10 Tattoo Commandments
Many, many millennia ago, long before Moses was bestowed those fabled stone tablets another decalogue was bequeathed to man from the Tattoo Gods instructing his children to the proper behavior, ethics and principles expected of his subjects. Lost for centuries these commandments were recently recovered and translated from the ancient vernacular of the “Tattooiant” people’s original transcriptions. Below I have posted the list of this divine decree of moral conduct. 1 Thou shalt take no drugs before me. It’s true, tattoos do hurt a little. Part of the right to wear a tattoo is earned by the pain endured acquiring them. While the use of alcohol or other drugs may dull the discomfort experienced during the process a little, it may also influence someones decision to get something they may regret later, or more importantly make the artist completely annoyed by the intoxicated antics of the recipient and rush their work to get the customer away from them as quickly as possible. 2 Thou shalt not bear false idol’s tattoos. Celebrities are often the subject of tabloid gossip, which actor couples are fighting, who’s bikini body didn’t make the grade this swimsuit season, which Olsen twin has herpes, what Jersey Shore cast member got a sick new tribal armband… Well, you get the point. You’re not the first person to envy the tattoos of a famous film star or musician. Don’t be the 3,897th person to ask me to duplicate Dwayne Johnson (The Rock)’s tattoo. 3Thou shalt not take the tattoo machines name in vain. Tattoos are not preformed with a “gun”. An artist doesn’t use weapons to create artwork on your body, he uses tools. These ink injecting instruments we use to apply artwork our clients fleshy canvas are called tattoo machines. Just as you wouldn’t call a painters brush a shiv, or a writers pen a dagger, it is commonly received as an insult to refer to a tattoo machine as a gun. 4 Honor thine artist’s sabbath. Remember your artist has days of rest too. Not everyone works 7 days a week so if you want to get a great tattoo from your favorite artist don’t be too impatient to wait a day or so until they return to work or have an available day in their schedule to make time for you. 5 Thou shalt honor thine tattooer. Occasionally I have customers who come in with a disrespectful attitude and the mistaken philosophy that it is my privilege to gift them with the talents I have acquired over many years of experience. I as do most tattooers, work very hard to give my patients a unique work of art they will continue to wear until they finally take rest in a pine box. If an artist is met with a poor temperament when discussing a design, hagglers or someone who scoffs at a price and shows them a badly executed tattoo they received in a kitchen somewhere, exclaiming how they “only paid $20” is very disparaging and will likely result in a less than inviting interest in helping you. If you treat your artist with respect and value the effort that it takes to coalesce art to skin you will undoubtedly get the best work your artist can provide you… and if they do a great job show them how much you appreciate it by tipping them accordingly. 6 Thou shalt not have thy tattoo murdered. Sometime people choose to try and save a few bucks by having a friend who purchased a cheap Chinese kit on eBay scratch a permanent mistake into their body. Keep in mind that these tattoo things have a reputation for hanging around for a couple months so saving a little extra cash to have a licensed professional tattoo you can also save you years of self loathing over that stained scar that remains as a lingering reminder of one nights bad decision. 7 Thou shall not plagiarize. Far too many people these days wander into a studio with phone in hand showing me some featured tattoo they’ve discovered on Pintrest this week. When you find some seemingly unique tattoo that’s trending on your favorite social media site consider everyone else across the globe just did too and that seemingly original idea suddenly became cliché overnight. 8 Thou shall not steal. This commandment somewhat applies to that of the 7th. If you find a picture of someone’s tattoo online through google image search or posted on a tattoo artist’s Facebook or website it is not copyright free clip-art for you to choose from. Most talented tattooers will draw custom artwork on an individual basis for each of his clients, and just as you would not want someone to steal a design tattooed on your body, neither do they. 9 Thou shall not bear false shit-talk. In this business I frequently hear customers discussing drama about other shops and their employees whom they do not know personally or anything about. I could care less what your friend’s cousin’s baby momma’ said they heard about the guy who works at that tattoo parlor on the corner of “Two Shits” and “I Don’t Give”. It is typically good practice to keep out the names of businesses and people you don’t have drama with unless you wish to be involved directly with the drama you’re gossiping about. 10 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors tattoo. Jealousy is never looked good on you. If you love your friends tattoo go out and find an artist who will do such a good job on yours that it will make your friend envious of your new ink!