How to Complain About Your Tattoo Artist Properly

Published on May 4, 2014 by Jodie Michalak

Scrap That Work…What Happens When You Hate Your Tattoo?


It happens. You opt for a new tattoo and end up being unhappy with the finished piece.


It’s one thing to go home and complain about it and quite another to voice your opinion and not allow your artist to fix it. Then there are those happy (yet unhappy) customers, and they are really the best to work with.


Here’s how to complain properly…and why.


My Opinion Matters (I think…)

First of all, your artist is not a mind reader. He should have asked you plenty of questions to understand what’s important to you and get a feel for your style before opting for a tattoo cover-up or redo.


But even then he has a vision that may be different from your own.


From there he will likely draw something up, unless you trust her enough to make something permanent without seeing it first. That’s not the wisest choice, but some people do it, and that’s when unhappy endings can most often occur.


You need to understand your artist (hopefully) has pride in her work. Not arrogance, but pride.


This means she likely thinks the tattoo turned out pretty darned good, but she’ll listen if you feel otherwise if she’s trustworthy and has integrity. (Hopefully you did your homework and found an artist with these traits.)


There’s probably nothing worse to an artist than a whining customer that doesn’t allow him to fix the problem.


This stirs up many different speculations, some of which the artist feels he can’t help you with (you’re likely unhappy, have personal problems, bad attitude, impatience, etc. Who the heck knows?)


In that regard, your artist is not going to own this indifference. If you’re that unhappy, you should allow him to rectify the situation promptly. That’s doing your part in being a good customer.


What Happens Next

Be polite in your complaints. That will get you everywhere. Especially when working with an artist who has pride in his work.


After you’ve explained exactly what part of your tattoo you aren’t happy with, he’s likely to make his own suggestions. Maybe you need to find an image that is closer to what you had in mind? If you can’t explain what you don’t like and just have large disconnected ideas, you are going to continue this hit or miss relationship. So be detailed and vocal, and explain exactly what you want your tattoo to express.


Next, expectations should be mutually agreed upon.


Your artist will likely not charge you for the redo, unless you are unrealistic and difficult to work with. This is why your attitude will get you the best results, so don’t go into the shop angry and slinging insults, especially if you just walk out with your hands up not allowing him to respond.


While no artist wants a bad review or an unhappy customer, the true talent in an artist also comes from his ability to satisfy his customers. If you don’t allow him to fix it, he’s not going to feel personally responsible nor lose sleep over your complaint, that’s just a fact.


Let’s Do it Again

Once your artist has agreed to fix the problem you need to allow him. From there he will likely be much more careful to ensure you’re pleased with the result.


Criticisms are like gold to an artist. So long as she’s humble and willing to look in the mirror, she knows her art can always be improved upon. And she wants you to love it, as it’s a part of her that you have chosen to wear forever.


But don’t expect a tattoo artist to take your complaints sitting down. She should get up, stand up, and be willing to make it right.


If you don’t allow that, she’s just going to show you the door.


(If you’re reasonable, she may even hold it open for ya!)



Image courtesy Johor Bahru



Add comment

Log in or register to post comments