We chatted to tattoo artist Alex Muller of the Body Architects. Here are her top tips for first-timers, and a thing or two every tattoo lover could learn.
1. Know Thy Artist
‘It’s important to research the tattoo studio and artist you pick to create your tattoo – look at the work coming out of the studio. Educate yourself.’
Depending on the artwork you have in mind, you can go further and choose an artist based on the style or method that they specialize in. Alex does machine free (or hand-poke) tattoos. ‘It’s a beautiful way to get tattooed! It offers a different experience to getting tattooed by a machine as well as a different aesthetic.’
2. Decisions, Decisions
‘When you come to a decision and meet with the artist, it really helps to know what you’re wanting.’
Not really sure? Your artist can help you conceptualize a piece for a completely unique tattoo. ‘Have an idea – a foundation to work with – so that your artist can take that and create something’, Alex says.
Deciding on something that is permanent can seem overwhelming. If you know what you want, remember that it might not always be practical and be open to discussing different designs or adjustments if need be. ‘It’s important to trust the artist. This is what they do on a daily basis and they know what is and isn’t possible. The more freedom you give your artist, the better! It’s a relationship based on full trust.’
3. Do You Boo
‘Don’t let your friends or family influence what you want. It’s your body. It’s your tattoo. It’s your choice, so do what you want!’
Likewise, if you have doubts about a piece, you can put it on hold- it’s not now or never! If you feel good about it, go for it.
4. Do I Tip?
Alex has been asked about tipping the artist from many clients – ‘it’s not expected but it’s definitely appreciated’, Alex says. ‘The artists put in hours of effort and tattooing is not an easy craft. If you’re feeling stoked and generous, tipping is great! Whether it’s a bottle whiskey or some extra bucks ..do it, it’s kiff.’
5. Will it Hurt?
Short answer: Alex and I agreed the honest truth is that a tattoo is always painful but nothing to fear. If you love the artwork, the pain is only temporary, but the result is a beautiful piece that lasts a lifetime.
Words: Zoya Pon
Feature Image: Instagram @weskuswolf