Stepping into a tattoo studio can be quiet intimidating if you don’t know a lot about the art form or the artists. However for a majority, a concept or design comes secondary, you would be surprised. A lot of people who walk in to get a tattoo do so in a rebellious mind set, some just want to make a statement and some, well… some just want to get tattooed because they think it makes them feel socially elevated.
I have always believed a tattoo artist needs to play a great role in guiding a client to what is possible and what isn’t. To start off with, if someone is getting inked for the first time, it’s normal for them to want something small (just to try out, what if they don’t like it), but they might also want the entire universe symbolising everything from their past, present and future, all to be fit in a whooping 2 inches.
It takes patience dealing with a good consultation, a lot of artists feel it’s a waste of time to be investing in a person who is (window shopping). However, I feel if u can’t get someone’s mind working to what is possible with a tattoo and what isn’t, you have not done your part in changing that person’s thought process about the art.
I was once sitting around a friend’s shop waiting for him to come back from the wash room when through the glass entrance I could see a young Sikh man walking towards the studio and all I could think about was khanda khanda khanda. So, the young man walked in, started a conversation. I said Sir, are you looking to get a tattoo done? He responded by saying, “I am a Sardar, so I will get a Khanda” and giggled nervously. I responded by telling him that just because you are sardar does not mean you need to get a Khanda. He was taken aback by my response, and said, “Oh, really… what else can I get done?”
I inquired with him as to what he likes to do; what makes him happy. He immediately replied saying he likes to party. Before I could respond, he also mentioned he likes to take solitary drives. So I asked him if he is looking to get his tattoo done for a particular size and if he has a budget for the tattoo in mind. He responded by saying that he does not have a budget as such and that he will be okay with any size that works. In my mind, I was all ready for my response. I smiled and informed him why don’t we think of a concept where you get a rear view mirror of a car where a likeness of your eyes could be looking back at a silhouette of people dancing and if you like you can also have a pendant of a khanda hanging from the rear view mirror. It took him a minute to register all the information I was giving him and he responded by saying he loves it and tears started dripping from his eyes. He asked me if this was possible, and I told him ‘Yes, Of course!’ He was so enthusiastic and emotional about the concept that he took down the artist’s number and the rest is history.
Now, in reality, that person might or might not have gotten the tattoo but my aim at that time was to open his mind as to what is possible through the art of tattooing. I believe that every artist should show that sort of enthusiasm while giving consultations so as to give your client an insight into the world of tattooing. Because you never know a small investment in time may turn out to be an exquisite piece of art.