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Written by Kieran Proctor

How To Choose A Tattoo Artist?

Tattoo

Updated

For smaller and less specialized tattoos, the particular artist you choose is less important than the shop. For larger and more intricate tattoos, or those tattoo styles that require expertise, the particular artist you choose is more important than the tattoo studio.

Everything depends on which style of tattoo you decided on, and where it’s to be placed on your body. As these factors will determine if you give more weight to the store, or to the particular tattoo artist, when deciding where you will get tattooed.

Tattoo sign neon light

How to choose a tattooist?

Tattooists are like conventional artists. They’re just like those painters who have works hanging in galleries. Each tattooist will have a preferred style and process. And where possible, you should ensure the artist’s own preferences are aligned with yours.

Taking an expert in large blackwork and having them do a small colored tattoo is often a waste of their talents and your money. And you may not get a tattoo that matches your expectations. You should ensure that their preferred style and process matches, as close as possible, with the style of tattoo you’re intending to have done.

Look through the online portfolios that artists make available via social media and on their tattoo studio websites. And pick an artist whose style matches as close as possible, the style of tattoo that you are intending to get done.

Don’t look for tattooists based on price. Never get a tattoo from a scratcher.

Tattoo price meme
A rather accurate tattoo price chart.

Choosing a tattoo artist or studio based on price is a bad idea. 

You should never select an artist or studio based on price. If one artist is more or less expensive than another tattooist, that does not indicate they are better or worse at tattooing. But cheap tattoo stores that advertise their services based solely on being the cheapest, are generally going to have lesser quality artists.

Remember, you’ll be wearing this tattoo for years to come. Tattoos are permanent. It’s not like buying a t-shirt. You can’t just take it off if it doesn’t look good on you.

So you should make sure that what you get is matched to your expectations. Don’t try and nickel and dime your way into a cheap tattoo. That generally ends in disaster.

Find an artist whose portfolio you like and whose style matches your own vision for your tattoo. And don’t base your choice of tattooist on which artist you think may be cheaper than another.

Now, once you’ve picked your style, decided on placement, selected a shop and an artist, the next stage is to see the artist and have them create a custom design.

But first, let’s look at why you shouldn’t just get the exact tattoo you found on the internet. And what tattoo flash is and why you should avoid tattoo flash.

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