Finding a good tattoo artist is a little different from finding other service providers. Usually, clean-cut personnel and a good location in a nice neighborhood are criteria when people shop around for someone to provide a service. In this case however, due to the nature of the business, these aren’t necessarily criteria that show a tattoo artist is good. For example, in a lot of places they don’t want tattoo parlors, so they are relegated to the less desirable neighborhoods. Also, a tattoo artist usually has a certain image – he or she usually advertises his art and business on his own body, which can be a turn-off to many people.
However, if you are looking to get your first tattoo, chances are you already know it is likely that the tattoo artist you end up with will have many visible tattoos – even piercing – and, in the case of males, long hair. The previous do not mean that a tattoo artist is bad, but neither can you tell from those factors if he or she is good. In fact, those traits are irrelevant when it comes to finding a good tattoo artist.
How do you get started then on finding a good tattoo artist? Ask around in your friendship circle if they know a tattoo artist. If you feel comfortable enough you can ask co-workers as well. Even if people do not have visible tattoos, a lot of them have tattoos you can’t see – especially if they are in the workforce in an industry that frowns upon those sort of things. Ask if they are happy with their tattoo, if they were given instructions of how to care for it, and if their tattoo artist frequently wiped and sanitized while doing the tattoo. In the case of positive answers, write down their recommendations. Next, you can go on-line and use search engines to find reviews on tattoo artists. Write down the ones who get the best rankings in your area.
The next step is to actually visit the tattoo artist’s shop and check it out in person. There are several things to look for, with cleanliness being the most important factor. Cleanliness in this regard is most important to the tools used. While of course you can’t just walk into a room and stare while a stranger gets a tattoo, you can still observe. Most tattoo artists don’t mind if you look around; matter of fact, they encourage it. If they don’t, walk out and don’t come back.
Most leave the doors open on the individual rooms when they work on customers, so you can observe that way (unless of course the person being worked on gets a tattoo on a body part they don’t want exposed to the general public). You need to also observe the cleanliness of the whole place, as well as the tattoo artist – is his or her hair clean, finger nails, clothes, etc. Another good indicator of good tattoo artists is if they have a sign in their shop stating something about not working on inebriated or otherwise impaired people, as well as refusing people who are under-age.