If there is anything not to be taken lightly, it’s deciding on a tattoo and choosing a trusted artist to make it come to life. There’s no going back. Jason Anthony of Golden Rule Tattoo, AZFoothills.com winner for “Best Tattoo Artist in the Valley 2014”, takes a lot of pride in his ability to change people’s lives for the better through the art of truly sick tattoos.
We asked Anthony some of our most burning questions about tattoo inspiration, how to prepare for the appointment, what comes after and what makes Golden Rule Tattoo the best in Arizona.
How should people prepare for their appointments?
One thing people need to realize when they are getting tattooed is that it a minor medical procedure. We are attacking the largest organ on the human body by breaking the skin. So, if you’re jumping with both feet first then being mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared is key to having a more tolerable experience.
Get plenty of rest the night before and eat a good meal before getting tattooed. Also, keep in mind that it is going to be uncomfortable. It’s a sensation that ranges from slightly annoying to extremely painful depending on where you are getting tattooed, who is doing the tattoo, and each individual’s level of pain tolerance.
Another good thing to keep in mind is that if you’re going to a reputable shop you have researched thoroughly and found an artist that you are comfortable enough with to let change your body for the rest of your life, then let them do their job. They’ve spent a lot more time thinking about what makes a good looking tattoo, and while you want it to look just so, they should know whether or not it will translate into the medium of tattooing. If you have concerns definitely be vocal about them, but don’t micromanage your tattooer.
Should people come with exact drawings of what they want, or general ideas/concepts?
It really depends on the situation. Sometimes people come in with an image that they are dead set on getting that will make a solid tattoo, so we are more than happy to recreate that image on them. Other times people bring in a sketch that a friend or colleague has drawn up or put together on a computer and the image needs to be re-worked into a style that will translate as a good tattoo. Then there are people that simply have an idea and no reference. As long as that idea is something that can be visualized and drawn out then that’s not a problem.
Every now and then people will want something tattooed on them that is an intangible thought or idea that can be represented a million different ways, depending on your outlook on life. People love music, for example, but music isn’t something that means the same thing to everyone. Have an idea that we can draw. Even if you don’t know how it can go together, bring us a few things that can be represented visually and we’ll put it together for you. However, we are artists and craftspeople, not psychoanalysts that can read what you want after talking to you for 5 minutes about something that can be interpreted in countless ways.
Is there anywhere you suggest people go to find inspiration?
Where to find inspiration is the million dollar question, isn’t it? This goes for everything, not just getting a tattoo. If you aren’t inspired to get a tattoo, then just don’t get one. If you want a tattoo, but don’t know what to get, then sit on the idea for a bit. It doesn’t always have to mean everything in the world. Half of my tattoos just look cool and that’s it. There is meaning to some of them, but everyone is different. No one can tell you what inspires you, or how to find that inspiration.
Are there any common misconceptions or misunderstandings you’d like to clear up?
Finger tattoos are not, in any way, inconspicuous. They are some of the most instantly noticed tattoos that someone can get and people that get ‘just a little one on your finger, so that no one will notice’ are not thinking it through. I’ll keep tattooing them, but they are not discrete and they will be noticed by everyone.
How long do tattoos take?
Depends on the tattoo. After setting up our work station, a tattoo the size of a quarter can take as little as 3 minutes. Larger tattoos such as sleeves and back pieces can be upwards of 20-30 hours.
What does it feel like to get a tattoo?
It’s going to hurt. We’re stabbing needles into your skin at about 190 times per second. There’s going to be a burn.
What can people expect during and after their appointments at Golden Rule?
The Golden Rule is a very open shop. There are no walls in between stations and the lobby sits in the middle of everything. You can expect plenty of conversation between artists, clients, and people just coming in to check it out.
You will probably sweat a little during the procedure and depending on how long it takes, you may encounter strong opinions about movies, music, the internet, cats on the internet, and other similar cultural influences.
After the appointment, expect to be told how to take care of your tattoo and know that if there’s any questions you may have that you can always call the shop. Expect that if your friend gives you some bad advice on healing your tattoo and you didn’t think to run it past us that your tattoo will heal poorly. We touch up normal healing discrepancies, but will charge you to fix something that you’ve messed up due to lack of care, too much care, or general irresponsible behavior concerning your tattoo. We will know the difference.
What makes Golden Rule different from the rest?
We want to help you create your story. We keep our own ego out of the equation. We understand that walking into a tattoo shop for the first time can be a little nerve-wracking or intimidating . Therefore, we make sure that we have a good looking, clean shop that is staffed with friendly people that are ready to give a professional service you can enjoy for the rest of your life. It’s a simple business model that works: Provide a quality service/product, and be nice while doing it.
More about Jason Anthony
More about Golden Rule Tattoo
Golden Rule Tattoo was born out of a simple idea. Create a tattoo shop that is clean, friendly and professional. To make this simple idea grow into a great tattoo shop we decided that the thriving art community in the heart of downtown Phoenix, on Roosevelt Row was the perfect location. We then went about recruiting the best, friendliest and most professional artists. We are proud to say that the reaction from the community has been amazing. Every tattoo has a story, let’s create yours together.
120 E. Roosevelt
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Mon – Sat: 12 noon – 8p
Sun: 12 noon – 6p