A veteran tattoo artist tells us how to keep an artist happy to ensure nothing short of unregrettable perfection.

Veteran tattoo artist Nate Sorensen from the End Of Days Tattoo studio on East Colfax has seen it all when it comes to needy clientele and their mostly sane, but sometimes bat-shit crazy demands. Here he tells us how to keep your artist happy to ensure nothing short of unregrettable perfection.

1. Don’t waste anyone’s time because you’re lonely

“The big thing for me is when people come in and they don’t really want a tattoo. It’s cool for the first two or three … or five … times, but the best way to box that situation in is by saying ‘Okay, give me a deposit and we’ll set a date. People just get bored and want to talk — they’re not serious, just bored.”

2. Listen to the artist … because they’re artists

“Some people are very adamant on exactly what they want, which is fine, but you have to trust your tattoo artist has an idea what they’re talking about. My retail skills kick in when we have to go back and forth over what will work and what won’t.”

3. Can’t get sleeved up in a session, bro

“Sometimes I have to give people a nice firm reality check. You’ve got to tell them to slow their roll a little and calm down a bit, and we’ll eventually get it done. This isn’t a 30-minute TV show where they’ll see five pieces start to finish in the shop.”

4. You are the canvas; sit still damn you

“It’s not a fault of their own, but the body is all connected. If you move the head, or move the other arm, this arm is going to move. I’ve got to be extremely steady. It does affect the artwork, and it will be worse than what it could have been.”

5. Leave the hovering support group at home

“It’s annoying when you have a spouse — or a protector — who doesn’t trust my work to be that great, so they hang over my shoulder and mouth breathe in my ear. They’ll pick out lines they don’t like and point. I got it covered, thanks.”

6. Be prepared to live with your placement

“If it’s a younger person I’ll say, ‘You know, the job market isn’t necessarily big on tattoo placement like this,’ if it’s around the neck or on the hands. The neck is hard as fuck to tattoo though too. It’s like you’re trying to tattoo their taint or something. You can … it’s just a pain in the neck … ha!”

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