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You’ve finally decided that you want to get inked. You’re not sure where to start or what exactly you should be looking for in a tattoo artist?
Fear not, we’re here to help!
We’ve compiled 10 tips on how to find a good tattoo artist in your area.
So go ahead and read our blog post, then head out into the world armed with knowledge.
1. Ask around for recommendations
How to find a good tattoo artist? It might surprise you, but the best place to start is by asking your friends who they think is great. A simple recommendation from someone you trust can be invaluable.
If you know anyone who has tattoos, ask them, too! Their knowledge of good artists may come in handy when trying to decide which one to go with, especially if they’ve had multiple pieces done by different people.
If all else fails, head down to your local parlour and see if there are any photos up on the wall of their work done by other artists…it’s always nice being able to have a look at what you’re getting ahead of time!
2. Look online
There are hundreds of sites available to you where you can look for information on tattoo artists. Google “tattoo artist name” plus something about your area, e.g., “tattoo artist perth”. You can also try googling “best tattoo artist near me” or “good tattoo shops near me”. You’ll be amazed at how many results come up.
If you’re using this method, however, make sure you do some research on the site itself. It would suck to go in search of a good parlor only to find out they’ve closed down or don’t do foot tattoos anymore! Also, make sure you visit the website before going in yourself — it’s no use getting all excited by photos online if there are none when you get there!
3. Make sure they’re qualified
When it comes to getting a tattoo, make sure you go with someone who has some qualifications. That way you can be more assured of the quality of their work. If you don’t see any accreditations displayed in their shop or on their website, don’t be afraid to ask them about it (either face-to-face or via email). Tattooing is an art form just like anything else, so if they’re good enough to do this for a living then they should be qualified!
4. Look at their portfolio
Once you’ve decided on an artist that’s right for you, ask to see their portfolio. This will give you some insight into what kind of things they’d normally do, and narrow down your thoughts on what you’d like to get. You should also look at tattoo artist reviews for each candidate, to make sure you get the best.
You’ll also be able to choose an artist who works in your style, so if you want realistic tattoos then ask for the portfolio of the artist who has done these before; if you’re more into black and grey work then pick someone with that kind of background etc.
5. Talk about what you want
When meeting with your chosen tattooist, talk about what you’d like (if it’s not already clear). Discuss size, location on the body etc…Just make sure both of you are on the same page!
This will ensure there are no surprise changes once they start on your piece – nobody likes having to start over because their idea was different than yours! And don’t be afraid to take some time out if you’re not certain about something – it’s better to be sure than sorry.
6. Ask your tattoo artist questions
If there are any parts of the process that you don’t understand then ask!
For example, if you’ve never had a tattoo before and aren’t sure how it all works, or what they should look like etc., make sure you get an explanation. And make sure they answer all your other questions too…you should be comfortable with the person who’s doing this for you!
Tattoo artists should be really willing to deal with whatever queries come up during the course of the project (within reason), so don’t hold back if you want to know anything about tattoos in general or their role in creating them.
7. Choose an artist you like
It doesn’t matter whether they have tattoos or not, just try to go with someone that makes you feel comfortable. If their environment isn’t conducive to talking about what you’d like, don’t worry! Not all studios are the same – some of them are very quiet places where the only sounds come from the buzzing of tattoo machines; others are more social, catering for people who want to chat and enjoy themselves while getting inked; there’s no right or wrong way to do it when it comes down to this sort of thing.
What it boils down to is which type is best suited for your personality? Do make sure though that the place feels clean and safe — even if they’re good at what they do, if their shop is not nice then it might be best to go elsewhere. Also, don’t forget to tip!
8. Get familiar with the aftercare process
If you’re getting a tattoo, make sure you get information on how to look after the area while it heals — this should be included in your contract anyway! If not, ask. After all, if you follow these guidelines then they’ll heal faster and everyone will be happy!
Remember that tattoos are permanent, so don’t take any chances by doing something you shouldn’t when caring for them…like picking at scabs or scratching too much! The more informed you are about the aftercare procedure before getting inked, the better off both of you will be.
9. Enjoy yourself!
Don’t forget to have fun while you’re getting your new piece! It’s a momentous occasion so enjoy it – even if you have to take breaks during the process, just relax and try not to get impatient. A tattoo is something which should be very personal, so have fun with what you choose! After all, there are no limitations when it comes down to design or location.
10. Never feel guilty about leaving
If after all that you decide that this artist isn’t right for you then don’t worry; in fact, make sure they know why! And never feel embarrassed about leaving, because at the end of the day this is your body and it’s got to represent YOU (not them).
If someone doesn’t like working on your skin tone, or if they make you feel unhappy in any way, then it’s best to not use their services. You shouldn’t have to go through a tattooing session feeling awkward with the person who’s doing the work…no matter how good they are!
So, there you have it. We hope these 10 tips will help make your next tattoo experience a good one and that we’ve been able to shed some light on what to look for in a tattoo artist – after all, this decision is permanent!
And if we’ve missed anything in this list – let us know and we will happily provide more advice. Tattoos are an important decision so don’t take them lightly!