What to Look for When Picking a Tattooist
Posted: Sep 01 2017
Generally speaking there are two kinds of tattoo artist; good ones and bad ones. Ok, that’s super helpful…how can you tell the difference?
Let’s look a little deeper here – and not just at the skin level, although when talking about tattoos that is usually a pretty damn good place to start.
Good tattoo artists will have formal training in their art; other kinds of tattooists will just be good at art. It’s the latter that you have to be cautious of. Odds are, you may know someone who tattoos at home, at your mate’s place, or perhaps even at a studio from time to time. These chaps are called ‘scratchers’. Now, not all scratchers are bad news, but there’s a good chance that they don’t have the same standards of hygiene and professionalism that a trained tattoo artist who works in a commercial tattoo studio has.
If you are in the market for a good tattoo, one that will last the lifetime of the canvas its on, then here are four great things to look out for when selecting the right person to do your work.
1. The Tattooist's Work
Any decent tattooist worth their salt will have a portfolio of work that you can look at. This is more than just flash sheets, this is a book of work that is actually on flesh. Pictures of the art and the people they have worked on. There is a big difference between seeing a picture on a wall of some tribal design and it being laid out in ink on your arm for all time.
2. The Artist Will Have References
Again, good tattoo artists will have a whole heap of folk that swear by them…and not at them. Getting the design on your arm looking exactly like the picture on the wall is just part of the equation – putting it there with the least amount of pain, bleeding, and anguish on your part, is a key element for attaining the rank of ‘good tattoo artist’.
The length of time it takes for your work to heal is also a key element for confirming you’ve got the right guy – or girl – for the job. The professionalism in tattoo studios these days means that there is large amount of great looking ink to choose from, so finding out about how well the artist takes care of you may be a crucial game changer for your decision.
3. The Cost of The Ink
There are many products and services where the phrase ‘you get what you pay for’ can be used, and tattoo art is definitely one of those. A cheap tattoo will look exactly that; cheap. Sometimes it pays to save up and get an expert to do your work. With tattoos it’s not really a case of ‘buy cheap, buy twice’, it’s more a case of ‘buy cheap, spend more money on tattoo removal’.
4. Trust Yourself and Your Personal Style
If you have been to ‘your mates’ uncle previously for some work that didn’t quite turn out the way you thought, then perhaps seeking out a commercial tattoo parlour is the next step for you. On the flip side, if you have been to a parlour before and the artist there was exactly what you wanted, keep tabs on him or her for your next piece. Artists tend to move around a bit until they find a space that suits them.
Tattoos are a great way to express your individuality, but they are also a great way to create regrets. Do yourself a favour and do some research before the needle hits the skin and you will walk away with ink that you will be proud of for many years to come.
Next time we will look at what makes a great tattoo so stay tuned to the blog.