Fine Art Tattoo Advice
August 17, 2011 4:10 PM   Subscribe

Looking for advice regarding a tattoo interpretation of this painting (Van Gogh's Almond Blossom).

I'm beginning to think about getting another tattoo, and you guys were so helpful with my last one, I thought I'd ask again!

I really love this painting, and would like to get a branch with some blossoms, perhaps 6" long and with hints of the blue. I have an idea in my mind what it should look like, but I am not an artist, so someone is going to have to be able to listen to my idea and turn it into an image. How does this work? Will I have to pay for a proof? If I don't like the drawing, is it considered rude or unacceptable to seek out a new artist?

I would really like the tattoo to look like the painting (texture-wise and in general) and I know there are artists that mimic fine art (and I did see this previous question). Does anyone have a recommendation for an artist near New York City or Rochester, NY? Any idea how much this will cost?
posted by i_am_a_fiesta to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You want Anil Gupta.

I can't tell you exactly how much, but it won't be cheap. But it will be a piece of art. Browse through his portfolio. He is located in NYC.
posted by corn_bread at 4:17 PM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

aaannd, he's already done it. Check under miniatures.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:45 PM on August 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: As corn_bread says, it won't be cheap. The folks I know in Oakland who can do work like that are tight with other shops in the New York area, so if you struggle to find someone you think you can work with, I could dig up some recommendations for you.

You shouldn't have to pay for a proof. The artist may want to trace that part of your body where you'll want it, but for something this small I doubt it.

I'd expect you could work most of the details out via email, with just one initial consultation.

I'd guess you'd be paying $100 ~ $150 an hour. If it's only 6" long, then I wouldn't expect more than an hour or two.
posted by colin_l at 4:45 PM on August 17, 2011

Of course, someone beat me to mention Anil Gupta, but as the proud owner of one of his masterpieces, I cannot more highly recommend him to do this job.
posted by dbiedny at 5:41 AM on August 18, 2011

Anil Gupta's work is very impressive, but many have said (and he has acknowledged) that it is still subject to the physical restraints of tattooing. That is, all tattoos fade and blur (or go-a-bit-soft-focus as I like to say) with time and packing a lot of fine detail into a small can mean a rather blurry/smudgy tattoo 5-10-20 years down the line. You might want to search BMEzine, or AskBME or find some other way to see what his miniature reproductions look like several years down the line before making an appointment.

Different artists have different ways of dealing with money and custom work, and it often depends upon just how much preliminary drawing needs to be done before actually sitting down to do the actual tattooing. If they can do a prelim sketch in 5-10 minutes that's one thing, if they need 30-50 minutes outside normal business hours then they may require a non-refundable deposit. For the artists I'm most familiar with, this drawing-deposit comes off the final price. That is, if they charge $100/hour and ask for $50 deposit for the prelim drawing, then the first half-hour of actual tattooing is free. If you don't like the drawing, they keep the $50 for the work done so far.

It's not rude to change your mind and seek someone else, it's only rude to ask/expect them to spend 30-50 minutes drawing for nothing.
posted by K.P. at 7:40 AM on August 18, 2011

Ah, no, I've seen a few of Anil's miniatures YEARS after they were done, and guess what? Crystal clear, sharp as the day they were made, like my own Anil piece, exceedingly detailed, something no other tattoo artist would even attempt, looks as crisp as the day I got it - over a decade ago. Mind you, mine ain't a miniature, but it's got some sick detail. YMMV, but Anil has a touch and technique that no one can match. Certainly, if someone in the NY area asks about an artist that can handle such a request, Anil is the only person any reasonably knowledgeable tat person would recommend.
posted by dbiedny at 1:42 PM on August 18, 2011

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