For today’s blog, let talk about a customer we had. I shall call me Ben. Ben has the misfortune to suffer three times for his single tattoo. The reason I’m writing this blog is to inform tattoo enthusiasts about choosing a good artist, and, to remind those unscrupulous “tattooers” to cherish each and every single piece of “skin” that are presented to them as artistic canvas. Don’t try to earn a quick buck and destroy your client’s skin! They deserve to enjoy the whole process of getting a tattoo, and have something marvellous to show thereafter. Please don’t get into the mindset that you’re a factory churning out tattoos – don’t you want a good reputation to get them to come back for more quality work?
And…(drumroll) let the story begin…
Ben got his first ever tattoo in China. The artist and studio he visited were good and the price was fair. Two months later, he developed an allergic reaction on his skin, and worried, he consulted his artist way back in China. However, as he started panicking, he got anxious and visited a tattoo studio in Singapore with his concern. Unfortunately, he encountered an unscrupulous tattooist. What surprised me was that Ben did not get to see his potential artist’s portfolio.
My surprise turned into horror, when Ben asked what the little white spots appearing on his tattoo were, the tattooist claimed that it was the result of his original artist injecting “tissue fragments” into his skin while working on his tattoo! This guy is a true genius in concocting up tall tales.
But that did not turn on any red flags for Ben. Instead, he chose to trust this guy and entrusted his skin to him for a “corrective “procedure. The whole tattooing took about half an hour. Though it was fast, quality suffered tremendously – this tattooist managed to cause widespread bleeding of the ink on his tattoo, causing Ben’s skin to look like its permanently bruised. (Bleeding of ink in tattoos is a normal phenomenon caused by the skin’s metabolic system through time; anyone who ever had a tattoo would know this, so it won’t be discussed here further.)
Though when Ben finally realised this, it was already too late. As his tattoo was already touched up (and a bad one at that), he felt embarrassed to even return to his original artist in China for damage control. Fortunately, or thanks to fate, he found us.
I told him what I believed happened, and told him what he should realistically expect from my corrective actions on his current tattoo. Having fully understood what I had to say, I reworked on his tattoo all over again. While repairing the blown out edges of his tattoo, Ben said that it blew out only after the second touch-up. The whole process was tedious and, I’m sure all the more painful for him (this being his third time under the needle). The blow out areas of his tattoo were camouflaged with blue-tone graffiti styled watercolour splashes as a new background to help minimise the visual effect of the blow outs.
In retrospect, did he suffer because of his lack of proper tattoo knowledge? Over the course of interacting with him, I became agitated by the fact that there exist many such unscrupulous tattooists who lack the basic ethics of being a human being. After wreaking havoc on other’s skin, the ethical artists, are left to do the dirty job of cleaning up the mess they made. So, please don’t ever be the next Ben.
Since we’ve talked so much, I’ll add in another short opinion about fingers tattoo. Before embarking on one, I besiege you to do your research first about how it’ll look like after its healed. Over the years, I’ve rejected many individual requests for getting fingers tattoo. Many of them had thought that I don’t do it because I’m not good enough and ended up getting their skin ruined by someone like Ben’s tattooist. Google the results of finger tattoos fading. Or look through past articles I’ve written about this if you’re unsure. I’m not going to repeat all of them again.
Here’s a tip in finding a good artist: if an artist willingly does a finger tattoo for you without even bothering to explain the consequences to you…leave immediately! A caveat: if you’re getting your whole hand tattooed, then there’s no need to worry about fading, since the visual impact is of the whole tattooed area and not just a single point on the finger. As for me, I rather risk losing a customer, rather than doing a job that’s against my better conscience just to earn a few quick bucks.
If you’ve seen my work, you’d seen a fair number of fingers tattoo that I’ve done. You’ll also noticed that most of them are in colour. Before I inked them, they have been fully briefed and are fully aware of the potential fading effect of fingers tattoo (hence, in colours the fading won’t be as obvious as stark black tattoos).
What you also don’t see is how many customers I’ve already turned away many customers who could not accept my suggestion for a better looking tattoo. When you look at any photos of tattoos online, remember there’s a thing called PhotoShop. These photos are enhanced or taken immediately after a finger tattoo is done. Ask anyone with a finger tattoo, see if anyone has a healed tattoo that looks like those you see online.
Thanks for reading!
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