Updated: Jul 14, 2020
Understanding price differences, ease of scheduling, and availability!
When you are looking for an artist to do your tattoo, think of what kind of tattoo it is. Did you see it on the internet and want to get something similar? Maybe you just know what you want, but can't draw it yourself? Or maybe you know you want a tattoo, but don't feel tied to anything specifically? There are substantial time differences for all of them.
Custom tattoos require homework. That isn't a complaint, it's just a simple fact. We are not all in to the same things, or share personal experiences; there's no way of knowing exactly how you feel about the subject of your tattoo. Not all require the same amount of time, but that is time spent not even tattooing yet. The prices are higher for custom tattoos because of the effort we will put in to make your tattoo experience, the best experience. And if we do not feel that we can do that for you, we will send you to an artist that can.
For me, personally, I can't stand the thought of a half-assed tattoo. I want and sometimes need a full story. Once I was asked to do a full custom "Egyptian Gods" sleeve; I had pictures of his arms, and names of a few Gods/Goddesses he wanted to focus on- but the rest was up to me. I spent, at least, 4 collective hours researching history, interactions, and correct meanings. That's 4 hours, not tattooing and not even drawing. It was a wonderful experience because of how much I learned, and the clients willingness and understanding of the time and care going in to it.
Available designs are top priority, for all artists. I don't care what anyone says, we all know it. The reason is because that is 100% pure us- what we like and what we're good at. We know the history, where it will fit best on the body, and it is our own creation. They are easier to book because we know how much time and supplies we will need to accomplish them, and it is shows our strengths. Imagine asking Michael Jordan to play baseball while he was playing basketball; sure, he can do it- but you watch and admire him for basketball.
Now custom tattoos can be just as fun, and just as easy- if you seek an artist with a like-mind. It is a hard ask, especially when you value technical skill over everything. But if the artist is oil, and you are water- your tattoo will not come out as you'd hoped. I always wish for that to change, but we are human- we just don't get along with everyone, and that's OK! Most artists are very willing to help find an artist if they are not comfortable with your tattoo (or at least I hope so).
Please feel free to ask any questions related to this topic below!