6 Ways To Spot A Good Tattoo Artist

Best Ink‘s Hannah Aitchison offers simple rules for making sure your tattoo artist isn’t just some wacko with an ink-filled needle.

By Matt Christensen

Half of the Americans who have tattoos — and it’s about 14 percent of the population — find the reputation of the tattoo artist or tattoo studio to be the most important factor. And that’s going to lead to a lot of buyer’s remorse, according to Best Ink judge and 17-year inking expert Hannah Aitchison. “If somebody doesn’t do their research first, they won’t be happy with the result,” she explains. “You’re looking to find a tattoo artist who consults and helps you. That’s a person who takes their craft seriously.”

#1: They’ll Turn You Away If You’re Drunk
Not because you’ll regret it in the morning — which you probably will — but because a good tattoo artist like Aitchison will turn you away. “I’d tell someone who came in smelling like beer to come back another day,” she says. ” They’re not going to sit well and they’re going to bleed more. I had a guy come in to a shop in London once, and he was bouncing off the walls. I asked him what was wrong, and he said ‘I been smoking [crack] all night, you think that’s gonna be a problem?’ He wanted portraits of his kids.”

TAGS: art, how to pick a good tattoo artist, tattoos