Educated clients are the best clients! To make the process of getting a tattoo smoother and more enjoyable for everyone, here are some common tattoo myths busted.

MYTH #1: Tattoo artists enjoy copying tattoos

Tattooers are artists, not copy machines.

They spend significant time completing apprenticeships, studying art techniques, and practicing with their machinery. While it might be possible to find an artist who will slap a Pinterest tattoo onto your skin for $50, it is more fulfilling for both the artist and client to receive art created directly by the artist.
If you’re not sure what tattoo you want, reviewing an artist’s flash sheets and available designs is a happy medium.

To clarify, reference images are always helpful. Bringing in a few different images from online, or even your own hand-drawn sketches can invite the artist into your vision for the piece. This is different than asking an artist to recreate another tattoo line by line.

Sometimes, you might see people soliciting online for sketches to bring to their tattoo artist because they believe this tattoo myth. While this can get you cool art drawn by friends and strangers, it might not translate well to a tattoo depending on the size, level of detail, body part, and other nearby tattoos. The best bet is to work with your artist directly.

Plus, this is included in the cost of a custom tattoo! Each artist has a unique style. When you start viewing tattooers as talented artists instead of copy machines, you increase the likelihood of getting an incredible result.

MYTH #2: Only certain body types should get tattooed

Tattoo shops should be welcoming safe places.

Prejudice and stereotypes greatly affect our society. Unfortunately, the tattoo industry is not immune. Sexism, ageism, ableism, racism, colorism, and fatphobia have all contributed to tattoo myths.

The good news is, that skilled artists (like the artists at Wolf and Shadow Tattoo Collective), can work collaboratively with any client to create a piece that works for their body. That’s right – any client. If you’re of legal age to get tattooed and are not a total jerk, we want to work with you.

Any artist worth your money is going to have a respectful direct conversation based on facts and professional experience when discussing your desired art. Be sure to find an artist that you trust so that you can follow their advice and vision. Depending on the situation, some adjustments might need to be made but that’s the beauty of custom art – it’s uniquely tailored to you!

MYTH #3: You should price haggle when getting a tattoo

Tattoo shops are not Used Car Lots.

We’ve all been there, counting the scratches on the bumper of an old Fiat hoping to knock a few dollars off the sticker price. Unfortunately, the same rules do not apply at a tattoo shop.

The lowest price usually does not reflect the highest quality art. This doesn’t mean you need to spend half a million dollars on a three-inch infinity symbol, but you should consider the expertise and time commitment tattooers put into each piece. It’s okay to let an artist know your budget beforehand with the understanding that it may put constraints on the size or complexity of the piece.

If you’re going to trust an artist to permanently ink your skin, hopefully, you can trust them to set a fair price. Remember that the cost of a tattoo includes the hours spent drawing and designing as well as the actual tattooing time. During the tattoo, your artist will be using costly materials including inks, tattoo machines, PPE, needles, and sterilizing products. Beyond that, your artist is paying booth rent or other overhead costs so that they can tattoo you in a sterile safe environment. We also can’t forget that they’re humans who need an income to survive.

On that note, it’s important to tip your artist. Just like you would tip hair stylists or waitresses, a tip of around 20% is suggested and always appreciated.

MYTH #4: Tattoos have to mean something

Sometimes, it’s just an avocado.

And that’s okay.

MYTH #5: Aftercare is just a suggestion, you know, like the speed limit

Following your artist’s aftercare instructions are vital.

Artists give aftercare instructions because they want to prioritize your health and safety, as well as the longevity of the tattoo. Tattooers put their passion into each piece and want it to be a vibrant accurate representation of their work.

Choosing to ignore aftercare instructions can be damaging to your health. If the healing process is not going as planned, reach out to your artist directly. Try this before going rogue and asking for the advice of your cousin who did a stick and poke once back in college. Your artist knows your specific situation best and is equipped to provide feedback.

What are you waiting for?

Thank you for taking the time to be more informed about the process of getting a tattoo and busting tattoo myths. As tattoos become more widely accepted and celebrated, misinformation and myths also circulate.

Now that these tattoo myths have been busted, it’s time to set up an appointment with one of our world-class artists.