Our “how to” guides are meant to help you narrow in on the right kind of information, so you aren’t surfing the web for hours only to find the wrong kind of advice!

You’ll Need A Consultation

The best way to communicate your ideas to your artist is by meeting with them face to face. Emails can be easy to over look or can be misinterpreted, and phone calls interrupt the artist’s day. If you’re there in person, you can talk through your vision with your artist. They’ll be able to give you their pointers, maybe take measurements of the area you want the tattoo on, and they will take any references you have. It makes the creative process easier by being there face to face.

Bring References & Be Open

Find out which way your artist prefers to have references given to them, be it in an email or in person. Make sure you have them ready to go, and don’t show up to your consultation with no ideas. It’s also best to keep an open mind, because what you have pictured might not exactly work. The placement might be off, and things can look weird or squished on certain parts of the body. They’ll be able to recommend the best area for your tattoo. It’s okay to vocalize your thoughts; you won’t hurt their feelings, but be respectful.

Aaron drawing a piece for a client (Elk Grove location)

Remember: It’s Custom

You’re asking your artist to create something totally custom and just for you, so don’t bring in something off Instagram and ask them to duplicate it. You can give that to them as a reference, but don’t expect them to copy it exactly. If you’re ripping off another artist’s work, then it’s no longer a custom piece.

Know Your Artist

Make sure you know your artist’s style before coming to them with your ideas! You don’t want to bring a black and grey realism piece to an artist who does new school color tattoos. Not to say that that artist wouldn’t be able to handle it, but you want to make sure what you’re asking for is something that the artist is capable of doing.

Time Is Money

You’re asking for someone to take time and create something custom, which means they’re taking time from their day to create that for you. Don’t be cheap! When it comes to tattoos, you definitely get what you pay for! You should be prepared to spend for the original piece, so save up and be patient.

Keep in mind that getting a unique tattoo is a process. This is something that no one else has, so that means it takes time and money! Make sure you’re up for the task! If you are, you’ll come out with a stunning piece!

Custom piece done by Elk (Lodi location)

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