Top 10 Qualities to Look for in a Tattoo Artist

Top 10 Qualities to Look for in a Tattoo Artist

Choosing the right tattoo artist is crucial. We reveal the top 10 qualities to look for in a tattoo artist.

Around 42 percent of Americans have tattoos. Without a doubt, tattoos have truly gone mainstream. However, not all people have had positive experiences of getting a tattoo.

Some people come away disappointed or embarrassed by the tattoo. To a large extent, that’s simply because they didn’t do their homework.

You shouldn’t just walk into tattoo shops off the street. Prepare by researching the tattoo artist before you make a decision.

Check out our top qualities to look for in a tattoo artist. Let’s get started!

1. Variety in the Portfolio

First of all, check out the portfolio of the tattoo artist. The previous work of the artist is the best indicator of their future work.

You should especially look out for variety. If the artist only shows you examples of simple, black and white tattoos, this is a sign of low ability.

If all you can see is flash art, which is small and ordinary tattoos, get out of there. That’s not a tattoo artist!

Some people call themselves tattoo artists, but, actually, they’re just going to trace the image onto your skin.

Look for tattoos which look challenging in the portfolio. Even if you only want a simple piece, you should make sure you’re dealing with an artist of the highest caliber.

2. Inspect the Lines

The lines of any work are extremely revealing about the artist’s skills and experience.

Check for clean and thin lines. If they appear blurred and imprecise, this is a sign that you’re not dealing with someone with skills. You want to find bold and crisp colors on the tattoo.

Look for examples of people’s skin too. Just a bunch of pictures in a book aren’t always very helpful.

You shouldn’t see any bleeding or red marks around the lines. A “real” artist wants to create a masterpiece on your skin.

You need to spot the difference between a tattoo artist and someone who’s just after your money.

3. How Much?

The price is also an indication of the quality of the tattoo artist. But, don’t expect it to be cheap.

It’s as simple as the rule of thumb – you get what you pay for. If you want an original design, you’ve got to be willing to pay for it.

You’ll find plenty of artists who charge under $100 for one hour’s work. However, you should expect to pay at least double for an artist worthy of your skin.

Some celebrity tattoo artists charge up to $1,000 per hour.

4. Willing to Answer Questions

Just as with any significant purchase, you need to ask questions before you make any decisions.

The tattoo artist should have nothing to hide. Just you don’t want your doctor to make you feel uncomfortable before an operation, you should have the same standards for your tattoo artist.

Ask questions about the type of ink and machines preferred by the tattoo artist. Look for a willingness to answer your questions about everything from their background to their preferred type of tattoo.

5. Tasteful Design of the Shop

You may be surprised to discover that the design of the shop can tell you something about the tattoo artist.

You shouldn’t feel like you’re walking into a crack den when you enter the tattoo studio. You may not share the taste of the owner, but a general level of cleanliness ought to be expected.

6. Natural Light

Remember, getting a tattoo is essentially the equivalent of a minor medical procedure.

You wouldn’t allow a doctor to operate on you in the dark, would you?

Select a tattoo studio which is brightly light with plenty of space. You don’t feel cramped while you’re getting your tattoo.

7. Online Reviews

Nowadays, you can find online reviews for pretty much everything. Around 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as friends.

While you cannot beat a personal recommendation from a trusted friend with tattoos, it’s worthwhile to check out reviews online.

Customers who have already had a tattoo from the tattoo artist can share their invaluable experience with you.

Don’t expect people to lie about whether they like their tattoo or not online. If people are honest anywhere, it’s on the internet.

If you’re concerned about a review you read online, feel free to mention it to the tattoo artist in person. If they immediately get annoyed and hostile, you know they’re not open to feedback.

You can check out our testimonials here.

tattoo artist

8. Background of the Tattoo Artist

If the tattoo artist owns his or her own studio, they’ve probably worked elsewhere before. You should inquire about the artist’s background.

If they worked at another tattoo shop, you could find out about the reputation of the shop. This could either boost or damage the tattoo’s chances of getting your custom.

9. Specialists

If you’ve got a very specific type of tattoo in mind, then you should consider seeking out an expert.

As with artists who have a specialism in portraiture or landscapes, the same applies to tattoo artists.

Don’t hire a tattoo artist who has only ever does tribal tattoos to complete a portrait on your skin. You don’t want to be the guinea pig.

10. It Feels Right

If you take away one lesson here, it’s that you should definitely do your homework before handing over your skin to a tattoo artist. Never go on impulse.

Despite that, it’s got to feel right. The tattoo artist has to make you feel comfortable and relaxed.

Come to the Best Tattoo Artist

Now that you know what to look for in a tattoo artist, you won’t leave disappointed with your new ink. Remember, do your homework and you’ll never regret it.

At Skin Factory Tattoos, we don’t just have one skilled and experienced tattoo artist, we have dozens. If you want to learn more about our tattoo artists, get in touch with us now.