Finding a Tattoo Artist
There are many factors to consider when choosing a tattoo artist, and among the most important are safety, experience, and style. When you are deciding what artist to work with, look at as many examples of his or her work as possible. Look for high-quality tattoos, and become familiar with the artist’s style. You may find that one artist’s style matches what you are looking for, or you may find an artist flexible enough to accommodate whatever style you want.
Next, talk to the artist – it is perfectly acceptable to "shop around” and bring your ideas to several artists before you make a decision. Getting a tattoo can be a very personal process, so your personal comfort and trust in your artist are important. A professional tattoo artist will also lend his or her expertise to your ideas, helping you understand what is and is not possible on a "canvas” of skin, so that you end up with a tattoo you love that will continue to look good over time.
For your safety, always choose a professional, licensed tattoo artist. Feel free to ask to see the artist’s license and other credentials, such as CPR and first-aid training. Talk to your artist about his or her experience: how long has the artist been tattooing? How long has she been licensed? Does he have a background in another medium, such as drawing or painting? Be cautious about an artist who refuses to discuss these issues, and never consent to receive a tattoo from someone who cannot produce his or her license.
Safe practices in the tattoo artist’s studio are equally important. All tattoo shops should have a working autoclave (a machine that sterilizes tools with heat and pressure). If you wish, you can ask to see the autoclave, and the records of the monthly tests that show that it is working properly. All needles should be single-use and sterile. Feel free to examine the autoclave packages, as these will prove that the needles and tubes were properly sterilized. The artist should always use latex or nitrile gloves, have a source of running water in the studio, and maintain a clean work space. Remember that these practices protect your safety as well as the artist’s, and refuse the service of any artist who does not meet these standards of safety and cleanliness.
- Ryen Welker
Miraculous Creations Body Art/Tattoos 387 Park Avenue Worcester MA 01610 508.755.1379