Choosing A Tattoo Artist

11 Questions to Ask Your New Tattoo Artist

In Advice, Medical, Tattoo Culture, Tattoo Health, Trends by Trip11 Comments

Choosing a Tattoo Artist

Choosing a Tattoo Artist

Getting a tattoo is a life-changing decision. Once you get inked there is no turning back. There are certain things that you need to ask before that first prick lands on your skin. This is important because it could be a matter of life and death if you take things for granted. That is why to guide people that want to get a tattoo, we have composed this article for you so that you will get all the benefits of a new tattoo without the regrets.

1. How long have you been a tattoo artist?

This is pretty obvious and experience is very important in a tattoo artist. Longevity in the craft means that the artist is experienced enough to provide quality renderings that will satisfy you as a client.

2. Do you have the necessary certifications?

Some localities allow tattoo parlors to operate as long they adhere to local statutes or ordinances. This means that tattoo parlor proprietors need to secure local licenses and permits before they can operate. Make sure that the tattoo parlor that you are engaging with prominently displays their permits and that they are up to date.

3. What are your qualifications?

Don’t be shy, ask your tattoo artist about their qualifications. If they are confident they will share them out without any hesitation. Qualified tattoo artists have the necessary permits and training from local health boards so that they are able to perform safe tattoo sessions. As well as qualifications, tattoo artists need insurance coverage for their work. Feel free to ask your tattoo artist whether they have business insurance for their work (if you’re a new tattoo artist looking for insurance, get tattoo business insurance today!). This way, you’ll be assured that your tattoo artist has a genuine business and is passionate about bringing your body art to life.

4. Do you have a portfolio of past work?

This is great in looking at how masterful the tattoo artist is in bringing to life the designs that you want to be inked on your skin. A portfolio of work is proof that the artist has the necessary aptitude and skill to deliver quality work for you.

5. Do you guarantee your work?

Well, if the final product is not what you hoped it would be, it pays to have a back-job guarantee if you are not satisfied with the work. Ask if they have a refund policy if the job turns out to be crappy.

6. How much a tattoo would cost?

This is pretty straightforward because you need to know how much budget you will need to allot to get inked.

7. How many tattoos have you done?

This is related to the amount of experience the tattoo artist has. The more tattoos done by the artist will reflect how much skill they have developed in working with different customers, different skin types and designs.

8. Have you been on drugs or do you abuse them while at work?

Well, this is a very tough question to ask but it is only fair. You don’t want someone high on drugs doing the inking because they might make an error and misspell something or deliver a sub-standard tattoo while under the influence.

9. Do you practice proper blood disposal?

Ask if the shop is following the safety rules in the disposal of blood and other potentially bio hazardous waste. This is important because it will help curb the spread of blood-borne diseases from infecting other people unnecessarily.

10. What is the likelihood of infection?

You also need to ask what the likelihood of having an infection is. Every good tattoo artist can easily answer this question.

11. Do I need a medical certificate before getting a tattoo?

Since we are dealing with blood, every responsible tattoo artist should ask for medical certificates or medical history to ascertain that the subject does not have an infectious disease that can be transmitted through blood. They should be asking you as many questions as you are asking them.

By taking your time to find an artist, you can be assured that you’re getting a tattoo that you can enjoy for years to come! Remember, there’s no such thing as a dumb question when finding a tattoo artist you can trust.

About The Author of 11 Questions to Ask Your New Tattoo Artist:
This guest post provided to us by Ashlee Harsh. She writes for the website How Much Will it Cost? — A large resource of over 2,300 cost helping guides.

Photo Credits:
“Choosing a Tattoo Artist”: minxlj via photopin cc

Tat2X is proud to sponsor this blog dedicated to tattoo culture and art!

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  1. Bob Lowe

    Thanks for the post. I think these are great questions to ask if your looking to get a tattoo. I would have never thought that a tattoo artist would need a medical certificate. I find that very important. Like you said, your dealing with blood, and it is important that they have that cert. Thanks again.

  2. April Cook

    I really like your tip to ask to see a portfolio of past work. This is a great way to see if they do work that you like and would want on your body. I also like your tip to ask how many tattoos they have done. What is a good amount to show that they have sufficient experience? Thanks for this information!

  3. Chaz

    Number five is a joke. The rest seem ok to ask. Honestly if you walk i to a place asking the wrong questions youre gunna come off like a dick. Its better to go somewhere reputable (do the research), look through artists portfolios, and decide accordingly. Artists are not responsible for your tattoo once you leave the shop. If it gets infected thats on you. You wont be getting a refund if you dont like your tattoo thats absurd.

    1. Author

      Yes, getting a guarantee on artwork that’s on your body is pretty tough. Also, most reputable artists will run numerous sketches by their clients well before any ink touches their bodies.

  4. J. Allen Hewitt

    Always ask the artist is ok with you having a trusted friend or trusted family member watch and make sure the artist is keeping to the desired results. most places do not offer a guarantee and/or money back guarantee. even though some tattoo artists are not happy about having someone staring over their shoulder, but it’s your money and it’s going to be on your body forever. In hard to see places, the art work can come out misleading especially in a mirror while it’s still swollen and bleeding and it’s amazing how many of even the best artists flub the spelling of words or names, have someone watching for you and talking you through it the whole time. one example…an artist misspelled my daughter’s name !!! but then blamed it on me even though I still had the piece of paper, it cost me another $75 at another place to fix it three days later. Get A Friend !!!

    1. Tee

      This is why YOU as the client are responsible for making sure the words or names are spelled correctly. We always allow our clients to ok the drawing, then place the stencil we make them look again to make sure everything is spelled correct and it’s where they want it. As for the trusted friend or family member, you can SIT in our artists station, but you aren’t going to hover over the artist. That’s rude, disrespectful and makes anyone nervous. Would you want a nervous tattoo artist tattooing on you? I wouldn’t.

  5. Tee

    It varies by state or country. In Arkansas we have to pass a blood born pathogen test yearly.

  6. Tee

    Number 5 is referring to touch ups. ? Most reputable artists know that fading happens and offer at least one free touch up. We guarantee our work for the first 90 days. That’s plenty of time to heal and be touched up if need be.

    The artist that claims his ink doesn’t fade is a liar. It may not fade all the time, but it happens. I’m a tattoo artist’s wife, I am sleeved out and know how to take care of my tattoos. I have had to have about half touched up due to placement (in the bends) and fading from the sun. So for you to say #5 is a joke, no it’s a legit question and it makes sense from the clients point of view.

  7. Ivy Baker

    This is some really good information about tattoo shops. I liked that you pointed out that you should ask the artist about the likely hood of getting an infection. It is good to know that they can give you some tips on how to prevent infections. Lately, I have been thinking about getting a tattoo so I will have to keep this in mind.

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