Tattoodo is your number one destination for everything tattoos — finding a shop, contacting the ideal artist for your next tattoo, and learning more about the tattoo community. Our guides are meant as a toolkit to help you be the best client and learn how to work with your tattoo artist to create the tattoo of your dreams. Remember: No matter what you read on the internet, your artist’s advice should be considered the gold standard.
After you’ve figured out who your dream tattoo artist is, the next sticky step is to make sure that you’ve got an appointment. The truth is, no two shops are perfectly identical, so the booking process is going to be different from artist to artist. Here are some things to keep in mind so you can get your needs met, while also respecting the process and the artist’s time.
Look carefully at the shop’s website
Each shop has a specific set of requests about how to book an appointment. Ideally, this process will be incredibly clear on their website. In fact, some shops have web portals to gather information about what you might want for a custom piece. Read carefully, and follow directions accordingly.
What if it’s not clear how to book?
Feel free to give the shop a call — phone calls are great. The key is to be clear and brief. Most shops don’t have a shop manager to handle calls, so an artist is probably taking time away from drawing or tattooing to help you. Have your schedule ready to confirm a date, and make sure to write down anything else you’re told.
What if I want something that day?
That’s not really an appointment, that’s a walk-in. Calling ahead is a smart move if you’re eager for a tattoo — you’ll be able to suss out whether the shop even does walk-ins (again, see above: check their website first), and if the artist you want to see is available for such a thing. Most custom pieces aren’t going to be scheduled, booked, drawn, and done in the same day. Expect some waiting time if you want original art.
But I have my artist’s email / Instagram / Facebook / phone number
Unless you’ve got a special relationship with that tattoo artist, or that person is a dear friend, following the rules will make you the best client you can be. Tattoo artists’ schedules are whacky and busy, keeping track of multiple forms of communication is exhausting for anybody. By going through the right motions, you ensure you’re on the calendar properly, and it will help everyone out in the long run.
Time is money
Most artists won’t put you on their books without a deposit, especially for custom artwork. Remember, someone is drawing out an original piece of art just for you. Your initial deposit does two things: it pays for the drawing time and that original sketch, and it also guarantees, for the most part, that you’ll show up to your appointment. It might seem weird, but yeah, people bail on their appointments all the time. Your money down means that artist’s time isn’t entirely wasted.
Booking your first tattoo appointment can seem daunting, but rest assured, it’s not. Think of your adherence to a shop’s policies and your willingness to follow guidelines set by your artist as ways to build a great new relationship, because the truth is, most folks can’t stick to just one tattoo.