I’m 19 years old, and let’s be real, have wanted a tattoo since I was legally able to get one. Actually, a while back I wrote a post on tattoo ideas I loved or potentially wanted to get, and I do still love the idea of them all even if I only still plan to get a few of them on my body. A few weeks ago, I actually took the plunge, and subsequently started the Tattoo Talks series I plan to update every second Tuesday!*
*I have had a short absence, and if you follow my other social media pages you’ll know it’s a I’ve been away and faced some ill health. I apologise for that, but from now on I’ll be sharing a post every second week, aside from w/c16th April due to being in Paris.
Me not booking a tattoo until now lies somewhere inbetween laziness, my own disorganisation, not finding the right artists and poor experiences. I say ‘not booking a tattoo’, but I have tried a few times- most recently being the only successful time, unfortunately, but luckily, since who I booked with was so lovely!
As I said before, I’ve had a few negative experiences either due to a fault made by myself, or more the bad experience with the company/artists.
Here are some challenges I faced:
- Last year, I tried to book with a very well known, incredible artist. She is so, so, popular, and I knew it would be expensive but I knew it would be worth it, and I was willing to fork out. The expense wasn’t exactly the main issue in this, heck she deserves all the money she gets (infact, more- we all need to support the arts), but the popularity. She was so lovely booking in, and I got quite far into an email consultation. Suddenly, there were no replies for a few weeks and I was a little stumped… what was going on? My own disorganisation let me down. I’d got fairly far in the booking, but my stupid self forgot to press ‘send’ on the last email, meaning all of the consultation was void. As soon as I realised and went to find ot about booking again, her books were closed. I was pretty disappointed and full of envy of anyone getting tattooed from her, but I totally got it. It was my own fault and I learnt a few things from it; be that needing to be on it and have money there and then for popular artists or that name isn’t everything… because though I love her work still, I am more than glad I waited to be tattooed where I was, and the artist I’m about to share with you isn’t as ‘known’.
- Styles. Aaaah, it took research above and beyond to find a local artist I liked, when I finally realised name wasn’t everything. I was also sure to find somewhere who practiced properly and was cleanly. Though I knew no one who’d faced issues personally, I’d heard tattoo horror stories and also know a local place that has a certain reputation. I’m already the most paranoid human there is so definitely needed good practice. But I had an issue. I finally found an artist that I liked… fairly local, but still travelling a little, and I almost set myself on it. Finding out the wait for the artist sunk my heart a little, but it could have been much worse and I was willing…most places, you have to anyway. I was talking to this artist via email a lot, and after a few comms back and forth I didn’t get many good vibes. If it was professionally mutual, I would have understood, but it felt hostile and just a bit uncomfortable, to be honest. I was also already a little disheartened. As my tattoo was for a certain reason, and it’d be on my body, of course I needed to be happy with it. I usually am too flexible around other people in life, a bit too soft, but not then.I also have a rather poor relationship with my body, so this wa not something to make me feel worse. The artist, though I knew from her other work she was able to pursue said style, seemed to want a drastic change of my tattoos, and it didn’t make me feel comfortable at all. As an artist, this was of course her choice, but the main point I’m getting at is that subsequently I realised, she was not for me.
- Comfort. As I said in the last point, there was a certain hostility in on artist when I tried to book. Understandably, tattooing is a business and needs to be kept professional, however, there is such a fine line between keeping it professional and being rude. I have experienced both, and not feeling comfortable with an artist I planned to book with really held me back.
Booking My Tattoo
Despite these barriers, I decided to book with the lovely person who tattooed me early this year! The recommendation was made by my good friend Ciera, a tattoo queen, since I wanted to ensure I was tattooed in Glasgow and she lived there for a short while. I was anxious about the booking especially after experiences above but I dropped the studio a Facebook message to enquire about how to book and well, it flowed from there!
The Studio I booked with was Anvil Tattoo in Rutherglen and it was the lovely Steff that tattooed me! Steff owns the Studio herself and recently a new artist joined the team. Whilst there, I had the chance to meet him, too, and he was so lovely!
On the note of comfort, I am so glad I chose an artist I was very quickly able to becom comfortable with! I spent 3-4 hours with Steff and we spoke about so, so much. I am usually the most anxious bean and getting a tattoo is an anxious experience at first, but I felt so at ease in the company of Steff.
I think this ease probably- certainly- started in the booking style at Anvil. Booking my Tattoo was so easy, but Steff was so friendly when talking to me and very aware of what I wanted. I very quickly booked two more tattoos with her, before I’d even got the first! I am totally in love with her style and her work, but the ease I felt around her definitely influenced me to book again.
Both my general tattoo experience (which I’ll speak of in a later post) and booking experience with Anvil ensures I’ll be going back. Though at the moment I’m still living down in London, I feel much happier travelling to be tatted by someone I trust.
If you’re from the Glasgow area or willing to travel, and looking for a lovely artist- 100% cruelty free- Steff (and her whole studio!) is where I’d recommend.
There are no words I could use to speak highly enough of the studio, but I totally urge you to book with Steff.
How have your booking experiences been? I’m curious, so feel free to let me know!
Stay shiny, folks!
Love always ,