Joe @ Off the Map Tattoo: The Answers

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For those that don't know Off the Map North East is home to six resident artists, including myself, and is setup in two parts. The front, or business side of the shop houses our guest booth, Tim Senecal, and Max Rothert as well as the amazing front desk team. The back of the building, aka the party room is where you can find me, Johnny Smith, Matt Driscoll, and sometimes Frank Ready. The interesting thing about the back room however, is that its one big open room so everyone is in everyone else's experience. Clients are right next to other clients and can share stories and conversations. Tattooers can talk back and forth from across the room and can simply lean over to see each others work. By the second hour of the first appointments the atmosphere lends itself to a social gathering more than a tattoo station and provides a unique experience for anyone attending.
As I'm sure you can imagine, through the course of a week I see and hear a LOT of people! After a while you start to notice that the same questions come up over and over again so I figured I would take the time to answer some of these on the blog. Also, if you as a reader have a question that you would like to see answered on here then feel free to email me and I'll do my best to give the answers you crave.

Q) “Do you like it when people just let you tattoo whatever you want? What's your favorite thing to tattoo? What's your ideal client?”
(I've grouped these together because they're [to me] all the same question.)

A) Most tattooers, myself included, prefer to have at least a direction or a topic to draw from. I want my clients to like their tattoo for the rest of their life, so its important to me that the core idea comes from the tattoo collector. if a client can approach the artist they like with just one very basic idea or direction and then allow the artist to interpret that however they please then the collector can expect the most ideal experience from that tattooer. I personally don't have certain things I like to draw more than others, but I do have particular ways I prefer to draw, [my style] and when given freedom of interpretation those methods come through in the tattoo.

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