More tatoos designs for arms or legs: Monsters and zombies with a lot of colour on them.Be a good tattoo artist, Coloring, Tattoo designs | 1 Comment »
More tatoos designs for arms or legs: Monsters and zombies with a lot of colour on them.Be a good tattoo artist, Coloring, Tattoo designs | 1 Comment »
Along this line of thought is another form of policy called the “care sheet.” This is made up by you and handed to every customer after they receive a tattoo. Just you telling them about the after care and a big poster in front of the chair outlining the steps is not enough. (Which you ought to have anyway.) You must make up a sheet with each step printed on it explaining the care of a tattoo and the customer’s responsibility in taking care of it. This is important because the healing is critical in the quality of the tattoo and the health of the customer. Every precaution should be taken to ensure that they do this. An example of a Care Sheet can also be found in the end of the Chapter on Bandages. Study it carefully, and add anything else that you may feel is important. I certainly would not subtract from the information though. It is advisable to post a notice in a prominent area of the shop stating that you don’t tattoo people who are afflicted with sugar diabetes (they are prone to infection and heal poorly, or not at all). It also won’t hurt to include hemophiliacs on the same notice. Such a notice will provide you with some more legal protection.
Being in business for yourself has great benefits. One of these is that you are your own boss and you are responsible for making the money. In other words, you are writing your own check. But, just like an hourly wage, in the business world, time is money and time means money. You never want to be in a position where you are unnecessarily holding yourself up or finding yourself doing things twice. This costs you money or will keep you from making more money, and believe me, this is not professional.Business Practices | 1 Comment »
Another method to use is called the grid system pricing guide. This is where a grid is made up on a piece of paper or acetate in one inch square increments. The idea here is to cover the tattoo with the grid and see how many square inches it encompasses. You would charge by the square inch of tattoo space. You will have to determine what you want to charge per square inch. This can save you time, and if you decide on different prices, all you have to do is charge more or less per square inch instead of changing all the flash sheets.
These are just a few examples of pricing and it is probable that the tattooist will find a way of pricing that is both fair to the customer and profitable to himself. Always remember though, don’t be greedy.
Another aspect of tattooing which is linked to pricing is the possibility of drumming up more business. This is self-promotion, and there are endless ways to go about doing it. One way is, as soon as you open up a shop, call the local newspaper and try to get them to do a local story on you. A lot of people will read this that otherwise would not have any other way of knowing about your shop. Advertising yourself always helps and to place an advertisement for tattooing, promoting yourself, will really get you some business. An advertisement in any related type magazine is also good. Business cards are a must to hand out to people and it is a tradition to design them with clever drawings and original ideas. T-shirts, buttons and bandanas with your shop name log silk-screened on them are another way to go. They are like walking billboards, and the price to have them printed up is marginal compared to the business that you will get. Many tattooists photograph all the tattoos that they have done (while on the customer). When a collection of them starts to pile up, arrange them in books or on the walls and they become a great portfolio, showing what you are capable of doing. Proof of your work really puts the odds in your favor when a customer is undecided about actually getting a tattoo. Following these guidelines, it shouldn’t be hard to get more work, and a little imagination in promoting yourself, really adds up to more business. Tattooing advertises itself by word of mouth, and aside from the cost of business cards and some advertising in the yellow pages, they advertise themselves. You can sell the same tattoo over and over again, but to the customers, they’re always new.
When applying color to a tattoo, puddles of ink will get all over the skin, sometimes totally obscuring the outline. It’s not good to be in such a hurry as to not take the time to continually wipe the excess away. Tattoos are ruined by running the color over the outline. By continually wiping away all the excess color, strict attention can be paid to what one is doing and where one is going. When inspecting work in progress, the skin must be stretched tight (as if tattooing) so any mistakes will be readily picked up. If the color is solid when the skin is stretched, it will be solid when relaxed in a normal position.
If the area that is to be a solid color has skin showing through, (it is not solid, but is sketchy looking and has pockets of skin that aren’t colored) something must be done to correct this problem. The easiest solution is that the tattooing circles are not small enough. Make littler circles, cover a smaller area and slow down a bit. Another reason is that the needles are not in contact with the skin at all times. This means that in all the tattooing excitement, the machine is not kept steady and the needles are being lifted up off the skin in some areas. This doesn’t mean to press harder, but to just keep the needles in the skin. Let the machine sink the needles, you keep the machine in line. Another reason for open pockets in the coloring is that the color itself was not properly mixed. Be sure to shake the bottles of ink good before using. This will maintain an even color value within the bottle. Stick to the small flowing circles, letting the machine take care of the tattooing and good results will be obtained. When you come across tiny areas that can’t be done with a shader, use a three or five needle outliner.
For the coloring process, the needle tips should hang out of the tube end just so you can feel them and ought to extend out of the tube around 1/16 inch when the machine is running. This setting will keep the color flowing in but won’t really plow into the skin. Over zealous tattooers can get carried away and this machine setting is extra insurance against scarring and bleeding. Later on in your career, the setting can be changed to a longer stroke, but only when the feel of coloring is totally familiar and confidence is assured that you have everything under control.Coloring | No Comments »
Various kinds of lettering have always been an integral part of tattooing. Many customers want some type of lettering to enhance their tattoo and to make a definite statement.
Tattoo letters range from big bold capitals to small, and fancy letters, enclosed in a swirly banner or scroll. You can never be a good tattooist without mastering some form of lettering. Two common styles are block lettering and cursive or scripture writing.
If you cannot “letter well, you “had better practice on a regular basis. Lettering is a skill and you just can’t “draw” good letters. They must be naturally stroked out with smooth and flowing lines. Since few, if any, artists can readily letter right off, the only way to get consistently good letters to practice a fiitie every night.
When practicing lettering, be sure to use lined paper to keep the letters consistent and straight. The secret to good lettering is correct spacing, flow of line and evenness in height. Art stores carry many books on the subject and it is advised to pick-up a good copy with many examples in it and study them. Practice is the key here, and with a little time, good lettering will emerge.
One of the basic foundations of tattooing is the tattoo design. Without them, what is there to tattoo? A great bonus to tattooing is the endless amount of nice artwork out there to use as designs and this in itself is a sort of “job security.” Printed design sheets, made readily available by tattoo suppliers, are called “flash” in the tattoo trade.
The starting tattooist, or any tattooist for that matter, should have a vast store of these on display for the customers to choose from. Flash sheets are an excellent value for your money and are a quick way to stock up on designs that may take ten years to draw yourself. There are not that many great artists out there tattooing, and you don’t have to be a fantastic designer to be a great tattooist.
These sheets are drawn by designers for the tattooist to work from. They range from the traditional to the totally bizarre and you can find just about anything you like. For starters, at the end of each chapter in this book is a good tattoo design to use. A good selection of traditional designs is a must because this is what people expect and more often than not, are what will keep you busy. If you happen upon some particular design theme or style that suits you, you may even want to just specialize in that.
A common mistake in the field is that a tattooist who can draw feels that their shop won’t be respectable if they carry “store bought” flash and insist on hand drawing every design on their shop walls. Don’t fall into this category, because people have really different tastes and a good stock of all types of designs from all types of artists will ensure something for everybody. It is good business sense to have a variety. If someone wants a custom design for themselves, no problem.
Personalized tattoos are great for sales and the customer walks away with a “one-of-a-kind.” If you can’t draw it, ask them to bring the design in themselves, or have a local artist do it for you (tack on the extra price with the tattoo.) You can spend hours and hours on special designs for people who ordered them and might not ever return. So, if you’re smart, get a deposit when someone wants you to draw up something special. Charge them for the time spent drawing it up. If they don’t want to pay for that, tell them to find a design already made up and you’ll be happy to put it on them.
Designs for tattoos are found everywhere. You should be able to copy just about anything and transfer it to the client (consult Chapter on Stencils). If you look around, good designs can be found from many sources; books, photos, cards, brochures, wall paper, posters, comics, advertisements, television, magazines, etc. The size usually needs to be changed and often it will need to be modified for tattooing in some way. Not everything looks good on skin. So experiment a little and try to use an artistic eye when judging these matters.
If your autoclave has automatic features, it was probably pre-set at the factory for 250° F. Utilizing a screwdriver and the instruction manual, increase the temperature to 273° F, or call a rep if you care not to do it yourself.
Some people are afraid of the clave exploding. This cannot happen as it has a safety release valve in back or on top which, when overloaded, will release the steam from the chamber.
Some autoclaves work on the locking-lug principle, very similar to a cannon breech or ship’s door. You turn the wheel to the right and the lugs engage a groove about 1/2″ behind the outer face ring. Others work on a bolt-stud closure with hand gripping tighteners.
When the steam enters the inner chamber and reaches about 5 psi, a popping sound is heard. This safety feature is the inside face of the door, which is convex, being moved by internal pressure to the concave, whereby the clave cannot be accidentally opened while in cycle, (see figure 2). This will also occur when the cycle is complete and the pressure falls below 5 psi.
The inside face will “pop” back to convex and the door can be opened.
When an autoclave is used it should be checked against a known indicator, such as heat and pressure sensitive tape, Red Fox bags, and other such items available from your supplier. If a doubt exists about an item’s sterility, it is not sterile.Sterile Techniques | No Comments »
There is no problem tattooing a dark skinned person. Of course, the tattoo will not stand out as much as it does on white skin, especially if the person has real black skin. Contrary to belief, white ink is not the solution to tattooing black skin. Red and black tattoo ink will show up the best. Forget about using white, it doesn’t even look good under black skin. On Latins, Mexican or Oriental people, all tattoo colors will show up well. Some dark skinned people will hesitate in getting tattooed because they think it won’t show well on their skin. This is when you should do a bit of public relations work and assure them that the tattoo will look just great. Having a couple of photos of previous customers with dark skin showing their new tattoo will help convince the reluctant prospect. Another thing you should keep in mind is try to have a real dark skinned person get the tattoo on the inside of his forearm, they are usually a bit lighter in this area and the tattoo will stand out more vividly. Don’t forget if it is a profile tattoo, have it facing outboard on the inside of the arm and inboard if it is on the outside of the arm.
Skin | No Comments »
The first step is to sit down and organize your equipment in front of you. Use a good strong light and work on a flat and sturdy surface. Don’t rush through anything since these needle bars are basically your livelihood and entire bread and butter.
At this point, it is assumed that the tattooist has an intimate knowledge of using soldering equipment. This is not a chapter on how to solder, so a book on this subject should be read, and practice should be done on scraps of stainless steel or old needle bars to acquaint yourself with this process. When it is determined that you can handle your equipment with confidence, then and only then commence with practicing needle making.
Begin by soldering off the old needle groups from their respective bars. Do this over a garbage pail. Solder them off and let them drop into the pail never to be used again. Clean off all residue from the bars and set them aside. Line them all up, liners on one end of the table and shaders on the other end.
The next preliminary step is to choose your needles. In front of you is a small package containing 1000 stainless steel #12 sharps needles. They will not all be perfect. Up to twenty percent or more will be unusable as tattooing needles, but can be used as riders when making single needles. Remove a dozen needles from the package and lay them on a smooth surface. Extreme care should be used in making bars. These are very delicate, and caution should be used to make sure they stay perfect through the entire process. Go back to the last chapter and memorize the drawings on what bad needles look like when under the eye loupe. Inspect all the needles you have just pulled out of the package for such bad ones. Use a strong light, a good eye \oupe and take your time. Keep the good needles separate and on the bad needles, carefully file off the points With the file. Save these because they are going to be used when making single needle liner bars.
The first needle bar we will discuss making will be the three needle liner. You will need a needle jig for these needles. These jigs are the small metal ones with a little handle on them. They have a small shelf on the end with a hollow tube soldered on at right angles to the handle.
The actual needles that get soldered on the bars come in two types. Plain Steel needles and stainless steel needles. Stainless needles are better to use because you won’t have to worry about rust or pitting. Many tattooists use different makes of needles, but the industry standard is the #12 .014 sharps needle. This is what you will get from your supplier, already perfectly soldered onto the needle bars. You must make it a habit to constantly check the ends of the needles for perfection. Many things can happen to them. A vital part of your equipment is the eye loupe. They are like a microscope, but for just one eye. A high powered, high quality one is a wise investment and a definite must. They are used so you can always check the end of the needles for flaws. They must be checked right when you fírst receive them, right after you have sterilized them and while you are tattooing. A needle can get bad at any time. It doesn’t take much at all to spoil one.
Tattooing with a bad point results in: The ink not going in properly, excessive paín for the customer, skin damage and ripping, leaving scar tissue and a terrible tattoo. The needles you get from a supplier are usually perfect, but always check them anyway. They could get damaged in shipping, while sterilizing them or just careless handling in setting up the machine. They must be treated with extraordi-nary care at all times. If not, you will not last long as a tattooist. The causes of needle damage vary and can happen at any time. Rough handling while washing or sterilizing will do it also. They can get damaged while running the points into the bottom of the ink cap. Too tight a ñt of the shaders in the tube end will do it also. Be careful and check them often with the eye loupe. Pay attention to the tattooing. If the customer starts flinching or the lines come out wrong, stop and check your needles. Bad needles look like this as seen through the eye loupe.
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