Admit it. You have a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. On one hand you have more business than you ever expected, and you've mastered the dandelion flying bird design so well you could practically do it in your sleep. (Which you may have, see last client.)
But there are many small things to love about Pinterest, including the petite tattoo designs. Here's a secret list of why Pinterest sorta makes you proud to be a tattoo artist.
1. You Want What? This can be a good one. A client comes in requesting popular Infinity design and you get to question their selection. Why do you want this? Where do you want it? What does it mean to you? Why are their words on your back? There's a slight interrogation process to the Pinterest designs which can sort of make your job fun. It's all in jest (but not really).
2. Easy Money: This one is OBVIOUS. If it takes less than a half hour, no creativity, not much ink, or thought for that matter...what the heck are you complaining about? (For real.) Sure there's no artistic pressure but inspiration often comes in waves. It's nice to have some supplemental cash in between your extravagant works of art.
3. It's Part of the History: Sure tattoo artists complain now about trendy tattoo designs, but the Old School artists will be the first to admit they had a very limited selection of tattoo designs in the beginning of their careers. Female clients had a handful to choose from, and men didn't have much more. So in that way the industry really hasn't changed much, the trendy selection is just different.
4. You Can Be Creative: This is a good one. That feather tattoo can be incorporated into so many different design ideas. A small symbol on the finger can be turned into a forearm piece with a larger design if you know how to upsell and consult with your client. Pinterest tattoos allow you a quick peek into a client's mind. Someone that never considered a large or meaningful piece of body art is open as they sit there in your chair, and that is half the battle. YOU don't have to settle on these designs and your client doesn't either. Use your artistsic freedom and service skills to create a custom and unique design instead. Pinterest tattoos are a STARTING point.
5. Mainstream Appeal- Last but not least the number one reason you really love Pinterest tattoos is because they keep the industry strong. I don't mean with scratchers or rookie artists, I mean the widespread popularity of body art. Part of accepting the industry and loving the craft is keeping an open mind without judging people. It's not your job to think a design is lame. Or boring. Or uninspired. It's your job to make a design interesting, artful and unique. If you can't do that...you'll still get paid for the basic Pinterest tattoo design anyway. And your client will likely refer a friend for a different tattoo design (scratch that, the same).
It's a whole circle in which you're in the center; a ringmaster if you will. (And that's sort of important.)
Love what you do!
Images courtesy John Aazzar and Body Graffiti