7 Signs Your Tattoo Artists Will Do A Good Job

by Hana Maeda

Getting a tattoo is a big deal. After all, it’ll be cemented on your body forever. Unless you’re willing to spend hundreds on a tattoo removal, there’s no turning back. Logically, you’ll want the best tattoo artist to bring your dream design to life. It’s a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially if you’re looking to get inked for the first time. Since you won’t want to mess up on a costly and risky investment, it’s important to consider some questions to ask your tattoo artists to know they’ll do a good job.

The road to getting a tattoo is a long one. Picking the design and placement is one thing, but it’s another thing to ensure that your tattoo is well executed. Just because you picked out the tattoo artist who fits your needs, doesn't necessarily mean you can sit back, relax, and let the artist do their job. You only have one body, and you don't want to risk it all because you didn't prepare yourself about the tattooing process. To make sure that you’ll leave the tattoo parlor without any “ragrets,” here are some key things to ask your tattoo artist for your next (or first) ink.


How long have you been a tattoo artist for?

This one’s a pretty obvious but important question. If you’re going to trust someone to permanently ink you, you’re going to want someone with the right experience. To be completely sure, be sure to ask your tattoo artist how many tattoos they’ve done in the past.


Can I see your portfolio?

Flipping through a tattoo artist’s portfolio can give you physical proof of their skills and experience. What’s more, it’ll give you a better sense of whether their style matches your needs. According to Tattoo Artist Magazine, a tattoo artist's portfolio should also consist of actual photographs as opposed to cut-outs from magazines or books.


What are your qualifications?

No matter how intricate or simple your tattoo will be, it doesn’t hurt to have a qualified artist ink you. It might feel awkward to ask, but ultimately you’ll want the best bang for your buck. According to Tat2X, qualified tattoo artists will have the necessary permits and training from local health boards.


Do you sterilize your tattooing equipment?

Cleanliness is a must in any tattoo shop. Although it helps to have an autoclave, or a steam sterilizer, tattoo artists should be able to show you that their needles are pre-packaged in sterile packs, according to Rebels Market.


Do you use drugs while working?

This may be uncomfortable to ask, especially if you haven’t met your tattoo artist before. It’s only reasonable, however, to ask whether or not your artist is under the influence to avoid any mishaps. To avoid stereotyping, you should only bring this up if you notice something strange in the studio, according to the aforementioned Tattoo Artist Magazine article.


What is the likelihood of an infection?

Almost everyone has a tattoo these days, so it’s easy to gloss over the risks of getting one. Since you’re basically embedding chemicals into your skin, it would be wise to bring up any safety concerns. Any well-trained tattoo artist can easily answer this question, according to the aforementioned Tat2X article.


What is the proper aftercare procedure?

Getting a new tattoo is always exciting, but before you show it off to the world, it’s crucial to look after your own ink. A good tattoo artist will provide you information about the proper healing routine, so your tattoo will look as clean as possible. According to Search Body Art, your artist should use first aid methods to clean and bandage your tattoo.