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Getting a Tattoo: An Artist's Perspective

t a little about myself; My name is Chris Long; I own and operate Fairborn Tattoo. I have had my own shop for 2 years. I worked for 5 years at Taylor's Tattoo.that was my 5-year gestation period. Both shops are pretty busy and I have done thousands of tattoos. As an artist I still have lots to learn (a process that will never end).

This is both a business and a passion for me. I love to

do tattoos and I make my living doing them.

As I talk to people in the shop I sometimes wish I could

get into their heads and make them see things from my perspective. Perhaps the best example of this is the NAME. Names as a tattoo are not always wrong but there are lots of reasons not to do it. Of course the name of a boy/girlfriend or significant other seems like a lasting tribute or commitment to that other person. However I have rarely done this type of tattoo on someone who didn't have some notion of the possible regrets one might encounter in the future.

Names tattooed upon your body won't make you or the other person any more committed to each other and it is not like a shirt that you can take off. Think about it. I have of course covered up many names, the names of ex-lovers as the new lover stands by tapping their foot, a persons own name as they tell me they are tired of telling people they are not gay or wondering, "how does that guy know my name?"

The person who is getting the name tattoo usually is

pretty sure that is what they want, if that is the case, so be it. On the other hand there is the customer who wants a tattoo, what is not the issue, where is not the issue, NOW is the issue.

I see this a lot, a person comes in and asks about some

type of design, I show them what I have or suggest that they look at the bookstore, library, cardshop, etc. The Now person will reply that "If I don't get it NOW I will never do it". My feeling is that that person SHOULD NOT get a tattoo with that attitude. Keep in mind that this is how I make my living, if this person wants to spend money in my shop, well this is my business and I am in business to make a living. As I stated though, this is also my passion. I have spoken to many people who don't like their tattoos, not because they don't like tattoos but because they are not happy with their choice of design. In the long run I want to do tattoos that will make a person happy and that I can be proud of. I am very hesitant to tattoo the person who initially asks about a dragon, finds that it will cost more than they want to spend and asks about a sun design then settle on a Taz holding a beer! Step back; think about it, search for what you want, save some money and get a tattoo you will be happy with!

That would make me happy also!

Chris A. Long Fairborn Tattoo 611 W. Xenia Dr. Fairborn, OH 45324 http://members.aol.com/catattoo/mw1/index.htm

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 June 1998
in Tattoos

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