How To Choose A Tattoo Artist?
So you want to get a tattoo but you’re not too sure where to start. Getting your first tattoo can feel like a daunting task if you don’t know where to begin. Even if you already have tattoos, sometimes your go-to artist isn’t available any longer and you may be in the same boat.
- To help out we’ve put together a quick guide to help you through this process to ensure you’re paired with the right artist for your next tattoo;
- ASK YOUR FRIENDS! You should definitely ask people you know who have tattoos that you like where they got theirs done, and ask how their experience was;
People are usually happy to refer their artist and can help you understand the artist’s style. If you can, and if the opportunity arises, go along when others get tattooed. This way you can talk to some artists and watch them work. Don’t be afraid to ask questions: Tattoo shops are typically open, friendly places where everyone feels at ease.
CHECK OUT ONLINE/SOCIAL MEDIA If you don’t know anybody who has tattoos the websites of the tattoo studios in your area are usually the best sources of information. Most, if not all, will have artist bios, and pictures of the work they have done, go through them to see if their style is what you’re looking for.
Instagram and Facebook are also great resrouces for searching and comparing artists. Most shops have a page and many artists have their own pages, as well. Like and follow them, and don’t be afraid to drop them a DM, they’re always excited to talk to new clients.
REMEMBER NOT ALL TATTOO STUDIOS ARE EQUAL Each tattoo studio has a vibe of its own. The shop location, and the type of customer they attract, the artists, they all create a unique atmosphere. Go walk in and visit a few, get a feel for how their staff handle clients, answer questions, see how you feel in the space.
A huge part of getting a tattoo is feeling comfortable and safe. Visiting the studios themselves is a great way to see if it’s the right fit. WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU Once you’ve taken the time to narrow down your choices, you can bring your idea in to each of them individually for a short consult to get their feedback and ideas.
But before you talk to them, think about the most important factor in your decision. Are you looking for somebody who is confident that they can pull off that style or that level of detail? Or do you really want somebody who seems enthusiastic about your idea? Maybe you’re really looking for somebody who can enhance or develop your idea? Do you want a custom piece? Or do you just want the person that can get you in the soonest? Defining what is most important to you will help you make your choice.
When all else fails, ask as many questions as you like. It’s your tattoo and it’s your body, in the end, you have to feel comfortable and confident in your decision. Our team at Black Line Studios can help you with all of the above, so don’t be afraid to call and we can coach you through the whole process to make it as effortless as possible..
- 0.1 How do people choose their tattoo artist?
- 0.2 How do you decide where to get a tattoo?
- 0.3 What spots hurt the least for a tattoo?
- 0.4 How much do tattoos cost?
- 1 What should you not do before getting a tattoo?
- 2 Where is the most attractive place to get a tattoo?
- 3 Is it rude to show a tattoo artist another tattoo?
- 4 What should I bring to a tattoo appointment?
- 5 Do tattoo artists just trace?
- 6 How much do tattoo artists make?
How do people choose their tattoo artist?
Has someone you know worked with good tattoo artists? – The easiest and possibly best place to start your search for a tattoo artist is to ask a friend or relative with great ink for a recommendation. Chances are, if you love the art on their skin, they’ll be happy to give you advice about finding an artist you love. This is particularly true if the work they got from their artist is the kind of work you are looking for. And seeing an artist’s healed work in person is even better than seeing pictures of it.
How do you decide where to get a tattoo?
What questions should I ask my tattoo artist?
Do tattoo artists draw what you want?
Asking Them To Draw Something For You – Many people expect tattoo artists to make all their design dreams come true, without offering any input. But that’s just not how the process works. It’s important to “have an idea of what you want for a tattoo and where you want it and describe it,” Palomino says.
From there, it’ll be easier for them to create something from scratch — using your ideas as a guideline. Artists can even take your design and add their own creative spin. So if you want something truly unique, let them know you want them to include their own flair.
This is, after all, a type of collaboration. And there’s definitely a lot of etiquette to keep in mind when getting a tattoo , as a result. But that doesn’t mean you can’t speak up. If something isn’t to your liking, isn’t going as planned, or is uncomfortable, let the artist know.
What spots hurt the least for a tattoo?
Least painful to tattoo – The least painful places to get a tattoo are areas of your body with fewer nerve endings. Think outer shoulder, calf, buttocks, and outer arm. While people generally focus on the location on the body, Stanley Kovak , a cosmetic physician, theorizes that pain is more about size.
How much do tattoos cost?
Factors of Average Tattoo Prices – There is a lot that goes into figuring out the cost of your new tattoo. It isn’t a straight forward answer. Things like materials, size, location, and type of tattoo affect the price. On average you can expect to charge $50-100 for a small tattoo, up to $200 for a medium tattoo and over $250 for a large tattoo.
What should you not do before getting a tattoo?
Where is the most attractive place to get a tattoo?
The upper back and shoulder were not far behind, receiving 3. 5 and 3. 4 ratings, respectively. Those attracted to women saw a three-way tie between the upper back, shoulder and hips (with a 3. 3 rating). The back : a top-rated tattoo location for women and men.
What is the best place for a first tattoo?
How do I know if my tattoo artist is good?
Quora A tattoo artist works on a tattoo based on an image of Albert Einstein on March 17, 2014 in London. Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images This question originally appeared on Quora , the best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and access insider knowledge. You can follow Quora on Twitter , Facebook , and Google Plus.
Answer by Kevin “Jack” Allaire , licensed freelance tattoo artist: This is easy and difficult at the same time. The first thing you have to do is look through the portfolio of the artist. As with a lot of things, a person’s previous work speaks volumes.
Make sure there is a large variety of different work in the portfolio: color, black and gray, traditional, realism. If a portfolio is filled with pieces of flash art (small, common, money-making pieces picked from off the wall), I would call that person a tattooist and not a tattoo artist.
Original designs of great detail are a sure sign of an artist who does tattoos as his medium of choice. And as silly as it sounds, price of the artist determines a lot. The old adage of you get what you pay for generally rings true.
You pay for quality. A typical price of an average artist is $75 to $100 an hour. Your better artists are generally two to three times that at a minimum. Ask all the questions you want to! Good tattoo artists love to answer questions and provide comfort to their clients, from what kind of machines they use to what kind of ink they use to how long they’ve been at it and what they have a preference for doing.
The look and presentation of the shop itself speaks volumes about the artists in the shop. You won’t find a great tattoo artist in a dingy, dirty shop. Remember, this is technically a minor medical procedure, so run from a dimly lit, cramped, and dingy shop.
But the No. 1 rule of thumb is to look at an artist’s work—all of it! Look at the lines closely. Do they look nice and thin and clean and crisp? Do they look like they have bled, like holding a marker on paper too long? Does the skin look beat-up and red and bleeding? Look at the detail in the pieces in the artist’s portfolio.
- Minute details are the difference between someone who wants to get you in and out of the seat for money and someone whose focus is solely making a great tattoo;
- Look for saturation and boldness of colors;
Packing solid color into skin is difficult if inexperienced, and most will beat up the skin, and you will see blood and areas of light color. If you look through a portfolio and see a lot of the same simple, small pieces you would find on the wall, the person is most likely a tracer and not an artist.
You wouldn’t trust a doctor to operate on you if he’s only ever treated colds, right? Variety and difficulty of the pieces in the portfolio truly speaks for itself. Also, thanks to the Internet, you can search just about anyone and find reviews for him or her.
Listen to what people say! These are permanent pieces on your body, and people won’t lie about their experiences. If an artist is uncomfortable with any of these things, gets annoyed, or has issues with anything you ask (don’t demand though), walk away.
Also ask him if he does conventions, which ones, if he’s worked at other shops. Then look it all up. Don’t make spur-of-the-moment decisions. Do your research. Again, it’s permanent. But don’t get me wrong, some artists have specialties they prefer to do.
Some love portraits. Some love photorealism. Some love traditional. The key is: Is it original work, or is it stuff people come into the shop and point to the wall and say, “That one”? If you encounter an artist that has a specialized niche, he or she will be well-known for it.
- Generally, only established artists have the ability to specialize in one genre of work, and you will be able to tell from the quality of the work presented to you;
- If all else fails, come to Quora and ask about a specific artist;
Some top artists are Andy Engel, Kirk Alley, Mario Barth, Nikko Hurtado, Paul Booth, and Mike Devries. Also go to Sullen Clothing , Intenze , and Eternal Ink to look at the teams of artists they support. These are industry leaders that “sponsor” the best of the best, and you will get an idea for what truly great tattoo artist work looks like. More questions on Quora :
- Body Art : What do I need to consider before getting a tattoo?
- Tattoo Artist : What is the typical working arrangement between a tattoo artist and a tattoo shop?
- Tattooing : What are some tips from tattoo artists about getting a custom tattoo?
Is it rude to ask tattoo price?
Many artists find it extremely rude if you try to haggle the price of a tattoo. Though negotiating the price of some goods and services is normal, haggling with your artist over the cost of a tattoo is typically seen as unacceptable and insulting.
How much do you tip a tattoo artist?
How Much to Tip – If you decide to tip, the next step is to calculate exactly how much to add to the final tattoo price. The general consensus in the tattoo community is that 20 percent is the typical amount to tip — just like at a restaurant or a hair salon.
- However, consider this number a baseline, as some tattoos require more or less work than others;
- Just like there is no one tattoo experience or price, there’s no one-size-fits-all tipping option;
- “The more you spend on the tattoo, the more you should tip, as they are putting more work into the piece,” says Fiore;
Weed, however, notes that there is one thing that every tattoo experience needs to have to warrant a tip: It needs to be great. Your artist is putting time into the behind-the-scenes of your tattoo, but it’s also their responsibility to ensure you’re comfortable and having a good time while it’s happening.
Is it rude to show a tattoo artist another tattoo?
Let the artist take lead on the design Most tattoo artists are in fact artists. They want to tattoo you with their own art. This isn’t just a creative preference. Tattooers generally have perfected a certain style (or styles). Their best designs and their best execution will be in this style(s). They want to be confident and and proud of your tattoo.
- Don’t send them a picture of another artist’s work and say “I want this tattoo”.
- Don’t be surprised if the artist does not want to tattoo in a style that is not their own.
- Do share reference images for the subject matter you like.
- Do share reference images from the artist’s own portfolio and say “I like the style you used here. “
Be as specific as you need to be. Not more or less. Artists love it when you give them creative freedom but don’t do it unless you really do want them to make all creative decisions. If you have something specific in mind, tell them.
- Don’t tell the artist “you have complete freedom” and then come to the shop and make a lot of corrections.
- Do tell the artist any specifics you have in mind before they work on the design!
New tattoos are always a better option than “adding on” to, or modifying an existing tattoos. Most artists would rather not work with another artist’s tattoo. It adds constraints to their design potential and it forces them to either: (a) Vandalize an existing, nice tattoo or (b) Have their work seen alongside an existing ugly tattoo. Either way, this won’t be a portfolio piece and won’t get the best work from the artist.
That’s not possible if you give excessive direction or if you force the artist outside of their core styles. Also, remember that good artists won’t copy another artist’s design so don’t ask. Consider: do you really need your existing tattoo to keep growing and becoming more and more of a Frankenstein’s Monster? Or can you offer new real estate to each artist? Cover-ups are a different story.
If you need a cover-up, you need a coverup. Not all artists are technically capable of good cover-ups and not all artists like to do them because of the additional constraint but it’s always worth asking.
- Don’t think of your tattoo as a house you are continually remodelling.
- Do think of tattoos more like paintings you are commissioning. Give the artist a clean canvas.
- Do consider going back to the same artist for modifying or touching up an existing tattoo.
Don’t design by committee There’s nothing worse than customers who bring an opinionated friend or loved one to “help” them with design decisions. You hired the artist to help you with design. Adding a third party can complicate the already-delicate balance of artist/client in the design process. The more opinions you solicit, the harder and more confusing the process will be. Only you know what you want and the artist can help you.
- Don’t bring a friend or spouse to speak for you.
- Don’t text photos of the design to friends asking for their opinion.
- Do tell your opinionated friends to quiet down if they become too involved in your tattoo design process.
Limit your party to yourself + 1 max Speaking of bringing others with you… consider visiting the shop alone for your appointment. Most shops are limited in their space and cannot accommodate your friends. Not only that, your friends might think it sounds fun to be at the shop while you get tattooed, but it’s not. Your friends will be bored.
- Don’t bring extra people with you to be tattooed without asking the shop first. Most shops don’t want your friends sleeping in the waiting area while you get tattooed.
- Do limit your party to just you or one other if you must and encourage your friends to go do something while you get tattooed so they don’t sleep in the waiting area.
Let the artist concentrate while you get tattooed Even the most experienced artists need to limit stressors during their tattooing. Tattooing requires intense concentration. Some artists love to gab while tattooing but others prefer to be quiet. Let the artist take the lead or ask them what they prefer.
- Do bring a book to read or movie to watch provided you can do it without moving.
- Do let your artist take the lead on whether or not to talk.
- Don’t stare at the tattoo while your artist is working. This is stressful.
- Don’t talk too much unless your artit is the chatty one.
Sit still! For obvious reasons, you never want to move while there is a tattoo needle inking your skin. If you might have trouble with pain, consider a numbing cream in advance of getting tattooed (ask your artist first). If you’re jumpy, you’re wasting tattooing time and risking mistakes. Generally though, you’re stressing out the artist which can mean not getting their best work.
- Don’t move unexpectedly.
- Don’t talk if you’re getting your ribs tattooed.
- Do let the artist know if you need to move or stretch.
- Do let the artist know If you think the furniture can be adjusted to be more comfortable.
- Do consider topical numbing cream in advance of your tattoo if you’re worried about tolerating the pain (ask the artist first though)
Tipping It is customary to tip tattoo artists just like (in the US) it is customary to tip restaurant wait staff. Because it’s customary, not tipping is seen as a sign of being dissatisfied with your tattoo.
- Do expect to tip when budgeting for your tattoo.
- Do tip the artist directly and in cash.
- Do tip big (e. 20%+) if you love your tattoo.
- Do talk to your artist whenever you feel something isn’t being handled well (consultation, design, etc). A small tip (or no tip) shouldn’t be the only sign that you are dissatisfied.
Aftercare There are many different aftercare procedures out there. Always follow the artist’s own aftercare instructions because you and the artist are both responsible for the quality of your tattoo.
- Do make sure to get precise instructions for aftercare from your artist.
- Do feel OK to ask questions during the healing process if something seems wrong.
- Do a little research about healing tattoos to know what’s normal. Scabbing is normal. Ink on the bandage is normal. Looking faded in the first couple of weeks is normal.
Touch-ups Most tattoos will not need touching up — at least for many years. However, sometimes ink does fall out or fade. This can happen for many reasons. The artist’s tattoo technique matters but it’s just half the story. Healing/fading is also affected by aftercare, your biology, the placement on the body (bendy parts like wrists, elbows, fingers, etc will fade more and faster).
- Do wait 30 days before even considering a touch-up. Tattoos can look less-than-perfect while healing and need 30 days to be completely healed.
- Do take good care of your tattoo following artist instructions and avoiding any strong sun exposure, rubbing, or soaking of the tattoo area while it’s healing.
- Don’t expect the tattoo ink to look as vibrant as it did the day of your tattoo. Tattoo ink sits under the top layer of skin so, once healed, you’ll be looking at the ink through the top layer of skin.
- Don’t be confrontational with the artist about your touch-up. Your artist cares as much as you do about the tattoo looking great so there’s no reason to take an aggressive posture if you have concerns about your tattoo.
Is it rude to wear headphones while getting a tattoo?
Conclusion – The tattoo process is a personal thing and what’s acceptable will vary depending on your tattoo artist. Make sure that you speak to them to understand what they expect and what is acceptable during the procedure. You need to be comfortable but so do they.
What should I bring to a tattoo appointment?
Come Prepared – Depending on the length of your appointment, it’s always wise to bring some form of entertainment for yourself. It’ll help keep you occupied and keep your mind off the pain a little bit. Bring a phone charger, headphones, portable game device, book – whatever will keep you busy and help time go by faster for you. It’s also a good idea to bring a water or beverage with you.
Do tattoo artists just trace?
Creating the tattoo stencil – When a client selects the design they want tattooed, the artist will trace the image onto transfer paper (thin paper with an additional carbon sheet attached) or use a pen with stencil fluid on tracing paper. The special ink acts as a vehicle for a carbon copy of the design to be placed on the skin with the help of lotion or another stencil application product.
This piece of paper is now a “stencil” and can be used multiple times to replicate the same image on different parts of the body. Some shops have thermal copiers or printers with the capacity to copy and even resize images directly onto paper with the stencil fluid.
How to find the RIGHT TATTOO ARTIST for your next tattoo
Technology is a wonderful thing.
How do you see if a tattoo looks good on you?
One way to really test out a look on your body is to book an appointment with the tattoo artist you are considering for a trial tattoo. It may cost you if you are spending a significant amount of time, so check with your artist of choice how they would like to proceed.
How much do tattoo artists make?
How much does a Tattoo Artist make? – Tattoo artists make $63,584 per year on average, or $30. 57 per hour, in the United States. Tattoo artists on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $27,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $148,000.
What are the hardest tattoos to do?
The most difficult form of realism in tattooing is probably portraiture, because it requires the artist to capture both the likeness and character of a real person. Realistic tattoos can be created using colour, or in black and grey form.