Damo G and co at Empire Tattoos GC on the Gold Coast want you to have the best experience with your tattoo. So here are a few things to consider.
1. Know what you want.
Tattoo artists at Empire Tattoos GC are very talented, but they can’t figure out what you want permanently on your body without your help. Tattoos look cool and sometimes you just want one, but for their sake and yours, decide what you’re looking for before you make a consultation. It doesn’t have to be exact — Come in with a general theme so that they know what you want in the tattoo .
Don’t bring in a picture and expect your tattoo artist to copy it — instead look for things that inspire you. For my left arm sleeve, I brought in a floral-patterned vintage dress as representative of the kind of “spirit” I wanted the tattoo to have.
Look for prints or iconography you gravitate toward — That said, your tattoo doesn’t have to be deeply meaningful or have an epic backstory. It can just be something you think is pretty or cool looking. Once you’ve thought of the right design, you’ll hardly be able to wait to get your new tattoo. Don’t go until you’re FULLY ENTHUSED.
2. That said, be flexible.
While it’s important to come in with an idea of what you want, you shouldn’t come in with a RIGID idea of what you want. Some things look awesome on the page and not on the skin and your tattoo artist knows that because of their years of experience. If they tell you that you shouldn’t tattoo something in the specific size or colour scheme you want, listen to them, and figure out how to fix your design together. They are just trying to help you end up with something that looks as good as you want it to.
This is why it’s also important to have an artist you trust. If you don’t fully trust the artist you’re working with to give you a tattoo that looks great, get a new tattoo artist! Check out artist’s “books” online or in the shop and look for someone whose work speaks to you. This person is marking you for life and you should believe in their vision.
3. Don’t haggle about the price.
Good tattoos are expensive. Along with razors and toilet paper, they’re one of the few items in life you should never skimp on. Don’t argue, complain about the price, or go on about how much cheaper you could get the tattoo somewhere else. Your artist is putting a piece of custom art permanently on your body. It costs what it costs. If you can’t afford a good tattoo, don’t get a tattoo. IF your dodgy mate can do it cheaper please make a booking for 2 weeks later so we can at least consider doing a cover-up or repair job. WE DONT LIKE TO CLEAN UP OTHER SHIT TATTOOS but we can if parameters allow.
4. Be clean/smell good/eat/don’t be drunk.
You’ll be in ultra-close proximity to your tattoo artist for several hours. Take a shower. Brush your teeth. Don’t wear perfume or cologne that may irritate your tattoo artist. Prepare yourself for the physically demanding process of getting tattooed by eating. Don’t be drunk or be on drugs — most shops won’t tattoo you if you are, as it can fuck up your blood flow as well as your judgment.
5. Don’t bring an entourage.
Some shops allow you to bring a friend with you to your tattoo appointment, which is fine. Don’t bring your entire group of friends. It’s annoying and distracting. Some artists will just say NO and you need to respect that.