How to Find the Best Tattoo Artist for You

College is a time when many individuals try to figure out "who they are."  Drastic haircuts, piercings, and of course tattoos are all a part of this process... sometimes with devastating results.  While hair can grow out and piercings can be removed, tattoos are something that should receive a little more thought.  It's going to be on your body forever, after all.  One of the most important parts of the tattoo process is finding an artist.  Choosing the right artist is critical to getting a quality tattoo. Here are a few things to remember so you never regret your tattoos:

Price should not be your top priority

The phrase "quality over quantity" definitely applies when it comes to tattoos.  Just because someone says they can "give you a good deal" doesn't mean they're going to give you a good tattoo.  A tattoo is an investment.  Spending the money to get high-quality work done the first time saves you from having to get touch-ups or cover up a poorly done tattoo after several years.  Good tattoos ain't cheap, and cheap tattoos ain't good.  Facts.   

All tattoo artists are not created equal

Every tattooer has his or her own style and artistic strengths.  In order to get the best tattoo possible, you want to choose an artist who has a style you like.  For example, I like realistic tattoos, so I wouldn't get tattooed by someone who does traditional style tattooing.  Do your research before booking an appointment to make sure you're going to get the tattoo of your dreams. 

Don't just listen to word of mouth

Asking friends/ family about tattoo artists is a great place to start your research, but their definition of "quality work" could be completely different from yours.  Reputable tattoo artists have some sort of website or social media page with a portfolio for potential clients to look at.  I would highly suggest checking out an artist's work for yourself instead of just walking into a random tattoo shop because someone told you that you should.

Set up a consultation

Many tattoo artists allow clients to come in for a free consultation before setting up an appointment.  This allows the client to explain their tattoo ideas in person, which is much easier that trying to explain them in an email.  But, if you're traveling to get your tattoo and can't set up a consultation beforehand, make sure to be very detailed with your descriptions and include reference pictures if possible.  Tattoo artists aren't mind readers, so communicating exactly what you want (and don't want) is critical.