Inside: What is a tattoo parlor & how to find the best boutique for your new ink.
Getting a tattoo is a huge decision. There are a lot of things that you need to consider, including the design of the tattoo, would it be colored or plain black, the location you want to get the tattoo on, your pain threshold, and ‘am I hundred percent sure I want to go through with this?’
However, there is one thing a lot of people don’t give as much thought to as they should: tattoo boutiques/or parlors.
You may wonder why you need to think about where you get your tattoo from, as all tattoo boutiques are the same. However, not only is this a huge misconception, but it can lead to a potentially dangerous mistake with lifelong repercussions.
How to Find A Good Tattoo Boutique
Fun fact: All tattoo boutiques are unique. Each boutique has specific artists with a certain level of expertise and specializes in particular types of tattoos. In addition to that, they may work with different kinds of machines and inks.
Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of the tattoo boutique you’re visiting. Here are a few things to do and consider before deciding which tattoo parlor you will be getting inked from.
With all the information in the world at your fingertips, your first step should be to research local tattoo boutiques and narrow down a list for yourself. However, you don’t just want to find the ‘best tattoo boutiques’. In order to find the most suitable place to get a tattoo, you need to ask more specific questions.
For instance, do you want a specific type of tattoo? Is there any particular art style you want tattooed on your body? Do you want to visit a place that is LGBTQ+ inclusive? These questions can help you narrow down your options even more. Remember, just finding a good tattoo boutique isn’t the goal. What is good for one person may not meet the needs of another. So make sure that the tattoo boutique you choose attends to your needs.
2. Look For Reviews
Even if you find a tattoo parlor that is perfect for addressing your tattooing needs, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it would be a good parlor to visit. Going to a tattoo boutique that isn’t experienced or has a lack of high-quality machines might be one of the worst decisions you make. Tattoos made with low-quality machines and ink usually don’t turn out that well. Additionally, they also increase the risk of infection.
Thankfully, it is easier than ever to evaluate whether a tattoo artist is safe to work with. You can start by reading online reviews about their work to check how previous clients rate them. Additionally, you can talk to friends or family members who have tattoos and discuss their experiences. Talk to as many people as you can before finalizing a tattoo boutique.
3. Look At the Artist’s Portfolio
Even after deciding on a tattoo boutique, don’t just jump on the chair with your hand outstretched. Remember, a tattoo will be a part of your body for potentially the rest of your life. Yes, you may feel tempted to get a tattoo as soon as possible, but patience is necessary.
Make sure to do an in-depth review of the artist’s portfolio. You can ask for their portfolio to look through their work. Additionally, you can go online and look for past clients and their tattoos. This will help you determine whether the tattoo artists can pull off the design you are looking for, as well as the result of their tattoos.
4. Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need. A good tattoo artist would be happy to answer all of your questions without getting irritated. Whether it is your 1st tattoo or the 100th, it is important that you are aware of everything about the tattoo.
Tattoos are complex, and no question about them is too stupid. Whether you want to inquire about the aftercare or what type of ink and machine is being used, ask away. If the tattoo artist gets irritated, you might want to consider another tattoo boutique. It is also important to build a nice rapport with your tattoo artist to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Otherwise, both of you would be waiting for it to end.
5. Be Safe
Most importantly, you have to take all the precautions to be safe. As discussed earlier, low-quality tattoos can lead to infection, which, in turn, can be life-threatening in some cases. Therefore, be 200% sure before scheduling an appointment with your tattoo parlor.
Only visit licensed tattoo artists and boutiques, make sure that all the employees and staff are properly trained, check if the shop practices hygiene, and whether the needles are used from sealed containers. All of these are indicators that a tattoo boutique is worth visiting.
Once you are satisfied with all of the above, book your appointment and get that tattoo.
5 Top Factors to Look For In a Tattoo Parlor
You will get thousands of options if you do a quick Google search for a tattoo parlor in your area. So how do you narrow down your choice? A half-baked decision will lead to regretful results. The right tattoo studio can give you the confidence to try new designs.
Here are some of the top things you should consider before finalizing a tattoo parlor:
1. The Cleanliness
Your skin will be open to infection when you are getting a tattoo. A parlor that follows proper hygiene practices gets more clients than one that doesn’t.
A great way to tell if you are in the former rather than the latter is to take a big whiff as soon as you enter. If you smell disinfectant, that proves that the owners are serious about ensuring their clients remain safe from infections. A judgment call may land you in the hospital or even lead to an amputation.
2. Openly available designs
If you enter a tattoo parlor and are refused when you ask for a portfolio or design book, chances are the artist is inexperienced or insecure about their art. These books should be available and have pictures of satisfied clients with completed tattoos. You should be able to access their work as soon as you ask for it.
Look at past sketches, completed tattoos, and also current work. If they try to hide some of them, they may not be as experienced as they say they are. Maybe you are dealing with an apprentice with no idea about their teacher’s art form, or perhaps they are trying to hide something.
3. The Tattoo Artist’s Demeanor
Tattoos last forever, but also the experience you get from the tattoo parlor you get them from. You should have a memorable experience, not a traumatizing one. Depending on your tattoo type, you will spend a couple of hours under the needle.
That’s a long time to withstand pain that can get overwhelming. A cranky tattoo artist will also leave emotional and physical scars that may put you off tattoos completely. If they have a calm and positive demeanor, the experience will be pleasant, and the results will speak for themselves.
A professional artist will always take time to talk to their clients and determine their needs before they put needle to skin. A pleasant artist will make the time go much faster.
4. Trust Your Instincts
If you are uncomfortable at any point during a consultation, trust your gut and walk out. Your experience should be pleasant, comfortable, and enjoyable. If your instincts say that an artist is unreliable or the tattoo parlor is not as clean as it should be, trust it and check out the next one on your list.
Unfriendly staff who patronize you, unhygienic conditions, and the absence of a portfolio are all red flags you shouldn’t ignore. Plus, if the studio allows inebriated clients to get tattoos, they are just in it for the money and care little about your wellbeing.
5. Cheap Tattoos Aren’t Good, and Good Tattoos Aren’t Cheap
A studio that ignores basic hygiene and legal practices in exchange for cheap rates is just not worth the pain and extra costs of medical procedures you may undergo. Save up to get inked by a professional who realizes the worth of their work and loves what they do.
The total price doesn’t just cover the cost of the raw materials. It also includes the experience, design, consultation, and finalized tattoo. The level of detail, size, and thought that goes into the design contributes to the price. A top-quality one can go for $100 or more, so save up beforehand. Your patience will be rewarded.
Bonus… Consider These Simple Tattoos For Your First Ink.
Here are some simple and fantastic designs that you will not regret as your first tattoo:
Hedgehog Tattoo Designs – These simple and highly adorable tats are small enough to hide but cute enough to make your personality pop. Here are some great ideas you can try.
Gummy Bear Tattoos – A gummy bear tattoo shows you are ready to transition into adulthood but want to take your inner child with you. Here are some cute ones you can consider.