Saturday, January 24, 2009

Science Tattoos, Without Research

If you are planning on getting a tattoo, at the first inkling, you must be thinking about your artist. Who is going to put permanent ink into your skin? You should probably not run out to the first tattoo shop you find.

Maybe I'm biased because when Mrs. Shambles and I were planning our matching pieces, we dug in deep and found Marty Holcomb working out of Columbus, a brilliant artist who was only taking ink jobs by appointment (yes, I'll add a pic of the finished piece within 2 days - promise).

But when I caught this bit on Discover's website, my first thoughts were "Oh, no, you didn't."

mediocre tattoo

Take the time. Check out Discover's Science Tattoo Emporium. And please, please realize that just because you have a brilliant idea doesn't mean the artist knows what you want or can execute it well.

The bigger the piece, the more research you need to do, the more portfolios you need to view, and know that there is never a better time to say "um, no" than when you see the mock-up of what they are planning. Walk away. Better a pissed-off artist than thousands to remove something you look at a week later and think "WTF?"

Which comes back to the demonstrated art bit. Never let any tattoo artist tell you "everyone I've ever inked has been happy." Of course they're happy, initially. They just let you put permanent ink into their skin. If they admitted to themselves that they were not happy, they would have to admit that they had made a grave mistake, and in the ever-looming interest of self-preservation, I would guess that 99.999% of people who get tattoos, no matter how horrendous, initially claim happiness with the work.

Boil it down, now: Research. If you're a scientist, research more. Find the name of an artist, an actual person. View many, many portfolios. Get a good representation of what will be on your skin. Then - and only then - commit.

Rinse and repeat times the speed of light.

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