We interviewed three tattoo artists to get the lowdown on getting the best ink. Here is their wisdom distilled. Read the full story here.
1. Choose your artist carefully. Word of mouth is essential in this industry. If you see a tattoo you like on the street, at work or wherever, ask who did it–people are always willing to brag about their tattooer, and refer them to you. Look at portfolios, don’t just trust an artist by the way they talk, there are plenty of artists who can speak confidently about tattooing, but following through with skill can be another story.
2. Do your research. Don’t just grab some images of tattoos from the internet and say you want that. Try to figure out what you are trying to represent, and look around for a variety of images that express the essence of your idea. “When someone brings in a photo of someone else’s tattoo, we’ll ask what they like about it, and can use that as inspiration for their own design,” says Adam Suerte of Brooklyn Tattoo. “If you like sugar skulls, don’t just look up “sugar skull tattoos” on Google. I mean do that, but also look up the art of sugar skulls.” Images in hand, your tattoo artist will create an original piece for you that you will love way more than a copy of what someone else has.
3. Stay away from trends (especially anything celebrity related), and get something classic. Avoid name tattoos of your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife.
4. Trust your tattoo artist when they tell you what will work and what won’t–translating art to skin is a very particular skill and if you’ve done your research, you’re working with talented pro–let her do her job!