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BrookR70

Hello from Idaho

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Hello everyone,

I'm glad I found a place for people people really into traditional American style tattooing. My father was in WWII and was covered in traditional tattoos. I've resisted getting lots of tattoos, but now I think I've been bitten by the bug. I'm 43 and got a dolphin tattooed on my hip 20 years ago when I was in the Navy. One month ago (the anniversary of my father's death), I decided to get a remembrance tattoo of my mom and dad. My wife doesn't like it, but I'm so happy I got it.

I got it from a guy (legit...been at it 30 years) that I met while getting a haircut. I've since been researching artists in the Boise area. I'm planning on getting a second piece done between my shoulder blades. I would like it to be of a parrot perched on an anchor on the beach with a palm tree in the background. My trouble is, I can't decide who to go to. There are very technically sound tattooers in the area. They all have steady hands and their tattoos look nice. However, the guy that I went to get my remembrance piece is not as steady. His lines are imperfect, but at the same time, his tattoos have lots of character and are filled with detail. They almost look like they are moving.

I suppose this is a sign that I should spend some more time thinking about my next piece, but I wanted to get opinions from people who live/breathe American Traditional tattoos. Thoughts on who I should go to?

Thanks

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Great story. I'm familiar with the feeling of realising that years of resisting tattoos was ultimately unnecessary!

It's been a great feeling to 'give in' to the temptation. Now I just have to scrape together the coin to get my next one!

I love the one you've got. And I feel like maybe having character in an artist's work is a tiny bit more important than technical skill (incendiary comment..?), because it has a more old school feel to it.

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Thanks for the replies.

Yeah...I think I'm leaning towards the character side even if it comes with a few flaws. I will try to not incorporate any challenging designs into my tattoo like a compass rose or stars. For some reason, stars and compass roses are very difficult to do well.

I'm going to check out two places today and then make a decision on the artist this week.

- - - Updated - - -

Here are two versions of my idea...basically the same, but with different emphasis on the palm tree and parrot. I think because the pics are so similar, I will just let the artist work his/her magic. I would like some border embellishments, but am open to what the artist can/will do.

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It's always good to bring reference material, but once you've grazed a bit on this site you'll notice pretty much all agree that you should 1st find an artist whose style and work you love, and then let them do the layout and design utilizing the elements you've brought to the table. You'll end up with a much more professional and visually appealing result in the end.

The tricky part is making sure you've got the right artist . . .

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I went out today and browsed a tattoo shop. I found an artist that blew me away so I booked a consultation with him. I believe he's a photo realism artist that started doing more traditional work. The results, from what I saw in his portfolio, is a traditional style tattoo but with very nice shading and depth. His pinup girls seem to pop off the skin, so I'm very excited to see what he can do with the depth of field in my tattoo. I'm not married to the layout, but I do have a few requirements.

I used to create ads for customers, so I understand the negotiation that goes into a design...customer requirements vs. artistic freedom.

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