Perment Ink Feature Image
Leah Farrow is a tattoo artist at Shenanigan’s Tattoo Parlor in Auburn, Ala. She specializes in cover-ups, full color, illustration and realism. She shared some basic tattoo info with Potential:
Who is your typical customer? The average age is around 20, and about 30 percent are repeat customers.
What are the age requirements for getting a tattoo? State law dictates that you have to be 18 or older without parental consent.
What’s the cost of a tattoo? $50 minimum; $100 per hour (involves research, drawing, adjusting and readjusting placement).
What do you discuss with potential clients before hand?
The size and placement of their tattoo. I avoid hands if at all possible and will not tattoo faces.
I explain the healing process and aftercare (how to keep it clean, etc.).
What are the top risks or concerns associated with tattoos?
There can be both social and job ramifications. And infections, but I’ve only seen infections twice in four years, and it was because the client didn’t follow directions.
What’s the most common reason you hear for getting a tattoo? “I’m not in my parent’s house anymore.”
What are the most popular designs, symbols or themes right now?
Women (typically very small)
Something celebrating their heritage
What are the most common locations for tattoos?
Women – side, wrist, side of foot
Men – shoulder, bicep, upper back
What’s the newest trend? White ink, especially for women.
Q: What’s your experience with people regretting tattoos?
A: It's difficult for me to give you a real estimate on how often people regret their tattoos, but I can tell you that when people come into the shop who say they regret getting one (usually people coming in wanting a cover-up), a couple of things are almost always true: They got them when they were younger (17,18 years old), and the quality of the tattoo is extremely poor.
Q: How often do teens come in and don’t plan on telling their parents?
A: I would say 80 percent at least. The conversation usually entails them asking, “Where can I put it where my parents won’t see it?”
Q: How do you deal with concerned parents?
A: I tell them that if their child is old enough to get a tattoo, I will only deal with the teenager. If the parents aren’t comfortable, then the kid shouldn’t be getting a tattoo.
Q: What advice would you give teens considering a tattoo?
A: First of all, don’t rush. Secondly, find an artist or shop whose work you love and research them. Everyone should have portfolios. If not, hightail it out of there. And lastly, let them take their time. It’s going to be on your body forever. What’s waiting one more day?
Q: Any advice for the parents?
A: If your teen expresses interest, help them. If they want one, they will do it anyway. Better to help them find a good shop or artist than to have them get one in their friend’s basement.