General Question

InspecterJones's avatar

How do you find/pick a tattoo artist?

Asked by InspecterJones (1052points) May 1st, 2010

I’ve been looking to get a tattoo (or a couple, eventually) done and have been wondering how to go about finding and picking a tattoo artist. I’ve looked at a few sites online and some guys/gals seem really good but its all original art and I kind of want something small and simple for my first one and I already know what I want to get. If I bring a print out of it, does it matter who does it? I’ve got it drawn up in photoshop so what should I do here?

Also, I live in NYC so its almost as if there are too many choices. I’ve had friends who regret some of the tattoos they’ve gotten, not cause of the tattoo, but cause of the quality of job they got. I don’t really wanna deal with that.

What should I look for to pick a quality artist?

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13 Answers

slick44's avatar

BY checking out their work. I have my own guy and would never go to anyone else. Once you find someone you should stick with them. That way you dont get any suprises.

Randy's avatar

Look for something in their art that catches you. If you enjoy their art, they will probably do you well.

It’s more important to look for cleanliness though!

InspecterJones's avatar

@slick44 I don’t really know what to look for when I look at their work, thats kind of the issue.

jaytkay's avatar

The customary method is getting really drunk and stumbling into a convenient establishment at 3am with friends who will not let you leave without getting the tattoo.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

That depends on what it is that you’ve printed out. If it’s your own art, or even art from a friend that you have permission to use.. sure, you can take it most anywhere you choose. Check out their original art, see if you like their work. Maybe not necessarily as something you’d put on your own body.. but is the composition well done in your opinion. Ask around, also. See if people you know have anyone they recommend. On the other hand, if you are printing out something that is already a tattoo, that someone else has, someone’s art that you don’t have permission to use… many people won’t do that tattoo for you. It’s sort of an unspoken law about not stealing someone else’s work. So this all really depends on where you got the image you had in mind. If it’s flash art there is always a possibility that you’ll find it on the wall of the tattoo parlor you choose.

frdelrosario's avatar

I visit all the laser removal technicians in the city and ask “Which tattoo did you most regret removing?”. I go to whichever tattooer did it.

InspecterJones's avatar

@Randy I guess that makes sense. What exactly does cleanliness mean though…?

slick44's avatar

@InspecterJones…well ask to see some of the things they have done. or if you no of anyone who has tattoos and you like them and think they are well done. You just have to no what you like, what looks good to you. After all its your body, your the only one you have to please.

slick44's avatar

Yes make sure you go to a reputable shop.

Randy's avatar

One way to check for cleanliness is word of mouth. There’s a shop here in my town that has a new staph breakout at least once a week. Inside look for proper needle disposal, new packaged needles, rubber gloves… and so on and so on. You can always ask the artists about it also. If they are a clean shop, they won’t mind showing and telling you about what they do to keep it that way.

As far as the art, just check out tattoos they’ve previously done. It’s kind of like drawings. Some people are just better at certain things then others. I like old school, traditional style tattoos and so when I found my artist, that’s what I was looking for. She does the job exactly how I want and like it so I have always used her. Also, remember that you are allowing the artist to put THEIR art on you. Therefor, you need to find someone who has similar tastes in art with you. Spend some time looking and you’ll be glad you did.

slick44's avatar

Make an appointment with Kat von dee. lol

aprilsimnel's avatar

I went to Flying Dragon at the Chelsea Hotel on West 23rd about 10 years ago. I’m not sure if the gentleman I used is still there, (I think his name was Angel?) but I went to a bunch of different places on the LES, the EV and then this one. I liked their place the best. Plus, he was pleased to see that while I got something in a more traditional vein, it wasn’t the same Japanese/Chinese ideograph that a lot of other people get, so it was nice to have it be a collaborative effort.

Ask your friends with tats where they got theirs, and if they were pleased with the value for money, if the place was clean, if the artist was clean, if the materials were clean. Nothing is worth getting infected of ending up with keloids. Then go look at the artist’s work. Good luck.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

You should go to my tattoo artist. If you pm me I will give you his info and show you my tattoo pics. I should warn you though: he likes to do interesting tattoos so nothing cliche like random religious stuff, love mom stuff or butterflies.

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