Ever heard of a friend getting a tattoo somewhere on a whim? Well there's no shame in that! We all like to be spontaneous sometimes, but if you're a planner then this is the blog for you.
For some of us, deciding on an artist can be an incredibly extensive process. It's your body and it is completely alright if you want to make sure you get the best your money can buy. This is especially true when we're talking about art, particularly the permanent kind. Hours of research may go into your quest for the perfect tattoo artist, and there are countless factors to take into consideration when making your decision.
Unfortunately money plays a big factor in many of our decisions and picking an artist is one of them. It is important that you determine your budget and stick to it, but never forget... you get what you pay for! Time is a huge factor that will affect the cost of your piece. Artists usually charge per hour unless there is a pre-determined price for your artwork. A few factors that will affect the hourly rate of your artist are the following: - Skill/Experience: An artist with 10+ years of experience will have a much higher hourly rate than an apprentice. - Popularity: Famous artists or those working at popular studios have the ability to hike up their rate due to demand. Supply and demand, 1st rule of economics. - Tattoo size/Complexity: The bigger and more difficult the tattoo the more hours you can expect to be sitting on your artists chair. More hours = more money. - Necessary tools: Artists incur costs while producing their work. This includes any supplies they may need in the execution of your piece such as ink, needles, wipes, lotions, etc. This will usually be worked in to their rate. - Design: An original design from your artist will also be of additional cost to you, more so than a flash or pre-designed tattoo. - Speed: The speed of your artist is also an important factor because the slower they are the more working time you'll have to pay for. However keep in mind this will vary depending on what you prioritize. If you value attention to detail you may want to dish out the extra bills, but keep in mind there are also amazingly quick AND talented artists. It's all up to you and your preferences after all.
Not all artists have specialties, but if you're looking for an artist with a specific style it is important you do your research. A great resource is Instagram. Following your favorite artists and tattoo focused accounts can be a big help in finding an artist that creates the kind of art you're looking. Artists may specialize in calligraphy, surrealism, tribal, etc. Because styles may vary it is important to know what kind of style you're interested in before beginning your search.
Once you have determined your budget and style you can start digging into the nitty gritty. How far are you willing to travel for your artist? If you are considering a large piece it may be best to look locally as you can probably foresee multiple sessions. Perhaps there's an artist abroad whose work you really admire, then it may be the time to pack your bags and make a vacation out of your next tattoo session. Conventions are also great opportunities to meet your artist halfway. Your favorite artist may be traveling to a convention near you and if you're lucky you may be able to book one of their openings. Wherever your tattoo artist may be, make sure that you are staying within your budget and that you have all the logistics planned out.
Depending on how in demand your desired artist is, it is important to plan your appointment around their schedule. Reach out to the artists you are interested in through their preferred method. You may have luck finding their contact info on their personal website, their studio’s site, their Facebook page or their Instagram. When contacting the artist make sure you supply all the details including your ideas and possible dates. Popular artists may have month-long waits so unless you're set on a single artist it may help to have a couple back up artists picked out. Deciding on the right artist can be an exciting, eye-opening process and it can also be as time consuming as you allow it to be. Regardless of how meticulous you want to be in your choice the probabilities of finding an amazing artist are high. There is an incredible amount of talent out there and with patience you’re likely to find the right tattoo artist for you.