Words of Tattoo Wisdom (from the ones who know best)
Our Community Shares the Best Tattoo Advice They’ve Ever Received
Tattooing is an art form that requires a lifetime commitment to learning and improving. To help those on this journey, we reached out to our community of tattoo artists and enthusiasts and asked them to share the best advice they've ever received. We were blown away by the responses, ranging from profound insights to hilariously practical tips.
In fact, when we bring it down to the numbers, we were able to pull out some common themes amongst their advice which we found to be very interesting. For all our visual learners out there, checkout the pie chart below for the break down:
Otherwise, without further ado, here are some of the most valuable pieces of advice for anyone in the tattoo industry.
One thing that everyone agreed on was the importance of taking your time; "Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast." Almost 20% of the advice shared related to slowing down in your work to get the best results. Taking a breather, not rushing, and taking time to consider the client and the design were all related to this theme. One artist even admitted, "If you think you've slowed down, slow down more!".
Another common piece of advice bestowed from almost a quarter of our survey takers was to stay humble and keep learning. No matter how good you are, there's always room for improvement. "The day you think you know it all is the day it all goes to sh*t." Ouch, but true. So, stay humble and always be open to learning from others. After all, there's always something new to learn in the ever-evolving tattoo industry.
Aside from taking your time and staying humble, our community had a few more words of wisdom to share. Here are some of our favourite tips:
- Find good people to work with, no one wants to work with a jerk.
- Take care of your body. Don't sacrifice your health, drink water, stretch, and remember to eat.
- Pay for good quality equipment, you’re better off having a small amount of gear you can trust every time rather than buying a heap of cheap stuff.
- Be true to yourself. Don't try to be someone you're not just to fit in. Embrace your unique style and let it shine in your work.
- Don't say you are a tattoo artist at the bar, you will never hear the end of it.
- Don’t stress because you will never make a mistake on a tattoo if you have a creative mind.
- Remember, it may just be another day of tattooing for you but it's always a special occasion for that person getting tattooed. Tattoo everyday knowing how special it is for someone.
When it comes to treating your clients, it's important to bring your A-game. After all, these are the walking canvases of your work. One artist put it best when they said, "Pretend every client is a reflection of yourself - care about their tattoo (design, placement, and experience) as if it was you on the receiving end." So, take pride in your work and treat every client as if they were your own personal masterpiece.
Last but not least, believing in yourself, practising daily, and having fun is vital in tattooing. As one community member wisely said, "Practice makes progress." The tattoo industry is constantly changing, and it's crucial to keep learning, improving, and most importantly, enjoying the journey.
Well, there you have it, top tattoo advice from our beloved community! Take your sweet time, leave the ego behind, find some good peeps to work with, treat your clients like they're your own reflection, and keep practising.
We couldn’t make space for every piece of wisdom left upon us, so we thought we’d leave some further nuggets here for you to peruse at your leisure.
“You're only as good as your last tattoo”
“Always line your tattoos like your hand is dancing, linework has a rhythm”
“Don't get too comfortable sitting down, make it a point of being comfortable in uncomfortable positions (stand up)”
“If in doubt leave it out”
“Eyebrows are sisters not twins”
“A poor setup will result in a poor tattoo no matter how good you are”
“It is not about how good at tattooing you are but about how good you are as a person”
“if you have the space always go bigger”
“Persistence and endurance pays off. Then draw some more”
“Pretty basic but scheduling 2 hours to practice every single day”
“Don’t let drunks get tattoos”
“Time is expensive. Don’t undervalue your time”
“Every client deserves your best work”