Luke Wessman's Do's and Don'ts for your Next Tattoo

By Jessica Paige - 
Luke Wessman's Do's and Don'ts for your Next Tattoo

From time to time we troll through the inter webs, in search of inspiration. In this weeks scroll through, we stumbled upon
Where the world famous tattooer has thrown together a culmination of his interests into one functional and frankly quite fashionable website. There was a post on his blog we particularly favored, covering tattoo shop Do's and Don'ts from the artists perspective. Our friend hit the nail on the head with this one, and we loved it so much we had to re-post. So keep these in mind on your next visit!
"The tattoo client has changed a lot over the last 10 years or so; back in the day when tattoo shops were more mysterious, clients were aware of their own ignorance. Now, due partially to television shows like “Best Ink” and “Inkmaster”, many clients have a false sense of discernment when it comes to the art and process of tattooing.
Don’t get me wrong – I believe the change in variety of clientele has been great for our industry – it’s exploding. People who in the past would never think of getting tattooed are regulars at their local tattoo shops and traveling far and wide to visit their favorite artists. In response to the vast emergence of new clientele, I thought I’d impart some dos and don’ts for your tattoo experience – some simple tips that come to mind..."
Research before getting tattooed
Do your research!
Pictures and reference material are helpful tools to align the vision for both artist and client. Make sure to show your artist any material up front – this will save time and keep you both on the same page.
Tattooed men
Don’t roll deep!
It’s not cool to bring a bunch of friends to watch. Most artist work better with less distractions and no one likes people lurking over their shoulders as their working.. (Some exceptions apply).
Luke Wessman
Sign painted by @larock1shot
Don’t bring your kids!
– unless a special arrangement with you artist has been made. Why? Tattoo shops are not child proof – shops maintain high sanitation standards, but careless little guys can get themselves into some mess if not thoroughly looked after. Also, loud children can cause serious distraction, disrupting concentration of both artists and other clientele. Lastly, some tattoo shops are full of R rated entertainment – profanity ridden story telling and naked flash art are all part of the experience.
sign painted by @larock1shot
Don’t try and haggle!
Your last tattoo cost $30? Any respectable artist will gag when they hear you bragging about how cheap your last tattoo was. Cheap tattoos are an insult to the serious tattoo community, to artists, and to yourself. In most respected tattoo shops, artists have spent years honing their craft and adding value to their work – cheap artwork and cheap artists are an insult to the industry. Besides, being cheap with a permanent decision is ridiculous. You wouldn’t try and negotiate the price of a fine dining experience that lasts a few hours….So why try and haggle a mark that lasts a lifetime?
Justin Markwardt, or JD, shaves many parts of his body including his private parts, his arms and parts of his legs, mostly where his tattoos are located. This is a story about men who shave their body hair. Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post
Do landscape!
It’s a good idea to have some foresight and shave the area you’re getting tattooed. Its never a problem to shave our clients but its a thoughtful move to do your own yard work – your artist will be impressed for sure!
Dude forehead tattoo
Don’t be an idiot!
If your artist gives you his professional opinion and it doesn’t agree with your preconceived pintrest notions, try to have an open mind. Filtered, photoshopped pictures are one thing, experience and expert opinion is another. Listen to the professional.
Article reposted with permission from Luke Wessman, also featured on
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