How to find the Best Tattoo Artist for your next Tattoo

How to find the Best Tattoo Artist for your next Tattoo

If you're getting a tattoo, it's important to find the right artist. There are many factors to consider when finding the right tattoo artist for your ink fix.You obviously want something that you will cherish for a lifetime and not a subpar tattoo or one that’s overpriced. There are a lot of things to consider, but don't worry, we got your back. Here are some tips on how to choose the best artist for your next tattoo:


Decide the style you want.

The first step is to decide what style of tattoo you want. If it's a big decision, consider getting advice from friends and family who have had similar art done before. You can also look at photos of tattoos on other people's bodies to see if they're something that appeals to you. Tattoos are art on a living, breathing canvas and tattoo design has to be considered from the point of view of longevity along with appeal. Traditional tattoos are unique with their bold outlines and large areas of solid color. These attributes help such tattoos stand the test of time since contrast is an intrinsic part of the longevity of a tattoo. A tattoo is also a visual reminder of sorts, so be sure to choose a style that matches your personality. 

If you are sure of the style and subject matter, it’s better to look for an artist who is already specialized in that particular tattoo art style, however if you’re not sure about the tattoo style, it’s a good idea to look for artists who have a variety of styles in their portfolio—from realistic portraits to abstract pieces; from traditional tattoos to newer styles like blackwork or geometric tattooing. Due to their varied experience they will most probably be better prepared to suggest a style that would suit your personality, skin color and body type. If you prefer realism over abstraction, you might want an artist who specializes in color realism as opposed to line work and other types of shading. If you're looking for something more unique than the typical portrait tattoo that most people get these days then look no further than Edo era Japanese paintings! They have been a constant source of tattoo iconography and inspiration to the world of tattooing. 

Choosing on an art style will greatly help you shortlist the ideal tattoo artist to be working with. If you are still unsure, do not worry, this can be figured out at a later stage when talking to the artist.

  • Tattoo Theme
  • When you’re deciding on a tattoo artist, it helps to know what they will be doing. Here are some questions that might help:

    What is the meaning of your tattoo? Is it personal or just for fun?

    How big will it be? Will you have multiple sessions with different artists to add more detail or color? Do you want something small and simple or something large and detailed?

    Where will this be placed on your body ?(arm, back, neckline/shoulder blade etc.) If possible, get a picture of what other people who have similar tattoos look like so that when the artist is working on yours, she/he can see how yours fits in and compliments your body.

  • Talk to friends and family who have tattoos.
  • When choosing a tattoo artist, it's important to talk to friends and family who have tattoos. Ask them about their experiences with their artist, as well as the quality of his or her work. If you're looking for an artist who will do a great job but also make sure that he or she is clean and professional, this can be a good place to start. You may also want to ask if they feel comfortable working with this particular person—some people prefer working with certain artists over others because they have had good experiences with them in the past!


    You should also consider how well-known the artist is (and how long) before making any decisions about whether or not he/she is right for your project. Alternatively, checking reviews online can give you valuable information about the experience you can expect.

  • Look beyond your local area.
  • Research different tattoo styles and iconography. Tattoo artists are in high demand because they are talented. It takes years to Master a style and you might not “your” perfect artist in the same town or city. Find a tattoo artist specialising in the art style you are looking for and you will thank us later. Search the web and social media sites for tattoo artists with a portfolio that excites you.

  • Look at their gallery online
  • This is the best place to start when you're looking for a tattoo artist, because it gives you an idea of what kind of work they do and if they have any particular styles that appeal to you. You can find a variety of styles, shading, and line-work in every artists portfolio. As they progress (usually around 5 years) most artists tend to lean towards a certain style, explore it further and try to master it. It's also a good way to see if they have any projects on their website or social media accounts that might inspire your next tattoo design.

  • Check out their social media accounts (esp. Instagram!)
  • If a tattoo artist has an active presence on the internet, it means he/she is more dedicated to sharing their work, this causes more work from them and makes them better artists because they are tattooing more often than others. When they share their work, it gives potential customers insight into how much time goes into each project as well as seeing how many followers each artist has gained over time—a great indicator whether he/she'll be able to handle the experience with professionalism and creativity!

  • Go to the tattoo shop in person during business hours.
  • If you have chosen a few artists and still confused on who to go for, you’ll want to visit the studio/artist in person. You want to go in person during business hours (always, better to call and book in advance). This is the best way to see if the artist is a good fit for your needs and also get an idea of what kind of work they do, as well as their sterilization practices and licensing requirements. 

    Understand what the tattoo artist is capable of. Before you start asking questions, it's important to understand what the artist is capable of. Ask about their experience and training (how long have they been in business? What do they specialize in?)

  • Check out their portfolio.
  •  Once you've found a tattoo artist, it's time to get down to business. The first step is to check out their portfolio. Check if the artist has a wide range of styles in their portfolio or are they specializing in a particular style. Check out the quality of their work. Does it look like they're using good technique? Is there any shading or line-work on display? Does this artist have an eye for color palettes? Are they able to create contrast and use negative space effectively, or are they just relying on bold lines and flat shapes everywhere?

    Ask if they're happy to do what you want, and will be willing to discuss any restrictions or potential changes in the design before it's done.

    If you're getting a tattoo by someone who isn't a professional artist, ask if they have any examples of their work that you can see. This will give them an idea of what kind of style or idea works best for your body type, as well as give you an idea about how much detail is necessary on each part of your body (for example: Will this person be able to put in all the details for that realistic tattoo i want?).

  • Check their licensing requirements, if your state has them.

    Artist credibility can be gauged in a big way from their licenses and certificates. The first thing you want to check is their licensing requirements, if your state has them. If you are in America, you may also want to ask if they're certified by the prominent organizations like the American Red Cross or Association of Professional Piercers. If they are, then it's a good sign that they have experience working with people who have medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

     Another thing to look out for is whether or not the artist has been certified by any professional organizations in their field (like the National Tattoo Association). This will ensure that there aren't any problems associated with unlicensed tattoo artists, like botched up tattoos or unprofessional behavior like touching you inappropriately.


  • Ask about the shop's sterilization practices.
  • A clean place is necessary to avoid infection and disease transmission.

    You are trusting your body to the artist, so you want them to know how to protect it. If they don't, it will cost you more money in the long run. This is especially true if you have a disease that can be passed on through skin-to-skin contact with others (like HIV).

    The tattoo artist is working on your body at all times during the procedure, which means he or she must take care of hygiene issues when doing so—especially since the artist themselves is at risk first apart from the other clients waiting for their appointment next.

    A tattooist should be able to tell you exactly how they sterilize their equipment and what machines they use. If a shop doesn't have the proper equipment, it could lead to problems with infection. This is particularly important if you're getting a large-scale piece of artwork done on your body like a sleeve or chest piece that will take several hours of work (or more) on each side!

    Some shops may use pressurized air systems where needles are inserted into disposable syringes which are then ejected out after being sterilized inside an autoclave machine. Other shops may use electric heaters coupled with pressure washers at various points throughout the process; this method can also be used for smaller jobs such as hand-poking tattoos onto someone's arm or leg but it does require some time investment upfront when purchasing new materials before starting work so make sure whoever's doing yours has experience using one before hiring someone else who hasn't yet had any experience using them themselves."

    Sterilisation techniques have come a long way in the last decade and many artists nowadays, prefer using fully disposable single use cartridge needles that do not require any post tattoo sterilization.

  • Ask about pricing, which varies widely between shops and artists.
  • The next hurdle to tackle, is Pricing. To find the best tattoo artist for your next tattoo, also start asking about pricing. This can vary widely between shops and artists, with some charging as little as $50 per hour and others charging more than $100. You may also be asked to sign an estimate or contract before the appointment begins, which will outline any fees associated with your experience—and make sure that you know what these are ahead of time so there aren't any surprises later.

    Most artists charge as per the time it takes them to complete your tattoo, however some prefer to charge a flat rate as per the details and size involved in the design. Charging per hour usually works out to be a discounted price for the customer. If you're looking at getting a small design on your arm or wrist done by someone who works in their studio full-time, they'll likely charge per hour rather than per piece of artwork; this means if they spend three hours working on something like "an intricate Asian dragon," it would cost $150 instead of $200 if they charged per piece.

  • Don't focus on price as the deciding factor, but don't go above your budget either.
  • This is a tricky one—you want to find an artist who can create something that you love and will last for years, but at the same time, you don't want to get ripped off by an amateur or overspend on something that ends up being subpar. The best way I've found for making this decision is to look at other people's work (but also ask yourself if they're being paid enough). If it looks like theirs was done by someone who knows what they're doing and have good materials, then maybe there's nothing wrong with their cost. Maybe, just maybe there is something wrong with your budget?

    Think of Tattoos as a permanent piece of art that you can carry around and appreciate for the rest of your life. How many other things we own, can do that? Tattoo artists put in innumerable hours behind the scenes learning and honing their craft and you cannot easily put a price on that.  If someone asks how much money they should spend on their tattoo before getting started, i always tell them “to understand the effort and process of creating the artwork and transferring it to skin, while thinking of the value it creates for them” Spend whatever is comfortable for you at the moment or else save up for the project you have in mind as per the artist’s charges. Always best to avoid questions about why exactly this other artist would charge so little money per hour and whether or not he/she has any experience working with celebrities before. Every artist values their time and effort differently and if you see the value in their work, you should pay them what they deserve. If their charges and portfolio are not in sync, you can express that and have a conversation about it.

  • Attend tattoo conventions and guest spots.
  • Attendance at conventions and guest spots is a great way to meet artists and see their work in person. This can be an expensive proposition, but it's worth it if you're looking for the best tattoo artist for your next tattoo. Attending conventions gives you access to all of the latest trends, allowing you to see how different artists interpret your design so that you can get something unique and meaningful.

  • Regularly traveling cross-country to work with a particular artist is not uncommon for many dedicated tattoo enthusiasts.
  • It is not uncommon for many tattoo enthusiasts to travel to work with a particular artist. In fact, it is quite common for dedicated tattoo enthusiasts to regularly travel cross-country for the sole purpose of getting their next tattoo done by an artist they admire. However, there are some artists that do not attend guest spots or conventions and prefer working in their own area. This means you may have to travel far from home if you want your favorite tattoo artist's services.


    I hope that this article served you well and has been helpful in assisting you find the right tattoo artist for your next tattoo. If you still have questions or need more information, reach out to us at

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