5 Steps to Finding the Best Tattoo Artist for You in Philadelphia
When you are looking to get a tattoo, it pays to take your time and consider things wisely...
Impulse purchases can have very negative consequences, particularly when those consequences are permanently inked into your skin. Besides, it would simply be a waste of your hard-earned money to pay a substandard artist. Still, when it comes to Philadelphia tattoo shops, you certainly have a lot of options. It is not enough to simply ask: “Where are some good local tattoo shops near me?” It is far more important to find the right shop and the right artist for you.
1. Decide What Kind Of Art You Want
Many people will go into a tattoo shop and choose a design from a book or display. However, the best tattoos are the ones that are unique and personalized. Even if you are not too concerned about uniqueness, there is a more practical thing to consider, and that is the need to find an artist who can deliver the kind of work that you want. At the bare minimum, you need to decide on a general art style.
For example, let’s say you want an intricate Celtic-style knotwork pattern on your back. Any artist can do knotwork, but not everyone is good enough to give you top-tier results. There are many other specialized art styles, and no tattoo artist can be expected to be equally proficient with all of them. So, you need to seek out artists that have produced a lot of good work in the style that you have chosen.
2. Investigate The Artist And The Shop
You’re going to be carrying this tattoo around for a long time (probably the rest of your life, unless you opt for expensive laser removal or something like that). As such, it’s worth the time and trouble to do your homework on both the artist and the shop with which they are employed. There are many ways to do this, but the best way is to speak with as many of their customers as possible. A visit to the shop can yield a lot of good information if you keep your eyes and ears open. In the end, you really want to find as many neutral reviews and testimonials as possible.
Here are several good sources of information that you can check:
- Contact your local health department and find out if the business has ever been cited.
- Contact the Better Business Bureau and see what kind of record the shop might have.
- Contact OSHA to check for citations/violations
- Most state governments have websites where you can search for business information by name.
- Although it should go without saying, don’t forget to do a simple web search.
3. Talk To Potential Artists
Once you’ve done a little bit of preliminary filtering with the first two steps, you can start narrowing down your choice to a single artist. The best and most straightforward way is to talk to the artist and get as much information as possible. Most artists will be eager to pick up new clients, so they shouldn’t have any trouble answering your questions.
It is very important that you ask to see some sort of relevant license. The requirements vary from state to state, but you need to make sure they have been followed. It’s also a good idea to ask for a look at their portfolio. This will simply be a folder containing samples of their best work. Safety and sanitation should obviously be your biggest concerns, as these will give you a solid idea as to the professionalism of that artist.
4. Analyze Your Information
By now, you should have gathered quite a bit of information. You have been taking notes, haven’t you? If not, you definitely should have been. In any case, you will need to analyze and cross-reference those pieces of information to make sure everything is on the level. When it comes to credentials and licenses, you might need to make a few phone calls to verify information, so don’t hesitate to do so.
There is also an intangible factor to be evaluated here. You need to ask yourself if you genuinely like the artist and the shop in question. Tattooing has always had a certain spiritual aspect, which is why it plays a role in many tribal religions. It has often been believed that the spirit of the artist and the subject should be in tune.
Don’t forget to consider prices as well. Finding a good artist won’t do you much good if you can’t afford their work. Still, we would encourage you to avoid the cheapest artists, as they tend to produce low-quality results. You want to find someone that offers good work at a fair price.
5. Schedule A Consultation
Once you have chosen an art style, chosen an artist, and vetted them properly, it is time to get that first tattoo from them. To do this, you schedule a consultation with your artist about a specific piece of work. This is your opportunity to make sure that they understand exactly what kind of results you want. If you have chosen well, this should be a quick and relatively simple meeting.
As you can see, the task of finding and evaluating a tattoo artist can be pretty in-depth. However, we want to state again that the results are worth the trouble. A good tattoo from a high-quality artist can be a source of enjoyment and pride for years to come. The difference mainly lies in the skills and professionalism of your artist, so you should be a little bit on the picky side. To learn more, feel free to call Oracle Tattoo Gallery at (215)638-1601.