Tenured, Associate, and Junior Artists
Artists who are tenured have been with our company the longest and have the most established careers.
Associate artists are those who have been in the industry for a while and are well into their careers.
Junior artsits are newer in their careers and are still learning.
We encourage each person to choose their tattoo artist based off of that artists portfolio. A portfolio helps you understand the artist's style and skill level, both of which will effect the outcome of your tattoo.
Tenured artists will most of the time cost you more, but you may get more value out of them due to their experience. Junior artists will generally cost you less, however them being new in their careers may not get you the experience you have in mind. This is up to each individual client to decide.
Choosing your Tattoo Artist
Make sure you are doing your due diligence for your own safety
You have decided to have your body tattooed and you are asking yourself, “I want it done now, so where do I go?” In this era of bloodborne diseases you MUST be very careful who you have perform your Tattoo!
See their autoclave (sterilizer)
An autoclave is a device that sterilizes the jewelry, tools and equipment necessary to perform your piercing(s) by eliminating bacteria and its spores. The most effective units available to studios use a combination of steam and pressure. (”Dry Heat” is NOT considered appropriate for sterilization.) Absolutely no studio should be in operation without this vital piece of equipment!
Spore test Results
A spore test (biological indicator) is the only way to know that an autoclave is working properly. Biological indicators actually test the autoclave’s ability to kill even the most dangerous & resistant organisms such as HIV, Hepatitis, etc. The studio should keep recent results on file and be willing to show them to you.
Do they provide aftercare guidelines?
The aftercare for your tattoo should be explained to you and provided in writing. Read this sheet BEFORE you have the tattoo done! If it tells you to treat your tattoo with harsh soap, ointment, alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide, the studio is not keeping up with industry standards.
Is the studio well-kept and clean?
Are the walls washed and the floors cleaned? Is the staff bathed and neat? Is the restroom kept clean and tidy? Ideally, studios should have 5 separate areas: the counter, waiting room, tattoo area, a bathroom, and a separate sterilization room.
Does the studio have a license to operate?
In most cases a license to operate means that the studio meets minimum requirements and has passed some sort of inspection. To find out if your area has established standards and inspections, call your local Health Department. If a studio is operating unlicensed in an area where licenses are required, report them to your local health department or city business license division.
Each artist can have different styles, but don’t let this be an excuse for poorly executed tattoos. Look at the quality of the tattoos that the artist is doing. Don’t get caught up in a cool looking tattoo - dig right into the details to see if the artist is technically sound.
Use your instincts
If you don’t feel comfortable with the studio or the artist you should leave. “I should have listened to my gut feeling” is something you should never have to say.
Use your head
Don’t act impulsively or be swayed by a low price. You generally get what you pay for (but some unskilled tattoo artists charge plenty). Get referrals on a tattoo shop/artist from knowledgeable friends and/or the local health department.