.

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And Chris Conn seems to have no trouble finding people who will pay his rate so I'd argue that he isn't overpriced. It's more than I would pay for a tattoo from him but if I wanted one badly enough, I would find a way to do it...which is what I imagine plenty of people are doing.

I dislike the way this thread has turned into being about pricing.

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I think @Graeme is correct. It does not matter. Everyone is always going to have their own opinion on pricing. And what we pay is our own business between our respective tattooers.

And @Dan S, I know when I was a bit greener, I probably was an annoying snot nosed kid coming in to get tattooed, pissing them off. I've since had some script covered because it was lame. Trust me, this was the type where I came in with it printed out from Microsoft Word. I am embarrassed thinking about that now.

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I haven't had any bad experiences yet or any pet peeves since I've gotten tattooed. Other than when making an appt over the phone in a different state and whoever answered made me feel retarded for wanting flash. Thankfully the tattooer was more than stoked to do some spider Murphys flash.

But that just adds to the reason I hate phone calls

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And Chris Conn seems to have no trouble finding people who will pay his rate so I'd argue that he isn't overpriced. It's more than I would pay for a tattoo from him but if I wanted one badly enough, I would find a way to do it...which is what I imagine plenty of people are doing.

I dislike the way this thread has turned into being about pricing.

I agree. Also, if I could afford (or when I can) to make it to California, booking an appointment with Chris Conn would be at the top of the agenda.

To get back on the topic of pet peeves...for me, the only big one I've encountered from a customer's perspective is having to listen to stupid, offensive shit. I realize that a lot of people would consider me to be overly PC, which is fine (I disagree to a large extent with what most people consider to be "political correctness" and see it more as "not being an asshole", but whatever), but it definitely turns me off to hear racist or homophobic shit when I'm getting tattooed. On one trip to a pretty well-known shop, my buddy that I was staying with (who is gay) decided that he wanted a tattoo too and came with and got tattooed. He was super stoked on it and really liked the dude that we both got tattooed by, but during his tattoo a couple of the other tattooers hanging out made a few gay jokes (unrelated to my friend), and it was pretty awkward and uncomfortable for both of us for a minute. Consequently, I probably won't ever get tattooed by those dudes, despite them making rad tattoos. With a finite amount of skin and a Want list longer than I'll ever be able to get through, I want to enjoy my tattoo experience as much as possible, so I'm gonna go with the tattooer I don't worry about having to endure hearing go off on some "faggot" shit during my session.

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I'm about the total opposite of PC, but here's what I started the thread with...

"...I hear fuck this, fuck that, fuck the next thing, I got cigarette smoke blown in my face, and ya know, the guy never even asked if I was interested in getting a tattoo."

As far as the homophobic/racist type stuff, I've never heard any, but I guess it takes all kinds. Hell, take your friend to CTC, they have a whole section of flash dedicated to the hardcore scene..."Prime Meat" and such-I doubt you'll hear any jokes!

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