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Getting A Tattoo? Here’s 5 Questions You Should Absolutely Ask Your Tattoo Artist

Alicia Hernandez

Posted on June 15 2018


Questions to Ask Your Tattoo ArtistA tattoo is a permanent piece of art on your body. Getting a tattoo is a big decision and you want to make sure you get exactly what you want. It’s perfectly reasonable to shop around and ask as many questions as you want to. You’re spending your money on your body so don’t be shy about getting all your questions answered.  Here are the top five questions we recommend asking your tattoo artist: 

  1. How long have you been a tattoo artist?

This may seem obvious, but experience is very important in a tattoo artist. Longevity in the craft means that the artist is accomplished enough to provide quality renderings that will satisfy you as a client. Experience also means they’ve encountered more challenges along the way as an artist.  They will know more about dealing with different types of skin, inks, tattoo machines and which areas of the body hurt the most when getting a tattoo. A tattoo is permanent, and you really need a capable guide to take you through the process of getting one. 

  1. Does your studio practice proper health practices?

Ask if the shop is following the safety rules in the disposal of blood and other potentially bio hazardous waste. This is important because it will help curb the spread of blood-borne diseases from infecting other people unnecessarily. Some tattoo studios use an autoclave which is a pressure chamber that is used to sterilize equipment. An autoclave can cost thousands, so if they have one you know they’ve made an investment in cleanliness. We can't stress this question enough and you shouldn't get a tattoo in any studio that is not absolutely clean. A tattoo is an open wound and very susceptible to infection during the first few weeks of healing. 

  1. 5 Questions to Ask Your Tattoo ArtistCan I see your portfolio of past work?

This is good in looking at how masterful the tattoo artist is in bringing to life the designs that you want to be inked on your skin. A portfolio of work is proof that the artist has the necessary aptitude and skill to deliver quality work for you. You can also see if their style is what you had in mind. Some tattoo artists only work in black and grey while others are more skilled with color. Each tattoo artist tries to develop a unique style. Most tattoo artists have an active Instagram or Facebook account that you can browse before going into the studio. This question can usually be answered through a few Google searches but it doesn’t hurt to make sure you understand their work by asking your tattoo artist directly. 

  1. How much to you charge for a tattoo?

This is straightforward because you need to know how much budget you will need to allot to get inked. Most artists charge by the size of the piece and the hours involved. Most artists charge between $50 to $200 per hour. A tattoo from a famous artist can cost thousands and take time to implement.  Sometimes large pieces are done in stages. Finally, don't forget to tip your artist. Yes, despite the high price you should always tip your artist because you don't know how much of that hourly cost is going to directly the studio or your artist. You'll want to tip your tattoo artist anywhere from 10-20%. If you don't have enough money for the tattoo and the tip don't get a tattoo until you've saved up for it. 

  1. Do you have specific tattoo aftercare instructions?

This is realty just a test. Every tattoo artist should have specific aftercare instructions to give you. Making sure your tattoo heals properly is an essential part of a successful tattoo experience. Tattoo aftercare can make or break a new tattoo.  If they care about their work, they will care about proper tattoo aftercare.

What to ask your tattoo artist when getting a new tattooEven after you’ve chosen your artist don’t be shy about telling them what you want. If you don’t like the preliminary sketch they provide or need some minor changes be sure to speak up. You can also speak up if you don't like the placement on your body. Remember, laser tattoo removal is incredibly painful and incredibly expensive. Cover up tattoos can also be quite costly as well are are hard to implement because you can only cover up with the same color or darker ink. Remember, it’s your body and your money so ask the questions you need to and get the tattoo you want. Do everything possible to avoid tattoo regrets. 

Tat2X has been helping people protect and cover up their tattoos since 2008 with our Made in the USA Ink Armor Sleeves.