Choosing the right tattoo artist can make or break your tattoo experience. So you want a tattoo, what comes next? Many movies and tv shows depict people walking into random tattoo parlors and getting whatever they want, but that really isn’t the case.
You see, tattoo artists are not factory workers. Each one is unique and what one artist can do well might not be the case with another artist, so how do you decide which tattoo artist you want to work with? Here are some ways to whittle them down.
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Choosing Your Tattoo Design
This sounds simple enough, but the reality is that your tattoo design is the most important thing to keep in mind when looking at different artists.
What style are you looking for? Will there be color involved and if so, how much? Are you looking to get a sleeve done? Make sure you look for artists that know how to make a sleeve look cohesive. These are just a few things to think about.
Find a few artists to interview
This step can be step one if you haven’t settled on an exact design but easily works as step two if you’ve got your design in hand.
In the past, your tattoo options were reduced to whatever shops you could see on a short drive around town, but with the rise of social media, it’s become easier to locate masterful artists all over the globe.
Using various hashtags on Instagram, Facebook or even TikTok can reveal a number of talented individuals for you to scrutinize.
A great feature of social media is that their portfolio is often right there for the world to see, so it’ll be easy for you to look over their handiwork and narrow down who you’d prefer to work with.
It is important to keep in mind that talented artists often are backlogged because they’re highly sought after, so pick your top three, or even five just in case they don’t have room on their waitlist for new clients.
Check out the artist’s shop
You wouldn’t get your nails done behind an alleyway somewhere right? Tattooing involves needles and often blood and any respected artist will gladly give you a full tour of the premises.
Don’t be afraid to ask them to demonstrate how they clean and sanitize their workspaces while you’re interviewing them. Remember that not only is this going to be on your body forever, but that a quality tattoo is a decent amount of money and you want to get what you pay for.
Ask Friends and Family
The last thing you could consider is the word of your friends or family members. Everyone has a friend that does tattoos out of their kitchen that they can vouch for but remember that this tattoo is yours and what works for your friends might not work for you.
If your loved ones have really good work done it could be worth it to look into their favorite shops if you want something similar too. At the end of the day finding a tattoo artist is like finding a good mechanic.
If they do satisfactory work you’re more likely to come back again and again so it only makes sense that you’d want someone you really vibe with.