Five Things to Consider When Choosing A Tattoo Artist From Boston to Bangladesh

October 28, 2015

No matter where you are in the world, there is a universal tattoo truth: When it’s inked, it’s inked. Once needle pierces skin, there’s no “undo” button, so it’s important to get it right the first time. Here are five things to consider when choosing your New Hampshire tattoo artist, a Boston tattoo shop or anywhere else you may travel.

  1.  Sanitary procedures. The only thing worse than getting a tattoo you hate is getting a disease from a tattoo artist you’ll come to hate. Ask the artist to open disposable, sterile needles in front of you, and watch them do it. Make sure they are disinfecting the tattoo site before beginning work.  And no gloves? No love. This is your health we’re talking about, there’s no room for messing around.
  2. Experience. Are you the artist’s first client? This may be meaningful if the artist is someone close to you. It might be a disaster if you happen to have strolled into the store without doing your research. Ask to see your artist’s license and examples of their prior work. Does she have a great style you absolutely love? Great! Does she have portfolio of spelling mistakes? Run far away. Every artist should have served a long apprenticeship to obtain their license – if they can’t show their work, they are not the artist for you.
  3. Custom vs. Stock art? A good artist will be willing to work with you to create a custom piece that matches what you envision—or improves upon it. Don’t get pushed into the dagger-pierced skull that’s been adorning the wall since 1983, unless that’s what you have your heart set on. Remember, this is your art, your body, and your experience.
  4. What kind of atmosphere do you want? As tattoos have gained acceptance in the general culture over the past twenty years, a plethora of different types of shops, catering to a wide array of tastes, have opened.  Do you want a gentle spa? Do you like rough-and-tumble? Something in between? Finding an ambiance that makes getting your tattoo a meaningful and pleasant experience is almost as important as finding an artist who does the same.
  5. How much are you willing to pay? Remember, a tattoo is a unique piece of artwork that you wear for the rest of your life. This is not the place to “go cheap.” Still, recognize what you can afford to pay, and let the artist know up-front. Get copies of any arrangements you make in writing with both your signature and your artist’s signature. Make sure you know what you are paying for, and what you get with that money.

Whether you get your tattoos here in NH or halfway around the world, these five tips will set you on the right path.