If you've recently suffered the sad loss of a beloved family member, you may be considering ways to honor his or her memory, from planting a tree or flowering plant to purchasing an engraved brick for a local sidewalk. While a new tattoo may be a more offbeat type of memorial, many can find these tattoos comforting in their permanence. What should you consider when selecting an artist for your memorial tattoo? Read on for a few tips to help you select a tattoo artist who can memorialize your deceased relative in a tasteful, compassionate way.
Look at artists' past work
The internet has made it easier than ever to look at tattoo artists' portfolios online. Once you've begun your search and are able to access these portfolios or albums of past work, you'll be able to get an idea of the artist's style and general subject matter. Many artists tend to specialize in one type of art, from portraits to animals to intricate designs, and finding someone who has experience in the design you're seeking (from a portrait of your deceased relative's face to his or her birth date in script) will go a long way toward ensuring you're satisfied with the final product.
Consider size and placement
If you're planning a large or intricately detailed tattoo, it may take several sessions (or more) to achieve the look you'd like. When interviewing tattoo artists, you'll want to consider shop distance and scheduling matters; traveling hours away each time your artist can fit in a one- or two-hour session can become tedious, and if you're facing 12 or more hours in the chair before your piece is completed, you'll want someone who is willing to block out longer stretches of time to minimize the number of repeat visits you'll need to make.
Stop in for a short interview
Often, you won't know if you "click" with a tattoo artist without meeting him or her in person. Scheduling a short meet-and-greet with someone after you've reviewed his or her portfolio online can give you the final push you need to set a date for your first inking.
You'll also be able to discuss your tattoo ideas or desires with the tattoo artist during this initial meeting, letting you know you're making the right choice by selecting someone whose vision matches yours and who will be able to pick up on small details you may forget to mention.
If you have more questions, talk to shops like The Ink Lab.