Mitch Wood

Email Correspondance Between Artists and Collectors

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Over the last few months, I've been trying to get a hold of a few tattooers via email. The problem is that I have yet to get a response from anyone. I'm trying pretty hard to be patient, but in some cases it's been two months or more. Does anyone else have this issue? Long story short, I'm just looking for some advice. Maybe, I'm not emailing the wrong information or asking the wrong questions? What's the protocol?

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Over the last few months, I've been trying to get a hold of a few tattooers via email. The problem is that I have yet to get a response from anyone. I'm trying pretty hard to be patient, but in some cases it's been two months or more. Does anyone else have this issue? Long story short, I'm just looking for some advice. Maybe, I'm not emailing the wrong information or asking the wrong questions? What's the protocol?

Did you try calling their shops? Even if you don't reach the tattooer in question, you may get some info from shop helper or another tattooer who answers the phone that could give the inside track. Tattooers are weird, I know some people who won't return phone calls and others who ignore emails, and others who want you to come into the shop, I know the shit can get old. My advice is always to ride the line between being persistent and pushy. I am not saying name names but is there any one on the forum that has been tattooed by the person you are looking to book? Maybe they know a trick or two.

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Did you try calling their shops? Even if you don't reach the tattooer in question, you may get some info from shop helper or another tattooer who answers the phone that could give the inside track. Tattooers are weird, I know some people who won't return phone calls and others who ignore emails, and others who want you to come into the shop, I know the shit can get old. My advice is always to ride the line between being persistent and pushy. I am not saying name names but is there any one on the forum that has been tattooed by the person you are looking to book? Maybe they know a trick or two.

The problem is that both of the tattooers I have in mind either don't currently have a shop, or travel a majority of the time. I didn't really think about asking people who have been tattooed by them how they went about it, that's a great idea. However, out of respect, I really don't want to name names. People, especially world-class tattooers, are busy. I'm not the only one emailing/trying to book with them, and they also have lives outside of work. It just seems like two months is a while to wait. I'm not in the position to just be able to book larger and/or more expensive tattoos with little notice. I'm poor.

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The problem is that both of the tattooers I have in mind either don't currently have a shop, or travel a majority of the time. I didn't really think about asking people who have been tattooed by them how they went about it, that's a great idea. However, out of respect, I really don't want to name names.

along the same line as what @David Flores said, you can keep an eye out or search for folks on this forum who've been tattooed by the artist you're hoping to get tattooed by and send that LSTer a private message.

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I think most people on here understand the struggle you are going through, but I understand why you don't name names. I hope the search features can lead you to someone who can give you some advice.

Unrelated, but back in late 80's my friend wanted to get tattooed by Henry Goldfield, but Henry kicked him out for looking around and every time he came back Henry would kick him out when he walked in the door. So he asked Henry's wife how to get tattooed by and she said to write him a letter, and put some cash in it and enclose your phone number and he will call. It worked. Now I don't think it really pertains to your situation, but it just reminds me that trying to book a tattoo by some has always been a trying process in certain situations, but he still talks about that day he spent in Henry's shop and meeting Bill Salmon to this day.

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I think @David Flores has the right idea. Just to name one artist in particular, if you really are serious about getting tattooed by Chad Koeplinger, one of the most surefire ways is to go ahead and send your deposit via PayPal and then shoot an email. It just lets tattooers know how serious you are about getting something from them.

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I found exactly the same problems when I tried at first. I even went as far as going to the countries and city forum and asking there for contact details. Felt like a stalker lol

I have to say that once I got my first appointment it seems to open doors a lot faster when you mention who you have work by, even to the extent of moving you to the front of the 1 year long queue. Shouldn't really be like that but it seems the more talent and name dropping you have on your body, the faster they want to be a part of it....

Another thing that appeals to the high end well known artist's in my experience, is giving them total freedom to do what they like will see you get a response and seen quicker.

I will be honest and say that most of my first contact emails to them starts with, "Budget is not an issue and you have total freedom to do what you like if my idea doesn't appeal. It seems to work lol

Obviously when you get a reply then move forward with some ideas.

This is only in my experience and what the artist's have said I could be wrong but it worked for me :-)

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Another thing that appeals to the high end well known artist's in my experience, is giving them total freedom to do what they like will see you get a response and seen quicker.

This does work. When I got my 1st well-known artist to bite, it was because I gave him 3-4 options on subject matter, size and placement - and he saw that as a welcome opportunity to do something that was different. I was one of only 2 or 3 collectors that he worked on all summer, the balance of his creative efforts being performed on other artist's skin.

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I find if they like your idea they get right back to you. If you already have quality ink on you mention that also (it lets them know that your serious). As I say this there are a few artists I've never heard back from. Good luck

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So far I have 100% return rate on my contacts with artist. That being said, some took a decent amount of time to get back. One I waited 3 months for first response and another 6 until I heard again (then got tattooed shortly after). Another 3 months later second contact (more serious) and then finally another 6 months later I got my final REAL response back with dates. (still gotta wait till the middle of next year for my first in person consultation!).

It does take time, especially for artists that are in demand and busy. I know from my own job (I'm probably get 1% of the emails) that I get people reaching out all the time, and it becomes hard to get back to everyone. This with the fact that probably 80% are just testing the waters, maybe 10% will actually get work done.

My suggested approach (that has worked) is start with actually going to the shop (if you can). Some don't like this but do it anyway to show face. Then try to get them on the phone. 90% of the time they are never there or are busy working (they are at work!) Last resort is email as knowing my own email habits (read a couple, scan through a bunch, then never read the rest). @David Flores nailed it pretty good already but thought I would throw in my $0.02

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...to open doors a lot faster when you mention who you have work by, even to the extent of moving you to the front of the 1 year long queue. Shouldn't really be like that but it seems the more talent and name dropping you have on your body, the faster they want to be a part of it....

It's not so much name-dropping or that we want to be "part of it" We all get a lot of time-wasters who just want to talk about tattoo ideas, you know, just shoot the shit a little via email. When someone emails me and lets me know that they have travelled or put in whatever effort and are serious about getting tattooed, if I can tell that they have selected me based on my previous work and understand how much a tattoo of that size will cost - then they are way more likely to get a timely response.

Remember that if whoever you are emailing travels a lot they may not have enough time or internet connection long enough to give you a considered response.

Before we can email you a time/price/day/location for your tattoo, we need to figure out all that stuff first. Sometimes even have a couple of extra options of dates/times/tattoo subjects.

Personally I don't like being given "total freedom". Some days that may mean a portrait of Austin Osman Spare, other days it may mean a Baku backpiece or dagger and rose. I guess if your chosen tattooer is known for a specific set of subjects, it's a no-brainer, but it's something to consider. A couple of alternatives won't hurt either.

Something that comes to mind whenever I see/hear discussions like this, I wish I could remind collectors/customers/whatever that just because you see a tattooer post to instagram or whatever else on the internet, that doesn't mean they are also checking and responding to emails.

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It's not so much name-dropping or that we want to be "part of it" We all get a lot of time-wasters who just want to talk about tattoo ideas, you know, just shoot the shit a little via email. When someone emails me and lets me know that they have travelled or put in whatever effort and are serious about getting tattooed, if I can tell that they have selected me based on my previous work and understand how much a tattoo of that size will cost - then they are way more likely to get a timely response.

Remember that if whoever you are emailing travels a lot they may not have enough time or internet connection long enough to give you a considered response.

Before we can email you a time/price/day/location for your tattoo, we need to figure out all that stuff first. Sometimes even have a couple of extra options of dates/times/tattoo subjects.

Personally I don't like being given "total freedom". Some days that may mean a portrait of Austin Osman Spare, other days it may mean a Baku backpiece or dagger and rose. I guess if your chosen tattooer is known for a specific set of subjects, it's a no-brainer, but it's something to consider. A couple of alternatives won't hurt either.

Something that comes to mind whenever I see/hear discussions like this, I wish I could remind collectors/customers/whatever that just because you see a tattooer post to instagram or whatever else on the internet, that doesn't mean they are also checking and responding to emails.

Thanks for explaining it better than I did, your absolutely right :)

It makes sense to reply to people that are serious and not time wasters. I'm guessing you top artists are so in demand that it would not be possible to reply to everyone.

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I don't think it truly helps to drop any ones name...unless you are good friends with that person...and they recommended the tattooist you are seeking to be tattooed by!

If you have good quality work then tattooists can recognize that!

I was trying to figure out the people who travel and don't work in a shop that you are talking about but I can't figure it out....lol.

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We have emailed each other once already he was following up...regardless, it's taken me more then a week to respond, which is slow for me... I try to have at least a 1-2 day response time at slowest. But have been known to immediately respond given that I'm not driving or otherwise engaged...

He said "Artist(s)", right, like plural...? I'm willing to bet it wasn't solely directed at us...

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I don't think it truly helps to drop any ones name...unless you are good friends with that person...and they recommended the tattooist you are seeking to be tattooed by!

If you have good quality work then tattooists can recognize that!

I was trying to figure out the people who travel and don't work in a shop that you are talking about but I can't figure it out....lol.

I think most of us were guessing Richard or Chad K even though they both technically do have shops. I can't think of anyone else that travels that much.

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We have emailed each other once already he was following up...regardless, it's taken me more then a week to respond, which is slow for me... I try to have at least a 1-2 day response time at slowest. But have been known to immediately respond given that I'm not driving or otherwise engaged...

He said "Artist(s)", right, like plural...? I'm willing to bet it wasn't solely directed at us...

Jen if Richard didn't have you would he even have email. I just don't see him as the computer type.

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thats-gold-jerry.png

I was in bed before 1am last night... it's amazing how well the filth rolls off the fingertips sometimes...

- - - Updated - - -

Jen if Richard didn't have you would he even have email. I just don't see him as the computer type.

FUCK NO. When I opened up my laptop and setup a facebook account for him, OMG, it was like TV being invented all over again. Just amazing. Before we hooked up, he had contacted me about wanting me to build him a website, which I immediately went and got him domain... But that was just an excuse to talk to me on the phone, he said.... He now knows how to work a MAC, and check his daily cheat sheets when he's needing a break from looking at something else. Oh and reference...

BUT NO... he has no real want to actually geek out online. He does like to shop though. For shop stuff...

Back ontopic...

Yeah, the only time I don't respond at all is if I know who it is and deliberately don't respond... which there are only two people in the world that would be. And I doubt they have the balls to get tattooed by Richard.

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Personally I don't like being given "total freedom". Some days that may mean a portrait of Austin Osman Spare, other days it may mean a Baku backpiece or dagger and rose. I guess if your chosen tattooer is known for a specific set of subjects, it's a no-brainer, but it's something to consider. A couple of alternatives won't hurt either.

Have you actually done a portrait of Austin Osman Spare?

Cause that would be incredibly rad.

- - - Updated - - -

Yeah, the only time I don't respond at all is if I know who it is and deliberately don't respond... which there are only two people in the world that would be. And I doubt they have the balls to get tattooed by Richard.

I email Jennifer on average 40 times a day with design ideas, looking to get advice about dating and sending her 'tonz of nudez'. Weirdly enough, it takes me an average of three minutes to get a response.

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