I love food. I love trying out a new place to eat and I really love to eat when I travel. I know what I like, but I'm not a chef. I will try new things and have even enjoyed food that I never thought I would have eaten based on it's description. But like they say, it's all in the presentation.
When I'm looking over a menu, I'm watching what the servers are bringing out of the kitchen or what other people have at their tables. I don't mind leaning over and asking someone what they ordered.
I hate when something sounds good on the menu and as the waiter brings it out you can hear the cartoon horns. WAAA Waaaa waaaa. The most common is the little burger with too many fries. Just a whole plate of weird fancy french fries. Sometimes the bun is just way to big and it makes it seem like your getting a lot but not really. You know what a good burger and fries should look like. It should be pretty straight forward.
Sea food in the midwest is always different than on the coast. Somewhere there is a miscommunication on preparation and presentation. The midwest cook will treat fish and lobster like pork and steak. They cook it too long because they were taught that undercooked meat makes you sick. A trained chef in the midwest will not make the same mistake.
Once I ate raw liver from a cow. I also ate it's throat and stomach. It was one of the best dinners I ever had. I was in Japan and my friends couldn't translate clearly what it was I was eating. It looked so good I didn't think to ask what it was. It was that well prepared that I didn't care.
These examples parallel tattoos and tattooing. Traditional tattoos are the burgers and fries of this industry. When an artist puts highlights on a swallow and then twists the birds wings all up, you know it's wrong. Do not pass this off as style. Style is doing something wrong for so long that everyone knows you did it.
Portraits, Japanese work, or large work in general is not something to be taken lightly. A tattoo artist commissioned to do elaborate work should have already proven to you without a doubt that they are the artist to fill your order. Everyone knows the proof is in the pudding (more food analogy). You will have already seen his or her work around town, and when you meet them there portfolio will almost speak for them. This type of artist knows that the actual tattoo is the reward for the preparation they put into the drawing. They are the chefs.
Sometimes in a consultation, an artist will suggest imagery that you aren't sure about. Just because it sounds odd to you doesn't mean it won't work in the composition. If you have trusted the artist this far, just let him or her do their thing. When it's drawn up, you might have a whole new take on something you originally thought wasn't going to work.
I see good tattoos that look wrong on certain people and bad tattoos on cute girls. Sometimes it's huge tattoos that would have been classier small. Unlike cooking, when it comes to tattoos the owner will be the one who is judged and the artist is always the one who is blamed.
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