Micromanagement Ruins Tattoos

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A tattoo, regardless of size, is a huge step for anyone. It's a physically visible alteration of your body that will be with you for life, and some clients are understandably nervous about the procedure. They mistakenly believe that by transferring the psychological pressure and nervousness they are feeling to the artist it will result in a better tattoo for them. This couldn't be further from the truth, and in fact, will result in the opposite.  

Every tattoo artist has had at least one client who becomes a micromanager of their own tattoo project, and the results will always be unfavourable.  Why?  

The only time a client should micromanage is during the artist selection phase. Portfolios must be examined, styles and approaches must be learned, possibilities must be reviewed, and the correct artist for your style must be carefully selected. For example, if you're looking for a colour tattoo, do not go to a black and grey artist. If you are looking for a small single needle tattoo, do not go with a traditional style tattooer who prefers big bold outlines.  

After you have carefully and rigorously selected your tattoo artist, it is time to communicate your ideas effectively and efficiently, then let the artist do their work. It is amazing whenever we've seen a person with zero tattoo experience sabotage their own tattoo project by essentially forcing their artist into rendering poor artistic decisions through repeated micromanagement of direction and details.

You must keep in mind that if your artist selection was handled correctly, you are now dealing with an experienced professional whose style is in line with your goals. They will deliver your results better than you can. In fact, repeated over-involvement and overseeing by a client will greatly inhibit the artist's ability to connect with the project, and will eventually result in the artist losing what may have been an enormous drive to deliver a perfect product.

What clients may not understand is that in any creative situation, the greatest results occur when the artist is operating loosely, without thought, and becoming a conduit for inspiration. Artistic results will never be optimal when external pressure to excel is applied. Believe us, we apply that pressure internally enough. To test this theory, put a gun to a painter's head and tell him he has to paint the best painting he has ever done, and that it must be done within a certain time.  Then tell him what colours he should be using, tell him where to place details, and make increasingly detailed demands on colours being used. You will not have a masterpiece in the end.

Unless the client is a tattoo artist, they do not have the skill set that we've developed over the years.  We can look at you and see how your tattoo will sit on you. We understand nuances of movement and surface that a client doesn't. We know how a tattoo will look in ten years.  So when a client starts micromanaging a tattoo project, it is literally an untrained person getting in the cockpit of a plane and trying to fly it. Again, express your need for control in your artist filtration phase, then let us handle our job.

Accept the paradox that, to get the best results, you must maintain creative space around the artist. This is not to say that you shouldn't have an opinion on the details and elements of your tattoo, but this should be expressed during the consultation phase. At Black Widow, we work with committed clients who have done their research, and are absolutely confident that they are getting tattooed at the right shop. So, to our clients, we thank you for doing things the right way and not ruining your tattoo projects through micromanagement.




Black Widow