8 Things to Check off Your List when looking for the Right Tattoo Artist

How to Choose Your Tattoo Artist
If you think you can simply walk into a tattoo parlor off the street and walk away with a remarkable tat, while keeping safe and managing to get a great price, you are dreaming. Although walk-ins are welcome even in some of the top parlors, things are not done so quickly and you must put some time into finding the right artist. Professionals will know what their strengths are and will make some great recommendations. Some tattooists could tell you what you want to hear only to take your money. However, there are things to watch out for if you do not want to regret the decision later. And we are not only talking about how the tattoo turns out. Check out the list we have prepared for you.

8 Things to Watch Out For when Choosing Your Tattoo Artist

1. Is Your Artist Legit or a Scratcher?

Street artist working without gloves in Jakarta
Real tattoo artists have professional training and they work as apprentices for some of the best people in the industry. This means a lot of commitment to the job as well as talent. On the other hand, there are the scratchers who have talent, but who do not bother to do things by the book. The first way to tell them apart? Legit artists work in well lit parlors that have to meet very strict health requirements and they have all the conditions to do the job right. Scratchers work wherever they can, they are not always registered to be checked by health inspectors and you cannot trust them to be bothered to properly sterilize their tools. After all, with some diseases, you only get infected once.

2.How Much Experience Does the Artist Have?

Tattoo Artist Tattoo Artist Las Vegas Las Vegas

Talent is one thing, but knowing how to do your job right is something different. An experienced artist has worked on different skin types, knows how to tattoo delicate areas and can tell you whether or not something is a bad idea from the very start. Real professionals can even refuse to work on a project they believe is ill-advised, simply because they do not want their name to be associated with it.

3.What Are the Strengths and Weaknesses?

Artist working on a tattoo
Pick a type of tattoo and go to the artists specializing in such designs. Some are good at portraits, others are good at making geometric forms, while others have an amazing eye for color. Do not push a specific type of model on an artist and expect great results. If you want a combination between styles, talk to artists good in either category and see who is willing to make a cross-over. And be patient, as long as you are asking for something different.

4.How Clean Is the Place?

Benjamin Balasz@Flickr
We cannot stress this argument enough. Given the fact that they work with needles that are consistently being pushed into your skin, which breaks and bleeds, tattoo parlors must be cleaner than many of the restaurants you have ever eaten in. Check online for the credentials of the place and triple check that the equipment is sterilized. If you have doubts, any doubt at all, get up and leave. It is not worth the distress of a disease afterwards.

5.Who Is Making the Recommendation?

If you see someone with an amazing tattoo walking down the street, in a bar or at the gym, approach them and ask about their tattoo artist. People who were pleased with their collaboration will recommend them open heartedly. Avoid asking friends or family because they might be more willing to recommend someone they know and to help out a starting artist. 8 out of 10 times these things will end up in disaster.

6.Check the Portfolio

It is not difficult for some people to take photos, hang them up their wall and claim them as their own, without actually being the rightful artists. This is why you should check the portfolio with utmost care. Even try to find the people the artist claimed to have tattooed and double check, if something does not feel right.

7. How Open Is the Artist for Discussions?

You can tell a professional from someone who is just looking to score some easy money from how open they are to discussions. Maybe you have not made up your mind yet or you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Maybe you have questions about the design or you need some ideas. A professional is always open to communication because he wants his work to come out amazing and be appreciated.

8.What Is the Price Range?

A good tattoo artist will cost you. Like it or not, taking advantage of great talent, years of experience, constantly exercised skills and a spotless parlor with sterilized tools, will have you paying for more. And this is what you must do. Never try to cut corners when it comes to something like this. Do not bargain and do not look for discounts. If a price is too low, get out of there. This is the one thing where cost is an indicator of quality. Just make sure it checks the other things off the list as well.
Keep in mind the fact that you could be walking away with something worse than a bad tattoo. Hepatitis and AIDS can be contacted from improperly sterilized utensils and this is not something you should be willing to risk. Take into account all our pieces of advice and you should be safe. And if you cannot afford a good tattoo artist, our final recommendation is to put off this little project until you can afford to do it right.