Golden Phoenix Tattoo is Madison’s newest tattoo and piercing shop, and owners Jason and Brandie West have created an atmosphere that they hope breaks stereotypes in the industry.
The shop is roomy and open and full of natural light, comfortable furniture, and smiles all around from artists excited to have you inside. Even children are welcome; The West family has eight children, many of who are often around the shop on a weekly basis!
I recently caught up with Jason to inquire about what the process actually looks like to get a custom tattoo. Coming up with the idea is one thing, but what steps actually take place in order to bring a specific vision to life?
It’s simple, he says.
“Once you have an idea, we’ll meet with you in person to discuss it, or you’re welcome to send us a design if it’s something a little more simple.”
For example, West says that many of his clients come in wanting a sleeve of tattoos. For projects like this, West suggests visiting the shop in-person and then sitting down with him (or another artist) to share all about what you want, the area you’re wanting it, and how big you want it.
Once West has a general idea of the artwork one wants to have tattooed, he then helps determine if the design flows well on the specific, desired body part.
“I have diagrams of the body on my iPad where we’ll make a sketch and ensure that it will all flow right.”
West continues to share that educating clients is a big part of what he does; He wants his clients to be happy with the quality of their tattoos for the long haul, and having the right design in the right size on the right body part is essential to the longevity of the tattoo looking good.
“There is a big difference in something that flows well with your body versus something that kind of looks like a sticker and really clashes.”
After West and/or his artists have an idea of what one is looking for, they’ll give the client an expectation of how long the appointment to get the tattoo will last.
“We want them to know approximately how much something will cost, and we base the cost of a tattoo on time.”
He explains that the condition of one’s skin is a detrimental piece in how long getting a tattoo will take, so West will take notes about these things as well during that initial meeting.
“After that, we’ll create a text thread back and forth with the client where we send proofs and feedback back and forth.”
West says that once the design is complete, clients will go over the final design either the day before or the day of their tattoo appointment.
“If you trust your artist, most people are really, really happy with the final product,” he assures. “A little bit of trust with your artist goes a long way.”
Clients interested in getting a new tattoo of any kind – whether it’s something fairly small or larger and more custom – are invited to drop into the shop anytime during business hours (2 p.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday) to discuss ideas with West or one of their artists.
“You are absolutely welcome to stop by any time and run your ideas by us.”
In order to move forward with creating a custom design on paper, clients are asked to make a deposit to ensure their intentions to move forward with the tattoo.
“People often have no idea how much time and effort goes into the design process. It takes us three to seven hours at least to put a design together.”
While West and his team enjoy custom projects, they also really enjoy meeting with walk-in clients who are ready to get a same-day tattoo.
“If the availability is there, we’ll get to you.”
West says that his team works hard to determine which artist is best for specific projects and tries to make one’s experience at Golden Phoenix Tattoo as personalized as possible, regardless of if it’s a walk-in client or a custom appointment.
When asked if West had anything else he really wanted the community to know about Golden Phoenix, he immediately remarked that clients should never feel intimidated about walking through the doors of their shop, especially if getting a tattoo is something unfamiliar.
“There’s a big intimidation piece at many tattoo shops, but you won’t find that here.”
Quick Info for Golden Phoenix Tattoo
Open 2 p.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday
7449 HWY 72 W, Madison, AL 35758