Friday, August 31, 2012

Tattoo Artist Interview : Gail from Gailz Tattooz

Thank you, Gail, for allowing me to hang around your studio and ask invasive questions while you worked. :-)

Gailz Tattooz is the place to go if you want to get a tattoo in Yellow Springs, OH. She's done three of my tattoos and they always look great and heal quickly. During the course of her career, Gail has inked around 16,000 tattoos. That's a lot of ink!  

Gail of Gailz Tattooz

Let's jump right into the interview, shall we? 

Me: "Have you ever told a client you would not tattoo them with the image they wanted? Why?"

Gail: I like to do positive tattoos. I won't ink a tattoo on someone's face, genitals, eyelids or lips. I also don't tattoo profanity or anything I'm fairly certain the client will eventually regret. I've gotten pretty good at telling people "no" over the years. 

Me: "What is the most surprising client reaction you've seen? Any big bikers passing out?"

Gail: Sure. The kids who come in, 16 or 17 years old, with their parents, always surprise me. They sit there and take the pain with no complaints or theatrics. It's like they're determine to take it because they want to prove to their parents they can do it. The parents think they'll feel a touch of the needle and back out, the kids prove them wrong. 

Gail, working on a tattoo.

Me: "This is a tough question. Have you ever made a mistake while tattooing?" *She's actually bent over a client, inking a design when I ask this question.*

Gail: (She's totally unruffled by the question and honest when she answers, despite having a client under her needle.) Yup. Skin is a moving canvas. The client moves, jumps, twitches, sneezes, or their friend bumps into the chair the client is sitting in. Usually it's something very simple like a line that will be thicker because of the needle moving a bit. One time, someone came in and wanted their nickname tattooed on them. She wrote it out, spelled it aloud, I asked her several times if it was correct. I made the stencil, transferred the image to her skin, had her look in the mirror and okay it, then inked the design. As she's walking out the door, she says, "Hey! The name is spelled wrong." That was a little tougher to fix. 

Me: "How did you learn to tattoo?"

Gail: I trained myself, practicing on grapefruits in my bedroom and eventually moved on to friends and relatives. I have a degree in computer graphics and was always an artist and illustrator so the artwork came easily to me. 

Me: "If you could go back in time and give yourself advice when you first started as a tattoo artist, what would you say?"

Gail: I'd tell myself that people pass out all the time. Don't flip out. 
When the first person passed out while in my chair, I almost quit all together. I thought I'd killed him! He started jerking around and his eyes rolled back in his head...I didn't know what to do. Now, I wouldn't say I'm used to it, but it's expected sometimes. Oh, and the person will usually puke when they wake up, so be ready for that! 

Me: "What are some of the most common tattoo themes at the moment?"

Gail: Cherry blossoms, birds coming out of feathers, birds coming out of dandelions, birds coming out of just about anything or something turning into birds. I'm not sure how that theme started but it seems everyone is asking for one of those designs. 


A BIG THANKS to Gail of Gailz Tattooz! She specializes in portraits and cover-ups, so be sure to check her out online if you need either. She also shares her shop with her husband who is an experienced piercer, so stop by when you're feeling adventurous, and tell them S.J. Drum sent you! 

        115 Glen Street  
      Yellow Springs, OH 45387

       (937) 767-7144