I had the same problem because I forgot my password. It happens to all of us, you might have forgotten your password or username and now need to recover it or in other instances, you might have been hacked or left your account open somewhere. But, there is no need to worry, this tutorial will help you get your account back by following a couple of simple steps. I was able to recover my Gmail account following this tutorial:
The idea of washing the tattoo with cold water is comforting, but horseshit. When you take of the initial bandage (after at LEAST 4 or 5 hours, longer [up to 24 hours] is better), you MUST MUST MUST wash the tattoo thoroughly in water as hot as you can stand it, then a little bit hotter. You want any dried lymph and blood to be able to loosen up a bit. Showers are great, but for fuck’s sake, do NOT soak it in a bathtub, swimming pool, hot tub, or a fucking lake or ocean. Although you do NOT want to use a washcloth or sponge on your healing tattoo at all, you DO want to thoroughly and somewhat aggressively wash the living hell out of your tattoo with your fingertips and soapy water to make sure that you get ALL of the coagulated blood and lymph off of the tattoo. Leaving any of this on the tattoo will lead to a scab, which means a rough healing process that can leave you with a shitty, busted tattoo. After washing, pat the tattoo dry with a paper towel and then apply a TINY amount of either Vitamin A&D ointment (found in the diaper section of your market), Aquaphor, or Bepathin (for you foreign dudes and dudettes). TINY AMOUNT is the key. You do not want to smother your tattoo in a slather of goo, just put enough onto the tattoo to absorb. Don’t cover your tattoo with another bandage, but you DO want to wash your tattoo off every couple of hours, dry it, and apply the ointment again. Keeping the tattoo clean is imperative to the healing. It absolutely doesn’t matter if the soap is anti-bacterial or not; any mild soap will be fine (I use dove or ivory myself). Just make sure that when you wash your tattoo that your hands are clean before you touch it, so wash your hands thoroughly first (how can you tell if you have washed your hands well enough? When washing, get all the nooks and crannies while singing the “ABC” song. By the time you finish the childhood melody, your hands should be well clean enough to now wash your tattoo. Remember to do the above steps for THREE DAYS ONLY. Using any kind of ointment for longer than that can lead to complications. You can use neosporin or bacitracin, but I don’t recommend it as some people can get toxic reactions from using medications so much. I know around a dozen or so tattooists who had to go to the hospital because suddenly their bodies reacted near fatally to having neosporin on their new tattoos for days. Not good. Keeping the tattoo clean will be fine. After the initial three days of washing the tattoo like an obsessive-compulsive ape, just wash the tattoo 2-3 times a day and start applying a tiny, tiny dab of mild, unscented skin lotion to the tattoo on a limited basis. Cetaphil LOTION (not the cleanser) is a good mild brand. Don’t use the lotion too much though. Obsessing on it and applying the lotion too often can lead to clogged pours and pimples on and around the tattoo. A few days after all this, your tattoo shouldn’t scab, but it will peel like a sunburn. If this is the case, congratulations, you followed the above instructions well. These peelings will be the colors of the tattoo though, and that looks like fucking hell. Don’t worry though, it’s not the tattoo falling out, but rather the epidermis exfoliating and carrying with it any excess pigment. Your tattoo is healing beneath that in the dermis, so don’t freak out if it looks like your arm is excreting some kind of fruity children’s breakfast cereal flakes. After the tattoo is done peeling, it will look slightly shiny and waxy. At this point you can still use lotion whenever it feels too dry, but it’s pretty much going to be doing fine on it’s own. If the skin feels tight, you can use something like Aquaphore, coacoa butter, etc at this point because the skin is no longer open or abraded. The tattoo will take around 1-2 weeks of really babying it and then an additional 2-4 weeks of going completely back to normal. Tattooed skin actually takes around 6 weeks to absolutely, 100% heal if cared for properly. During that time, please, please, please keep it out of too much sun exposure. ESPECIALLY during the initial 2 weeks of healing. Your new skin has no real protection against UV rays, and going to get a tan on a healing tattoo will fuck it royally. Also, once your tattoo is healed, start putting a heavy sunblock on it whenever you go out for a day in the sun. What SPF? I honestly advise a SPF 50 or above. Consider your tattoo a long-term investment. Keeping the UV off of it will keep it looking good for years to come. Other things to remember while it’s healing: Don’t wear tight clothing on your tattoo while healing. It’s especially important if you get a tattoo on your leg to wear shorts, culottes, a dress, or something that won’t rub on the tattoo. Pants rubbing on tattoo = shitty heal. If you got a tattoo on your waistline, wear something that is not constricting as much as possible for the first week. Now is the time to convince your friends that mu-mus and togas are the height of fashion. Other than the above advice: don’t expose your healing tattoo to any belt sanders, brick dust, or cat shit and it should be fine.
By Guen Douglas
A tattoo artist’s portfolio should play a vital role in how you choose your artist. A portfolio is the way we showcase our work. It is not the end-all-be-all… I have met plenty of fantastic tattooers that rely on publications and word of mouth too, and they don’t update their portfolios as methodically as others. There are many factors that should go into choosing your artist and all of them are important, but for today I’m going to explain how a customer should look through a tattoo portfolio…
A portfolio isn’t where you look for your design. It is where you look to see an artist’s quality of work before deciding if they would be the right artist for you.
First, I usually look to see if the book is clean and well kept. Are the photos of good quality? If they are out of focus and badly printed you will not be able to make a clear assessment of quality of the tattoos printed. I feel as though an artist that cares about his or her work puts some effort into the way they present their work. I’d be suspicious of a portfolio that makes it difficult to see the tattoos clearly. The tattoos pictured should be wiped clean and not obscured by Vaseline, plastic wrap, tape, etc…
When looking at the photos you should pay close attention to the following:
At first glance are the designs appealing to you?
This is a question only you can answer, since the art part of tattooing is subjective. What is appealing to you may not be appealing to your partner/mother/friends.
Are the tattoos pictured well placed on the body?
Centered if in the center of a back, or symmetrical, as in matching roses on each shoulder? If they look awkward, crooked or off-center it shows either a lack of competence or a lack of caring. A good tattooer will place a stencil over and over until it looks right and since your tattoo will be there awhile it’s a pretty important step in the process.
Next look at the line-work closely. Are the lines within the tattoo even?
Meaning, one line should not start hair thin and then get fat and blurry and get thin again. When lines are not applied at a consistent depth you get this look, or the lines will look lighter and darker in some areas. Naturally, there are designs that require a mix of thin and thick lines but I am referring specifically to lines that are supposed to be the same thickness throughout.
Are the lines smooth and free of wobbles and kinks? Are curved lines curved consistently and are straight lines straight? Where a design comes to a point is the point sharp? Also look to make sure there is no accidentally overlapping lines. Line-work should look smooth and fluid and not chiseled into the skin. This goes for color and shading too. Freshly tattooed skin is often red and irritated but it shouldn’t look butchered.
When looking at color in a tattoo there are some obvious things to look for first. Does the color stay inside the lines? Are areas that are supposed to be one color, even?
Solid black/black work should be consistently the same color throughout without faded or patchy areas. For areas that blend one color into an other you must look for a smooth consistent fade from one color to another without a light area where the colors meet. For tattoos without outlines (as in color portraits) do the edges of the image look crisp or soft (depending on the design) and purposefully executed?
When looking at black/black and grey shading there are few different techniques that tattooers use.
Whip-shading is mostly used in old school and neo-traditional but can also be used in many other styles of tattooing. It is has a distinctive speckle, peppery almost and you can often see the machine strokes in it. Regular black shading should have a softer speckle and peppered look or should look soft and smudged looking like a pencil drawing. Gradients from dark to light should look smooth and even. Just like color, areas of solid grey should be even and soft and not patchy and uneven (although there is some softening that occurs with grey washes (black ink mixed with water that we use for black and grey) over time. Remember also that the redness often seen in photos of fresh black and grey tattoos is just the irritated skin! It isn’t part of the design and will disappear when healed.
Once you’ve assessed that the artist’s portfolio displays an ability to craft a good tattoo, you must next decide if this artist is the right one for you.
Here are some basic things that one should look for:
- If you are looking for a pin-up be sure to choose an artist that shows he/she can draw and tattoo the human form, meaning don’t pick a portfolio that has not a single human form in it.
- If you don’t see the type/style of tattoo you want to get, chances are the artist either hasn’t done it before or doesn’t want to. That’s not to say that an artist wouldn’t take on a challenge and do a great job! Generally if an artist hasn’t done something before and wants to try it out they often put sketches of the types of tattoos they are looking to do into their portfolios so that prospective clients can at least see that they are able to execute them on paper.
- The same goes for portraits. I would be very wary of an artist that claims to do portraits and yet has none in his/her portfolio. The other thing with portraits in portfolios is I find a lot of artists don’t always put the copied/original photo in with the tattoo photo. With portraits of famous people it’s not always necessary but if you are looking to get a portrait of your mother you want to know that it will look like her! Sometimes a tattooed portrait can be a great looking realistic tattoo without looking anything like the person it was supposed to. So look to see if the original photo of the person is placed next to the finished tattoo.
Most artists fill their portfolios with their best work so if you are seeing a lot of tattoos that concern you; imagine what didn’t make it into the book! Yikes!
It is important that when on the hunt for the right artist you look through portfolios. Not only to find the right artist for you but to see what is available in terms of value. Most artists, including myself, will say that price should be one of the last things you look at and although true, to ignore it as a factor is not realistic.
Just like buying anything else in life, you want to get value for your money when investing in a tattoo. Looking carefully through portfolios allows you see what is available and for what price.
Maybe one artist is too expensive (in your opinion) but when you compare the quality of their work with that of the cheaper artist you see that you get better value for your money because the expensive artist’s work is crafted with more care. That’s not to say that just because one artist is more expensive than another that he/she will automatically be the better artist.
There is a saying in tattooing that “a good tattoo ain’t cheap and a cheap tattoo ain’t good” and generally this statement rings true. However, I have seen this adage used against clients. Just because an artist is expensive doesn’t mean they good. There are swindlers in every profession, tattooing is no exception and with the rise in popularity of this craft we see a rise in a certain type of tattooer trying to cash-in fast by over charging clients, using this adage to their advantage.
So to conclude; look carefully at as many portfolios as you can before making your choice. When making any decision that lasts a lifetime it is best to be well informed.
And remember to ask questions…