Latest Tattoo News & Commentary

If you’ve been tattooing long enough you’ve probably had at least one jerk sneak out without paying their bill. Recently Al Avila, tattooing out of Sol Tribe on Broadway in Denver, CO, made the news by after Ari Chiaroscuro allegedly walked out of the shop without paying his $1,100 bill. Fortunately, they got a copy of Mr. Chiaroscuro’s picture ID and filed a police report, but could they have done more to avoid an episode like this in the first place?

How Long Does it Take to get a Tattoo?

The amount of time involved in getting a tattoo of course varies depending on the piece and artist. That being said, tattooing is a very time consuming process that shouldn’t be rushed. If you’ve ever walking into a tattoo shop you may have had a tattooist show you their portfolio and brag “Check out this full sleeve I did… I did it in one setting and it only took six hours to complete”.

Hey, good for you, but is that really a selling point you should get excited about as a tattooist? Do you really think the client is as excited about it as you are or are you mistaking the excited look on their face for polite horror? They are probably thinking, great, a bargain tattoo I can have done at the drive true window.

To be fair, if you are getting a piece of flash done and the tattooist who has done the design a hundred times before can knock it out in an hour or two, that’s wonderful so long as it looks like what’s on the wall. However, the angle of this article is meant to focus on custom tattooing, which can easily be argued is an art and not simply a trade. By and large the folks behind the needles of this type of work are true artists and take their work very seriously. It’s not something they would ever rush. Their work is as much a part of them as it’s about to be a part of you. The whole process not simply a service they are providing, but a bond they are making with a serious art collector.

It is not uncommon for a custom back piece to take well over 100 hours to complete. Maryanne Taouk recently wrote an article on tattoo artist Kian Forreal where he spent 180 hours on a traditional Japanese style back piece. This is definitely not uncommon for a color piece that size. In fact, a full sleeve or back piece done in black and gray should take absolutely no less than 30 hours to complete. If it take less than that you not getting a good deal, you’re getting a sloppy rushed piece.

If you don’t have the money to get a quality tattoo, then save up until you do. Trying to cut corners, by rushing your artist or going to the bargain tattooist next to the neighborhood crack house will only lead to huge disappointment in the end. This sort of impulsive move could lead to thousands of dollars spent on laser removal or a good cover up tattoo artist specialist or both. Detail, fine line work and smooth shading can’t be rushed. Let’s sum this article up with a classic tattoo meme, a picture really is worth a thousand words, especially in this case.