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Writing an email can be a tricky thing, especially when it’s to a tattoo artist!
In this article I’m going to show you exactly what to write in an email to a tattooist, as well as some FAQ about communication with tattoo artists.
Let’s get started!
8 Golden Rules: How To Make A Tattoo Appointment
1. Be Polite And Respectful
Emails that start with phrases like “Hey dude” or “Yo bro” are a big no-no. Although it might seem silly, these emails will get immediately deleted or ignored by almost all the artists out there. It shows a lack of respect for their time and that you didn’t even put minimal effort into your message – so why should they bother spending five seconds reading it?
2. Do Your Research
It’s a pretty bad idea to send an artist that specializes in dragons a picture of a butterfly and ask him if he can draw it for you. This shows a lack of knowledge on the topic, which leads to a lack of respect again. Before sending an email, make sure that you know their prices, what kinds of subjects they do or don’t tattoo, etc.
3. Be Clear And Make Explicit Requests When Possible
Let’s say that you decided to get a tattoo on your arm and want to write an email to someone who does black and grey work with no color. Do not just write “I want a black and grey tattoo on my arm”. This will only confuse the artist about what kind of work you’re looking for.
The simple solution to this is making straightforward requests like “I want a black and grey realistic tattoo on my left forearm” or even more specific: “I’m looking for a black and grey realistic swallow tattoo on my left forearm”.
You can also include a photo or a link to a Google image search. This shows the tattooist exactly what you’re going for and it stops any mistakes from happening – both on your end and theirs.
If you don’t know exactly what style of tattooing you’re looking for, it’s still perfectly fine to ask an artist if they can come up with something that might match your criteria. They might ask you some questions after receiving your email which would be called “fact finding” – simply answer truthfully.
If they start sending you pictures of styles that match your request, it’s also perfectly fine to ask them for more clarification.
4. Be Specific About The Artist You’re Looking For
This is a big mistake that some people make. They simply write “I’m looking for an artist who can work with me on this tattoo”, without mentioning any information about the tattooist they’re looking to work with. There are some artists out there (such as myself), who do not answer emails like this because we either know we cannot help you or we simply don’t want to.
If you’re emailing a specific shop, it’s also good practice to mention the name of the shop and – if possible – contact details of someone that works there and can forward your request.
5. Be Clear About Your Town Or City When Sending Inquiries
There are thousands of tattoo artists all around the world and many of them are willing to travel wherever their clients need them. This is a great service, but can become expensive very quickly, so make sure to be clear about your town or city when asking if they’d be able to come over. You don’t want to end up paying half of the price you agreed upon just because the artist had to take a five hour train by mistake.
6. Include Your Budget
I won’t say a lot about this since it’s quite self-explanatory. If you’re planning on getting a big piece, make sure to include how much money you want to spend and then divide that number by the time needed for the artist to complete the tattoo. This way both parties have a clear understanding of what they can expect to gain out of this experience.
7. Don’t Write Too Much
I’ve seen some people rattle off page after page of information in an email and there is simply no point! It’s so hard for us to get a feel for what you want from your long-winded message.
I would recommend sending one short paragraph explaining what you’re looking for and then another paragraph on why this artist is the best person to do it (examples like: “you did my mate Ashley’s tattoo” or “your work looks awesome, here is a link”). After that, your best bet will be to send some examples of their previous work – links are better than attachments.
8. Be Patient
I know this might be hard to hear but the fact is that not all emails will receive a reply. This is because some artists simply don’t check their emails at all and there isn’t anything we can do about it – they just don’t see your message. Others might reply days or even weeks after you sent it and others will probably reply within minutes – again, nothing you can do about it so just be patient!
And most importantly: Have fun with this process and if everything goes well then you’ll have an awesome new piece on your body soon!
Tattooist Q&A (Email Etiquette)
How long does it usually take for a tattooist to reply?
Some artists will reply almost instantly and some might reply after a few days or even weeks. Again, it’s just how busy they are so there is nothing you can do about this! If they don’t write back immediately, then most likely they’re very busy tattooing at the shop or just not looking at their emails frequently enough.
Keep checking your email every few days and if you still don’t see anything – it might be time to move on and try another approach (going to the shop directly or asking someone who knows them personally).
What if I don’t get a reply?
It happens more often than you might think, but it’s really no big deal – just try sending another message after a few weeks. It can also be that there is some mistake with your email address, so check over everything before submitting it again.
How do I find out an email for an artist?
Most tattooists have their contact details on their website these days, but if they don’t provide one then Google is your friend! You can also contact them through social media like Instagram or Facebook.
I hope this article was helpful for those of you who are looking for an artist. I know that it can be intimidating to message someone out of the blue but if you want an awesome tattoo, then it’s worth a try!
Best of luck with everything and as always – stay safe!