a1steaks

Do you track hours?

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I'm rapidly approaching the point where I will be completely covered with a bodysuit. The first thing many people ask me is how long it took to get this kind of coverage. I honestly have no idea as I've never kept track of the hours I've spent getting tattooed.

Do you keep track?

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I'm tracking hours on my back piece. It's pretty easy because each session ties pretty nicely to each of the elements he's adding, like 6 hours for the clownfish/anemone, 3 hours for the sea snake & coral, etc. I'm type A enough to want to know hours at the very end. However, I do NOT want to know how much I paid! (Resisting urge to do the math...)

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i usually mentally track the hours of the bigger multi session piece i'm currently working on but then i forget when i start a new piece. all i can tell you about the one shot pieces is each one was about 1.5 to 2.5 hours (i think).

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Yes, in fact I am a giant nerd and I do haha!

I've been keeping a spreadsheet for 11 years.

So I have all my stats of my tattoo collection.

Each tattoo is assigned a number to track the sequence my collection. I track each piece by hours, # of sessions, the hourly rate and cost along with start and end dates.

For me this spreadsheet has been an interesting tool, I can compare the costs and time of my various tattoos. I can see who has given me the most add-value, bang for buck over the years although I am satisfied with the quality of all the work I wear, no regrets. Tracking also has helped me come to understand the process of tattooing better and gives me a clearer picture of hours/money to budget for upcoming projects, accurately.

I've gone so far where from the stats I can determine the percentage of my collection that has been made by each tattooist and how much time and money I've spent at various shops. I am well-aware how much money I've spent overall for my decade worth of tattoos but that is never something I disclose.

But most of all, it's just a fun data set I can play around with. I like knowing all the stats and facts on my collection, for myself.

I also have collected the majority of my line drawings and/or stencils. I'll probably put together a book of my collection and stats for my family once I'm old and even more boring!

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I count by the amount of tolls I pay for travel. Just kidding. I can tally it up if I were really pressed to do so, but after the first 30 on my back, I'm not too concerned anymore.

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I've long since lost track of how many hours I've had to sit or lay on a table. I don't think I want to remember or get into it with just anyone even if I did. It just leads to calculating costs which isn't the point of a tattoo.

Talking amongst LST is cool though cuz in the end we'd all just laugh it off and say, "Totally would do it again. Totally worth every cent".

"Totally" (Yes, I was born in LA)

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I've long since lost track of how many hours I've had to sit or lay on a table. I don't think I want to remember or get into it with just anyone even if I did. It just leads to calculating costs which isn't the point of a tattoo.

Once my sleeve started to look like a sleeve, I was so stoked and stopped caring about tracking time/cost.

Although I haven't put in nearly as much time as a lot of you guys/girls!

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The one thing I avoid is thinking about costs. I'm math handicapped anyway. Any estimate I have vis a vis cost would be way off. Haha but I DO know how many hours I've put into the big piece. I've never added up total hours of any of the other pieces but know about how long each single piece took. Again. Too much math.

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Some of the LST posters here are bang-on, it is so others can calculate the money you have spent. In my experience it's either because they are genuinely curious and want to see if heavy coverage is a goal attainable for themselves OR to validate their own holier-than-thou opinion that you are a fool for 'wasting' your money on something which they view as silly and frivolous.

What you see, it took me 10 years of steady progress to get covered in tattoos like this. It shocks most - if you think about a 3hr tattoo vs 200hrs coverage - because I think the average person has a misconception about the time/pain we all here invest...time to manifest the ideas, time coordinating appointments, time to travel, time to research and plan, time to make money and time off work, time applying stencils and placement, time actually under the machine (which is what is only really counted), time to heal, time to develop our relationships with our tattooers, time for the tattoo to age and wear (which is frankly when it looks the best), time for the tattoo to take on a life of it's own as we wear it through our lives. And we can't forget the time to wash/rinse/repeat! When the goal becomes heavy coverage we aren't talking about hours invested anymore, we are talking about years committed. Then a tattoo isn't just a tattoo, tattoo becomes life :)

Tattoo coverage doesn't happen over night. Which is why tattoo to me is a visual representation of commitment, loyalty and dedication, which are values that I think are very important.

So I tells em,

"So, like, how long did that take bro"

"A long fucking time man"

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tattoo to me is a visual representation of commitment, loyalty and dedication, which are values that I think are very important."

That entire post @bongsau is bang on.

Although this quoted text I very much had to highlight. That's exactly what it means. This is what the GP don't understand. This is what I love about this place, is what I love about hanging with my heavily tattooed brothers and sisters, we're on the same plane.

The other element which ties into this obviously is the pain. As we've mentioned, learn to channel the pain, we can learn to manage any diversity. Channeling that physical pain through that commitment makes me stronger in mind, helps me rationalise and problem solve life's complexities ...if that shit makes sense.

Thanks for a refreshing post. I can feel a good, long ride ahead of me today with my heavily tattooed brother.

3 pints of lager & a packet of crisps please

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@bongsau's post is so nerdy, I love it.

Only 4 tattoos in but I find it hard to keep track of time spent actually being tattooed, since sometimes it can be really stop-and-start. Like, do you turn off the mental stopwatch every time you pause to talk about something? I find it really easy to lose track of time in a shop, anyway. You just surrender to the fact that you're on someone else's time.

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Me and @Pugilist had a running competition for a while about who had the most hours under the needle. I've since lost track of how many hours I've been tattooed for, but the answer is "a lot of hours". I have no idea how much money I've spent on tattoos, nor do I care to know because I'm sure if you gave me the sum of money I've spent on them...without even talking about cost of travel and hotels, time off work, etc...I'd be stunned and perplexed how I even came up with that kind of money. People wanting to know hours so they can roughly calculate how much you've spent is weird anyway, because it isn't about money, and anybody who cares about the cost of tattoos, especially heavy coverage, is never going to get tattooed like that because it's not like getting tattooed like this is something that comes from a rational decision-making place. You don't sit down with a personal or household budget and see that you can fit a bodysuit in there. It comes from a more primal place, it's closer to a need than a want. That's where the tattoo magic is.

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