Tattoo wasn't a mistake - the artist was! (But Patty at Think in Ink saved the day!)
I've wanted the same tattoo since I was fourteen...a single black band around my bicep, about an inch thick. I don't know why...before I took the plunge and got it done I tried to think of maybe a smaller design somewhere inconspicuous to test out the experience first, but couldn't think of anything else I wanted. Then people thought just a black band was boring when I told them about my plan to get tattooed, so I tried and tried to think of something more creative to get but this is what I wanted to have done and I couldn't think of anything else to get, so simple band it was.
Unfortunately there aren't any tattoo shop rating websites around, so I had to make do with randomly asking people what shop was best since we have several in our area...I liked the look of Defiance's shop the best (plus I'd heard some good things) so they were who I went with.
I walked in and only Ryan was available...I told him what I wanted, signed the papers, and he started the "design" (basically tracing a black band around my arm). This took FOREVER, and seemed to be especially difficult for him to do. I was quoted $100, and then we went upstairs. During the whole process, he barely spoke to me at all...I was a little nervous (this was my first tattoo) but he was clearly uninterested in any type of interaction whatsoever, so I just played on my cell phone the whole time. In the partition next to me, I heard another artist tattooing at the same time, and he and the guy he was tattooing were having a great time...talking, laughing, and this guy's work looked FANTASTIC. I was a little jealous and annoyed because whenever I hear about tattoo experiences that's always how they're described...a friendly tattooist making conversation while creating art. Mine was so clinical and cold that it really kind of ruined the experience for me. I hate small talk as much as the next guy, but when you're having needles dragged through what is basically your armpit (nerve connections-wise) for the first time, it would be nice to have an actual exchange every now and then.
After he had "finished", he asked me to look in the mirror to make sure it was right...it wasn't. It was wider in some areas and just generally sloppily done. I had to go back and sit down for him to "correct" it a few times, but after pointing out where it was (obviously) uneven and him saying he just didn't see it, and that no tattoo would be "perfect", I just decided to give it up. Downstairs he quoted me $20 more than we'd agreed on...I suspect because I was an "annoying" customer by having him do so many corrections.
Don't get me wrong - I loved this design and I was completely stoked to finally have it done. I've not regretted this tattoo for even one second...but I wish I'd gotten better recommendations than Defiance. As it healed, it was obvious just how truly sloppy and uneven it was...I went to a couple parlours (my cousin is heavily tattooed so I went with her to hers) and showed it to many tattoo "addicts" who all said the same thing - that it was uneven and looked sloppy. I think I could have even been OK with it (provided another artist in the shop would take over and correct it) if he had just made the effort, both in conversation and doing the most simple design out there, and not excuse laziness by saying "no tattoo is perfect" and pretending not to see how obviously off it was.
I ended up stopping at Think in Ink in Morgantown, West Virginia to get it fixed by Patty...needless to say, I will, without a doubt, be getting ALL my work done with her from now on. My experience there was the complete opposite of my initial experience...she was EXTREMELY friendly (I actually laughed a couple times during the sitting), obviously a professional in what she does, and the tattoo now looks GREAT. When she finished I looked in the mirror and saw the tattoo I'd been envisioning since I was fourteen...I was EXTREMELY impressed (and relieved!) that she was able to do this. I just happened to be driving through West Virginia on my way back to Ohio (from Virginia) and remembered seeing the shop last time I was at WVU, so I stopped by...some guy was a no show so she took me instead, and as we were talking I found out there was a 6 week waiting list. To have arrived in West Virginia and to stop at Think in Ink at the same time they had a no-show, and with a waiting list like that (absolutely understandable!), I DEFINITELY consider today my lucky day...THANK YOU PATTY!!!!!
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 24 April 2008