Getting tattooed is a highly personal experience so it’s important to find the right artist for your needs. Ultimately, the quality of your tattoo rests on the quality of artist that you find.
These days, tattoo artists are more professional and highly trained than ever, but there are still plenty of unskilled and unscrupulous cowboys plying their trade. So to make sure that you’ve found a top quality professional, consider these points;
When you approach a new artist, find out how many years of experience they have. If possible, avoid someone who is new to the game. Ask them what type of style they specialise in, and make sure that they have relevant experience with the type of style that you’ve chosen.
Are they a member of a professional body for tattooists in the country?
What qualifications do they possess? What health standards does their studio meet?
Ask to see their previous work. All reputable artists will have a portfolio of their work. Alarm bells should start to ring in your head if they don’t have a portfolio or seem evasive when you ask them questions.
Look carefully at the pictures, or even better ask to meet one of the people who they’ve worked on. Check out the tattoo outline. Are the black lines smooth and crisp? Or are they shaky and substandard? Does the tattoo contour with the shape of the body? Are the colors bright and vibrant or dull and flat? Are they blended smoothly? Has the character of the tattoo been properly captured?
Spend some time speaking to the artist to get to know them.
Do you like their manner?
Do they answer your questions in an open and relaxed manner?
Do they share your ideas and enthusiasm for your planned tattoo?
Are they prepared to give you what you want. If they try to convince you to alter your designs then it will be worth your time looking for someone else who is more open to your ideas.
Do you have faith in their skill and ability?
Do they make you feel confident?
Do you trust them?
All artists are different and it might take several visits to different tattoo studios until you find the professional who is right for your needs. But it’s time well spent and will help lead to your perfect tattoo.