So, you have made the big decision. You are going to take the leap and get a tattoo. You have thought carefully about the design you want to get, and have set aside enough money to get the job done right.
Now, it's time to choose the artist who will do your tattoo.
Taking the time to choose the right tattoo artist is an important step. It might seem like more trouble and bother than you want to deal with. But it won't matter how great the design you chose is if the artist doesn't do a good job creating a tattoo of that design. And, if the tattoo artist doesn't do it right, there's really no going back to fix it.
Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a tattoo artist.
How long have the tattoo parlors in your area been in business? And how long have the tattoo artists in those parlors been doing tattoos?
It might be worth your while to visit some local tattoo shops. While there, feel free to ask how long the artists have been doing tattoos. You can also ask what kind of experience and training they have. Most will be more than happy to answer your questions.
You should also take a look around the tattoo parlor. The condition of a shop can tell you a lot about the competence and professionalism of the people working there. If a parlor is a total mess, and things seem hectic and chaotic, this might not be where you want to get your tattoo done.
Let Past Customers Be Your Guide
Do you have friends or acquaintances that have gotten tattoos and were happy with the results? If so, ask them where they got them done.
Many tattoo studios keep portfolios of the work they've done on past clients. So, ask to look at it, and study the quality of the work yourself.
During your visit to a tattoo parlor, you might even find some former clients in the shop, who are back to get another tattoo done. Don't hesitate to ask to take a closer look at their tattoos. And the fact that the shop has repeat customers can be taken as a good sign.
While there aren't as many regulations governing the tattoo industry as people would like, there are professional organizations that tattoo artists can belong too. These organizations take the principles of quality, safety, and professionalism seriously. And tattoo artists that belong to such organization probably feel just as strongly about the same principles.
Many of these organizations also require their members to meet certain training and experience requirements, which should help put you at ease.
Consider calling one of these organizations, and asking about members who work in your area. You can also ask for recommendations on which local parlors and artists they consider the best.
Hit the Road
Sometimes, you might not be able to find a tattoo artist you feel comfortable using nearby. In fact, the best tattoo shop you might have heard about might be a one or two hour drive away.
If that is the case, don't hesitate to make that trip. A one or two hour drive is worth it if it means getting the best tattoo possible.
Remember, choosing a good tattoo artist isn't like choosing a good hairstylist. If you get a bad hair cut, or a bad coloring job, you know your hair will grow out and it will be like the mistake never happened. But, if you get a bad tattoo, it will take a lot of pain, time and money to fix.
It is worth your while to take your time when choosing the tattoo artist who will do your tattoo. The good results will be well worth the effort.