else

Advice for communicating with tattooers?

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So - here's my dilemma.

My goal is "squid pants". And I honestly don't really care much what all goes into them. I have a (short) list of things that I don't want... but otherwise I care more about just having good looking work on me. I want "fancy" legs. That's it.

So how do I convey this to potential tattooers without sounding like a total flake? I worry that if I say "I don't care, do whatever you want, except for "x" things" they'll brush me off as someone who is in it just for some kind of status thing or something... which isn't the case at all. It's VERY personal to me. It's just that I'm not attached to any specific imagery.

I don't want to "overshare" with my tale of woe about why exactly I need fancy legs... but I don't want to get written off either...

Any advice?

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Well I would say that they are going to want an idea of somekind. While I also keep things pretty open ended, that is a ton of space to just say I don't care at all. I would say get a theme or slight idea in your head for them to work with, otherwise I can almost guarantee that you not like it. What artist are you going to? If they have a very defined style it is usually a bit easier to bring up some of their work that you liked.

Also a warning, if you say do what ever you like you might or might not like what you get.

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You have an idea of the type of tattooing you like, no?

I would say, do whatever you want, within this style, and within this theme...

You could keep it mythological, like your first leg tattoo towards the squidpants

you could have literary references if you wanted to change the theme.

But sitting down and saying, "put whatever on me, whatever you want" maybe isnt the best idea. You should have some input into what is going to be on your body forever

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C'mon @else I bet you know what you like and what you don't like if you think about it. Start poking around on here and checking out tattooers' books and you'll begin to form opinions. Whether it's, "Oh man, this panther is awesome -- ooh, maybe I'll get Jon Q Tattooer to do a sweet panther head on me!" or if it's "Panthers are dumb, I want a scientific diagram of a cat," your ideas will start to take shape. Look at what each tattooer you want to visit puts out, what they do well or what they like doing. Or even ask 'em if there's something they're dying to do.. You'll get it, don't stress out.

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The main thing is to narrow down the style you want and to find fabulous artists that nail that type of art down. Find things in their portfolio that you especially like and tell them "I want a different version of this". Aside from that, find objects that you like or that have any meaning to you. You'll be suprised at how many well-known artists are anxious to do something new and different. Another thing that works, some of these artists have sketches laying around and pinned up on the wall, just waiting for a customer to pick it out. These pieces are also works that they are phyched to get started on. It'll also help get your foot in the door.

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Thanks for the advice. I don't want to make it harder for them - or for myself!

Crossing my fingers but I might be able to get in with Steve Byrne the first week of February (have to wait until Monday or Tuesday to find out if my work contract is confirmed or not).

With just one or two exceptions I have liked everything of his that I've seen. I can't imagine that he would put something on me and I *wouldn't* like it.

So, if it works out that I can get in, hopefully I can convey to him my intent without seeming like I don't care.

- - - Updated - - -

To clarify a bit... It's not so much that I don't know what I like stylistically. I have a clear vision of the style of tattoos I'm attracted to. It's more that once that piece is established, and I'm talking to a tattooer who does good work, I don't have any especially strong feelings about the particular subject matter.

My sister doesn't have any tattoos now, but she has some very specific things that she wants (e.g. "a swallow carrying a paintbrush"). I could be equally happy with this, or that, or that, or that, or that, or that, or that. (except that I really DON'T want any of the things my sister says she wants! maybe it's a sibling thing :p)

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a good artist/tattooer can make anything fancy ,or pretty. make sure you like the style of your artist ,this is almost always overlooked in street shops,by the customer. How about some shrimp squidpants,hehe. actually research is the key. Everyone gets the tattoo they deserve. If you look at the "water" issue of Tattootime,@85ish, there is a photo of a woman with shrimp and blossom sleeves. Ive always thought of that image as a good example of how what one could think of as a strange idea ,but it is beautiful. research.

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If you've looked at previous work or flash or paintings of theirs, maybe let them know why youre excited about that particular person- which is the reason youre comfortable giving control.

"I saw X tattoo in your portfolio and X and X and I really liked those! Im open to whatever youre into right now, I trust you etc" and typically they can feel you out from there and start firing off some ideas.

im sure a quick consult will get the person going in the right direction.

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my artist is quite good but I think we're experiencing a pretty large communication gap, he's just difficult to talk to. Its hard to meet someone half way when it's my body thats going to be marked forever haha.

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@ProvidenceTattoo...just thought I'd chime in and say welcome and I'm a big fan of your work. I look forward to seeing more pictures and posts from you.

Same here, my wife and I had our wedding in Providence and always have an place in our hearts for all things Providence. We now pass through about twice a year. BTW, the three wolf heads with snakes and dagger is KILLER!

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@else If you are going to Steve, I would say stick with traditional Americana images. He does those like no one else, and, in my humble opinion, I think that is what he's best at. Tigers, eagles, snakes, skulls, etc. Also, I know that when I started getting into tattoos, there were so many different pieces of flash or tattoos that I liked, which made it very difficult to pinpoint exactly what I wanted in a single tattoo. Just keep in mind that you have plenty of space (I'm making an assumption here), and that you will have room to get each different piece that you like.

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Good guess @MadeIndelible

I am seeing Steve Byrne - next week!

Last week I thought I had decided what, specifically, I wanted him to do but a couple days ago I reverted back to not really caring too much about the specific imagery... I am, however, strongly considering asking him to do my knees. Just to get 'em over with!

I have a working theory about this whole communication thing... So far the results have been pretty interesting. I'm going to test my hypothesis a few more times before I share my findings with y'all though.

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Good guess @MadeIndelible

I am seeing Steve Byrne - next week!

Last week I thought I had decided what, specifically, I wanted him to do but a couple days ago I reverted back to not really caring too much about the specific imagery... I am, however, strongly considering asking him to do my knees. Just to get 'em over with!

I have a working theory about this whole communication thing... So far the results have been pretty interesting. I'm going to test my hypothesis a few more times before I share my findings with y'all though.

If you do get your knees done, call me! I want to see someone get their knees done. (Besides the one I have)

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Will, hopefully, be able to pick up my new phone next week too! So many problems will be solved including taking pictures, making random phone calls, opening random apps, and moving icons around without being told.

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Good guess @MadeIndelible

I am seeing Steve Byrne - next week!

Last week I thought I had decided what, specifically, I wanted him to do but a couple days ago I reverted back to not really caring too much about the specific imagery... I am, however, strongly considering asking him to do my knees. Just to get 'em over with!

I have a working theory about this whole communication thing... So far the results have been pretty interesting. I'm going to test my hypothesis a few more times before I share my findings with y'all though.

dude you are just doing awesome!!! I swear if you post your chad panther in the contest thread next month, I could see you winning! Cant wait to see your knees! Im living vicariously through you

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So - here's my dilemma.

My goal is "squid pants". And I honestly don't really care much what all goes into them. I have a (short) list of things that I don't want... but otherwise I care more about just having good looking work on me. I want "fancy" legs. That's it.

So how do I convey this to potential tattooers without sounding like a total flake? I worry that if I say "I don't care, do whatever you want, except for "x" things" they'll brush me off as someone who is in it just for some kind of status thing or something... which isn't the case at all. It's VERY personal to me. It's just that I'm not attached to any specific imagery.

I don't want to "overshare" with my tale of woe about why exactly I need fancy legs... but I don't want to get written off either...

Any advice?

What the heck are squid pants?

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What the heck are squid pants?

I couldn't stop laughing when I read this. It's funny how a term sticks. To answer your question in the best way I know how, I would say it's the equivalent of full sleeves, but below the waist. I never really paid attention to the official definition, but that is how I understand it.

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