Ask the Tattooing Expert – James Denny



Because you have checked cleanliness, professionalism, portfolios, artistic ability, etc.

It’s time to work out your design with the artist.

Tattooing isn’t like the shows on TV where someone walks in and wants a full custom sleeve and then sits down in 30 minutes and then walks out in another 30 minutes with a great tattoo. Generally, first, a consultation with you to discuss your wants, desires and wishes.  If you have ideas, the more reference material that you can bring to illustrate your ideas, the better.  The way we look at things is, we are artists and you are hiring us to not only design you a great tattoo but to advise you to what looks good and what doesn’t.  If we are telling you something that you don’t want to hear, it’s only for your own good.

Some of my personal pet peeves are:

This way is up. A wrist tattoo that only has meaning for you that you want placed upside down so that the only time it is readable is when it is held in front of your nose. If you place a picture on forearm or continue with a sleeve it only stands out even more.

Mom Factor Reference. Just because Mom says it’s an amazing drawing, doesn’t  necessarily make it so. Poorly drawn pictures and reference make poor tattoos. Trust in a good artist to help tweak your design and ideas. We have seen the worst of mistakes, let us help you not make the same.

Hand, Face, Neck, Finger, Tattoos. Not too long ago, a reputable shop wouldn’t tattoo hands face or neck tattoos unless you were already heavily tattooed, around 70 percent covered. There were and are many reasons why not too. Aging, steadfastness, readability, perception / judgement are a few.

Trendy Pinterest Tattoos. I can’t really list all of these at the risk of offending a very, very, large amount of people. However we are currently sold out of those designs anyways.

Once your artist and you have worked out all of the details, we will need some time to draw your tattoo up.  Depending on the complexity or how busy they are, it can take a day or two or up to a couple of weeks.  The more you rush the artist, the lower quality you can end up with.

Listen to your artist. If you HAVE DONE YOUR RESEARCH, then you need to have faith in your artist’s abilities. We see the bad tattoos every day, the rushed choices and the Price shoppers bargain tattoos.

The good artist wants return clients, to do tattoos to be proud of, to have the client be positive advertising. Many artists will refuse to do tattoos that they believe will be substandard. It is our name that you will be advertising.

Find a good artist, be willing to work with that artist, and if you can’t get the idea / design there , keep looking.  Many good artists have no problem in directing clients towards artists that might serve them better.

Don’t be upset if a studio will refuse to do racist, misogynist, hate, or just plain stupid tattoos. I for one don’t want my name associated with that.

Good luck, if we can help, we are Ink Spot Tattoo. 780-830-3633. We are the Grande Prairie tattoo Experts®

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