With too many tattoo studios to choose from, how do you know who is discreet, professional, and the best fit for you? There are over 300 shops in the Denver metro area alone. Finding the right studio can be difficult all over the country. The advantage of having so many stores is that your choices as a customer are almost limitless. There are two styles of stores: custom and lane. A custom shop does just as it says on the tin: all artwork is made exclusively for each customer. This is a must-have for any large-scale work, such as sleeves or back pieces, in my opinion. For more details click SanDiegoTattooShop.
All you need in a design shop is an idea, and the designers will design it for you. It is not unusual for a successful custom shop to have a weeks-long or even months-long wait list. Performance should not be a problem with what you will wear for the rest of your life. Often, a fee is expected to book an appointment, which can be extended to the tattoo later.
About the fact that I own and operate a custom shop, there is nothing wrong with a street store. Smaller tattoos or “impulse tattoos” are more common in street shops. The walls of a street store are normally coated in “flash” as you come in (an industry term for pre-drawn designs). Some of the best tattoo artists in the world draw good flash, and when finished right, it makes spectacular artwork. The disadvantage of flash is that some can have the same tattoo as you.
How do I choose a store?
- Finish your homework and you’ll be wearing this for the remainder of your life. With the convenience of the internet, you can search for shops in your neighbourhood and read reviews. If you see someone with a tattoo you like on the street, inquire about where they got it and who did it. Since most shops have many designers, each with their own specialties, it’s good to know who did it.
- Inspect the area for cleanliness. If the shop does not seem or feel safe as soon as you enter, it most likely isn’t. Hepatitis affects one out of every five individuals. It is really likely to cross-contaminate if you are not well qualified. Without proper sterilisation, HEPATITIS can survive on a surface for up to two weeks. Make sure the autoclave in the shop has been spore checked! This is a procedure in which an independent agency double-checks the equipment’s functionality. Inquire about the most recent health department inspection. Only because a shop claims to use only “disposable” equipment does not mean it is clean; in most situations, the reverse is true.
- Make sure you’re treated with respect as a client. Tattooists have a poor habit of developing large egos and negative attitudes. There’s no need to put up with this in a crowded economy. You are free to ask as many questions as you can. If they fail to respond, search for a shop that will. Tattoos are permanent, so make sure you’re fully secure before having one.
- Inquire into portfolios. When digging at portfolios, start with the fundamentals. The outline (line work) should be crisp and clear. Shaky or wobbly lines should be avoided. They can all have the same thickness. The black and grey can be silky smooth (no pepper marks). Color tattoos should be closely lined, with no splotchy patches.
- Find the perfect performer. Picasso could not paint a Monet and vice versa, and most shops have several artists. Tattooing, like every other medium of painting, has its own distinct style. Check at several portfolios before you find an artist who makes work that you love. If you’re looking for a portrait artist, make sure they have a portfolio of a range of portraits. Inquire about the tattoo artist’s experience. Check to see if they completed a formal apprenticeship. Inquire as to how long they’ve been working in that store. You’ll be spending several hours with this guy, so make sure it’s someone you want to spend time with.
What do you need now that you’ve discovered your shop and your artist? I’ve found that the more trained a customer is, the happier they are years later.
Above All Tattoo
1142 Garnet Avenue
San Diego, CA 92109