Monday, December 3, 2012

Sexy Cat

Sexy Cat

So here's a little story adventure that happened to me while I was working ad a tattoo artist in the San Francisco area a coup,e years back. Thought this might be a good example of on of the many perils faced be artist who do contract work.

Just another normal day at the tattoo shop. Pretty quiet actually. One of the other artists was busy carving away at one of his clients, and another two where just sitting around watching tv, and i was doing my usual of doodling. A women of about 27 comes into the shop. Being that its my turn in the rotation, I greet her and ask her what I can do to help her. She states that she wants a tattoo of a cat. I smile and tell her that it won't be a problem. So I pull out my client sketchbook and my pencil and start the usual questioning process of understanding what kind of tattoo she would like. Right from the start, things start getting a little wonky.

"So what kind of tattoo are you looking to get?" I open with.
"I want a cat tattoo on my lower back." She replies with a smile.
"Not a problem." I assure, "Would you like it to be sort of 'comic-ee', or realistic?"
"... Uh... I don't know."
"Ok, how about a pose for your cat?"
"... Uh... I don't know."
"Would you like just a head, or a full body?
"... Uh... I don't know."
"What are you trying to say with your tattoo? Is it a reflexion of who you are, or maybe just a visual representation of your love of cats?"
"... Uh... I don't know."
".... Well, I need something to start with, a direction to go in."
"....ummm... Make it sexy"! She beams with a smile.

Here's where I start to get a little aggravated.

"Ok, what type of sexy are you thinking?" I continue.
"Sexy." She blurts with a disgusted look on her face.
"Um, could you be a little more specific?"
She heaves a sigh at me, "Sexy... Sexy... You know...geez, how hard is it to make something sexy?! What kind of tattoo artist are you?"

I screw on a smile and say, "I guess I'm not a very good one. I'll see if another artist here can help you out a little better."

She utters an "Idiot" under her breath as I leave the room.

Non of the another artists want to work with her after hearing about my experience with her. Even the shop owner didn't want to talk to her. He ended up just telling her she would be better served at another tattoo shop... Of course that wasn't until after she extolled to him how much of an moron and incompetent I was.

So the point of this little story is that it would seem some people don't understand that there may be different perspectives and different interpretations of things. As an example, my idea of sexy is likely different from the next guys. As an example, I prefer slender, athletic women. I have friends who prefer more curvaceous, voluptuous women. If you told us to draw a sexy women, your likely to get vastly different drawings.

I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that when are going to someone to create something for you, you need to know what it is you want and be able to convey it effectively. Visual references and/or examples would be a huge help. Even a lengthy description of something might still yield extremely different results. Just don't forget that everyone sees, understands, and interprets things differently and no one is psychic.

That is all. Carry on.

- It's Good to be the King =)

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