Updated: Feb 10
Picking your tattoo artist may be one of the most nerve-racking decisions in life due to the obvious fact that this piece of art will be on your body for the rest of your life! It differs from other services like picking a barber/beautician because if a mistake happens at least your hair grows. Or if you pick a make up artist and don’t like the service than you can simply wash your face. Getting a tattoo might be a few steps down from choosing a surgeon and many people seeking a tattoo artist should take this decision very seriously. The fact that your artist must handle needles, ink and your blood should not be taken lightly.
Research The 1st thing a client usually should do is hit the internet & social media & research local shops or artists in your area. Now there are a few searching tips you should utilize. Google or yelp can be good avenues because you can read reviews and testimonials from clients who have actually gotten a service at the location you are going to. These search engines can provide pictures of the services and the actual location of the tattoo shop. It will ease your mind seeing the environment you will be getting permanent body art in. Look for a formal website for the tattoo shop that you are thinking of choosing.
A website at times indicates a higher level of professionalism in the craft. It’s a organized and more informative platform for the shop or artist you would choose. It can offer more of a background and history about your artist. Since social media is so prevalent these days most will elect to hit IG or FB. I would advise being more investigative on these sort of sites. There have been instance where inexperienced artists have stole expert level tattoo artist’s tattoo pictures to build clientele. This is very dangerous because if the artist falsely promotes a higher level tattoo skill your skin is subject to getting chopped up. Beware! It’s even better if you personally know of family, friend or associate who has got a tattoo from your prospect artist. Good ole fashion word of mouth is still the most effective asset in the tattoo world. Artist Portfolio Actually look at the portfolio of the artist. Do you naturally gravitate towards their style of art? If you do then you are on the right track. Examine to see if they have the style of work that you think you want. Some artists only do certain styles of work & are not interested in doing some styles. A huge top that i have for you is to not force an artist to tattoo a style that they are not comfortable doing. This creates a lot of anxiety for an artist & will make the experience a terrible experience. Tattoo artists are sensitive about the work they put out. The best art is always done by an artist who is happy & mentally at peace with what they are creating.Styles that artists specialize in can range from color, black/grey realism, fine line, portraits, cover ups...etc!
Consultation If there is any way possible to elect for a consultation before getting your tattoo i strongly suggest taking it. An in-person consultation will allow you to meet your artist and feel out their vibes/personality. If you are able to click with their personality your tattoo experience will be amazing i promise you. While you are there, also check out the cleanliness and sanitation of the shop. Check to see if there is some basic upkeep. Clean floors, trash cans & table surfaces. Make sure they have some form of biohazard waste containers to properly dispose of their needles and disposable content. If you want to take it a step further ask them to see their autoclave and sanitation room. You will really go be able to get a sense of how tight a ship the tattoo shop is running.Some artists prepare sketches beforehand, if so, that would be a good time to ask to see sketches and elect any changes. If you are lucky maybe they can make the stencil and actually place it to your body to really get a sense of how it will look.
Time to Lock in An Appointment Date Pick a time/date that best fits you and your tattoo artist’s schedule. Make sure it’s a time that your artist has the most energy! You don’t want an exhausted artist working on you. You want them at tip top condition. Maybe even bring some drinks & food if you are feeling generous. Happy Tattoo Day! :)