I’m slowly making my way through creating a series of helpful tattoo tips. Last time I covered How To Identify A Good Tattoo Artist, and now that you know what to look for, lets move on to finding an artist. If this sounds good to you then keep reading, and click the Tattoo category under the dropdown menu to find more from this series.
1. Decide on the style you want
Once you’ve decided on the design subject you want and it’s placement, start by asking yourself if there is a particular style or artist you have in mind for this tattoo. Is there an artist you’ve been lusting after for a long time but they’re from another country? Then perhaps define their style and do some research to find someone similar, or that can do just as good of a job within your traveling limits. However, if you know what style you want, then you simply just have to go on the hunt for the right artist.
2. Ask for artists
While I always say to never get a tattoo just because your friend got tattooed by them, it’s something I’ve personally done and a lot of people do. They may be a fantastic artist but don’t make it the whole basis of your decision making, and decide for yourself if you think they’re right for you. If you ask for recommendations you can generally form an idea of who is the best and cheapest in your town. When someone recommends an artist to you, ask to see what work they’ve had done by them. If you think their work is good you can then go to their shop and view their portfolio. Recommendations can also give you a good insight into how the artist is as a person. Do they talk much during the tattooing? Are they friendly? This is something that sways me to getting tattooed by someone more, as I like to be made to feel comfortable. Also, if you spot someone in the street with nice ink, don’t be afraid to ask where they got it done/who did it.
3. Search Instagram
Instagram can be your best friend when looking for an artist. These days going to a shop and looking at their physical portfolios is becoming a thing of the past. (I assume) most artists these days won’t take the time to print out images and put them in a folder when they can upload it within a few clicks. A Instagram feed is most likely going to contain the most recent of an artists work and it’s also filled with millions of artist’s profiles. If you’re not sure how to find an artist try searching for the type of design/style you want through hashtags and seeing if the artist is linked. Or you can try searching for Instagram pages that post various quality artist’s work such as ‘Blackworkers‘.
4. Don’t be afraid to travel
If you’ve done your research and are considering getting a tattoo then you should know that they are a big investment. If you’re pushing your price range to get quality work, then why not push it a little further to travel outside of your town to a city with an incredible artist? Don’t feel forced to get tattooed by someone in your area just because they’re close. I haven’t traveled very far for my tattoos, but my regular artist is soon moving to the city thats closest to me, which may sway me to branching out further to new artists, which I’ve wanted to do for a while. I’ve also been finding artists that I’d love to get tattooed by all over the UK, including 4 hours away which I’m seriously considering.
5. Don’t give up on artists abroad
If you have found the perfect artist but they’re from another country then follow and interact with them on Instagram. Try sending them an email/message to find out if they’ll be traveling to your country anytime soon and if you can get an appointment the next time they are. It can be unlikely that you’ll get much of a response but there is no harm in trying. Also follow them to keep up to date if they post when they are attending a convention or guest tattooing so you can get in there first.
6. Are they creative?
If you’ve found an artist you might like and they check the points for being a good artist, then check what their creativity is like. Are their pieces unique or do they look pretty standard and like a lot of designs you’ve seen before? If you’re after something personal and specifically designed for you, you’ll want to find an artist that you can trust to add their own creative flair without having to worry. You don’t want an artist who will just produce the same design for everyone and keep it basic.
7. Get an idea for their personality
Ask for opinions on what the artist is like. Some may disagree as there are artists I find not as friendly as other people, and vice versa, but it can give you an idea. I see getting tattooed as an experience and I would much rather have a fun time getting inked than get work from someone I don’t feel comfortable around, even if they would do a slightly better job. If you agree ask around, and then form a consultation with them. Having a conversation with the artist about your ideas can give you an insight into whether they are friendly, welcoming and talkative, as well as testing to see if they are enthusiastic about doing the tattoo for you. This can give you a good indication on how they’ll be with you throughout the process and if you’re put off you don’t have to commit to booking the appointment. More popular artists may be harder to contact and speak to, so try speaking through email or phone, and make sure you’re happy to get booked in with them.
Thanks for reading, and happy searching. I hope this post helped you and leave a comment below if there is anymore guides you would like me to make within this series. April