We continue the conversation with Larry McDaniel where we learn his insights as an experienced tattoo artist.
What should a customer think about before getting a tattoo?
LM: Have an idea of what you want but leave it as an idea. Do not micromanage the process; let us be the artist and create.
What is the best way for a customer to come to a session?
LM: Get a good night’s sleep. Hydrate and eat something with a lot of fat, like a cheeseburger, or go to the waffle house. Get you blood sugar up.
Take a shower! I love my dogs, but I don’t need to smell your dogs.
What are the consequences of not being prepared?
LM: You run the risk of passing out and that makes the whole experience weird. I had a female client who passed out and fell forward. When she came to, she didn’t understand why she was being held. Your body is going thru shock on its own. If you don’t prepare, it won’t be a good experience.
What is the worst damage you have seen on tattoos?
LM: Damage caused by using Neosporin for aftercare. It is a triple-antibiotic that draws on out foreign objects from the skin. It will push out the ink.
Why is Ink Defense® different for you?
LM: It is dummy proof. Not greasy, doesn’t stick to your clothes or sheets. It does what is it supposed to do. After it absorbs, it doesn’t leave a huge residue that will suffocate your tattoo. I explain how it works. Tattooing has changed over the years and your aftercare should too.
Look at the difference in care of tattoos between cultures; Japanese style tattoos stay vibrant because people take the time to care for them by doing things like going to hot springs, moisturizing the art and keeping their tattoo in healthy state. Think of the original American Sailor tattoos where it was cool to get one, but you didn’t do anything to preserve the art. Then look at them after 20 years.
My grandfather was a pharmacist. Thanks to him, I learned early on what to stay away from and what works to keep the art in good shape.
Do you have any other pursuits?
LM: I am involved with Modern Day Pirates: it is an adventure group to get you out and doing things. The key principles are based on adventure, community, charity, mentorship, and self-improvement. I have been a hard core paintballer for over 26 years. I do paintball, even tournaments a lot. I am currently restoring a 1999 CraigCat; it should be in the water, soon. I also like to hunt and fish.
And I am registered lifetime member of the Girl Scouts; it is actually what got me into tattooing. I worked as a property manager off Lake Travis in Texas and the nearest grocery store was over an hour away. When I went into town one day I decided to get a tattoo. I found a shop and got my first tattoo; it was poor quality. It was then I realized I could do this… I could be a tattoo artist.