I get it. You are 18. You can finally get that tattoo you have dreamed of getting for the past three years. But before you run off on your 18 birthday to the first tattoo studio you see, answer this very important question: can you trust the artist?
Picking the right tattoo artist for what you are planning to get can be a lot more work than you would think. There are so many things to think about like placement, size, imagery, style, and of course the commitment to permanency. To add to the mix, you want to know that your artist is reliable.
Looking at portfolios is one of the most important steps. This is how you will find the perfect artist to cater to what you want. Tattoo artists usually keep a decent collection of images of their finished pieces on the shop’s website. Now, especially, we have easy access to artists’ Instagram and Facebook pages where they tend to post their work.
When looking at portfolios do not just ask yourself if they are good enough. Make sure they are already good at what you want meaning their previous pieces are the same style as what you are planning on getting. Some artists stick to traditional, bold tattoos and some of them like to do realism, new school, black work, Japanese traditional, the list goes on. It is good to familiarize yourself with some of these styles so you know what to look for.
Once you have decided on who you want to do your tattoo, find out how to contact them whether it be via email, phone call, or walking right into the studio and setting up a consultation.
After finding the right tattoo artist for you aesthetically next comes your safety. A good artist will work in a licensed studio where they have access to the best supplies and up to date tattoo machines and equipment. They use the proper sterilization techniques. They are trained in blood-borne pathogens and communicable diseases so you will not contract diseases through contamination. They use clean needles every time that come in packages that have been gas sterilized and they are knowledgeable on cross contamination. They know what an infection looks like and they know how to help you avoid getting one. Shop’s will undergo inspections from the health department and will be updated with new laws made to keep you safe and the tattoo shop a clean environment. If you feel put off by anything make sure to ask question! A trustworthy artist should be willing to make you feel as comfortable as possible.