How To Find the Best Tattoo Artist With These 4 Simple Steps

how to find best tattoo artist
How to find the best tattoo artist is a crucial question. A tattoo is a long-term investment, so we recommend doing these 4 things before you choose an artist.

Getting inked is a long-term investment in your style and appearance. And just like any major financial decision, tattoo decisions should be informed and deliberate. Of course, finding the right tattoo artist is extremely important. Yet, despite the large choice, this isn’t always an easy task. So, in this article, we’ll explain where and how to find the best tattoo artist to fit your style.

We decided to group our advice in 4 stages, from creating a list of artists that fit your preference to actually visiting the tattoo shop. Unfortunately, there are some things tattoo clients often neglect. We explain what those nuances are and how to avoid such pitfalls. Finally, check out the section about the best tattoo artists in the US to see what is the national quality benchmark.

Hey, InkMatch received a massive update! Now, you can do more than find tattoo artists based on their location and preferred style. Explore our gallery and find your inspiration among almost 20,000 magnificent tattoo designs. You can type the theme of the tattoo piece in the search bar and contact the artists behind your favorite pieces in just several clicks!
how to find best tattoo artist

How To Find the Right Tattoo Artist?

We interviewed several tattoo artists and a dozen of their clients to ensure our advice was up-to-date. Some of them said that they scanned many artists’ profiles to create a vision of their tattoos. Others began their research with a well-defined design in mind. Both ways can work absolutely fine, so advice 1 and 2 are interchangeable.

Without further ado, here are our recommendations for finding the right tattoo artist.

Create a List of Artists You Like

While this sounds like obvious advice, not everybody puts effort into actually researching their tattoo options. Many clients kind of stumble on the artists they like when looking for Instagram hashtags. It might not matter if your tattoo turns out great, but still, you can make the research process more effective.

InkMatch offers a convenient way of finding tattoo artists near you. You can filter the search by region, town, and even tattoo style the artist specializes in. To compare, you can only look for one hashtag at a time on Instagram. For example, it is either #houstontattoo or #watercolor, but you can’t look at them simultaneously. InkMatch profiles show the best works of every creator and allow you to contact them directly. Also, many tattoo artists are no longer scheduling appointments via Instagram DMs, so our straightforward booking feature is very helpful.

Choose the Style of Your Tattoo

Tattooing is a collaborative process. Choosing an artist whose style complements your vision means that they have the skill and expertise to execute your design. Technique and training matter, and a fineline artist won’t promise the same quality if you ask them for a realistic wolf forearm. After you’ve decided on the style of your tattoo design, you can narrow down the list of local tattoo artists near you to those who work in this style.

If you live on the warm Pacific coast and are wondering how to find the best tattoo shops in San Diego, we’ve got a detailed article about the 10 talented local tattoo artists near you.
Choose the Style of Your Tattoo

Check the Clients’ Feedback

Client feedback allows us to assess the reputation of a tattoo artist. It is perfect if you know a friend who got inked by the artist you’re going to visit. If not, start by finding photos of healed tattoos. A tattoo is considered fully healed 3–6 months after its completion. If the ink piece still looks good after this time, and the client has no adverse reaction—the artist did a great job.

Also, take some time to check customer reviews. The best you can do is locate the tattoo parlor on Google Maps and check their reviews. Where do the negative ones come from? Nine times out of ten, the reason is failed communication. The good news is that you can usually avoid those pretty easily—check out the 7 common mistakes of tattoo clients.

Pay a Visit to a Tattoo Shop

We know people often skip this step. But unless you’re visiting the most famous tattoo shop in the state, we recommend you not to skip it. It is completely normal to schedule a brief consultation with the tattoo professional to:

  • Assess the cleanliness and hygiene standards of the tattoo shop
  • Ensure that you know all the tattoo preparation requirements
  • Clarify the details of your tattoo vision
  • Establish a personal connection with the artist
  • Know where the studio is located and how to get there
  • Ask all the relevant questions you have

Of course, you can try to get the same information via email, but let’s be honest, in-person communication works better in most cases. Now that you know how to find a good tattoo artist, let’s look at how to avoid the most common pitfalls.

If you want to get inked in tattoo-friendly Texas, finding a tattoo artist will be easy with our extensive article about the 5 best tattoo parlors in San Antonio and 11 artists from Fiesta City.
Pay a Visit to a Tattoo Shop

7 Common Mistakes of Tattoo Clients

After talking to several experts and a dozen tattoo enthusiasts, we’ve compiled the top 7 examples of how not to choose a tattoo artist.

? Rushing the decision

This is probably the most common mistake in the industry. When it comes to tattooing, impulsive decisions often lead to long-lasting regrets. Remember that you might carry the emotional weight of your tattoo for your entire life. So, take the time to research and consider multiple designs and artists before making a final decision.

? Ignoring hygiene standards

Poor hygiene practices can lead to all sorts of terrible complications. The tattoo studio must be sterile, and the artist should prove it to you. Here are the green flags:

Disposable items, such as needles, ink caps, and gloves, are single-use and opened in front of you.

Tattoo machines and working areas are covered with plastic wrap

Tattoo artist changes gloves between different tasks and whenever they touch non-sterile surfaces.

Remember that your health and safety are always the number one priority

?️ Disregarding artist’s recommendations

If an artist tells you something is not a good idea, you should probably listen to them. Believe it or not, tattoo professionals know their craft, and if they have a valid concern about your idea, they’ll voice it. For example, your artist may know from experience that a particular body placement isn’t good for a tattoo, or that your design is too detailed to be so small, etc. Whatever this concern is about—take it seriously.

? Neglecting style specialization

Let’s say you are a software developer and already know several programming languages. Does it mean that you can learn a new language fast? Probably, yes. Will you learn it in several days? Probably, no. The same goes for tattoo artists—learning new techniques is a tedious and complicated process. Therefore, you need to make sure that the artist has substantial experience with the tattoo style you choose.


How to choose a tattoo artist who would be versatile enough to mix tattoo styles in your design? Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Type the theme of your tattoo in the search bar in our updated gallery
  2. Use the style filter
  3. Click on the tattoo that seems closest to your idea
  4. Book an appointment
  5. Enjoy your ink masterpiece!
how to find best tattoo artist

? Not monitoring communication channels

Unfortunately, missing a confirmation message from a tattoo artist is a common mistake. Sometime before your appointment, you’ll receive a text or email asking to confirm the date and time of your appointment. If you don’t respond for long, an artist might assume that you canceled the tattoo session (we heard dozens of such stories). Of course, this is extremely frustrating, as you will need to reschedule the session (and sometimes pay the second deposit).

A brief note on tattoo etiquette—unlike many other social circumstances, showing up early for a tattoo isn’t considered respectful. In reality, it might look like you’re trying to push the artist to finish working with the previous client faster. It is better to arrive right on time or 5 minutes prior, but not earlier.

? Not clarifying policies

If pricing structures or deposit policies seem unclear to you, it is better to clarify them as early as possible. Failing to clarify price-related details of the process can lead to very unpleasant misunderstandings. You certainly wouldn’t want to ruin your experience in such a way.

? Choosing based solely on price

You need to treat your tattoo as a long-term investment. Going after the cheapest option is the worst approach that can be very detrimental to the quality of the final result. If you want to get an idea of how much can a tattoo cost, check out our tattoo price calculator feature.

Who Are the Best Tattoo Artists in the US?

The debate about what is the best tattoo state and who is the most influential tattoo artist can go on forever. Today, finding a great tattoo artist in any of the 50 states is very much possible. But historically, California, New York, Florida, and Texas were probably the most tattoo-friendly states.So, here is our selection of the top 10 tattoo artists nationwide. These are extremely talented, experienced, and hard-working professionals with unique styles. But if you want to focus on the artists from your state or city only, we also have a lot in store for you:

Choosing a tattoo artist is just as important as choosing a design, so only trust experienced artists. Here are four licensed tattoo artists who can help you bring your dream design to life:

Choosing a tattoo artist is just as important as choosing a design, so only trust experienced artists. Here are four licensed tattoo artists who can help you bring your dream design to life:


Finding a tattoo artist can be complicated if you don’t know what to look for. In this article, we explained how to find the best tattoo artist near you with 4 simple steps. You start by creating a list of the most promising artists (InkMatch was built for this). Second, you need to choose the style of your future tattoo. Third, check the client’s feedback and assess the parlor’s reputation. We also recommend paying a visit to the tattoo studio before getting inked.

If you avoid the 7 common mistakes tattoo enthusiasts make when looking for a tattoo shop, your experience should be smooth and pleasant. Finally, we shared the profiles of the best tattoo artists in the US—check them out, and you won’t be disappointed by their skills.

We thank you for reading and hope that our insights on how to find the right tattoo artist will prove useful!


? How Do You Find a Good Tattoo Artist?

To find a good tattoo artist, we recommend creating a list of nearby artists, matching the style of your tattoo with the style of the artist, checking clients’ feedback, and paying a visit to a tattoo shop.

? Where Can You Find Skilled Tattoo Artists?

The best way to find a good tattoo artist is to use InkMatch’s “Find an artist” feature. You can filter the results by location or tattoo style, and check the best work by every creator.

Should You Tip a Tattoo Artist?

In general, the standard tipping amount is between 15 and 20% of the total tattoo cost.

? Who Are the Best Tattoo Artists in the US?

It would be unfair to single out one person, so we decided to list 10+ talented artists who are close to being the best American ink masters


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