So, you’re searching the Internet, asking around, looking for the best tattoo artist for your new tattoo? Well, you must have come across those guidelines that simply say „hey, go check their Instagram account and you’re done“. Well, things aren’t that simple. What you see on tattooists’ Instagram doesn’t mean you’ll have a good experience with them, or that they even live in the same area as you.
To find a truly good tattoo artist that will suit your needs, preferences, price range, and so much more, you need to do more than just visit their Instagram and social media accounts. Because people are being generally misled, we’ve decided to create a complete guide to finding a good tattoo artist, wherever you are. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
How Can You Find The One Tattoo Artist?
Figure Out What You Want To Get Tattooed
The best way to find the perfect tattoo artist is to know what you actually want to get tattooed. Not every tattoo artist specializes in all tattoo designs out there. Some tattooists excel at specific designs, which makes them super qualified for your tattoo (if that’s what you want, of course).
Now, if you don’t know what is it that you want to get tattooed, it is time to look for the perfect design. It is essential to look for inspiration, but more importantly, you cannot steal other people’s tattoos. Copyright is important in any form of artist’s expression, so get inspired, but you need to add your own specific touch, otherwise, you’ll be stealing someone else’s work, which is not cool.
So, where can you find the inspiration for your new tattoo? We do generally recommend you search the Instagram hashtags for a quick result, but if you want, you can always check platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, and even Quora and Google Images. We do urge you to learn about the tattoo images you find online; look for the source links, which will often lead you to the actual creator of the designs.
Also, always check whether certain designs contain specific cultural symbols or whether they belong to a certain culture/tradition/people. You must not only respect copyright but also beware of cultural appropriation. Getting educated and informed is the key in your search for the perfect tattoo design inspiration.
We do have to mention that, in case you find it hard to come up with a design for a tattoo, you can always get your tattoo artist to draw a concept. Both of you can work on a design together, but you will have to at least know which type/style of tattoo you’ll be going for. That will make it easier to find the perfect tattoo artist later on.
Also Read: Tattooing and Cultural Appropriation: Why Your Tattoo Might Be Problematic
Limit Your Search To Your Location (Or The Location You’ll Willing To Get Tattooed At)
So, obviously, in order to get tattoed by anyone, you need to be there with them at their tattoo studio. Now, logically, you need to be looking for tattoo artists in your immediate area, or expand your search to the locations you’re willing to visit in order to get tattooed. You don’t really settle for the local tattoo artist, the one next door if you don’t want to.
Now, how can you even find the right tattoo artist by location? Here are a few tips and tricks to utilize to make your hunt easier and faster;
- Search the Internet by hashtag – for example, if you’re browsing Instagram, looking for tattoo artists, you may want to adjust your hashtag search by using, for example, #tattoo + location/country/city. Just as you search for #rosetattoos, you also search for #tattoocalifornia, or #tattoogermany… you get the gist.
- Look for tattoo parlors on Google maps – this is very easy; just open your local, or desired location map on Google Maps. Then, type in the search bar something like ‘tattoo parlor’, ‘tattoo studio’, ‘tattoo artist’, etc.
Then, as you get the results, you can look for either the best-rated tattoo studios/parlors, or you can check out every single search result to see which studio or artist suits your needs the best, or is the closest to you. These search results can often lead you to the studio’s or artist’s website, social media, or Instagram accounts.
- Check out the TattoosWizard website – by visiting TattoosWizard.com, you’ll have an insight into the best tattoo parlors and tattoo artists in whichever location you desire. We do have to point out that some countries do not provide information for the TattoosWizard website.
You will have to check them out individually for each of those countries. For example, if you’re looking to get tattooed in Germany, you’ll have to visit Ink4you.de. But, chances are you’ll find all the information on TattoosWizard. However, bear in mind that the website requires you to sign in to be able to search through the available information.
- Check if tattoo artists are touring in your country/state/city – this is one of the best tricks you can use to get tattooed by a good tattoo artist without having to actually travel to their country/tattoo studio. Simply check if the artist is touring your country; generally, when tattooists tour or are guests at tattoo conventions, they offer tattoo services, which means you can get tattooed right there and then, without raveling and spending additional travel money.
Figure Out Your Tattoo Budget
Let’s be honest; tattoos are quite expensive. So, you can expect your tattoo cost to go up the more popular or in-demand a tattoo artist is. So, figure out your general tattoo budget and limit your search to the established price range. We never recommend you settle for a tattoo artist just to save money. Rather than getting a mediocre, or even bad tattoo for less money, make sure to save up and get your tattoo done by a true professional. After all, the tattoo will remain on your body for a lifetime.
The average rate tattoo artists charge for an hour of their service is $80 to $100. Some tattoo artists even charge up to $150 to $200. This rate is, of course, for the US region. In Europe, you can expect to pay anywhere between 50€ to 280€, more or less.
Of course, these rates are pure assumptions based on client experience and what they’ve shared with the public. For the actual, exact rates, you will have to contact the tattoo artist and explain your wishes for the tattoo, and the tattoo design if they need to create it from scratch. Only then will you know your exact tattoo cost.
Of course, you can’t really expect to negotiate the cost; tattoos are expensive and tattoo artists take a load of responsibility every time they take a tattoo gun; from providing a sterile environment, and sterile equipment, to executing their jobs perfectly.
If you do want to save up some money, we recommend you look for tattoo parlors who have tattoo apprentices who work as tattooists. This means they’ll probably charge you less for the hourly rate. Also, think about getting your tattoo done somewhere easy; a tattoo on the forearm might be less complicated to do, which indicates it might be more affordable. Moreover, if you’re going for a visible tattoo, you may want to actually invest in it, since everybody will see it, not just you.
Also Read: Ultimate Guide to Tattoo Price Chart: How Much Do Tattoos Cost?
Contact The Tattoo Artist
So, you’ve figured that one or few tattoo artists meet the needs and requirements for your new tattoo. Good! Now, you need to actually contact them and see if they’re available for a consultation and the actual tattoo session.
Now, what is the best way to contact a tattoo artist?
Believe it or not, it isn’t really the most professional thing in the world to contact a tattoo artist via DMs on Instagram or on other social media. E-mail is still the best way to professionally contact someone, especially if you’re seeking their services. So, what exactly should you write in the e-mail? Let’s see;
- Introduce yourself; this one is obvious, but sometimes people tend to miss the obvious things. Provide a short introduction, maybe mention where you live, your age, and similar things.
- Explain what kind of tattoo you want to get done; talk about the style of the tattoo, is it a tattoo that requires a custom design or you have a design in mind, is it a cover-up tattoo, where might the tattoo be placed, etc.
- Make sure to also mention whether you’re going for a black&grey or a colored tattoo; discuss the color scheme.
- Make sure to also mention the size of the tattoo and where on your body it will be.
- Discuss a potential consultation date; let the tattoo artist reply with a date when they’re free and available for tattooing,
- Do NOT simply ask about the cost of the tattoo; sure this is the part you’ll probably be interested in the most, but it’s unprofessional. After you’ve provided all the info, make sure to ask something in the form of; Could you please make me a quotation? Otherwise, the tattoo artist won’t reply.
And that would be it. Hopefully, our guide will help you find the best tattoo artist that will give you the tattoo of your dreams. Don’t expect to find the perfect tattoo artist right away; you may have to dig deep if you have specific needs and requirements, or a specific budget. But, don’t lose hope; there is a tattoo artist for everyone out there. Just keep looking!
Also Read: What Do Tattoo Artists Hate: 13 Things Clients Do That Every Tattoo Artist Resents