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Tattoo Techniques: Client Positioning Tricks 3 Minutes to Better Tattooing

Client Positioning Tricks | 3 Minutes to Better Tattooing

Client positioning is a very important but often overlooked variable in the tattoo process. In today's episode, Jake offers a positioning tip for a common problem area. 

This episode was made possible thanks to:

Video by By Jake Meeks —

Writing By Daniel Pushcarich —

Topics: Tattoo Client Comfort, Tattoo Client, Tattoo Arm Prop, Tattoo Chair, Back Tattoo, Tattoo Positioning


Better Living Through Client Positioning! Easy Stretch For Back Tattoos

“When you’re working in between the shoulder blades, and it gets intense or painful, the client tends to want to pinch their shoulder blades together. And, that’s just kind of instinctual, but it makes it very difficult to stretch the skin.”

- Jake Meeks

When tattooing the upper back, especially between the shoulder blades, tattooers frequently encounter a challenge—the client instinctively pinching their shoulder blades together. 

don't lay the client on the massage table, it can cause pinching

This involuntary reaction, driven by discomfort or intensity, complicates the tattooing process, hindering the artist's ability to stretch the skin adequately and achieve consistent color without causing undue stress to the skin.

pinching example for back piece

To address this issue, there's a clever positioning trick that tattoo artists can employ. Instead of the conventional position of laying them on the massage table, have the client sit backward in a chair or on a static padded stool and use an arm prop for them to rest their forehead on. But, the key element lies in instructing the client to drop their arms directly to their sides. 

client draping shoulders

This positioning not only prevents the instinctual shoulder blade pinching but also encourages the client to spread their back, facilitating a more controlled and comfortable experience.

easier stretching example

By implementing this positioning trick, artists create an environment that minimizes client discomfort and enhances the artist's control during the tattooing process. With the arms dropped to the sides, clients find it easier to manage their shoulders, eliminating the tendency to pinch the shoulder blades together. This not only improves the overall client experience but also allows the artist to execute the tattoo with greater precision and efficiency. 



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Transcript for this video can be found (here). All transcripts can be found (Here)


The Fireside Tattoo Network is home to the Fireside podcast, Fireside Technique video series and our Fireside Weekly blog.

The Fireside Tattoo podcast is hosted by veteran tattooer Jake Meeks, check out our episodes where we discuss, argue and wax philosophical, from tips for all levels of artists to trends in the tattoo world. Many guest artists have sat down for interviews and in-depth conversations and many more are planned…check back often!

Our Fireside Tattoo Overview video series offers informative, short, and detailed videos geared towards helping artists understand the science and nuances of tattoos and make more informed decisions to improve their work. We often take some of our more technical topics from our Fireside podcast and film an in-depth, narrated, time-lapse video showing exactly how Jake or our featured artists handle certain issues.

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