You Won't Tattoo Me?

October 15, 2017

This can be a tricky subject to write about as every person is vastly different, just like every tattoo is different and unique! However we feel it’s important to go over some of the more prominent reasons we will not tattoo a particular design or individual.

The main focus of this entry is to serve as a guide which we may refer you to have a look at if you’ve made a request for something we generally won’t tattoo. 


We would never try to infringe on anyone’s rights to do whatever-the-heck they want with their body and we definitely do not judge, but this goes both ways. As we would never tell anyone what to do/not to do with their own body in return we expect you to respect each artist’s decision to not tattoo any one for any reason they see fit.

 

AGE 
Are you too young for a tattoo?


New Zealand actually doesn’t have a lot of information on the legal requirement of age and tattoos. Officially a person can get pierced or tattooed at any age. 

Different cities and councils have different by-laws in place about the legal age a person is able to be tattooed without parental consent.

In Auckland we have a by-law which states any person under the age of 18 must have parental/guardian consent before they are able to get a tattoo.

 

In Auckland we have a by-law which states any person under the age of 18 must have parental/guardian consent before they are able to get a tattoo.

 

We will never tattoo anyone under the age of 16 and in general we do not tattoo anyone under the age of 18 as well. Tattoos are a big step and a big commitment, this doesn’t mean that the idea you have when you are young isn’t a good idea! It simply means that in most cases an extra few years can add a lot of perspective to a permanent life decision and your teen years are usually such a massively fluctuating part of life. 

We also love for others to be able to learn from our mistakes. So unsurprisingly all of us who work here have at least one tattoo that we got when we were younger which, being able to look back, wouldn’t have got or would’ve changed if we had just waited. This also saves you a lot of money on laser removal/cover ups later on.

 

We will never tattoo anyone under the age of 16

 

If you are between the ages of 16-18 and are 100% certain you want to be tattooed we will consider the request, but this is dependant on a very large number of factors. You and your guardian must come to a consultation appointment at the studio where we will go over our process and more in-depth into the reason(s) why we may ask you to wait a few years before getting your design booked in. 

 

If you would like to read more about Tattoo age in NZ please have a look at these links:
http://www.cab.org.nz/vat/gl/roi/pages/legalagesandid.aspx#4
http://www.youthlaw.co.nz/information/health-wellbeing/tattoos-and-piercings/

 

 

 

 

BODY PLACEMENT/TATTOO LOCATION


There are some areas of the body which we do not tattoo at all and others which we will only consider in very particular circumstances (but also generally do not tattoo).
These are:
Hands
Neck
Faces/Heads (including behind the ear)
Toes
This is for a few different reasons...

 

 

1. The first is the nature of the skin on different areas of the body. Places like your hands and your feet which are constantly shedding skin and being used do not hold ink very well. This means that while the tattoo might look great on the day, in as little as a few weeks, a lot of the ink can fall out. These areas of the body need constant touch ups and in some cases may never hold the ink completely. In the rare exception we do tattoo these areas we don’t offer any free touch ups because of the above reason. A lot of people do not fully understand what can happen to these areas in time and so do not have realistic expectations on the outcome of tattoos in these locations which in turn looks bad on us as artist and also the industry.

 

 

2. Another reason is the level of commitment required to place a design on an areas of your body which are un-coverable and ALWAYS seen. A lot of the time you will find artists are simple not comfortable tattooing faces and fingers because of this commitment. This can lead to unfortunate accusations and repercussions once the tattoo is completed and the client changes their mind or realises the major impact this can have in most aspects of their lives. 

 

While tattoos are becoming increasingly acceptable in society, you still see individuals being discriminated against EVERY DAY (click here to read an example of this). Obviously being in the industry we personally find this discrimination unacceptable but sadly there are still large groups of society who look down on tattoos and equate them to meaning a plethora of negative things. 

As tattoo artists we feel it’s our moral responsibility to consider all the potential repercussion that our work creates, and for us personally, this concluded in creating a general rule to not tattoo some areas of the body.

 

 

3. Lastly, and maybe most controversially, tattoos on some area of the body are reserved for when you have completed full sleeves/ have a lot of other tattoos/ are in the industry/is appropriate to your culture. Due to how some tattooist are taught they hold the belief that places like your hands/neck/face are the LAST areas of the body you save to be tattooed as back in the day these were areas which were ‘earned’. We were lucky enough to have learnt from some very knowledgeable artists and have respect for our craft and the artists which came before us. While we do this every day it is always important to remember the traditions behind tattooing and the many cultural associations to what we do. While this is normally not a main reason we have for refusing a tattoo we do ask that our clients keep this in mind.

 

You can find some great blog articles for a little more in-depth reading here, they also give a great explanation to the science of why tattoos on some areas simple don’t work:
https://www.tattoodo.com/a/2015/07/neck-tattoos-and-why-your-artist-won-t/
https://www.liveabout.com/why-many-tattoo-artists-refuse-to-tattoo-hands-feet-and-faces-3187122

 

 

 

 

 

White/Unusual Ink Tattoos

 

Tattoo trends come and go and one trend which has seem to stick around is that of white-only tattoos. These are created by using only white ink, and a prime example of how great a tattoo can look on the day and then completely different a few years later.

In all cases we would prefer to be honest with you rather than give you a tattoo we know has such a large potential to change in only a matter of weeks. In essence white tattoos do not heal well as there are too many variables (including that the person who has the tattoo shouldn’t have ANY sun exposure on that area of the body if they wish to keep that tattoo white).

Taking it down to a more scientific level, the pigment used in white ink is a lot larger than that of colours/black which means it simply isn’t suitable for line work and was created to be used as a highlight/fill colour. We know these types of tattoos don’t age well and, again, it’s sometimes a case of clients having unrealistic expectations about what is achievable.

 

 

Occasionally we get asked about uv/black light tattoos. To us these are a big NO. UV ink not tested or approved by any medical association and to actually create a glow under black light it needs to contain some level of phosphorous which can be toxic to humans depending on how it’s delivered. Until we KNOW for a fact this ink is safe and how it heals over time it’s not a risk we want to expose to our clients.

 

If you’d like to read more about white ink/UV tattoos here are some helpful blog posts:
https://www.bustle.com/articles/84956-white-ink-tattoos-can-fade-plus-4-other-problems-with-getting-the-seemingly-invisible-ink

https://www.allure.com/story/black-light-tattoo-safety

https://www.inkoffhawaii.com/tattoo-news/warning-these-tattoo-inks-may-be-hazardous-to-your-health

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOO SMALL

 

The more detail you want in a design the larger the tattoo will need to be in order to keep the design looking great in years to come. If we try to put too much detail into a small area it can make the tattoo look ‘messy’ and it will not age well as you run the risk of lines blurring together distorting the original text or image. One of the only indisputable facts of life is that we all age. As we age our skin loses it elasticity and becomes wrinkled and for us with tattoos, they also loose the finer details they once had. By going larger with a design you are, in a way, future proofing it. 

 

Size is especially important to consider if you want to get a script/quote tattoo and this will also depend on the font style you choose. Letter forms are something which need to retain their shape in order to be readable.

 

There is a physical limitation as to how small we can go too. The needles we use are created to be the optimum size to tattoo and while they are small, they are not able to do extremely tiny tattoos because of this size.

 

 

 

 

 

Copying/Inappropriate content

 

We will never copy a tattoo already drawn/tattooed by another artist. We explained why we do not do this in one of our previous blog posts.

 

“It's important to understand that each tattoo is an individual work of art that a tattooist has put their own hard work and time into crafting for someone else. It's not only insulting and extremely disrespectful to the original artist and client but it'll be practically impossible to find a well trained, professional, and ethical tattooist willing to copy another artist's work. 

 

It's still totally cool to bring in an inspirational picture you've found and have us work together on creating a special, original, piece just for you! In fact we encourage bringing in reference photos and pictures as it’s a way for the artist to visualise your ideas and get a multidimensional understanding of your design.” 

 

We will also never tattoo anything we deem as either racist, gang related, culturally appropriated, or extremely inappropriate and we ask that you be considerate with your requests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Booking Out of Hours

We give so much of ourselves to our job and when we are not tattooing we are drawing, researching and planning for our clients which is why we have set open hours to book in. From working the front desk and simply seeing how much all of the artists here give to their jobs, you see how exhausted they can get. We do work Saturdays to simply give people who work others days of the week a chance, and these are the days which get booked up the most far in advance.

 

We always try our best to find an appointment which works well for all of us and sometimes this may mean waiting longer for a weekend appointment. This doesn’t mean we won’t tattoo you, it just means either compromising with other commitments to get an earlier appointment or just waiting until a time that works for both you and the artist. 

 

 

 

 

PRICE

We do not compromise on our prices. Please do not ask us if we can do a design for cheaper or try to threaten us by saying you know elsewhere that will do it for such and such a price. This does not work, it just lets us know that you are not committed to the piece and it’s rather insulting to our craft. 

 

Tattoos are forever and we always suggest to get it done right the first time for a slightly higher price than compromise and have to either live with a tattoo you are unhappy with or spend more time and much more money with either laser removal or cover-ups.

 

Have a read of these great articles which explain why tattoos are priced the way they are

http://www.etchedaddictions.com/blog/why-do-tattoos-cost-so-much

http://masterpiecetattoos.com/en/why-are-tattoos-so-expensive/

 

 

I encourage questions on this post! If there is anything you would like clarification on, or something you don't quite understand please ask :) There's a bit of stigma in the tattoo community about providing open and honest information and we aim to change that by informing everyone as much as we can, as this enables you to get the best possible tattoo! <3 Rach

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