You are a Satanic Warlock! You command respect, imbue style and you champion intellect and aesthetics. Naturally, your tattoo should reflect these qualities. But where to begin? How best to avoid a life-long regret? As a professional tattoo artist of 21 years, allow me to offer some guidance.
First, allow me to share what the herd does when getting a tattoo and why they are typically wrong. The average joe, these days, sees someone else’s tattoo on social media and decides they want the same. After all, thinking for yourself is so hard. So they screen-capture the photo and hide it in the depths of their smart phone.
Then they come in and ask, oh so vaguely, “How much is a tattoo?!”
It makes sense to want it to be as cheap as possible since it’s going to be on you forever, right?
Next they spend 20 minutes of the artist’s time scrolling through their phone until they finally find it, hold up their phone and say “I want this, only smaller, and I only have $40 to spend, and I would like it today.”
If only each of these type of customers could be hit by a bus… But none of that matters because you are a Warlock! So how would a Warlock go about choosing his tattoo?
Well first, he would find the perfect artist. This would consist of not only closely examining the artist’s work on social media, but also meeting the artist in person and feeling absolutely confident with that choice. Be certain that they are a master of the style you prefer. The shop should feel comfortable as well, and very clean! If you have the right artist, all other issues will fall by the way side. Since you’ve made the right choice by picking an actual artist who creates beautiful works of art, you can trust the decision to have work that is original on your body. If you wish to bring in references to show your artist, and give the artist an idea of what you are hoping for, print them out on paper and bring those references to your first meeting. Don’t just bring one design and ask for that to be duplicated on your body. But I don’t need to remind a Warlock of the qualities behind originality. Also, be flexible when hearing your artist’s advice. If the artist suggests it be moved somewhere else and has a reason for it, at least take that in and understand why its being suggested. That may also apply to color choices. If your artist is the right choice, they are only trying to give you the best tattoo you can have. And please don’t argue with “Well that’s what I want because ya know, its going on me forever” as if your artist doesn’t know that. That’s fucking annoying. The placement on the body is almost as important as the art itself.
The aesthetics in a beautiful tattoo rely heavily on how the art flows with your muscle structure. It should look as if you were born with it! So if your artist recommends that you change the size or shifts it an inch over from where you wanted it, understand that there is a reason. Again, you should have absolute faith in your artist before you ever sit in that chair, so if you are certain that the artist has the right skills, trust their judgement on adjustments.
The last thing an artist is going to shop for in a tattoo is availability and price. If you artist can’t get you in for the next few weeks or months, that is a great sign that he is in demand for his skills and thus, worth the wait. Be patient. And if the price is more than you wanted to spend, save your money. Pretend that its going to be on you forever, damn it, and wait! Think of it the same way you would think of art.
A Warlock who truly wants a Picasso doesn’t look at the price and say “Damn, I can’t afford it now so I’ll just get a poster of the dogs playing poker.”
He waits and saves his money until he can finally get the Picasso he always wanted. Treat your own body to the same respect.
By following these simple guidelines, a Warlock, as always, sets himself apart from the herd with his tattoo and causes envy and jealousy as the simpletons point and say “That’s amazing! I wish I had a tattoo like that!” You’ll smile and nod at them with pride as you think to yourself “Damn right, you do.”
Warlock D.S.Wallace (aka Dorian Grey) is the author of “SIN IN THE SKIN: Observations of Human Nature through the Eyes of a Career Tattoo Artist” available through Dark Moon Press. He is also the illustrator for “The Satanic Warlock” by Magister Dr. Bob Johnson as well as the co-host of The Devil You Know Podcast.
by Warlock Dorian Grey