SELF EXPRESSION THROUGH TATTOOS
Tattoo is an intimate art focused on self-expression and confidence.
What we place on our body symbolizes who we are. Tattoos summarize our life experiences by paying homage to moments, events, people or words that contribute to our individuality.
It’s only natural that a consumer select a tattoo artist whose attitude, style and specialization resonates with their personality, energy and creativity.
The tattoo business thrives heavily on word-of-mouth referrals. The precursor to getting a tattoo is the ubiquitous question, “Who did your tattoos?” or “Who do you recommend for script/images/sleeves?” We trust our tattooed counterparts to send us in the right direction. And most of the time, they probably will.
However, regardless of the strength of the referral, the artist who did your friend’s back art might not jive with you, or your request for elegant, spidery Edwardian script on your rib cage. Each artist has a unique specialization and any reputable professional will be honest with what they are comfortable with inking.
Before you select your artist, do your own homework.
There are some rules one should always follow prior to selecting the artist that will make indelible marks on his or her body:
❖ Examine different artists’ portfolios with a discerning eye. If you want a portrait, make sure the portfolio in question contains portraits! If there is not a single example of the type of work you seek, yet the artist assures you they can do it, be wary! You wouldn’t hire a lawyer who hadn’t passed the bar. You shouldn’t hire a tattoo artist who cannot produce proof of his or her visual credentials.
❖ Review the minute details of the artists’ work. Focus on attributes like shading, the preciseness of lines, the accuracy of the script. If the artists’ work seems rushed, haphazard or lazy, keep searching. A professional will pay close, painstaking attention to all details.
❖ The old adage states “cleanliness is next to godliness.” Thoroughly examine each shop you enter. Ask the staff to review their sanitation and health practices with you. A professional shop should be immaculate and express a positive energy while maintaining a sterile atmosphere. Do not settle for anything less than pristine conditions. A slovenly, dusty, cluttered or revolting shop is not the place you belong.
❖ Ask questions! If an artist is irritated by your curiosity, beware. Artists should answer all your questions coherently, thoughtfully and be direct and honest.
❖ Relationships matter. Consider the overall vibe you get from each artist you meet and interview. This person will be applying needles to your skin over the course of potentially many sessions. Be confident you’re selecting someone whose values and attitude you enjoy.
For more information on how to review an artist’s portfolio, check out this in-depth article featured in Tattoo Artist Magazine.
Our artists at Natural Body Works are skilled and adept at the following tattoo styles:
❖ Bold color;
❖ Black and grey;
❖ Feminine Designs.
We are located in beautiful historic downtown Vancouver, WA. We welcome you for a shop tour, portfolio reviews and to meet your prospective tattoo artist!