So you’ve decided you want a new tattoo, and you want to do it right. Now what?
Finding the perfect tattoo artist is not much different from finding a new job. It takes time, communication and a lot of research. To make the final decision on the right one – from the right technique to the price to the location – this article will walk you through everything you need to consider.
What is your style?
Whether your tattoo is fully formed or just a vague idea, chances are you have a style in mind. Tattoo “style” refers to the type of craft your artist uses and how it will look on the skin. Styles may include: Black & Grey, Stick and Poke, Neo-Traditional, Blackwork, Tribal, Realism and countless others.
In general, tattoo artists will have a specialty when it comes to style. While almost all tattoo artists are capable of doing a simple line tattoo, for something more complex it is worth choosing an artist who uses your preferred style often. After all, you want the very best.
What is your budget?
It is always a good idea to set aside a budget for the tattoo you really want, rather than rushing. If your dream tattoo artist is a little more expensive or fully booked than you had planned, it may be worth getting on their waiting list and saving up for something really special. Artists with more experience (and yes, sometimes just exceptionally talented!) will inevitably cost more. Ask yourself what you are willing to spend and how long you are willing to wait.
You should also remember that your dream tattoo artist may not be in your immediate area, so don’t forget to factor in your travel expenses. While some tattoo enthusiasts fly all over the world to get inked, you may just need a little extra to get on the train.
When in doubt, contact
Any tattoo artist worth his salt would be happy to communicate with you, listen to your ideas and give you expert advice. So, if you think you are being awkward by asking questions, believe us, you are not! If your tattoo is particularly artistic or complex, your artist will usually take the time to draw out a few different versions for you. Remember, this is not the time to be polite. If it’s not what you want, say so or you’re forever, you know, tattooed….
If you are lucky enough to live near where your chosen artist lives, you can even ask to see a tattoo in person. Just remember to ask permission first, don’t just show up!
Feel free to take your time
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: take your time when choosing your tattoo artist. Unlike choosing a job, it will stay with you forever. It pays to get to know your style, artist and budget before you book. Believe us, it will be all the more wonderful if you do.