Very much appreciated man. This is super helpful. I'm not sure how to go about it with an artist. My friend has quite a few and told me that it's important to listen to the artist.
I'm planning on getting a 3/4 sleeve on my left arm. I know some elements I want but I'm also a perfectionist, but I feel bad taking up people's time as well. So I don't want to spend an hour working out a design only to say well thanks and move on.
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Listening to the artist is a must. They know, or should know, how a design will translate from paper skin. That isn't to say let the artist have free reign, after all this will be on your body forever. Listening to your artist, in my mind anyways, is another way to let your artists strengths shine. My first tat the artist slightly changed the position (moved the tattoo up my sleeve and slightly onto my shoulder) and also changed some minor elements of the drawing I brought (adding shading, extra detail). These were changes I am really happy with now.
However, I had the opposite experience with the first artist I talked to. Showed him what I wanted and even put down a $60 deposit. The artist came back with a really different drawing that had this weird nautical theme and a wreath around my koi. I told him it wasn't really was looking for and, long story short, I only got half my money back and the guy never did do an original drawing for me. I saw nearly the same design he showed me, the wreath and nautical theme, show up on one of his clients arms 3 months later. He told me he added the stuff because it looked better, but really he was just being a lazy piece of shit and trying to reuse elements of a tat he was already working on on me. I was pretty disgusted, and refuse to let this guy touch my skin, despite his constant offerings (he is a semi friend and I see him at parties) of a huge discount.
As for the design make sure to check out potential artists portfolios in depth. You need to choose an artist that is good at the style you want. It is really helpful for the artist if you can say "hey i love the style you used on X piece". Big, high def photos can be a big help. If you are doing something completely custom then you really are going to have to sit down with someone and really get into it. All you can do is prep as much as you can by researching your artist and bringing examples.
Dayumm it's been a while, I'll be honest my love for MMA slowly faded for a while there. Sonnen and Diaz's titles shots just made the entire thing illegitimate for me for a bit, BUT I'M BACK!
Welcome back dude. Totally agree with those title shots hurting interest.
It's always national hangover day.
Sad, but true.