I'm writing this primarily for people like me, who don't have much experience of tattooing and don't really know how to ask for what they want. Before I had my latest tattoo I spent ages reading through forums and blogs on the internet trying to make sure I wasn't going to make a fool out of myself by asking the wrong thing in a tattoo studio. I'm not sure if anyone else finds it as intimidating as I do? Maybe it's just me, but I'm very conscious of the fact that i look very conservative, and am totally unfamiliar with the whole culture of tattoos. Before I started talking to people about getting this tattoo done I had absolutely no idea of what to expect - how much it might cost, what I should ask the artist, what they might ask me, how far in advance I'd have to book etc etc.
I had been planning on having a quote tattooed on me for years, but didn't want it to be in a standard tattoo style font, I only recently realised it was possible to have it done in my own handwriting. Having done a bit of research on the net I saw some really beautiful handwriting tattoos and decided I was definitely going to get it done. My handwriting is quite distinctive and also quite small, so I wasn't entirely sure how it would work as a tattoo, but some of the other ones I'd seen were smaller than I wanted it so I figured it would probably work fine. Originally I thought about having it curling round my ankle bone and then over my foot, but the thought of having to wear tights or socks to work every day put me off (not allowed visible tattoos at work). I loved the idea of having the writing curving round something, so spent some time in front of my bathroom mirror with a biro trying various placements out!
I contacted a few studios to get a quote, and had some really different responses. The first studio (which shall remain anonymous) came highly recommended to me, I asked at reception for a quote, was told to go and ask one of the artists in the studio. The artist was halfway through working on someone elses tattoo - took a brief look at a rough outline I'd done in my notebook, asked me where I wanted it and said 'yeah book in at reception for 30 minutes, it'll be £30.' I wasn't really comfortable with the fact she hadn't really looked at it properly, so I decided to go away and think about it.
The next studio I took it to said it would cost £90 but the artist said I'd probably be better going to someone who specialised in fine line work. It hadn't occurred to me that it would be a particularly difficult tattoo to do so this concerned me a wee bit. I'm guessing the artist probably preferred doing big pieces and couldn't be bothered doing something that didn't fit in to her portfolio. By this point I started to feel like maybe I was asking the wrong questions or not going about things the right way - having not much experience of the whole 'tattoo etiquette' I was worried somehow getting things wrong.
After a trawl through the internet I came across the website for Modern Body Art in Birmingham - I sent my design in and then popped in to visit Gemma and see how much it would cost. Gemma spent a while talking to me about placement - I originally wanted it across my hip and stomach - and we decided it would be best going across my hip and back to avoid any distortion. Noone else had mentioned to me about this before and I'm really grateful that Gemma did or I could have ended up with a blurry mess on my tummy! Gemma was really friendly and professional, and I felt totally comfortable booking in with her for an hour the following week.
Well, my appointment was on Saturday morning (2 days ago) and I am sooooooo pleased with how it has turned out, Gemma was fab, really chatty and made me feel completely comfortable. In the end it only took 20 minutes, and didn't really hurt - felt more like a cat scratching, except when it went over my hip, when it felt like someone was trying to tickle me from the inside! It looks exactly like I pictured it, I couldn't have asked for a better result, and seems to be healing really well, there hasn't really been any redness or soreness. I can't stop looking at it in the mirror, it's brilliant.
In short - if you're ever in Birmingham check out Modern Body Art - all the staff seem fab, the studio's clean and comfortable, and I couldn't have asked for a more professional service...I'm already planning my next one!
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 13 Aug. 2008