Should you consider to embark on the tattoo journey with Yoso, or with another artist. We hope you will find our notes useful and that it will help answering some of the questions you might have. Whether you are simply curious, or trying to find the right Japanese tattoo artist, we believe it can help a few, who wish to gain some understanding about the tattoo process.
Each artist, or tattooist is likely to have their own preferences, attitudes varies, so you will need to engage with each one of us to get a clearer picture.
If you wish to get a wider view, you are welcome to read Yoso's notes on the Japanese Tattoo as it coexist within the world today. A work in progress as it is mainly a subjective interpretation that evolves from day to day. If you like it short, we also invite you to read our small text, an attempt to present a snapshot of Yoso's philosophy!
The initial consultation starts with a conversation to allow us to outline the overall idea that one wishes to depict on their skin. An opportunity to discover each personality. There are more than one way to approach the tattoo journey, it can sometimes be difficult to find the right artist, as each have they distinct styles and preferred ways of working.
Yoso chose an intimate approach to the tattoo journey, as it is an opportunity to flourish through exchange and discovery. It takes commitment and focus to carve the skin. It is often the start of a long relationship.
Hopefully, the first consultation will help us plant the seed that will grow into a beautiful 'art piece', and if for any reasons, the project is not selected, do not despair! It is likely to mean that there is someone else more suited for the realisation of your ideas! Yoso will try his best to recommend you to another artist, or at least to point you in the right direction.
Each attempt to describe some aspect of our journey through the art form that is the Japanese tattoo can be quite challenging. While we learn from traditions, inspiration has no borders. The emphasis of Yoso's approach is an attempt to celebrate harmony and balance, while celebrating creativity, which can be inspired by various philosophies or visual forms, from traditional Chinese painting, Japanese traditions or other contemporary disciplines.
Whether one has a clear idea of what he wishes to express, or seek guidance, we will attempt to distill the message to its essence, selecting the most appropriate symbols and where applicable, in line with traditions as it can provides us with strong foundations.
While inspiration might arise from nature, spirituality or a wild imagination. The overall aesthetic is rooted within eastern traditions, especially within Japanese culture.
While culture embrace social media, it does not exclude the respect of privacy and intimacy. Yoso's process is based on trust and honesty, so it is best we keep each other choices into consideration, and that we try our best to reflect on, and express our conditions. If confidentiality is important to you, please let us know at the start of the project, so that we ensure that none of the process is published online or documented. This includes the final result if you choose to keep your art for the private eye.
We ask that you too please be respectful of the artist's privacy. It is hardly ever an issue for Yoso, but if you wish to take pictures or document the process, please ask! Generally speaking, we will not reveal faces and specific locations on social media unless it has been agreed upon.
Time and Space
The creation of the tattoo often requires multiple sittings, so while some are impatient to see the final result. Let's allow for transformation and time to manifest itself. Each session will show result, the healing time allows for an assimilation of the process. So let's not rush and ensure that we enjoy the journey.
We will do our best to define a time frame, and as it is a concern for some, to estimate a budget. However please note that for bigger pieces, it remains an estimate, the cost will be based on a hourly rate, or a set daily fee.
As much as we prepare and plan ahead, it is not mass production we chose as a process, it is important to remain flexible when managing our expectations, and to nurture the uniqueness of each piece.
While it is great to see a project complete, we might feel nostalgic reaching the end of the journey as we enjoyed walking the path, as it sometimes feel we are leaving in the middle of a conversation we wished to explore further.
The healing time brings a lot of softness and depth as it merges with the skin, often reflecting the time it might take to assimilate new knowledge. If it is best not to wait too long to work on the same piece as it ages, and the artist style evolves, sometimes a few months can be beneficial.
Please keep in mind, that there is always a chance that the work will need retouching after completion. Retouching if necessary can either be considered as preservation or improvement, which ever the case, this will also incur a fee as it is considered part of the process.
It is your responsibility to look after the art you have commissioned, over exposure to sun, poor hygiene, amongst other factors can impact on the longevity or healing of your tattoo.
Yoso allows some time each year to travel and meet patrons, for those who have the chance, come and visit Japan, see it as a retreat and an opportunity to resource.
For those who have never been tattooed, a sense of anxiety might occur. There is not much to worry about, all that is needed is to embrace mental strength as one has the ability to handle the pain threshold. It is hard to nail the feeling as it varies according to the body placement, overall it can be described as a burning sensation, maybe like hot water on a fresh sun burn.
While some part of the body do not present much challenge, longer sessions or areas like the ribs or the sternum can indeed test our perseverance. Some artist do prefer a stronger or imposing technique, Yoso aims to be more gentle, tuning in and following with your breathing. Working in multiple layers if necessary or shorter sessions if it helps one feel more comfortable.
Strong sensations are sometimes part of the tattoo journey, taming the mind is part of the outcome! Learning to relax in what might seem a challenging situation can be beneficial to other aspects of life. It is usually best to get tattooed laying down as it allows for our full body weight to relax, so that we can focus on our breath and embrace the images that flows through our mind. Some might consider it as a shamanic tradition. In any case, it is not recommended to use numbing cream, or any kind of analgesic. If this is the method you were hoping to use, please try to find an artist that accept it as part of its its practice.
In the majority of cases, It can take a few weeks to create the design, according to schedule, size and complexity. The initial consultation should ensure that we already have outlined what we wish to compose. Once understood, a set fee is established to lay the foundation for the composition, this can consist of a few drafts, from rough to refined, after which the work is reviewed and discussed. It is usually enough to start the tattoo. Sometimes we wish to rework some of its aspects or choose another direction. In which case another fee will be established if it is necessary. As a general recommendation, it is best to consider each elements within the overall composition, ensuring we are happy with the symbolism, before spending too much time on details, in order to avoid frustration and wasting energy, it is best to remain focused.
While usually, it provides us with great inspiration, on rare occasions, we might realise that the produced result does not match our expectations. In which case we might try to do another attempt or choose to give an end to the project.
There is a sense of integrity in a design, its uniqueness is composed by the overall evolving artistic style, but also combined with the personality of the wearer. Once the foundations are laid, it starts becoming alive, and through practice we see it grow. So it is a mutual responsibility. While the patron should carefully screen and select the artist they resonates the most with, it is also the role of the artist to draw the line if a request does compromise its essence.
The ideal, is to be able to recognise what we love in one's work, without trying to freeze or control it. The flow can not be tempered with, so it is best to simply trust that the final result, will surpass our imagination.
While the artist does not wish to embark on the journey half hearted, the same is true of those who chose to carve their skin. Please, do not ask to replicate work you might have seen. It can be a source of inspiration, but accept that it is alive and forever growing. The past is the past!
Preparing for a Tattoo Session
Yoso usually reserves the full day when booking for a tattoo as it helps focus and preparation - even tho the session might only last a few hours, please be considerate of the time and schedule. If you are late, need to cancel or have to leave early, please let us know as soon as possible.
In general one need to be in good shape and feel rested.
While some might feel a tension arising before the session, we have found that highly active individuals often celebrate it as a form of relaxation.
It is case by case, there is no need to worry and we will do our best to accommodate your needs and take our time.
As a last check list, please consider the points highlighted below as those might help make the experience more comfortable.
- Sleep well, eat well and do not consume alcohol the night before, or if you really have to, do it in moderation
- Eat Well before the session
- Be Clean
- DO NOT Shave the area that will be tattooed. (This will be done at the beginning of the session)
- Be Sober
- Bring Healthy Snacks and your favourite refreshment
- Bring one, or better Two big clean towels
- Wear comfortable clean clothes
- Bring Your After Care Cream, let us know if you want us to help you choose one
- Bring a loved one if necessary, however, we have found that being alone will reduce the risk of distraction
- Use phones with moderation please, try to relax your mind and focus on your breathing, now is your time
- If you wish to introduce someone, please ask, and it is best if they visit at the end of the session
Please keep in mind there is a risk of getting ink/blood stains on your apparels
- If you have any medical conditions or allergies, please inform us.
- If you have a cold, it is best to postpone the session.
- If you are pregnant or breast feeding, we are sorry but you will need to postpone the sessions until a later stage
- After care will be discussed at the end of each session
Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions!
Wishing you a happy Journey!