Darren: Sides and Stomachs

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Q and A

A good clear vision of what the client wants. If you come in with a generic idea it’ll mean more prep time and possibly a tattoo you’re not as happy with.

A 12 out of 10. Expect and prepare for the worst and it’ll be easier on you since you’ll be better prepared.

It’s different for every individual Places close to bone or around muscle attachments seem to be generally more painful than others though.

Nope. Not at all. I like having them, just don’t like getting them.

I think he’s magical. Him and his magical hair.

It was an eagle on my upper arm.

Spiderman. It was a long time ago when I was about 18. I swapped a blown out motorcycle for some tattooing equipment and did my first one on the guy right there.

Yeah. I hadn’t even thought about tattooing before that. I’d been artistic most of my life, but having access to the equipment drove me in that direction.

Back in ’98 I started apprenticing at 505 off of Navy Blvd. After Ivan destroyed the shop I moved over to Hula Moon.

The payment. Seriously though, I enjoy tattooing every day, well every day there isn’t someone asking for a tribal 😉

I’m actually one of the weird ones who doesn’t paint outside of tattooing. I love to build things though and am a pretty handy guy.

I’d prefer one on one unless a group is all coming in for a tattoo. I find the client sits better when there its only them and I.

No…I’ll let you figure out why.

People are much more accepting of tattooing. Although, their expectations are sometimes unrealistic. They see a huge back piece done on a show in 20 minutes and don’t realize the time commitment involved can go into weeks or months.

Not monotonous, but sometimes as an artist in the service industry we can become jaded to what getting a new tattoo feels like. That tribal tattoo that we may not like for ourselves seems like the best thing ever to a new client who hasn’t seen it a hundred times. We have to remember to not let our own jaded sensibilities interfere with the excitement of a new client.

I don’t do much cover up work, but we have some artists who are very good at doing cover ups. For touch ups of old tattoos though I’d be happy to help.

It varies from week to week, but typically my schedule has only about a week’s wait time. For smaller tattoos though I have free time scheduled throughout the week.

For big pieces I price by the hour. For smaller tattoos I price by the piece. Bigger pieces will cost less per hour than smaller pieces.

I’ve been in the game since ’95

It changes as I change. It used to be color pieces, then thick lined tattoos, then thin lined. I do prefer to tattoo on the calf. Its easy to work on and clients seem to sit well for that area.

I do. I like to work with a client to make their ideas into a reality.

I will, but it also depends on the art work. If they bring in a super detailed piece of work that’s only 4 inches tall it won’t work. Its just not the way tattoos work and it won’t look good.

The people I’m around, the clients, other artists, those are my inspiration.

A girl had just turned 18 and she wanted a tattoo on her calf of a guy going down on a girl with the inscription underneath of “Eat it like its peanuts”. I asked her to wait and think about it for a couple of weeks and never saw her again

Tattoos that won’t look good. I’ll tell a client if a tattoo design they bring in won’t work and if they persist, sometimes its worth turning them down to make sure they don’t get a bad tattoo. I also say no to the hands and neck unless you’re already covered in tattoos.

God save the queen!



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