Aaah here we are again. Shocked and surprised customer:
“Oh you haven’t got any space today?”
“Can you not draw *insert intricate, gigantic design here* for me now? No I didn’t bring any pictures.”
How I wish people would understand a few things. I answer a lot of phone calls that start with “Do you do walk ins?” Well of course, if we have space! If you turn up with an idea we can fit in and do there and then, of course we will see you! Provided it doesn’t require too much drawing time – that’s home work. I’ve already explained that larger or more complex pieces take planning – I literally this morning had a gentleman who’s never had a tattoo come in and ask for an eagle on THE ENTIRE front of his body…he was wondering how much it would be and how long it would take. He had one foot in the door way as I tried to explain how it’s a process and will take a good few sessions. He wasn’t interested in that – he wanted it done in one session, telling me how he can stand the pain etc. What do you say to that?! Anyway, I’m getting off topic.
I do believe most tattooists now have a deposit system. I notice it turns a few people off when they ring up to book an appointment, as no other business has a policy like that. You can just ring up hair dressers or a health specialist or any other kind of service and make an appointment over the phone no problem. I think most of them do have a 24 hour notice policy and you may go on some kind of black list if you regularly cancel or don’t show up. The nature of a tattoo is that it is not a necessity, and people do get cold feet and simply fail to show! For example, I use to work at a vets and if your animal is sick you make the appointment and you’re there on time!
From a studios point of view and the artists, here’s the deposit system explained:
Whether it’s a bunch of tiny stars or a realistic larger piece you are after, if it requires drawing time especially, we encourage all our clients to come in for a chat beforehand. Then depending on how busy our artists are drawing for upcoming sessions that have already been booked, we can give an estimated time of when we can have something ready for you to view and then, if you are happy with your design we can make an appointment for the first session! And if you are not, we will make whatever changes. Now I wish it was that simple. It’s great when someone comes in for a long chat, then comes back with more pictures and a deposit (I’ve learnt not to hold my breath though). But the other day, for example, a guy came back and entirely changed his idea. Ok it happens, but what really ticked his artist off is that this guy hadn’t even considered all the time he’s put in searching for the images that resonated with what this customer wanted and drawing, creating an awesome piece. The design was awesome, I saw it, one of those the whole shop gets real excited about, you know? So the guy just changed his mind completely. Which of course is OK to do, but now the day was wasted, another design needed to be drawn and there might be no other bookings/walk-ins for that 3 hour slot. There was no thank you, no consideration whatsoever for the work and effort that had been put into his piece.
Can you now see how much work goes into a design and its all for nothing if the person never shows up for their viewing or the appointment itself. I believe this is exactly how the deposit system came about in this business, as this happened way too often. Now before we promise you anything we ask you to pay a deposit, some people choose to pay more than others purely for practical reasons – “I’ll spend it otherwise!” as 100% of it goes towards your tattooing time anyway. It’s just a way to eliminate time wasters. But there’s a flip side, sometimes people work shifts or simply cannot commit to a time in advance, we try to accommodate everybody, keep in touch via email and accept PayPal and, of course, do walk ins when we can.
Naturally, we never force anyone to get anything done, and I completely understand the impulse and the excitement for wanting to do something, but when time is of the essence and they told me it’s now or never for them, appointment is not an option for those type of people, I hate to have to say, erm…we are closing in 20 minutes, have you decided yet, or if someone comes in knowing exactly what they want I have to ask the indecisive person if they are interested in being seen today. It’s so awkward but most of the time everything works out ok. It’s the need to please everybody in me I guess.
Remember, you get what you pay for! I can’t stand haggling! Mostly it’s people who really don’t understand how art and artist work and what it takes to create an awesome tattoo design that haggle. Unfortunately, some believe that they DO understand everything and we must comply with their every demand (including the price!) this is the consumer attitude i was talking about. Did you know that a tattooist reserves the right to refuse any tattoo or person! No one is forcing you to get a tattoo, respect the artists – also don’t expect restaurant service!