There are thousands, possibly millions, of tattoo artists out there. This information can be extremely daunting to some, while very exciting for others. No matter which side you fall on, its important to be as prepared and informed as possible when selecting the right artist for you. And while there are tons of artists on social media, many of you may be wondering how to select the right artist. Well, we're here to lend a helping hand. Take a look at our guiding to picking a tattoo artist below and let us know how you found your go-to tattooer in the comments section on Facebook.
1. Research Tattoos Online.
Want a tattoo but not sure what to get? We recommend browsing tattoos online. Whether you prefer looking on Pinterest or the INKED Mag Instagram, there's no harm in seeking out inspiration through social media.
2. Determine the Tattoo or Type of Tattoo You Want.
Once you've done your research, it's now time to determine the subject, style, size and location of the tattoo you want. It never hurts to dig deep into the depths of tattoos online in order to recognize all of your options available.
3. Research Artists in Your Area.
Once you realize that you want, say a black-and-grey celebrity portrait on your forearm, it's time to start looking up artists in your area that do similar tattoos. You should never go to an artist asking for something that is completely outside of their wheelhouse, because you want an artist that specializes in the style you're requesting. Why give an artist a challenge when you can get something they already know that they're good at?
4. Research Artists Traveling to Your Area.
If you don't notice any artists that you're interested in that are in your area, check to see if there are artists traveling to or guesting nearby. Tattoo artists travel to new shops around the world all the time, not to mention, there are conventions happening in practically every state and country throughout the year. And, if there's an artist that you're interested in, it never hurts to ask if they'll be traveling nearby any time soon.
5. Determine If You Want to Travel.
If you have a dream artist that lives far away, why not make a trip to get tattooed by them? Tattoos last forever and there's nothing wrong with traveling to a new state or halfway around the world for a permanent work of art.
6. Establish Your Budget.
The biggest factor that plays into selecting an artist to do your tattoo is your budget. Some tattoo artists list their pricing on their website, whereas others will need to be asked during a consultation or in an inquiry email. Don't ask how much a tattoo costs flat out in an Instagram DM or in the comments of a photo. Tattoo artists are all about etiquette and there's a code to asking them about pricing.
Once you know how much an artist charges per hour or for a flat rate tattoo, then it's time to start saving. Most tattoo shops require their customers to pay in cash, which means you can't charge a tattoo to your credit card or write a check. Make sure that you have the adequate amount of money before the tattoo takes place and don't forget to have extra for the tip!
7. Read Their Reviews.
If you're still not sure who to go to, some artists have reviews on Yelp or through social media. Past clients are a great way to gauge if an artist is right for you and you want to go to someone that has a good reputation.
8. Understand Their Expertise.
Tattoo artists have years of experience in their field and in most cases, they have the upper hand in understanding things like placement, size, color, etc. If a tattooer advises something, they generally have your best interest in mind. If an artist says that they do something or don't do something in a specific way, you might want to find an artist that is better suited to your needs. For example, not every tattoo artist does micro tattoos and many will refuse to do them. Therefore, if you want a micro tattoo, seek out an artist who specializes in them.
9. Consider the Future of Your Tattoos.
When looking for an artist and establishing the type of tattoo you want—it's important to look to the future for two reasons. First, you want to consider how your type of tattoo will heal over time. For example, realism, micro, or watercolor tattoos will fade faster than traditional tattoos. If you're okay will your tattoos fading quicker than others, then these styles work for you. Second, when selecting an artist and getting a tattoo, you want to consider other tattoos that you may want to get in the future. You want to save room for larger pieces that you're planning for and consider the aesthetic of your tattoo collection as a whole.