Dealing with the modified – 1st in a series

justin Body Modification, Ravings, Tattoo

As a relatively heavily tattooed individual, there are a few things that I have grown accustomed to when faced with the inquisitive and/or the repulsed. To that end, I wanted to write a series of postings to perhaps help plainskinsâ„¢ better understand the modified. While the series is numbered, there really is no rhyme or reason to their order.

First and foremost among the questions I get as a tattooed individual is the ubiquitous: “How much did that cost?” I refer to that doozy as “the question,” and can see it coming almost a mile away. For some reason I always get mildly pissed off about “the question”; almost as pissed off as the concept of people value-shopping tattoo artists (it happens way more than you can imagine and that is a discussion for another time). “The question” is offensive. I liken it to asking: “How much did it cost to smooth the lump out in your baby’s head?” or “How much did those new tits cost?”

Here is an easy guide for plainskinsâ„¢ to help them gauge how much a tattoo costs if it’s killing them that much.

  1. Approach the tattooed individual with a pleasant demeanor. Whatever you do, do not approach with “that face.”

  3. Before anything, compliment the work. The modified like to have their ego stroked. Additionally, close to 40% have probably had a little bit of regret about getting the piece done. They’d never admit to that, but it’s true.

  5. Ask how long it took. The tattooed generally have two approaches to the time they spend under the needle: fear and conquest, and it’s very easy to tell the two apart. Fear is signified by the generic, “It took X hours and I thought I was going to die.” response. Conquest is often signified by, “The artist only went X hours in the first sitting, but I was ready for more.”  Unless you really want to be dragged in, acknowledge the response and move on to the next step.

  7. Ask who did the work. This is the most telling part of being able to tell how much a tattoo might cost. More than likely, you’ll already have this information since most people who are proud of their work will offer that forth the second you express any interest in them. If they mention the artist’s name in a manner that implies that you should know them and you are unfamiliar with the name, assume the rate is around $200 per hour. If you do recognize the name from television, movies, video games, porn, etc., automatically assume that the rate is around $600 per hour. If the person being questioned just sort of mumbles it out, generally assume around $100 per hour.

  9. Take your newly discovered information and multiply the two pieces together: rate x length of time. I would automatically subtract 10% from the length of time because most people are whiny and tend to embellish how long they had to get jabbed at.

And that should do it! If you must know how much a person’s tattoo cost them, that’s the way you can ask it without directly asking it. It should also be assumed that the artist was tipped a fair amount (not tipping your artist can lead to dry socket and other disgusting things).

OK, now for the big kicker: my above guide is totally moot. Artists rates are variable all over the board. Rates change if the artist is working on a friend of theirs, a friend of the shop’s, the artist is having a good day, the artist is having a bad day, the recipient is a nice person, or if the recipient is a douchebag. What I’m trying to say is that it’s not an exact science. If you are thinking about getting a tattoo, do your homework. Look at different artists, ask intelligent questions and figure out who is right for you: don’t go on cost alone. Remember, unless you are willing to shell out some serious cash and experience some serious pain from laser removal, or get really liberal with that veggie peeler, that tattoo will be there for the remainder of your natural life (and then some).

I hope that helped.