Blog PostHow to Find a Tattoo Artist: The Modern 2023 Guide

In the course of human history, there’s been around 117 billion people so far (thanks Google!), but not a single one of them have had your fingerprint, your life experience, or your genetic makeup. You’re unique. Tattoos can be an outer extension of yourself, and finding the right artist to express this is crucial. There are more than 30,000 Tattoo Artists and 20,000 Tattoo shops in the US alone. How do you find a tattoo artist that suits your style, preferences, and budget, as well as how to find a good tattoo artist who will bring your vision to life.

Determine the Perfect Tattoo For You

The first step in your journey to get inked is to know what kind of tattoo that you want to get. There are three main components to consider: subject, style, and placement.

The subject of your tattoo is the most important part. What is it that you want to put on your body forever? Does it have some significant meaning to you? Or is it just a funny little cartoon character that makes you laugh. Either way after you decide on what it is that you want tattooed on you it is time to be concerned about the style in which it is tattooed.

There are so many different styles of tattoos such as American Traditional, Fine Line, Neo Traditional, Tribal, Water Color, Realism, Japanese, etc. Deciding on what style you want is a great first step. While many artists are proficient in many different styles, usually they have a couple of styles that they prefer to work in. Make sure to stay in line with the artist's preferred style to get the best tattoo possible.

While not as important in determining an artist that would be a good fit for your tattoo, the placement of the tattoo should also be considered. Some places are much harder to tattoo so it is important to think about the experience of the tattoo artist if you want to get it tattooed on some of the more tricky spots on your body. Now that you know the tattoo that you want to get it is time to research and find an artist.

Researching Artists to Find a Good Tattoo Artist

There are many different ways to find an artist, but it is 2023 you have way more tools and resources at your disposal to find the exact artist that you want. One of the more old school, but greatest ways is finding an artist through word of mouth. Asking friends, family, coworkers, or any random person walking down the street who did their tattoos is one of the simplest methods. Not only can you ask them who did their tattoo, but you can also ask them about their experience with the artist. However there is one important caveat with this method. If your girlfriend's second cousin is covered in American Traditional tattoos and you want to get a Fine Line tattoo, take their word with a grain of salt and make sure to do research on the artist to see if Fine Line tattooing is something that they also do well.

Instagram is a tattoo artist's best friend and can be your best friend when researching potential artists and tattoo shops. Artists regularly post their work there and it is the best way to check out their skills. Follow hashtags like #tattoo #tattooartist #YOUR_CITYtattooatist #finelinetattoo etc.

If you don’t have an instagram account, or want to make sure that you are finding someone more local, doing a Google search for “Tattoo Artist Near Me” will yield a bunch of different local tattoo shops. Most shops have a website where you can check out an individual artist's portfolio and a bit about the artist themselves.

Things to Look for in a Tattoo Artist's Portfolio

When looking into their portfolio, look for clean lines, smooth shading, and solid colors. Pay attention to the level of detail in their work and whether they specialize in the style you're interested in. Watch a couple episodes of “Ink Masters” and you’ll get familiar with the criteria for what makes a good tattoo a good tattoo. It's also important to consider how the tattoos have aged in their portfolio. If possible, look for healed tattoo photos to see how the artist's work holds up over time.

Schedule a Consultation

A consultation is a face-to-face meeting that allows you to discuss your tattoo idea, ask questions, and get a feel for their personality and professionalism. Some artist’s do consultations and some don’t, however if it is your first tattoo it is best to try and set one up. It is also a great time to checkout the shop to make sure that it is a professional and more importantly a clean environment. Checkout our guide for How to setup a Tattoo Appointment

Compare Pricing

Depending on your tattoo pricing can change between different artists. Skilled, reputable artists typically charge more for their work, and investing in a high-quality tattoo is worth the cost.

Tattoo Apprentices can be an option for more low cost tattoos however it is extremely important to do as much research as possible to make sure that they can deliver what you are looking for. There are so many really skilled apprentices out there it is just important to find them.

Getting Inked

After you find the perfect tattoo artist for you it is time to get inked! If you followed all of the steps outlined above and did your homework you can be sure that it will be a great piece of art that will be with you forever.