Many tattoo artists decide at a certain point in their career that they want to see more of the world than just the 4 walls of their tattoo shop. The luxury that a tattoo artist has, is that they don’t need much to tattoo in every shop in the world. In this way they can continue to fulfill their passion, get to know new people, get to know new cities, earn money and continue their trip with the money they have earned. They then search for one or more shops in the region they are planning to visiting.
If you are considering having a tattoo done by a guest artist, there are of course some things that you should keep in mind.
Check out the style
A guest artist will seldom or never do tattoos which aren’t in their own style. As with tattoo conventions, guest artists consider such guesting periods as an opportunity to exhibit their style to the world. So it’s very advisable to take some time before you start mailing the artist to check out his style. Is this really what you want or do you expect having to make adjustments?
Since guest artists often have enough demand due to the short period that they are present in a shop, it is also possible that they will only draw designs once, expecting that you have looked at their style in advance. If they feel that an infinite discussion about the design will erupt, it is possible that they will eventually choose another customer who was on their waiting list with a more pleasant project.
So don’t waste the artist’s time and prevent that you will end up disappointed without a tattoo by inspecting his style carefully.
Prepare everything in advance
Guest artists are only present for a limited time in a shop. Especially if the artist has some good or well-known reputation, he will probably already be fully booked before he has even arrived the first day in the shop. A face-to-face conversation about your design is will be unlikely to occur. Send an email in advance with a detailed description of your idea is therefore a must. The more accurately you describe your idea, including the placement and size, the more likely it will be that everything will be arranged quickly and the more likely it will be that you will get an appointment.
Not all projects are possible
Unless your artist works extremely fast or you want to be tattooed several days in a row, it is often not possible to realize large projects by a guest artist. The period that the tattoo needs to heal between different sessions will almost certainly be too long to allow this to be finished by the guest artist. If you are not sure whether a project is doable, you can always send an e-mail to the artist, but remain realistic. Do not insist if the artist says that this will not work and do not overestimate yourself. Getting tattooed for several days in a row is not something many can do.
Check out the price
Guest artists are almost always coming from other countries, which also means that they have different habits and often different price classes for tattoos. Although the price should not be a standard for a tattoo, it is best to check this in advance with the artist. That way you will not end up in unexpected scenarios.
In many countries it is also a habit to tip the artist. It will always be highly appreciated if this is taken into account.
Keep the language barrier in mind
Many guest artists aren’t speaking English very well. Since communication via mail is often easier compared to face-to-face communication, it’s better and easier to have discussed everything beforehand. The more the guest artist knows in advance about your expectations, the elaboration of your idea, the size, the placement and possibly how much space there is left between your other tattoos, the easier it will be to avoid miscommunications and uncomfortable situations the day itself.