How To Find A Tattoo Artist - Your Guide To Find The Right Artist

Written by: Jason White

Choosing the right tattoo artist is as important as choosing the right sketch. We will tell you what you should pay attention to when choosing a tattooist in our article.

The most important thing you can do before getting a tattoo is to take the time to choose the right tattoo artist and parlor.

Many people do not think about the importance of this process, they just want to go to the nearest parlor and get a tattoo, not paying attention to the professionalism of the tattoo artist and the hygienic conditions of the parlor. While some people are lucky enough to walk out of such parlors with a high-quality tattoo without any ramifications, others are not.


7-Step Process For Finding the Right Artist

how to find a good tattoo artist.

Step 1: Review the portfolio carefully

The level of the artist’s recent work can give you an idea of how well a tattoo can be done on your body. Without a convincing and impressive tattoo portfolio (at least some of them must be already healed) do not trust any tattoo artist. Even if the tattooist will convince you about the sudden creative leap that will happen at this very meeting. It costs a lot more to cover up a bad tattoo.

If it has been a long time since the portfolio was updated, it makes sense to think hard and at least wait for new pieces that will reveal the current tattooist’s level.

Pay attention, if the tattoo artist does not post someone else’s works in his portfolio. There are several signs you can see this: if the chosen artist runs in all possible styles at a low price, the artworks are photographed in radically different lighting, on different backgrounds, and suspiciously does not match the palette. A picture search on the search engines will help you find the authors of those tattoos and see if you are being cheated. Some even manage to make a portfolio out of other people’s tattoos.

Step 2: Participate in the sketch designing (it’s your tattoo actually!)

The artist needs to know the style you would like the image to be in and a description of the subject matter of your future work to develop the visual part of your future project.

The first can be left at the discretion of the tattooist if you like the vast majority of his works, and they are made with the original vision. If you want something similar, but you couldn’t find examples in the artist’s portfolio, you can give an example of any images, from photos to drawings. And don’t forget to describe what you liked about them.

Step 3: Don’t be afraid to ask questions

A good tattoo artist always understands that he is communicating with a non-professional and is willing to explain the entire procedure. Tattooing is a complicated craft, but it is the same work as any other. The artist can explain complex issues in a way that the client can understand, or show his vision graphically at the consultation.

If a tattooist has an established style and a portfolio with masterpiece projects, it means that he has a system, following which he creates these masterpieces.

Step 4: Make unique designs

Whenever there’s an opportunity to create a 100% custom canvas, it’s worth taking advantage of it for several reasons:

  • It can be extremely frustrating to wear for the rest of your life a secondary tattoo that someone else has, moreover, in the original design. Unlike clothing, watches, or accessories, you cannot remove them.
  • A tattoo based on someone else’s design will not be the best copy. The better and higher quality tattoo will be that one, which is thought up, designed, and tattooed by its author. In other words, who came up with the design of the sketch will ink it better.
  • Recognition within the country or the world. Qualitatively completed tattoo projects can always be exhibited at festivals and conventions. But only unique projects. The tattoo community is very tightly communicated, so to hide the fact of copying will be only for a short time.

Of course, this does not mean that it is impossible to ink someone else’s or merely a template picture. But pay attention to the price. If they can create a one-of-a-kind tattoo project for the same price – why not use it?

Step 5: A stunning tattoo is not cheap

When you liked the tattoo of a certain tattoo artist but the price at the moment is unaffordable, remember that a tattoo is not an item of prime necessity. It is better to save the necessary sum and go to a professional than to look for someone who can copy it cheaper.

If you have a general vision of your future tattoo, and you can describe it, the right step is to contact the major parlors, where you will be offered the best specialist in this direction. By comparing the levels of craft and the cost of the design, you will be able to choose the best option for you in terms of quality and budget.

The cost of a good tattoo cannot be low. The artist spends money on rent, equipment depreciation, utilities, advertising, and his personal growth in addition to consumables (disposable needles, inks, wipes, cosmetics for tattoos, and barrier protection).

Step 6: Seniority is not as important as it may seem

Today the tattoo community is completely unconcerned about years of experience. Since 2013 there began a great influx of talented artists, which was actively supported by the industry, in the shortest time providing all tattooists with the latest and affordable tattoo machines, suitable for almost any style of tattooing, as well as quality cosmetics and a variety of ink colors. Thus, the “incubation period” of a good tattoo artist was reduced to 2-3 years.

Step 7: What to do so you don’t dislike it

Don’t tattoo lovers’ faces, it’s hard to remake them into skulls, demons, and evil clowns later. Joke.

The vast majority of annoying tattoos, oddly enough, are those that have been positioned, inked, or detailed against all the tattooist’s advice. What to do to avoid this? Don’t teach professionals how to do their job. Yes, that sounds harsh, but it’s true. You can make your edits, but not all of them will look good within the same image.

The artist knows best, but they also want to give one piece of advice: learn to communicate in the language of the client. If you can’t do it in words, then explain it visually. The problem of communication exists on both sides, but to a greater extent, it must be solved by a professional.

Wherever the above-mentioned words are “specialist” and “good tattooist”, we are speaking about artists who can build dialogue with the potential client and have an idea of how a tattoo project should start, lead it, make changes and finish.

The second category of unappreciated tattoos is “youthful mistakes”. They are either corrected or lasered and covered up. Every tattoo that has lost its relevance to you or that has begun to look unpresentable over the years can become such a “mistake”.

Bottom Line

Don’t be afraid to get tattoos. Most fair employers have long looked only at the employees’ professional qualities, so if you were not hired because of tattoos without a clear explanation of company policy, you should only be glad that you were saved from such a boss and the team.

What will happen in your old age?

Indeed, let it be as they say. Let tattoos be our biggest problem in older age. Hopefully, the article was useful for you and could help you see a little wider the world of tattoo art.

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