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What to Look for in a Tattoo Artist?

Updated: Apr 1

If you're looking for a tattoo artist for your next piece, here are some steps you can take.

Start with researching the available artists in your area. The best way to find reputable tattoo shops is to start with an internet search. (Google "tattoo shops near me" and it will give you a list.) Check out the reviews and their linked social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok).

Visit each tattoo shop's webpage and sift through the artist's portfolios. While looking through portfolios, look for multiple examples of tattoos that are similar to the piece you want to get. Many artists specialize in certain tattoo styles. For example, if you see a lot of black and grey in a portfolio, that artist would likely be a better fit for that style of tattoo than someone with a lot of color.

Be sure to analyze the tattoos at a deeper level. Do the pieces shown match your ideal tattoo? Does the artist use thick linework or thin linework? Bold colors or muted colors? Are you looking for a realistic piece, cartoon style, or maybe a traditional tattoo? Keep in mind, some portfolios may contain all of the above. Some tattoos are easier to do than others. For example, small simple designs and lettering pieces are able to be done by a lot of tattoo artists. However, if you are looking for more advanced designs, such as portraits and sleeves, look for an artist that have multiple examples in their portfolio.

Before filling out a consult form, make sure to read the artist's biography or FAQ section to see what they do or don't do. This will be helpful to you to see if they will be willing to take on your next design or if you may want to try another shop. Some artists may not have a lot of information on their website or even have a website. In that case, check out their social media pages for samples and contact information.

If you are trying to stick within a certain budget, you may want to find out what each individual artist's rates are and approximately how long your piece would take. You can get quoted by artists online or in person. Many artists have premade tattoo designs (sometimes called tattoo flash) or pieces that they want to do that you may be able to get at a deal or discount. More customized pieces tend to come with a higher price point, due to artwork and design time required to make the piece specifically for you.

Please take into account that a tattoo artist that might be the best fit your project might not be local. Sometimes, you have to travel to a tattoo artist in another city or state. You never know, a road trip with your friends might be fun!

We hope you find the best artist to fit your next piece! Please consider the artists at A Dead Anchor for your future tattoo ideas. Brandon Blackwood specializes in black and grey realism and color fusion. Tyranicorn specializes in neo-traditional and watercolor. Ta-ta for now!


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