How to Choose a Body Piercing or Tattoo Studio

Опубликовал Admin
25-09-2016, 00:45
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Body art such as tattooing and piercing has become increasingly popular over recent years. Read on for advice on choosing a piercer or tattooist.

General Advice

  1. Look in your telephone directory for a list of local artists. Many tattooists offer both piercing and tattoo work under one roof.
  2. Ask around for recommendations from your friends, making a shortlist of places which are recommended and avoiding anywhere with a bad reputation.
  3. Visit several studios,and have a look around. You should look for a clean environment,ensuring needles are changed for each client,seating areas are cleaned frequently and that the artist wears medical gloves. Ask to see their autoclave and spore test.
  4. Ask to see portfolios. Look for new and healed work. Ask how much experience the artist has had, and about any certifications.
  5. When you have decided which studio to use,try to have a chat with the staff and if you feel comfortable with letting them work on you-then go ahead!

Choosing the Best Tattoo Artist

  1. Decide on the Tattoo. You probably won’t have a specific design in mind, but you should have a theme or idea of what you want, which should include the style. Different artists work well with different styles and it is important that you find someone who matches up well with what you want from your tattoo.
    • If you’re after a colourful, incredibly detailed hyper-realism piece you’re probably not going to do to the world’s best traditional style artist, because for all you know he can’t do realism to save his life. Black and grey, or colour?
    • You should decide on whether you want a colourful tattoo or something that is black and grey, because the concepts are slightly different and a lot of artists do have a preference – some artists will work exclusively in black and grey, some will only include small amounts of colour and so on and so forth; not everyone can do everything, and sometimes they simply don’t want to.
  2. Make a list of Artists. You need to get together a list of artists that you like.
    • This is possibly one of the more time consuming parts of the process, but also one of the most fun, as you get to look at a lot of tattoos which might inspire your design a little more. So – how do you find these artists?
    • Start by looking for local tattoo studios and make note of artists you like working at those studios. Look at lists for top artists, top tattoos and make note of the artists whose work stands out to you.
    • Find pages on social networks like Facebook for tattoo studios, conventions and supplies companies – artists that are associated with these pages will often have joined these groups or liked the pages, so you can find them through these.
    • You can also check the upcoming conventions where you are and look at which artists are set to attend (sometimes artists will discount your tattoo if you get it done at a convention, so it can be worth looking at who’s going where and when – link to European convention list can be found in the sources).
    • If you’re struggling to find artists that really capture your attention, try joining some tattoo enthusiast forums and asking the users there for suggestions. Be sure to tell them your location and how far you’re willing to travel, as well as what you’re looking for from the artist. Most tattoo forums are full of people with experience of a wide range of tattoo artists, so they may have some fantastic suggestions for you.
  3. Narrow down the List. Once you have a nice long list of artists you like you can start to narrow it down. Artists you’re not willing to travel too far for can be taken off the list if you’re quite a distance from them. Then you can start looking at the quality of the tattoos, how frequently they post tattoos and so on and so forth.
    • You should ideally be looking for an artist that posts new stuff on a fairly regular basis, as this means they are actively tattooing and getting work, but not so busy that you’re going to be on a waiting list for five years if you pick them (unless you’re willing to wait five years of course).
    • They should post fresh and healed work, as it gives you a better idea of the quality of their work, particularly with black and grey artists, some of which will look completely different when healed despite looking fantastic fresh.
    • Take your time to decide on the artists that suit your needs best – then contact them. You should contact two or three artists unless you’ve decided on the perfect artist for you.
  4. Contact the Artist(s). If you’ve decided on an artist you love at this point, then fantastic. If not you probably have two or three artists you can’t choose between, and that’s fine. Contact them and base your decision on their communication – after all the artist might not even be willing to work with your idea, you need to confirm that they’re interested in the job.
    • When you contact the artist, they generally don’t really care why you want the tattoo, and can’t be bothered to read several paragraphs about how deep and meaningful the design is to you. What they want is information.
    • Explain to the artist the theme or idea you want for your tattoo, and include some reference pictures that might give the artist a better idea of what you want it to look like or even just tattoos that you quite like so that they get an idea of what you like to see in tattoos and what you don’t, this will make it easier for them to come up with ideas that you are likely to enjoy.
    • If you are a considerable distance from the artist you may want to explain this, particularly if you will be unable to attend a consultation with them as a result. If you are able to attend a consultation offer your availability to the artist in your email, you will have a higher chance of success if you are willing to make yourself flexible to their schedule.
  5. Wait. Artists tend to be pretty busy people, and you can probably guess by how often they update their social media how busy they are and how often they manage to sit down at a computer. So you could be waiting a little while for a reply to your email, but be patient. For some artists the average response time is a week or even two, so if you want a good, popular artist who gets numerous emails every day then you need to be willing to wait. If you still haven’t decided on an artist you’re going to go with you may choose to use the response time or even the enthusiasm of the response as your deciding factor. As stated previously – some artists are going to be more interested in your idea than others.
  6. Smooth out the Details. Now that you’ve found your ideal artist you don’t want to lose them, and you want to be sure that you stay on their good side if you’re thinking about getting more work from them in the future.
    • Once you have both agreed on the idea and you’ve answered any questions the artist might have, you can start to ask about the costs, dates and times. First establish what the tattoo is likely to cost you, this is rarely set in stone but the artist should be able to tell you what their hourly rate is and how many hours they estimate the design would take to tattoo (you may not have a design in mind yet, so this might not be an accurate estimation) and they will be able to tell you how much they charge for a deposit.
    • You can use this information to decide on when to set your appointment. Of course in order to set the appointment you will need to put down the deposit, to be sure you have that money available when making the arrangements and set the date of your appointments for times when you are sure you’re going to have the money available. Suggest a few suitable dates and compare those with your artists schedule in order to settle on a date that suits both parties.


  • Inform your artist about any diseases you have that are transmissible, and any conditions such as hemophilia.
  • The first thing you should ask is how they sterilize their equipment. Ask if they use autoclaving to sterilize their stuff. If they don't want to talk about it with you... run. Really, any good tattoo shop should offer or at least be willing to show you how they sterilize the equipment if you ask to see it. This should be your first concern since all sorts of things can be transmitted through blood/needles.
  • Don't pick at the scabs that form on a healing tattoo. They will eventually fall off or loosen, especially in the shower.
  • Never choose a studio which rushes its clients. Some businesses let customers walk out when they are faint or feeling ill,which is seen as very bad practice.
  • Eat at least 2 hours before your tattoo or piercing.
  • If you see someone with a great tattoo or piercing, don't be afraid to ask who did it. People are usually happy to recommend their favourite artist, and word of mouth is generally reliable on the body art scene.
  • Most studios require parental permission for piercings on anyone under 18.
  • Wash the area to be worked on.
  • In the UK, there is no recognized certification for body piercing.
  • Think first until you want it because if you don't then is going to be like that forever.
  • Don't just go for the cheapest one you find, as price often reflects quality.


  • Here's a good motto in regards to cost: "Cheap tattoos aren't good, and good tattoos aren't cheap."
  • You must be 18 to get tattooed in the UK. Parent permission for those under 18 in the UK is NOT legal. Though some studios may still let you get a tattoo if you are 16 and have parental permission.
  • Avoid any studio which uses guns for body piercing, as piercing guns cannot be sterilized. Furthermore, piercings guns can cause blunt force trauma, complicating healing-ALTHOUGH Many U.S. distributors of piercing guns such as STUDEX offer single use pre-sterilized cartridges for tongue piercing in which the only item that comes in contact with the client is the barbabell which has sterilization lot info branded on packaging.
  • Cheaper is almost never better.
  • It is illegal for anyone under a certain age, usually 18, to get a tattoo in many US states, though not ALL. For example - Ohio has no minimum age if there is parental consent, but most Ohio studios will not tattoo clients under 16. In California, the age is 18 regardless of parental consent. Check your state's laws before going.
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