Getting a new tattoo is one of the most exciting moments ever...so, we've made a little guide to help you find the perfect artist to make sure your next tattoo experience is the absolute best!
Know What You Want
First, figure out what you want to get. This way, you can more easily match the style you’re interested in with the tattoo artist that you choose. At this point, you should also be thinking about the placement, as well as your budget, as these are some things that your artist will ask for when you initially contact them.
The more you know about what you want, the easier it will be to find an artist who can give you just that.
This is also the time to start gathering reference images for your tattoo artist. This can be anything from vintage illustrations to a favorite photograph. You can also collect pictures of other tattoos to send to your artist: simply create a board in the Tattoodo App but clicking the heart on an image. Once you've collected all the tattoos you love, you can actually share these directly with your artist through your tattoo brief! More on that in a bit...
Keep in mind that although you may love your inspiration, you want your tattoo to be unique to you! Most artists will not copy another tattoo, but they can definitely add in your favorite details or aspects that really inspire you.
Read more: How to Talk Custom Tattoos with Your Artist
Know What You Need
Second, figure out if you have any special requirements. For example, some people prefer a private studio over a street shop because it’s more intimate.
Some people prefer to have a female artist, or a LGBTQ artist, or a BIPOC tattooer who can more fully understand their particular needs and background. And even others need to make sure the studio they choose is wheelchair accessible. That’s totally cool! Knowing things like this can help you narrow down exactly what you’re looking for so that you get the perfect experience you deserve.
Knowing what you need also includes knowing your budget and schedule. Sometimes, of course, there is a little leeway you can give on these things. But if your budget is tight, this is something you need to keep in mind and communicate to your artist! Staying within your boundaries is totally necessary, understandable, and will also ensure that you'll be super pleased with the outcome of your future tattoo appointment.
Keep in mind that good tattoos can be expensive, so your artist may ask if you can afford more...if you can't, that's totally okay. You can wait and save a bit more, which will totally be a no brainer if you've found an artist you really love....or you can find an artist who suits your needs immediately. It's up to you but we've found that the best tattoos are always worth the wait and worth the cash!
However, never feel pressured to give in on something that you really need...this includes budget concerns, accessibility, or safety. Finding the best tattoo artist for your tattoo will definitely consist of their compassion towards these things! Any artist that doesn't respect your boundaries or needs, is not the right artist for you. Plenty of talented tattooists out there will be totally willing to be a better fit.
Read more: How to Budget for a New Tattoo
Research Tattoo Artists
Third, do some research! Tattoodo makes it easy for you to search artists through style and location. Figure out if you’re willing to travel a bit for the perfect fit, or if you need to stick closer to home.
When you’re doing research, it can feel a bit overwhelming, but that’s why it’s so important to really pinpoint the tattoo you’re getting: so you know exactly what imagery, style, and aesthetics you are looking for. This will help narrow down artist choice!
On Tattoodo, while you’re doing research for your next tattooer, you can actually save a tattooers profile by clicking the “Save” button when viewing their portfolio. Take your time, browse around, save some artists, and when you’re ready, you can book with a tattooer.
Hopefully what will happen is that you’ll immediately see an artist's work and know you’re crazy about it, and want one of their pieces for yourself.
If that’s not the case, no stress. A tattoo lasts forever so it’s worth all the time you put in to find that perfect fit! You’ll be glad you really searched for the best tattoo artist to do your project once you see the finished piece. We can guarantee that.
Contact Your Artist
Fourth, reach out to your favorite artist. With the Tattoodo App, you can contact a tattooer directly by clicking on the “book” button. This takes you to a tattoo brief where you can add in details about your piece such as the size you want, description...you can even include pictures as reference material for your artist. The pictures can either be added from your saved tattoo boards, or directly from you phone.
Be as in-depth as possible! Give your artist as much information as you can about what you’re looking for.
Once you send off this brief, the artist will look over the information you’ve provided and decide whether they’re interested in your project. If they are, they’ll start a conversation and you can start the consultation.
If they aren’t interested, don’t be bummed out! Your perfect fit will be just as excited about your new tattoo as you are. Most of the time, it just means the tattooer is fully booked and doesn’t have time at the moment to fulfill your request.
No worries, though, as Tattoodo can either help you find another artist, or you can go back to your list of saved artists to find another one you really like. Problem solved!
Read more: How to Book Your First Tattoo Appointment
Have a Tattoo Consultation
Five, have a consultation with your artist. A consultation is simply a conversation with your tattooist about your tattoo. This is also a great time to really feel out if you connect with this artist and trust them. For an artist to do their job to the best of their ability, they’ll need your full trust, respect, and collaboration...but that goes both ways!
You want an artist who will give the same amount of respect that you do...so when you consult with your artist, ask any questions you feel are necessary to make sure you’re 100% comfortable with your choice.
If you’re really happy during the consultation, and the artist communicates with you in a way that you appreciate and understand, then you both can figure out a good time for an appointment and you can send over a deposit. After that? Sit back, relax, and look forward to your new tattoo.
However, if something feels off, or if you’re just not sure, again: take your time. Your tattoo experience should be just as incredible as the final tattoo itself. To make sure that happens, listen to your heart, do your research, and don’t rush. If you do those three things, you’re guaranteed to find the best tattoo artist for you.
Read more: How to Take Care of Your Tattoo