As you may know, gone are the days of popping into your local tattoo shop to check it out, as we’re all currently appointment-only due to health and safety protocols implemented after the COVID shut down. So here are a few tips in finding the right artist for you:
Recommendations and online reviews are are always great, but everyone loves their artist. If you see great tattoos while out and about, ask politely who did them. Most people are excited to let you know who did the tattoo.
Go to the artist or tattoo shop’s website or Instagram to check out their work. Don’t look for the image you want, but look for clean lines, solid colour, nice shading, and if the artist’s particular style suits the tattoo you want.
Do they do the style of work you’re looking for? All tattooers are not the same. Some are jacks-of-all-trades and some specialize in certain styles. If they don’t do the style of work you’re looking for, they will likely know who to recommend for the style.
Things to watch out for while looking at portfolios:
Obviously photoshopped tattoos ie: blacked out backgrounds, fuzzy/ blurred photos and black and grey or tribal tattoos photoshopped in black & white. These are all common tricks used to hide mistakes or add contrast to poorly done tattoos.
Like what you see? Contact the artist via their preferred contact info on the site to set up a consultation. A consultation is an initial appointment to talk about what you’re looking to get tattooed. Keep your email short and sweet - there’s no need to get into every detail as that’s what the consultation is for. Send a brief description of what you’re looking for with a couple of reference photos.
Once a consultation appointment is set, your artist should send you the basic safety protocols for coming and going at the shop. Most places will also have the new protocols posted on their shop doors or windows as per current health and safety guidelines.
If yours is a project they are interested in taking on, your artist will also use the consultation time to take measurements, notes and a deposit, and either set up an art check, appointment or timeline for the work to be completed.
Deposits are used to hold your appointment time and to ensure your artist’s time is not wasted. They are typically $100 non-refundable cash which is then applied to the price of your tattoo. Your deposit will carry over on multi-session tattoos and will be applied to the cost of your final appointment.
You will lose your deposit if you change the drawing/tattoo idea; fail to show up for your appointment; show up high or drunk, dirty, underage (we are 18+ only) or without ID; cancel with less than 48 hours notice; are excessively late for your appointment (half hour or more); or are rude to staff or artists.
I hope this helps you find the right artist for your next tattoo