Some of us have great bonds with our tattoo artists. We trust them like they are our doctor. We recommend them to our friends.
But sometimes we have to get a new tattoo artist. Maybe ours moved cities, or we moved. Maybe we are getting a tattoo while out of town. Regardless, there are questions you need to ask before hiring a new artist.
Can I see your portfolio?
This seems obvious. We want to know that they are good artists. But portfolios can tell you a lot more. If you notice the artist doesn?t have anything in the style you want (say you want a portrait and they only have nature work), they may not be the best fit. Sometimes bad artists will use stock images in their portfolios, so look for authenticity.
How long have you been a tattoo artist?
Tattoo artists have to undergo a lot of training before they can actually tattoo the general populace. And as long as they have their proper certifications, a new artist can be fine for a piece of flash. For large custom pieces, you probably want someone a little more seasoned.
Can I verify your certifications?
You want to make sure your artist is up-to-date on all their certifications and licenses. This includes health standards, as well as tattoo licenses.
How do you sterilize your equipment?
Don?t just ask them if they sterilize their equipment. Less-than-great artists will just lie and say they do. Ask them how they sterilize it so you know they are serious.
What do you recommend for aftercare?
We know every tattoo artist recommends something a bit different. But if your potential artist recommends something outlandish or just blows off your question, you probably want to find someone more reliable.
When was the shop?s last health inspection?
An up-to-date health inspection goes a long way in preventing infection. Make sure you are not in some forgotten, dirty shop. Also keep your eyes out for sanitary supplies. If your tattoo artist doesn?t have his or her own hand sanitizer, go somewhere else.
What is the best location for what I want?
You may have your heart set on a tattoo on your forearm. But not all body parts are created equal when it comes to tattoo cavasses. Unless you are a tattoo artist yourself, look for their expertise.