Deposits, consultations, and Artist method


Sometimes it can be difficult selecting an artist. This is a person who is permanently marking your body, so it can be good to not only like the art, but like the person. I mean, you don’t have to invite them over for Thanksgiving, but it would be nice to get tattooed without it being awkward or uncomfortable.

When do you meet the artist? When do you leave a deposit? When do you get to see a drawing? What exactly should you expect from your artist?

Well, those questions have a lot of answers, and they vary from artist to artist. While tattooing is certainly a service we provide to the public, it is also practiced by artists, who often have their own systems and work methods in place. At Art Machine Productions, we do our best to allow artists the freedom to work in a way they are comfortable with, while giving a positive experience to the clients.

We have a standard system throughout the shop that requires a $100 deposit that is non-refundable, non-transferable. You need 48 hours notice cancelation; anything less results in a loss of your deposit. This is required for the tattoo appointment to be scheduled.

However, some artists may require more of a deposit. If you are scheduling a full day, it’s likely you’ll need to leave more than $100. If the artist has an in depth design process, they may want to require a larger deposit, and we support them in that decision.

how do you know when to Leave a deposit?

Well, that’s going to depend on the artist. Each one has a different way of working. Some like to schedule with people right away, some like to take time going over details. Some like to meet face to face and talk, others like to do everything through messaging.

In the end, it’s up to the artist when they take a deposit. They all have different work methods and different comfort levels, and we do our best to accommodate both artists and clients. Here’s the things you should consider before selecting the right artist for you.

1. What’s the Consultation process?

Some people like to have face time with the tattoo artist prior to scheduling. While in person consultations are very common, some artists prefer to do them via email or messaging. This can be for a number of reasons, whether it’s time constraints in the studio, the time it takes them to work out ideas, or perhaps they just retain information better when it is written and they can review it. No method of consultation is wrong, just different. We respect the artist’s wishes in what they know to be best for the quality of their work.

If you are interested in any artist’s work, ask them how they prefer to do consultations. They’re sure to be up front about their process, and it can clear up any confusion in advance.

2. When do i see a drawing?

This is also a question with many answers, none of which are wrong. A majority of artists today only prepare art the day of the appointment, while others do it in advance. Some larger pieces can take a long time to plan out, so some artists may work on them for quite some time. Still others freehand their designs directly on you with markers.

One of the biggest reasons so many artists don’t prepare work in advance is because a lot of clients present last minute changes to designs. Drawing takes time and effort, and last minute changes often require redrawing the entire thing. While artists are happy to accommodate changes and alterations, it can be incredibly frustrating when those changes happen after you’ve made a finished drawing.

There’s not one proper way for a tattoo artist to design a tattoo. This is something you’ll want to talk about before making a deposit if seeing the design in advance is important to you.

3. How do i know if i’ll like my artist?

Well, you don’t know. You won’t know until you sit and talk to them for a while, and get work done. Even during a consultation, you can’t always get a feel for who they are as people. While first impressions are important, they barely scratch the surface on whether you will or won’t like someone.

What we CAN tell you is that regardless of the many diverse personalities at Art Machine, they’re all good people. Some are loud, some are quiet, some have a dry sense of humor. Some wear crocs when they’re not at work, but there’s no way in hell we’re letting anyone wear crocs to work. They’re forbidden.

In a nutshell

If you prefer a specific artist, you’ll need to be open to working with their method. If an in person consultation is important to you and the artist you like only does email consultation, you have to accept that. If they draw their designs the day of but you want to see them a week in advance, you have to accept that. If they are deal breaking issues, there is always a different artist who can accommodate.

The moral of the story is that if you have questions about the consultation, scheduling, and deposit process, just ask! Each artist is happy to elaborate on their personal preferences. If their process is not something that meshes with your expectations, it’s okay to choose another artist.


BUT WHAT IF I DON’t like my Artist’s personality?!?

Well then don’t get tattooed by them. Did you make it through their consultation process? Did you leave a deposit? That means they blocked time in their schedule specifically for you. The money left as a deposit is to assure that they have not wasted their time by reserving that spot, and that’s the reason it’s non refundable and non transferable.

Our artists always try to be as friendly and helpful as possible, but it’s ultimately on you whether you like them as a person. If you can’t stand them so much that being in their presence causes hives and a nasty twitch, we apologize. But not really. I bet there’s people that don’t like you, but you still flip their burgers.

-Tim Pangburn, owner

Timothy Pangburn